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DeLonghi descaling questions

As some of you know I recently bought a 220v DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM4200.S. I am liking it okay so far and I am getting nice twice daily cappuccinos from it. Today the descale light came on and I pulled out the manual and the complimentary package of rescaling solution. The stuff doesn't list the ingredients. Now that's bad. No MSDS no ingredients no nothing. The instructions say never use acetic solutions which I take to mean vinegar but to only use their stuff. Sounds like bs to me. I have always used vinegar for rescaling just about anything with calcium deposits. They say I would void the warranty. Hmmmm are they just desperate to sell me this crap? What is it? I am handling an unknown chemical in my espresso machine. That sucks. So anybody want to weigh in with facts and/or advice and/or opinions?
 
Darn iPhone spell checker. DE SCALER. Not re scaler. Okay so why would that be better than vinegar? I don't get it.
 
How long have you had it that the light came on already? Did you do the pH test and adjust the setting?

I've had the 3300 for almost 2 years, averaging 3-4 shots per day. I think I've done the descaling 3 times, but we have very soft water.

Best deal I've found is for the 4-8 packs of solution sold on Amazon.

As to why "this" versus "that", it's completely dependent on the components. Some materials are more susceptible to different types of acids.

Personally, for as much as those machines cost, I would not mess with voiding the warranty and the solution is not that expensive.
 
Good points Kostas. No I didn't worry about the water hardness test because I got the machine for use on the ship and so it is only used with water made aboard ship. I didn't realize that the light is actuated by a timer or counter. I thought it was on a sensor of some sort. I will reset the hardness setting. Meanwhile point taken about the solution. When I get off the ship I will shop for DeLonghi solution on amazon.
 
Good points Kostas. No I didn't worry about the water hardness test because I got the machine for use on the ship and so it is only used with water made aboard ship. I didn't realize that the light is actuated by a timer or counter. I thought it was on a sensor of some sort. I will reset the hardness setting. Meanwhile point taken about the solution. When I get off the ship I will shop for DeLonghi solution on amazon.
No problem.

Ship?!?! OK, I'm officially jealous. :biggrin1:
 
The coffee forums all seem to agree that vinegar is a no-no in espresso machines. I think Citric acid is a little milder, and more commonly used. You can check out some of the espresso suppliers and look at their solutions (Seattle Coffee Gear, Whole Latte Love, Chris Coffee, 1st Line, etc).
 
The coffee forums all seem to agree that vinegar is a no-no in espresso machines. I think Citric acid is a little milder, and more commonly used. You can check out some of the espresso suppliers and look at their solutions (Seattle Coffee Gear, Whole Latte Love, Chris Coffee, 1st Line, etc).
I am not trying to ask you to defend what others have said in other forums, but could you briefly summarize why others say that vinegar is a no-no? Is the issue that people are using too strong of a solution? (Since at some point one can dilute it to the point of almost being pure water). Or is it something like vinegar having an especially bad impact on seals? I have used a diluted white vinegar a number of times in an auto-drip brewer, as well as some "Brew Rite cleaner" in both the espresso and auto-drip machine. Lately I have been using the "Brew Rite" just in case, but the powdered aspect of it also brings up the question of how well is it dissolving and whether it is leaving behind any residue.
 
Jim Schulman said:
You can descale with a 50/50 white vinegar and water solution, but it's smelly. 1/4 filtered lemon juice (like "reallemon") or a 1 1/2 table spoons of citric acid per quart of water will be more pleasant.
-Jim Schulman of coffeecuppers.com
This is a quote from Jim Schulman of Coffee Cuppers. Straight vinegar will be too harsh, and vinegar is stinky. There's really no reason not to use what the manufacturer says is best. It needs to be done infrequently at most, so it's not like you'll be out a lot of money.
 
No I didn't worry about the water hardness test because I got the machine for use on the ship and so it is only used with water made aboard ship.
You always have to consider the water when making decisions about your decaling regimen. The Insanely Long Water FAQ is definitely a good resource but it is insanely long.
 
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