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CLR, Limeaway, Durgol etc.  Are these cleaners okay to use?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > CLR, Limeaway,...  
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mattdbaker
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Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La San Marco Lever 80
Posted Fri Feb 24, 2006, 1:42am
Subject: CLR, Limeaway, Durgol etc.  Are these cleaners okay to use?
 

I am rebuilding a La Marzocco Linea 3 group and I am finding some nasty build ups of calcium and lime in the machine.  

I soaked most of the copper tubing in a tub of water and Limeaway for about 3 hours with great results.  

The group heads are being a little more stubborn though, but for them I tried a more coffee friendly cleaner called Durgol.  

I have read online of some people using much weaker mixtures and letting the parts soak for 12 hours or more.  

Should I be concerned using these stronger types of cleaners?  Naturally I am going to wash all the parts prior to putting them back on the machine.

-matt
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cafine
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Joined: 1 Apr 2005
Posts: 256
Location: Adelaide
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Espresso: San Marino Jnr Plumbed
Grinder: Mini Mazzer/SuperJolly
Posted Fri Feb 24, 2006, 4:54am
Subject: Re: CLR, Limeaway, Durgol etc.  Are these cleaners okay to use?
 

We get really heavy calcium scale and I use a phosporic acid (CLR) We tend to dilute ours down to the level of  CLR and let it sit over night. Phosporic acid tends not to pit soft metals unlike Sulphamic and Hydrocloric. I've tried Citric but it dosn't have the grunt to move our crud.

Bill
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GrantT
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GrantT
Joined: 9 Feb 2005
Posts: 692
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Elektra A3
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Posted Fri Feb 24, 2006, 8:46am
Subject: Re: CLR, Limeaway, Durgol etc.  Are these cleaners okay to use?
 

Disclaimer...I am not a food chemist, doctor, etc. etc.  Any advice you get from me, or ANYONE in these forums should be carefully considered...particularly when it comes to your health...

...but given that, while I always try to avoid using ANY toxic chemicals near anything that would come close to being ingested, I think the key to safe cleaning is just making sure that there is ZERO residue on any parts when you reassemble....and the best way to do that (IMO) is detergent and heat.   My advice would be to take any parts that may come in contact with any "suspect" cleaning chemicals and run them through the dishwasher a couple times (even once is probably enough).   The agitation, detergent and heat combination should be more than enough to remove most things.

Of course...you also have to ensure all the detergent is rinsed off as well....

Grant

 
"Wake up and Smell the Coffee"
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Reighlok
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Reighlok
Joined: 2 Sep 2005
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Location: North Dallas, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Fri Feb 24, 2006, 9:03am
Subject: Re: CLR, Limeaway, Durgol etc.  Are these cleaners okay to use?
 

My bottle of CLR says not to use it with brass.
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Jasonian
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Jasonian
Joined: 8 Aug 2005
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Location: Lubbock, TX
Expertise: Professional

Posted Fri Feb 24, 2006, 9:55am
Subject: Re: CLR, Limeaway, Durgol etc.  Are these cleaners okay to use?
 

Reighlok Said:

My bottle of CLR says not to use it with brass.

Posted February 24, 2006 link

hahaha.. I guess that answers that question.

 
www.AJCoffeeCo.com - www.espressotrainer.com - www.TX-Coffee.com
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Buster
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Joined: 24 Oct 2005
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Location: California
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Feb 24, 2006, 1:48pm
Subject: Re: CLR, Limeaway, Durgol etc.  Are these cleaners okay to use?
 

You might also look into using some cleaners that are out there for home brewers (yes, I'm not just a coffee geek, I'm a beer geek too).  They are food grade cleaners, and there are some nice strong ones designed for getting things clean, disinfected and decalcified.  Copper is used in a lot of chillers, so most of the cleaners are safe for use on copper.

I barely want to use CLR on my tub, let alone in an espresso maker!

Check out some of these cleaners, for example.
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PBMoore
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PBMoore
Joined: 1 Sep 2002
Posts: 1
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Vac Pot: Nissan Stainless
Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012, 1:49pm
Subject: Re: CLR, Limeaway, Durgol etc.  Are these cleaners okay to use?
 

DO NOT USE CLR!

The directions say not to. And to prove their point - like a total imbecile - I used it and have run about 40 gallons of water through it and my water still smells like industrial wastes and is STILL milky colored. I even used their 1:8 mix directions. The smell of CLR makes me want to puke now.!

I don't know how I can recover and am ready to throw it out!
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frcn
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frcn
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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: CLR, Limeaway, Durgol etc.  Are these cleaners okay to use?
 

Don't toss it yet. Try:
1 - using a proper descaling mixture. Citric acid would be a good start.
2 - An alkaline solution of some sort to neutralize the acid (never heard of anyone doing that, but if you are thinking of tossing it, why not?). Maybe a solution of baking soda and distilled water..?
3 - disassembly, scrubbing, neutralizing bath, reassembly.

 
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Frost
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Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
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Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012, 8:00pm
Subject: Re: CLR, Limeaway, Durgol etc.  Are these cleaners okay to use?
 

Ok I don't know why I notice these things:

Paul, Having been a member since Sept 2002, makes his first post today, and revives a thread from 6 years ago.

Welcome to the forum Paul, and hope you can get that CLR flushed out!
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mattdbaker
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Joined: 28 Jan 2005
Posts: 16
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La San Marco Lever 80
Posted Thu Mar 1, 2012, 9:58pm
Subject: Re: CLR, Limeaway, Durgol etc.  Are these cleaners okay to use?
 

Frost,

If you think you were surprised to see a post from 6 years ago, so was I!

I have long sold the Marzocco and ended up cleaning the parts with durgol and a recirculating tank overnight. Worked great. (I think)

I will never use CLR again. Stinks to high heaven and takes forever to get rid of.
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