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How to desinfect Gaggia Classic?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > How to desinfect...  
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Crotach
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Joined: 22 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Luxembourg
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Sep 22, 2013, 4:45am
Subject: How to desinfect Gaggia Classic?
 

Hi folks,

I have a problem with my trusty old Gaggia and it's not the calc buildup or scaling. The last few times I've used it I got really violent stomach problems that are best left undescribed, but basically my coffee machine is poisoning me :(

I have cleaned it thoroughly using the following methods:
- Backflush with Pulycaff
- Descaler in the water tank (citric acid)
- Replaced all hoses (they felt slimey)
- Sigg cleaning tabled in the water tank (used normally for Sigg water bottles)
- Cleaned all the external parts with desinfectant (alcohol based)
- Flushed everything thoroughly with lots of clean water after each treatment

I just don't know what else to try. I also took the machine apart, but I couldn't open the boiler to clean it from the inside, and I didn't want to break it, so I haven't used extra force or tools like hammers to get it opened. I still have a spare seal for it.

Could anyone tell me what else I can try? The machine has served me well for the past 8 years and I could replace it, but I'd much rather get it fixed. Also I have no idea what kind of bacteria can survive being cooked in the boiler, it has to be some super mutant strain :(
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steven_meyer
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Joined: 19 Jul 2003
Posts: 506
Location: San Bruno, ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0, ECM  Giotto...
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Posted Sun Sep 22, 2013, 7:35am
Subject: Re: How to desinfect Gaggia Classic?
 

God forbid, could it be you are allergic to the coffee? Have you had the same reaction when purchasing espresso elsewhere?
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,411
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
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Posted Sun Sep 22, 2013, 8:44am
Subject: Re: How to desinfect Gaggia Classic?
 

make sure it isn't that coffee, or just coffee. Brew some water through and drink that. To disinfect the internal workings of the machine disconnect the heating element and run a tank of cheap vodka through it. Run until the vodka comes out the group, let soak ten minutes, run again for about 30 seconds, and repeat until the tank is empty, then run water. Don't worry about the steam and hot water function since running steam through the wand and valve should take case of that.

 
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,781
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Sun Sep 22, 2013, 2:04pm
Subject: Re: How to desinfect Gaggia Classic?
 

On a slight tangent, to disinfect RV systems a bleach solution is used. Google for the correct ratio but it is less than you may think. Flush the solution from the system and I'd there is too strong of a taste, a weak solution of vinager will fix that.

I do hope it  is not coffee and our have issues with.

 
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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Frost
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Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
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Location: Sierra
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Espresso: Isomac Venus
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Posted Sun Sep 22, 2013, 3:49pm
Subject: Re: How to desinfect Gaggia Classic?
 

Temperatures in the boiler will kill anything that can make you sick.
I'm wondering if your steam wand might be contaminated with spoiled milk...

When you shut off the steam valve, always immediately remove the wand from the milk, else vacuum will quickly fill the wand with milk. I'm not sure this warning is posted enough.....
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CoffeeLoversMag
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CoffeeLoversMag
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 218
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 3:40am
Subject: Re: How to desinfect Gaggia Classic?
 

If you have carefully cleaned your old Gaggia, then there's a possibility that it has not infected your espresso. How about your beans, is it fresh or still good ground beans? If you canít open the boiler, it is also important that you try to open it. You can ask help from any expert that can assist you in opening. It is good that you also clean the boiler. There are gaskets in there that need to be cleaned or replaced. This can infect your espresso.

 
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,781
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 8:27am
Subject: Re: How to desinfect Gaggia Classic?
 

UH, no, opening the boiler is for a very deep, intensive descaling. Sanitizing as above will kill anything inside it.

 
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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steamer
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steamer
Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 900
Location: socal
Expertise: I live coffee

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Roaster: Hottop
Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 12:08pm
Subject: Re: How to desinfect Gaggia Classic?
 

Look at the quality of the shot, I know if I do a sour shot, I find out later after I drink it, since I use milk in my drink it goes unnoticed, unto the stomach starts acting up.
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canuckcoffeeguy
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canuckcoffeeguy
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Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 1:05pm
Subject: Re: How to desinfect Gaggia Classic?
 

If you're drinking milk based drinks...is there a chance you've become lactose intolerant? It can happen at any age.
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Crotach
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Location: Luxembourg
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013, 11:41pm
Subject: Re: How to desinfect Gaggia Classic?
 

Thanks for the replies folks. I've been using this machine and Illy ground coffee for the past 7-8 years without problems, this only started happening a few months ago and the only difference is that we've moved to a new apartment and I've stopped filtering the water.

The last time I've tried making an espresso with it (so no milk) at the weekend and I'm still recovering from the consequences.

I'll have another go at cleaning the boiler and I might try running a bottle of cheap vodka through the system as suggested.

I thought of lactose intolerance and got tested but that wasn't it.
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