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Date: 30 Dec 2006 06:32:55
From: LF
Subject: How to clean an aluminum portafilter or a funky moka?
My collection of yard sale espresso machines and coffee makers includes
a few with with difficult to clean aluminum parts. I'm pleasantly
surprised at how well the Braun themoblock espresso machine works.
Unfortunately, it has an aluminum portafilter with lots of nooks and
crannies that accumulate coffee residue. Old aluminum mokas can be
pretty funky too.
I'm looking for a good way to clean coffee residue off of aluminum.
I reviewed the archives (thanks to Jack Denver for clearly stated and
well reasoned opinions), and found:
1. Common cleaners (cafiza, oxyclean, dishwasher detergent) that work
well on coffee oil residue are not safe for aluminum.
2. Hot water and dish cleaning soap (best without perfume) is safe.
3. Some people erroneously claim that this build up of stale oil makes
for better coffee.

Hot water and dish soap, although safe, did not get rid of the coffee
residue on the portafilter.
I wonder:
1. Cleancaf (also Tabz) claims to both descale and dissolve coffee
residue. Is it really effective with coffee oil residue on aluminum?
Citric acid is probably the descaling ingredient. If it cleans coffee
oil residue, what is the active ingredient(s).
2. What might I expect from a long exposure of aluminum with coffee
residue to citrus degreaser and hot water? If no one knows, an
experiment is forthcoming.
3. What have you found to be an effective cleaner for aluminum with
coffee residue?

Thanks,
Larry "clean brewing equipment makes the best coffee" Fieman





 
Date: 31 Dec 2006 22:08:16
From: LF
Subject: Re: How to clean an aluminum portafilter or a funky moka?

Thanks Flasherly & Jack.

I think I'll try some Barkeepers Friend with a dremmel tool for the
nooks and cranies on the aluminum portafilter.

Happy New Year,
Larry



 
Date: 31 Dec 2006 13:35:55
From: Jack Denver
Subject: Re: How to clean an aluminum portafilter or a funky moka?
For pitted and grungy aluminum you need something with abrasive to scrape
away the grunge. Once you get down to the raw aluminum, the first few
drinks may be a little metallic tasting but the oxide coating will reform
fairly shortly.

One think that works well is the old fashioned Brillo pad or fine steel wool
with soap. This will scratch something that already has a mirror finish in
good condition but for what you are describing it will be better than
before.

Another product that works well is "Barkeepers Friend" which is a cleanser
that combines an abrasive with oxalic acid. Long exposure to acid can pit or
even dissolve aluminum but the brief exposure while you are rubbing the
cleanser won't cause damage.

If you have access to a buffing wheel and jeweler's rouge, you can then put
a mirror finish on the aluminum but its not really neccessary.


"LF" <fieman@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1167489175.825500.133370@a3g2000cwd.googlegroups.com...
> My collection of yard sale espresso machines and coffee makers includes
> a few with with difficult to clean aluminum parts. I'm pleasantly
> surprised at how well the Braun themoblock espresso machine works.
> Unfortunately, it has an aluminum portafilter with lots of nooks and
> crannies that accumulate coffee residue. Old aluminum mokas can be
> pretty funky too.
> I'm looking for a good way to clean coffee residue off of aluminum.
> I reviewed the archives (thanks to Jack Denver for clearly stated and
> well reasoned opinions), and found:
> 1. Common cleaners (cafiza, oxyclean, dishwasher detergent) that work
> well on coffee oil residue are not safe for aluminum.
> 2. Hot water and dish cleaning soap (best without perfume) is safe.
> 3. Some people erroneously claim that this build up of stale oil makes
> for better coffee.
>
> Hot water and dish soap, although safe, did not get rid of the coffee
> residue on the portafilter.
> I wonder:
> 1. Cleancaf (also Tabz) claims to both descale and dissolve coffee
> residue. Is it really effective with coffee oil residue on aluminum?
> Citric acid is probably the descaling ingredient. If it cleans coffee
> oil residue, what is the active ingredient(s).
> 2. What might I expect from a long exposure of aluminum with coffee
> residue to citrus degreaser and hot water? If no one knows, an
> experiment is forthcoming.
> 3. What have you found to be an effective cleaner for aluminum with
> coffee residue?
>
> Thanks,
> Larry "clean brewing equipment makes the best coffee" Fieman
>




 
Date: 30 Dec 2006 09:23:16
From: Flasherly
Subject: Re: How to clean an aluminum portafilter or a funky moka?

LF wrote:
> Hot water and dish soap, although safe, did not get rid of the coffee
> residue on the portafilter.
> I wonder:
> 1. Cleancaf (also Tabz) claims to both descale and dissolve coffee
> residue. Is it really effective with coffee oil residue on aluminum?
> Citric acid is probably the descaling ingredient. If it cleans coffee
> oil residue, what is the active ingredient(s).
> 2. What might I expect from a long exposure of aluminum with coffee
> residue to citrus degreaser and hot water? If no one knows, an
> experiment is forthcoming.
> 3. What have you found to be an effective cleaner for aluminum with
> coffee residue?

Clean aluminum with a solution of cream of tartar and water. Baking
soda and lemon are also mentioned.

http://es.epa.gov/techinfo/facts/safe-fs.html

Afterwards, as in polishing, I'd tend. If you've steam and heat pitted
and heavily encrusted metal, may be in for chemical treatment. A
mechanic once told me how he left the customer's aluminum transmission
case in the parts-cleaning sink and came back the next morning to find
it dissolved. Same principle. If you reselling and need standout curb
appeal, work under lights and magnifiers on small or hidden sections
for testing your abrasion material, application tools, and a slew of
treatment chemicals sold purportedly as safe for aluminum. 1/8"
dremel-style kits as a polisher and grinder set are as low as $10 in
places like Harbor Freight. Just don't slip. :)