Where can I find descaling chemicals for my espresso machine?

kurtdillard

Registered
We bought a great Italian espresso machine at Gabarino a few months ago, its time to clean all of the mineral deposits that build up over time. I had no idea that it would be so difficult to find a suitable descaling chemical (descalcificante in Spanish). We've gone to Garbarino, Disco, The Coffee Store, Jumbo, Easy, the neighborhood hardware store, and a few other places. Any ideas? I hate to pay fedex $80 to deliver a $5 bottle of cleaner from the US but I don't want to ruin the machine either.
 

Stanexpat

Registered
You can use citric acid for descaling which would probably be available there. I would try a good pharmacy, if they don't have it they should be able to tell you where to find it.

In spanish it would be "acido citrico".
 

mini

Registered
You can use vinegar to descale coffee machines. Strong white vinegar is what you want, not eating vinegar.
 

EvergreenGal

Registered
I second the white vinegar...that's all I ever used on my espresso machine in the states...
Rinse well...don't want vinegar flavored espresso :(
 

Stanexpat

Registered
mini said:
You can use vinegar to descale coffee machines. Strong white vinegar is what you want, not eating vinegar.
Careful, for some espresso makers vinegar is not recommended. Find out first if the manufacturer of your machine recommends vinegar. Also you might try bottled water for the machine. The regular tap water there is very hard. Using bottled water (i.e. softer water) will reduce the problem.
 

mini

Registered
Stanexpat said:
Careful, for some espresso makers vinegar is not recommended. Find out first if the manufacturer of your machine recommends vinegar. Also you might try bottled water for the machine. The regular tap water there is very hard. Using bottled water (i.e. softer water) will reduce the problem.
Yeah, I've heard this warning before, but have yet to understand it other than the smell issue which EverGreen mentioned. You have to run it with water several times. You must also use white vinegar and not any type of eating vinegar.

I've never known anyone that has had a problem with cleaning the coffee/espresso machine with vinegar.
 

Stanexpat

Registered
mini said:
Yeah, I've heard this warning before, but have yet to understand it other than the smell issue which EverGreen mentioned. You have to run it with water several times. You must also use white vinegar and not any type of eating vinegar.

I've never known anyone that has had a problem with cleaning the coffee/espresso machine with vinegar.
You might be right but the maker of my machine, a Saeco (Italian), has a specific warning to never use vinegar for descaling as it may damage the machine.

http://saecooutlet.com/instructions/Descaling_Sirius.pdf
 

kurtdillard

Registered
Thanks for all of the replies! Ours is a Saeco too. As with our machine in the US, we only used filtered tap water in it, which should be nearly as good as bottled.
 

mini

Registered
Stanexpat said:
You might be right but the maker of my machine, a Saeco (Italian), has a specific warning to never use vinegar for descaling as it may damage the machine.

http://saecooutlet.com/instructions/Descaling_Sirius.pdf
Yes, but they also sell their own descaling product. "only use Seaco Descaling solution"... :rolleyes:

Personally, I think it's a marketing thing, but I'm skeptical!

I've never heard _why_ you can't use these cheap common household things that work perfectly for many other machines, Italian or not.

Of course, everyone needs to do what they feel comfortable with.
 

kurtdillard

Registered
The Water FAQ is a great resource that I learned about on flyertalk.com, http://big-rick.com/coffee/waterfaq.html. However, I couldn't find a pharmacy that sells citric or tartaric acid. I happened upon a coffee store on Puerreydon that sells Saeco's descaler, I bought a couple of expensive bottles. You can find their locations around town at http://www.estcafe.com.ar. I'll keep looking for citric acid though, it should be priced much more reasonably, if any of you know specific locations in Bs. As. where its sold please share:)
 
Top