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Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by x9200 » Fri, 06 Mar 2015 1:42 pm

nakatago wrote:
x9200 wrote: Nak: electronic parts are often sealed but I don't think they made it to be protected from acids .
I don't think vinegar vapors should go through whatever's sealing the electronics. Moreover, water vapor from rinsing should also dilute any lingering vinegar vapors as well.
Yep, but after a few years of use in cyclic temperature environment micro-crack will apear in almost any material.

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by JR8 » Fri, 06 Mar 2015 2:16 pm

Well it's the system I use and I have no problem with it [checks: had 3 espressos this morning, and they were better than ever /checks]. And the bonus is what I saved vs the branded de-scaler will pay for another 40 shots, or come to think of it 80, when the non-$Gn-priced ones on their way from Europe arrive...
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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by ecureilx » Fri, 06 Mar 2015 2:57 pm

For the Baby sterilizer / food warmer the citric acid solution provided by Philips didn't work well, scales remained

White Viniger with 50% water worked ..

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by Strong Eagle » Fri, 06 Mar 2015 11:22 pm

I use white vinegar every 3 or 4 months in my Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker. Fill with 50/50 solution run about half of it through then let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes, turn back on, run the rest through, then 3 or 4 runs with fresh water.

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by maneo » Sat, 07 Mar 2015 3:04 am

the lynx wrote:I have never tried artificial vinegar yet and I have not studied the pros and cons of using the even-cheaper vinegar.
Vinegar is dilute acetic acid (typically 5%).
"Distilled" (or white) vinegar is made by fermenting distilled alcohol (ethanol) using acetic acid bacteria.
Synthetic or "artificial" vinegar may be made from non-plant sources, bypassing the alcohol step, which may be important for anyone having certain dietary restrictions.

For cleaning, it should not matter if the vinegar is artificial or "natural."

Just remember that an acid is corrosive, which is why it works on cleaning scale.
The 50% mixture with water should be safe for hotpots, kettles and coffeemakers, etc.
Be sure to rinse thoroughly (as already noted).

By the way, vinegar can also be used to clean vegetables and fruit.
There are also Youtube clips showing it being used to clean washing machines.

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by nakatago » Sat, 07 Mar 2015 6:18 am

maneo wrote: Vinegar is dilute acetic acid (typically 5%).
"Distilled" (or white) vinegar is made by fermenting distilled alcohol (ethanol) using acetic acid bacteria.
Synthetic or "artificial" vinegar may be made from non-plant sources, bypassing the alcohol step, which may be important for anyone having certain dietary restrictions.

For cleaning, it should not matter if the vinegar is artificial or "natural."

Just remember that an acid is corrosive, which is why it works on cleaning scale.
The 50% mixture with water should be safe for hotpots, kettles and coffeemakers, etc.
Be sure to rinse thoroughly (as already noted).

By the way, vinegar can also be used to clean vegetables and fruit.
There are also Youtube clips showing it being used to clean washing machines.
Actually, for scale, it works by neutralizing the resulting alkali solution from the mineral deposits in hard water (and detergent residue), usually calcium compounds.

The corrosion works on everything else.

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by maneo » Sat, 07 Mar 2015 10:09 am

nakatago wrote:Actually, for scale, it works by neutralizing the resulting alkali solution from the mineral deposits in hard water (and detergent residue), usually calcium compounds.

The corrosion works on everything else.
The Chemistry definition of corrosion is a process in which a solid is eaten away, that is, changed by a chemical reaction.

Limescale is an insoluble solid, mainly calcium carbonate.
It is no longer in solution when it has precipitated out as scale.
However, an acid will break this up into soluble calcium ions, CO2 and water (H2O), effectively dissolving it away.

"Corrosive" substances, like acids, are just highly reactive.
Vinegar, a dilute weak acid, is just easier to handle and control.

Lime juice and lemon juice (i.e. citric acid, as mentioned earlier) would work just as well for hotpots and kettles, when followed by thorough rinsing.

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by nakatago » Mon, 09 Mar 2015 8:04 am

maneo wrote:...
FYI, I have a degree in chemistry. :cool:

and X9200, the post-graduate... :cool: :cool:

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by rajagainstthemachine » Mon, 09 Mar 2015 9:56 am

nakatago wrote:
maneo wrote:...
FYI, I have a degree in chemistry. :cool:

and X9200, the post-graduate... :cool: :cool:
but you still don't have a masters degree from a reputed Indian university

#fail
To get there early is on time and showing up on time is late

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by nakatago » Mon, 09 Mar 2015 10:30 am

rajagainstthemachine wrote:
nakatago wrote:
maneo wrote:...
FYI, I have a degree in chemistry. :cool:

and X9200, the post-graduate... :cool: :cool:
but you still don't have a masters degree from a reputed Indian university

#fail
If you do not have anything to contribute to the topic, please refrain from replying and don't be rude. Thank you.

#doublefail

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by x9200 » Mon, 09 Mar 2015 10:33 am

I would expect what happens to the scale and the acids is mostly happening on the solid-liquid phases interface. True that scale is water soluble (giving right condition, for example pure water, right temperature, sufficient time) so Maneo is a bit incorrect here, but IMHO this process for what we discuss is negligible. What the acids do to the scale is formally a corrosion process. Predominantly at least. Sorry Nak.

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by nakatago » Mon, 09 Mar 2015 10:43 am

x9200 wrote:I would expect what happens to the scale and the acids is mostly happening on the solid-liquid phases interface. True that scale is water soluble (giving right condition, for example pure water, right temperature, sufficient time) so Maneo is a bit incorrect here, but IMHO this process for what we discuss is negligible. What the acids do to the scale is formally a corrosion process. Predominantly at least. Sorry Nak.
Huzzah, somebody typed the equations for us:

http://www.thechemicalblog.co.uk/how-to ... -descaler/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

CaCO3 + 2CH3COOH -> Ca(CH3COO)2 + H2O + CO2

I still think that corrosion is the predominant mechanism for most household uses if the vinegar is cleaning something that is not so alkali. Descaling would primarily be a neutralization. But in the end, vinegar cleans all by oxidation.

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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by JR8 » Mon, 09 Mar 2015 10:48 am

nakatago wrote:If you do not have anything to contribute to the topic, please refrain from replying and don't be rude. Thank you.
#doublefail
Can't tell if Nak is joking or not.
#triplefail
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Re: Descaling a coffee machine (Nespresso etc)

Post by Primrose Hill » Mon, 09 Mar 2015 11:10 am

Thank you for the tip on the artificial vinegar at NTUC. I use vinegar currently for my kettle and nespresso machine.
JR8, nespresso capsules are slightly cheaper in UK compared to here. I tend to buy tons when I am there.

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