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La Pavoni descale with vinegar?
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Discussions > Espresso > Lever Espresso > La Pavoni...  
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RobertSubnet
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Joined: 10 Feb 2009
Posts: 56
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jun 30, 2009, 11:52pm
Subject: La Pavoni descale with vinegar?
 

Hello all. It has been kind of quiet in here lately so I thought I would post something to strike up some conversation.

Has anyone ever descaled a lever machine with vinegar? I use it with my Mr. Coffee machine without any problems. But I was wondering if vinegar is an effective and safe descaler for lever machines.

Thanks!

~Robert
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sweaner
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sweaner
Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 1,129
Location: Yardley, PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Arrarex Caravel, La...
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Drip: Bunn Trifecta MB
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Wed Jul 1, 2009, 9:40am
Subject: Re: La Pavoni descale with vinegar?
 

I don't see why you could not use vinegar.  However, I like citric acid.  I think it is easier to rinse away the taste.

 
-Scott
“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.”
Thomas Jefferson
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RobertSubnet
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Joined: 10 Feb 2009
Posts: 56
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Jul 1, 2009, 12:01pm
Subject: Re: La Pavoni descale with vinegar?
 

I think it is easier to rinse away the taste.

That is a good point. With the drip machine it takes a lot of water to get rid of the vinegar taste. With a lever, getting that taste out of the group head would not be easy.
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stefano65
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stefano65
Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 1,415
Location: Eugene OR
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme,Elektra,
Grinder: Vario,Macap,
Vac Pot: not
Drip: not
Roaster: not
Posted Wed Jul 1, 2009, 1:22pm
Subject: Re: La Pavoni descale with vinegar?
 

I will not use vinegar inside a machine
smells very bad for very long time
citric acid or to do it right descaler

 
Stefano Cremonesi
info@espressocare.com
www.espressocare.com
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camalotious
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Joined: 6 Jul 2009
Posts: 4
Location: pullman, wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 8, 2009, 11:06am
Subject: Re: La Pavoni descale with vinegar?
 

I used vinegar in my machine and it worked just fine.  The secret is to take apart the machine completely and soak/scrub each individual part in the vinegar solution.  Since the Pavoni is really easy to take apart this isn't a problem (it also gives you a chance to inspect gaskets).

Finally, before putting it back together, rinse each individual part thoroughly.  For the boiler I found it convenient to disconnect it from the base.  Then I would put the cap on the top and fill it from the bottom, which gave me plenty of room to use a brush and rag to scrub.  You will also want to soak the boiler, but make sure not to get cables wet.  

Word of caution though with any acid.  It will eat the chrome finish eventually, so don't allow acid to get on the chrome.  

But yea, with every individual part it is easy to do a good water rinse...the taste goes away completely.
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stefano65
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stefano65
Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 1,415
Location: Eugene OR
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme,Elektra,
Grinder: Vario,Macap,
Vac Pot: not
Drip: not
Roaster: not
Posted Thu Jul 9, 2009, 4:00pm
Subject: Re: La Pavoni descale with vinegar?
 

With all do respect
vinegar is the grandma remedy and the potency is not even close to the descaler
so if you have to do it I will suggest you do it right with the appropriate item
however for small amount of scale vinegar will do something

 
Stefano Cremonesi
info@espressocare.com
www.espressocare.com
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cappuccinoboy
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Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 798
Location: MILANO
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Milano pod, Milano fully...
Grinder: grind on demand
Posted Thu Jul 16, 2009, 1:11pm
Subject: Re: La Pavoni descale with vinegar?
 

stefano65 Said:

With all do respect
vinegar is the grandma remedy and the potency is not even close to the descaler
so if you have to do it I will suggest you do it right with the appropriate item
however for small amount of scale vinegar will do something

Posted July 9, 2009 link

vinegar is an excelent descaler and possibly the cheapest, but the main reason why they normally advise using commercial descaler is that vinegar will corrode O rings and seals. Is fine to use on single components
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stefano65
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stefano65
Joined: 30 Oct 2004
Posts: 1,415
Location: Eugene OR
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme,Elektra,
Grinder: Vario,Macap,
Vac Pot: not
Drip: not
Roaster: not
Posted Fri Jul 17, 2009, 6:46am
Subject: Re: La Pavoni descale with vinegar?
 

maybe the vinegar they sell in milano ( I was born and lived there for my first  18 years of life ) not the one they sell in oregon
descaler is a much better agent

 
Stefano Cremonesi
info@espressocare.com
www.espressocare.com
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travisschwochert006
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Joined: 3 Feb 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Wisconsin
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 12:47pm
Subject: Re: La Pavoni descale with vinegar?
 

Acetic acid is fine. Citric acid is stronger with a primary pKa of 3.14. Acetic acid has one carboxyl group with a pKa of 4.76. I use vinegar because it is gentler on the chrome but strong enough to dissolve mineral deposits.
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crazy4espresso
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crazy4espresso
Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 148
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvia, La Pavoni...
Grinder: Pharos
Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 4:45pm
Subject: Re: La Pavoni descale with vinegar?
 

Where small passages are blocked with Calcium Carbonate, if you use Citric acid you'll be replacing it with an insoluble Calcium Citrate, and then you're really screwed.  Vinegar is the preferred descaler in those instances. I always use an acetic acid solution when I have accessible boilers that can be easily rinsed and where I suspect there are very small passages requiring descaling.  I've never had my machines smell or taste like a salad with proper rinsing.
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