Descaling the Rancilio Silvia

Descaling the Rancilio Silvia
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Gail shows us the ins-and-outs of descaling the Rancilio Silvia, also discussing descaling in general for single boiler & heat exchange espresso machines. Fo…


Eddie CJ says:

I freakin love you! You know more than anyone and you’re so easy to follow
when demonstrating, my silvia has a guardian angel!

Diane Logan says:

I have a Rancilio Epoca Tank: Do I do the same thing you did with the
silvia? How big is my boiler do you know?

Mike Cook says:

Thanks Gail, well presented and easy to understand, Descaling went well and
my Silvia like new again. cheers 

Ted Chavalas says:

You might want to run water through the steam wand for a bit BEFORE you run
it through the main head. This will let the slurry exit through the steam
wand instead of getting caught behind the filter screen in the head.

Myxprso InAM says:

Hi Gail, I have been watching lots of your videos and I enjoyed all of
them! Thank you for all the hard work you do to let us know more about
coffee and the fine ritual of making it! I’m really in a quest for the best
espresso possible, I had many espresso machines, automatic, semiautomatic,
manual, commercial grade and the “two for a buck”
Now I have two commercial ones on my counter, a
1) La San Marco 95-22-3 this one it’s giving me hard time with calibration
of all the pressures, temperatures and quantity of water…
2) Rancilio S27, works good!
From your experience which one of the two it’s best to keep?
Thank you! 

Wang Jonathan says:

Could I ask what is the main component for the cleaning power, is it ”
citric acid” only, or something else? I am glad to find this video, I am
from Taiwan, there are few information about Rancilio Slivia; thanks !

MurkyAssassin says:

I just got a Delonghi EC155 and it has a really strong plastic flavor in
the coffee. What can I do to get rid of the plastic flavor without using
citric acid?

Lisa Ziegler says:

Hello, How do you get the wand unclogged if that did happen? I have no
steam so
I descaled and replaced the steam thermostat. descale helps but still no
All the while I can bre just fine. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!

arkasza2007 says:

Hi! 🙂 Could you tell me please how I should descale my thermoblock
espresso machine? Every brewed cup of coffee or steaming milk i drops down
the water and steam from all pipes to the drip tray (and I don’t know is
descaler staing there to make it’s job).
Greetings :)

slippyg says:

Just thinking, Im quite new to all this and have a silvia and not descaled
yet. Only have it a month. Would it be better to descale with the shower
screen detached from group head so the slurry etc doesnt get caught up in

Seattle Coffee Gear says:


Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@cwei10 It should be; I would test the water hardness level that is still
present after the filtration to determine how frequently you should
descale. It’s a good idea to have some mineral content in your water in
order to balance the coffee’s flavor (the recommended mineral content in
water for coffee is 150ppm) so you want to have some mineral content in
there — distilled water will definitely adversely affect the flavor. – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@TheEspressoKid If she said chrome, I think she meant stainless steel;
that’s where we have seen the discoloration – Kat

Bill Calkins says:

Thank you so much for the information. I have a Silva (version 3) and want
to take very good care of her. Like the person above I have RO water that
does not replace any minerals. They state it is 99.9999% pure water. Do I
need to decalcify? I plan to decalcify every 6 months just in case. I want
nothing to happening to my little Silvia 😉 Thanks for the great vids and
the next time I buy, I’ll keep you guys in mind.

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@coffeeretro The intake tube should be cleansed through a tank rinse and
the other is the overpressure tube, so you could force water through it by
turning on the pump but not opening up the steam/water wand — you’ll see
the water cycling through the boiler then. If you’re using dezcal, you can
also taste the water — as soon as you don’t taste a citric/sour taste,
you’re good to go. – Kat

simpleinseattle says:

Thanks for the video. I purchased my Silvia and Baratza from
Seattlecoffeegear. Fortunately, they are on the way home from work! They
have been very helpful and a pleasure to do business with.

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Thanks for the feedback — glad to help!

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

You’re welcome! Thanks for watching 🙂 – Kat

asarmetta says:

is it the same procedure for a silvia if one were to use cleancaf? I was
given a box of cleancaf by a friend, and dont have dezcal (yet). Thanks!

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@asarmetta You could use Cleancaf; we don’t recommend it for espresso
machines because it does have an element of detergent in it (it’s made for
coffee makers) but I do know some folks do use it. – Kat

TheEspressoKid says:

one more thing, Gail said if you use a chrome spoon (to mix) that the
descaling liquid will “etch” it, aren’t most portafilters made of chrome
plated brass?

Ben Wallach says:

Hello, thanks for the informative video. Is there any chance you could post
an HX version? (I’m hoping to put my hands on an Oscar soon). Thanks a lot

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@richborge Cool – please do! – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Perfecto 😀 – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Happy to help!!! 🙂 – Kat

shadowdway says:

How often should I descale and backflush via Venezia

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@damndoggy Yes- definitely – Kat

mbarigian says:

These videos are awesome. I appreciate you taking the time to make an
espresso newbie less intimidated!!

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

Yes, you can use straight up citric acid; the blue-ish water is the
chemical interaction between the acid and the mineral build up. That’s just
a sign that they had a lot of scale to clear out 😉 – Kat

tinbiscuite says:

how do the parts fit back in? what side is up ..etc. what do i clean the
screen and other part that came out in the video with?

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@richborge Hmmmmm — this could be the result of some scale broken off and
not dissolved, hanging out maybe around the expansion valve. Are you
noticing any other leaking? You could try running another descale to see if
that resolves it and, if not, call the techs with your order number &
they’ll troubleshoot further over the phone. Kat

jayscott49 says:

This series of Rancilio Sylvia maintenance vids is so helpful, thanks so
much! Would never have done these things right without them.

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@MsRanita79 Dezcal is more concentrated, but you can also use bulk citric
acid, too. You’ll need to use a bit more than we do in this video. – Kat

Seattle Coffee Gear says:

@theseriousaccount Hahaha — true 🙂 – Kat

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