Posted Mon Mar 8, 2004, 11:30pm Subject: Cleaning without backflush
Hi. I have had my Gaggia Espresso Deluxe for around a month now so I should probably give its innards a clean (this is a machine without 3-way solenoid, so I can't backflush). I use filtered water (Brita filter) and remove/clean the shower screen every week or so, but what else should I do in the way of maintenance? The manual suggests using Gaggia cleaner for descaling - can I just use citric acid as has been suggested in these forums?
cafewest_tech Senior Member Joined: 22 Aug 2003 Posts: 270 Location: Medford Expertise: Professional
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2004, 9:33pm Subject: Re: Cleaning without backflush
Hi Ross You are doing everything you need to do. The other thing you can do is clean your group head gasket every day. Use a good brush and then wipe out with a paper towel. As far as descaling you need do this maybe 3 times a year. Use a good espresso machine descaler. Don't descale hot. Turn the machine on and run about 8 oz. of descaler through the steam wand. Turn off the machine and let it set about 10 minutes. Turn back on and run 8 oz through the steam wand again. Turn off and let set again. Repeat, only this time run it through the brew head. Turn off and let it set 10 minutes. Do this until all the solution is gone. Rinse the water tank and refill with clean water then run it through your machine's steam wand and brew head. You’re done.
Luca Senior Member Joined: 27 Jan 2004 Posts: 2,658 Location: Melbourne, Australia
Espresso: H: Maver W: FB-80 Grinder: H: Super Jolly W: Brasilia... Vac Pot: Hario TCA-2 Roaster: Sample Roaster at Work
Posted Fri Mar 19, 2004, 11:46pm Subject: Re: Cleaning without backflush
Alan Frew has this to say about cleaning domestic machines. It's specific to Silvia and the nemox/quaha machines, but the salient points are that a) melbourne water is not as harsh as in many other places, so it is only necessary to descale twice a year, if that and b) citric acid makes a perfectly good descaler for Silv. Chances are that you probably won't need to descale for at least a few months! That said, it's my understanding that the gaggia machines all have aluminium boilers. Many cookbooks that I've read specifically say not to use aluminium when cooking with acidic substances, such as lemon juice, so I'd call a gaggia stockist to ask them what they recommend for descaling.
Cleaning the grouphead is definitely worth doing on a fairly regular basis ... even more regularly if you can't backflush! There'a a tutorial right here on coffeegeek. At the beginning, it makes out as though this procedure is only for machines with a three-way solenoid valve, but I'd imagine that the group on a gaggia would be very, very similar ... simply flush water through wherever you're instructed to backflush. If you haven't done this before, you'll likely be shocked by the amout of crap caught up in there!
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