CLEAN Carafe - Do Not Do What I Did!!!

Kudzu

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Dec 5, 2014
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Pawleys Island, SC
Before I confess, anybody's observation, "any damn fool should have known better," is water off a duck's back, I learned my lesson. :sad:

The interior of the large 1.8 liter stainless steel carafe, the came with my Technivorm CDT Grand, has a kind of satin finish, and even though it is scrubbed daily with a bottle brush and unscented dish-washing liquid, and cleaned monthly with Cleancaf, the coffee stains inside persist.

Somewhere, almost certainly on this forum, I read to get your stainless steel carafe as clean as new, put a dishwasher detergent pod in it, fill it with the hottest water available and let it soak overnight. I did not know whether or not it would work, but it sounded harmless to me.

Being an over-achiever maintenance-wise and cleanliness-wise, I put the maximum amount of water in the coffeemaker's water reservoir, turned it on, let about a third of it run into the carafe at high temperature, tossed in a Cascade Fresh Scent Action Pac, allowed the rest of the water to run into the carafe and screwed the top on that sucker. For, the next several hours, every time I walked through the kitchen, I would agitate the carafe, invert it and agitate it some more.

When I finally dumped out the dishwasher liquid solution, the inside of the carafe did look absolutely new. I was delighted! Of course, I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed some more, and gave it a good scrubbing with the unscented dish-washing liquid I use every day, before rinsing and rinsing some more. When I put my face close to the mouth of the carafe to further admire my accomplishment, the smell of the Cascade was STRONG! Getting the smell and taste of that blasted dishwasher detergent out of the carafe took days. And, it had been so bad, I probably tasted it for days after it was actually gone.

The next time I want my stainless steel carafe "as clean as new," I will try soaking it for several hours with Cleancaf, I have never had an odor or taste problem with that product. If that does not work, and I absolutely cannot resist the dishwasher detergent trick, I will try one of the natural, scent-free ones.
 

Bacchus

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Nov 9, 2014
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No. California
Is there some reason that the acidity of plain ol' white vinegar left overnight in the carafe wouldn't work for you? Shouldn't be too difficult to rinse away the vinegar and any lingering odor thereof, I wouldn't think. But then, perhaps you've already tried that.... :)
 

PinkRose

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Feb 28, 2008
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The dishwasher detergent trick with using the pod was a bit of overkill. I hope you try to resist doing it again, even with a scent-free pod. As you found out, that was way too much detergent for what you were trying to accomplish. What is the carafe's lid made of? If it's plastic, it will keep the scent much longer, but it will eventually go away. If it has a rubber sealing ring, you'll need to take that off and wash it thoroughly too.

For the next time.... If you buy the URNEX powder and only use a few teaspoons of it in the carafe that's filled with hot water, it would clean it nicely. Just let it soak for about fifteen minutes or so. I've only used the powder, but I see that it's also sold in liquid form.

You may be able to remove the fresh-scent dishwasher pod smell by brewing some strong coffee and letting it sit in the carafe for a few hours or overnight.
 
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Kudzu

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Pawleys Island, SC
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Is there some reason that the acidity of plain ol' white vinegar left overnight in the carafe wouldn't work for you? Shouldn't be too difficult to rinse away the vinegar and any lingering odor thereof, I wouldn't think. But then, perhaps you've already tried that.... :)

No, I had not seen white vinegar recommended and have not tried that. If it would remove the stains, I do not think residual odor would be a problem. It is certainly worth a try. Of course, I said something similar about the dishwasher detergent too!
 
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Kudzu

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... "For the next time.... If you buy the URNEX powder and only use a few teaspoons of it in the carafe that's filled with hot water, it would clean it nicely. Just let it soak for about fifteen minutes or so. I've only used the powder, but I see that it's also sold in liquid form."

I have used several Urnex products over the years, most recently Cleancaf, cleaner and descaler. That works like a charm in the smaller carafes for a 741 KB-T which are shiny, i.e. polished or plated. Each time I clean them, they look like new with no special effort. The dull finish in the larger carafe, that I bombed with the dishwasher detergent, maintained a stain even after soaking with the Cleancaf. Maybe, I should investigate other Urnex products, I know there are several.

... You may be able to remove the fresh-scent dishwasher pod smell by brewing some strong coffee and letting it sit in the carafe for a few hours or overnight.

The problem is finally gone now. But, believe me, I first let unscented dish-washing liquid solution sit in the carafe for hours and, after that, I let coffee sit in it. After all of that, it still took two or three more days of brewing coffee in it and scrubbing it thoroughly with my usual unscented dish-washing liquid to get the odor out.
 

Bacchus

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Nov 9, 2014
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No. California
No, I had not seen white vinegar recommended and have not tried that. If it would remove the stains, I do not think residual odor would be a problem. It is certainly worth a try. Of course, I said something similar about the dishwasher detergent too!
For all the years I drank regular coffee brewed in an electric drip brewer we used to periodically fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run it through the brewing cycle a time or two to clean and descale it. Then we'd flush it with a reservoir of clear water and go back to normal use.

Also, I believe there's a stronger version of white vinegar on the market that's sold for cleaning purposes. I've not tried it but it's something to look into.
 
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Kudzu

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For all the years I drank regular coffee brewed in an electric drip brewer we used to periodically fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run it through the brewing cycle a time or two to clean and descale it.

That a jogged a memory from LONG ago! My mother used to clean and descale her vacuum pot with white vinegar. That may work as well as the Urnex Cleancaf and be a lot less expensive, too.
 

Bacchus

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No. California
That a jogged a memory from LONG ago! My mother used to clean and descale her vacuum pot with white vinegar. That may work as well as the Urnex Cleancaf and be a lot less expensive, too.
And you can always Google the stronger version for cleaning purposes. I haven't tried it but I'm told the acidity is supposed to be greater...
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
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Des Moines, Iowa
The best way to clean coffee residue that I have found so far is the purple degreaser at Sams club. $6 for a 1 gallon bottle. Pour directly into a spray bottle and apply to whatever surface at full strength. Let it sit for a few minutes and wipe clean. For carafes, coat the inside, let it sit for a few minutes, coat it again then use a bottle brush for a bit of extra cleaning. Rinse with hot water. Afterwards you won't smell a thing. The degreaser is gentle enough that you can use it glove free.
 

Brewbuddy

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Jul 27, 2015
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Bacchus has the right idea. I bet the degreaser mentioned above works terrific too.

I have worked in the dairy hygiene industry for 25 years and my job dealt directly with maintaining the sanitation of stainless steel. Stainless steel LOVES most acids. particularly nitric acid. A nitric/phosphoric acid blend will re-pacify and brighten the stainless steel effectively "resurfacing" the steel. It rebuilds the ionic field that makes stainless steel stainless (considering the discussion here, it's obviously a misnomer that stainless is always stainless).

I will caution you here that nitric acid is not a mild acid like phosphoric, so extra care would have to be taken so as not to get it on your skin or eyes, but it does a great job with most stains on stainless steel. I am also not sure where you would source that kind of acid anywhere but a dairy supply store which is probably not right next door. But I believe if you were to use the white vinegar. as Bacchus suggested, on a routine basis, you could keep the stain from occurring in the first place.
 
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