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Cleaning a used eBay Gaggia Classic
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Cleaning a used...  
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megabyte
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Apr 2011
Posts: 13
Location: UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 3:13am
Subject: Cleaning a used eBay Gaggia Classic
 

I bought a Gaggia Classic on eBay. The date on the bottom is 2006 and the exterior was clean but after reading a lot on this forum I removed the filter screen and found it absolutely filthy. Even though I read not to used detergent on any part of the machine that the coffee will touch, I thought the original owner probably did not read that, so I cleaned it with a mild dish detergent and the group head (?) with a toothbrush. I could only find Stella descaler tablets so I used that but was not happy with the results.

I asked the owner what maintenance was done and how often when he had it and he said he used a descaler once years ago. I am manic about cleaning especially if I do not know the person. So......

I have now ordered:
- backflushing basket
- Rinza to clean steam wand
- Cafiza for backflushing and soakables
- Dezcal to descale

My question is - should I do this in a certain order?  Also, I am not a handy-man type of person, so do you think I should bother my other half who thinks I am obsessed and is not a coffee lover into dismantling the Group Gasket for me to clean?

Anything else that you can pass my way would be greatly appreciated!
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 6:46am
Subject: Re: Cleaning a used eBay Gaggia Classic
 

Hi and welcome :D

My personal opinion is that there is no specific order to do things. Just do all the steps and you should be OK.

The screen is very often overlooked and it gets nasty very quickly, with years of buildup, I have to wonder how any water was getting through at all!

Remember, in addition to fresh beans, less than two weeks from the day they were roasted on, you will need a good grinder. Do you have a direction you plan to go with the grinder yet?

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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megabyte
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Apr 2011
Posts: 13
Location: UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 7:38am
Subject: Re: Cleaning a used eBay Gaggia Classic
 

Thanks for welcoming me and for your advise. I just have to wait for everything to arrive because I had to purchase it all online. I live on a small island and there is no place to purchase anything related to espresso machines except the machine itself which is sold in one shop and it is only a De'Longhi.  BUT the odd thing is we actually have a roaster :D so I will check them out when I am ready to start  my journey.

As for the grinder, that is the problem. I am renting a very small place and there is no room. Also, I will be moving to the States hopefully by the middle of next year.  I bought the Gaggia because I know we will have a 250 volt socket in the kitchen, but now that I am learning more and more about making a great espresso, etc., I know that I need a good grinder. The one I want, I cannot afford to buy until I know that I am committed to this art but I will probably get a new espresso machine then too.   So for now, I am looking to buy an Ascaso I-Mini on eBay UK even though I crossed that off of my list because of the noise it makes. If I do not win it, the one that comes up most often is the Gaggia MM Burr, so I might have to settle for that.

Do you think I should change the Group  O ring?
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megabyte
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Joined: 9 Apr 2011
Posts: 13
Location: UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 7:46am
Subject: Re: Cleaning a used eBay Gaggia Classic
 

About the O ring, other half said "if it is works, leave it alone".  

How do I know if it is working properly?  Will liquid start spitting out around the PF if it needs to be changed?
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brianl
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Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 441
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (w/PID)
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 7:48am
Subject: Re: Cleaning a used eBay Gaggia Classic
 

A Gaggia Classic should last you a long while. There are people with grinder's worth three times the value of their espresso machine. As you'll read, the espresso machine is probably one of the least important parts of making espresso. I'd drop all the money you can in the grinder and not worry about the machine for a long while.
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brianl
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Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 441
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (w/PID)
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 7:50am
Subject: Re: Cleaning a used eBay Gaggia Classic
 

megabyte Said:

About the O ring, other half said "if it is works, leave it alone".  

How do I know if it is working properly?  Will liquid start spitting out around the PF if it needs to be changed?

Posted December 11, 2013 link

That's usually one of the first things i change on old machines. It's a cheap replacement and easy to do, esprecially since you are already taken off the shower screen.

I also bought a used gaggia classic on ebay. Although after a descale (check out durgol as I think its recommended for aluminum boilers) and a few backflushes with cafiza it worked well.
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megabyte
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Joined: 9 Apr 2011
Posts: 13
Location: UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 8:00am
Subject: Re: Cleaning a used eBay Gaggia Classic
 

I guess another 5 for an O ring is not going to break the bank, so I will buy one.  

This hobby is getting much more expensive than I thought!  Just to clean it is costing 50 :(

As for the descale, there is so much information on it. Some people go one way and others the other way.  I cannot remember why I finally decided on the Cafiza over the Durgol but I will see if I have it in my notes when I get home and will get back to you.
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,052
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
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Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 8:20am
Subject: Re: Cleaning a used eBay Gaggia Classic
 

megabyte Said:

I guess another 5 for an O ring is not going to break the bank, so I will buy one.  

This hobby is getting much more expensive than I thought!  Just to clean it is costing 50 :(

As for the descale, there is so much information on it. Some people go one way and others the other way.  I cannot remember why I finally decided on the Cafiza over the Durgol but I will see if I have it in my notes when I get home and will get back to you.

Posted December 11, 2013 link

Cadfiza is less aggressive if your just dealing with coffee gunk. Spending $50 to clean will increase the life length of the machine. Down the road it will only cost you maybe $10-$20 every 6 months to replace the Cafiza and buy more Descaler.
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megabyte
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Apr 2011
Posts: 13
Location: UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 11, 2013, 11:57am
Subject: Re: Cleaning a used eBay Gaggia Classic
 

50 in US dollars would be just over $80 to clean it which is a bit more than I paid for the Gaggia :-D

As you say, it is an investment in prolonging the life of this old beauty, so I will take good care of her.

Hmmm....I wonder if the Gaggia is a him or her?
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 441
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (w/PID)
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 7:03am
Subject: Re: Cleaning a used eBay Gaggia Classic
 

Do not descale with cafiza. It should be used to backflush and cleaning the portafilter/baskets and stuff only.
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