Espresso machine question

Tiller

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
1,455
Reaction score
452
Location
Charleston, SC
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I went into Goodwill yesterday to look at books, and on the wall, I see an espresso machine. It was $6 so I thought, 'why not?' I didn't check it out at the store, because they had everything taped down and I knew absolutely nothing about espresso makers.

So today I started to play with it. I took off the cap where you pour the water and discovered a thick layer of white film covering the opening. It looks like the film you find after a battery has corroded. I cleaned it out with a paper towel and water as best I could, but there was no way I could get all of it.

I decided to run some water through it without the portafilter on, and maybe that would clean some of it out. I put some water in and set the machine to brew. To say that the water output was sporadic would be generous. It would drip for a while, then do nothing, and then rush out in a sudden burst.

When it was finally finished, the water was milky and overall nasty looking. I emptied out the water in the sink and there was a residue, almost sandlike left in the cup. I tried this about 4 more times in the hopes that it would clean itself out, but to no avail. I kept getting the same residue each time.

So should I toss it? Or is there a way to clean it out well enough for it to be safe?
 

Attachments

  • $image-1473322782.jpg
    $image-1473322782.jpg
    156.4 KB · Views: 104
  • $image-549495986.jpg
    $image-549495986.jpg
    157.2 KB · Views: 83
  • $image-4122430407.jpg
    $image-4122430407.jpg
    84.3 KB · Views: 90

Derrel

Mr. Rain Cloud
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
48,227
Reaction score
18,929
Location
USA
Website
www.pbase.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Buy a gallon jug of white vinegar. Run that through the machine in cycles. That's gonna take a couple hours. The white hard water mineral build-up due to NEVER cleaning the machine with vinegar once a week is what causes most espresso machines to end up at Goodwill.
 

BrianpStudios

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
45
Reaction score
7
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Website
www.brianpstudios.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Maybe some CLR and a good rinse. I would run it a few times to flush anything out. I have a small espresso machine and calcium does build up from the steam generated. I think I actually have the same machine. I got mine from Walmart for $30, Mr Coffee brand. Works well.

I heard distilled water won't produce build up. right, cause its already distilled.
 

Jean1234

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
87
Reaction score
24
Location
Washington State
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Buy a gallon jug of white vinegar. Run that through the machine in cycles. That's gonna take a couple hours. The white hard water mineral build-up due to NEVER cleaning the machine with vinegar once a week is what causes most espresso machines to end up at Goodwill.

I suggest using vinegar also. It works wonders.
 
OP
Tiller

Tiller

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
1,455
Reaction score
452
Location
Charleston, SC
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Ok thanks guys, I'll try it.
 
OP
Tiller

Tiller

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
1,455
Reaction score
452
Location
Charleston, SC
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Alright, now I'm having another problem.

I tried using vinegar, but I'm not getting much liquid coming out. I get a lot of steam, but barely any liquid. All i did was fill it up and set it to brew. Am I doing something wrong?
 

Attachments

  • $image-1718251999.jpg
    $image-1718251999.jpg
    119.5 KB · Views: 114

Jean1234

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
87
Reaction score
24
Location
Washington State
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
It's probably really clogged up - it could take a few runs to clear. Just be sure that it's not leaking out the back or the steam is ruining your cabinets.
 

Joeywhat

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
80
Reaction score
19
Location
United States
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I would also run a vinegar solution through it until it runs fine (and the water is clear). Manually remove any "crust" that you can get to, otherwise just let the vinegar do it's thing, it'll eventually clear it all out. It might take a while if it's really clogged up.
 

BrianpStudios

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
45
Reaction score
7
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Website
www.brianpstudios.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Its working correctly. I have the same machine. Fill the glass to the second line, this is the amount you will poor into the machine. I would release the pressure before removing the cap also. The pressure is released by turning from espresso mode to steam mode on the left side.
 

Kazooie

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
1,231
Reaction score
138
Location
Alaska
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
What the others said, run a decent amount of vinegar through it. That's what I have to do at the cafe I work at about once a week to keep everything nice and smooth!
 
OP
Tiller

Tiller

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
1,455
Reaction score
452
Location
Charleston, SC
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Ok thanks again everyone. After a few hours and over half a gallon of vinegar, I'm finally done. I can still see some white gunk way down in there, but the water is coming out clean.

Now I just have to wait for the vinegar smell to go away, and I'll be off googling how to make cappuccinos :D
 

Jean1234

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
87
Reaction score
24
Location
Washington State
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Glad it worked. :D

If you run some water thru, it should take care of the vinegar smell. Usually once or twice will do it.

Just be sure to keep cleaning it with vinegar pretty regularly to keep more from building up and get out that last bit you see in there.
 

Most reactions

ClickASnap

New Topics

Top