Hello!

I was just wondering what methods/products everybody uses to clean their steaming pitchers.  Some of ours are a bit 'scuzzy' and the usual methods of cleaning them are not working as well as I would like.  Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Thanks for the great info - I'm one who does a lot of reading and little active participation unless it's something I feel that I can add new insight to. I've had this problem as well and thought we weren't scrubbing hard enough. Now I know!!
To Terika and her shop's defense, I've seen their cafe and they have amazing cleaning standards. Some of the best I've seen, better than a lot of the "holier than thou" cafes that get mentioned a lot on this site.

They've got a pitcher rinser on bar... they use it... they know what they're doing. Blah Blah Blah...

Terika are you referring to the inside or outside of the pitcher?

If the outside... scratches happen, sometimes you just gotta pony up for some new pitchers, especially at your volume. Drying the pitchers after use helps a ton to prevent scale buildup on the outside. And of course, our friendly micro-fiber towel is the best bet for polishing.

If you're referring to the inside of the pitcher, I'd suggest a 10 minute Rinza soak (yes Brady that stuff is amazing) or putting Cafiza/Puro Caff at a high concentration (I just sprinkle the stuff onto a sponge and kinda grind it in) then use the scratchy side of a not so scratchy sponge and a couple quick scrubs should do the trick. Might want to wear gloves if going the second route. If you have scratches on your hand it can get a little... burny... haha.

Read somewhere in the thread to use bleach?... do NOT use bleach! Bleach eats stainless... that's kinda 'duh' where I'm from. Bleach eats everything really. Especially the sponge you're using to scrub it.

Also, you can make a big ol' bucket of Cafiza solution up and pour it into the pitchers at the end of the night. Morning person dumps and rinses.

-bry
Urnex is a very successful company in the manufacturing of cleaning products for the coffee industry.
We use and sell Rinza which is a simply terrific product designed for cleaning steamed milk from steam wands, pitchers, whatever.... We highly recommend Urnex Rinza. If you would like to purchase some you may send your information
and payment for $32.50 plus 7.90 shipping via PayPal to buckheadcoffee@att.net .
$32.50 for what size bottle?

-bry

David Stellwagen said:
Urnex is a very successful company in the manufacturing of cleaning products for the coffee industry.
We use and sell Rinza which is a simply terrific product designed for cleaning steamed milk from steam wands, pitchers, whatever.... We highly recommend Urnex Rinza. If you would like to purchase some you may send your information
and payment for $32.50 plus 7.90 shipping via PayPal to buckheadcoffee@att.net .
I simply can't understand why some shops (I've seen them, as I'm sure we all have) will use leftover milk regardless of the time since being steamed. Now if it's 5-10 mins. old I will use that on the next order, but any longer and it gets dumped or consumed by us.

I'm a strong believer is making each drink to order regardless of how busy we get. This goes for all drinks sold. I even insist on washing our blender pitchers after every single use. Now if I get back-to-back orders for the same smoothie/blended coffee drink I might give the pitcher a quick rinse and reuse, but other than that it all gets washed after every use. IMO cleanliness is more important than Godliness.
Thanks for your defense, Bryan.

Yes, we have great cleaning standards and are constantly trying to raise the bar in every way possible, yet our employees are not the only ones that use our stuff...the barista school sees a lot of new baristas. :) The pitcher rinser has been a huge help, but we have had some build up on the inside of the pitchers that the usual methods of cleaning aren't helping. I have tried numerous hot water soaks with various detergents like purrocaf, clean express, etc. Yet I still can't get the inside to be completely shiny.

I was just wondering if there was something out there made specifically for breaking down milk remnants. I don't want to go as far as using drain cleaner...that seems a bit extreme and risky. Maybe I'll just have to keep my eye out at Coffee Fest in Minneapolis and see if anything catches my eye.

Thanks for the advice!

Bryan Wray said:
To Terika and her shop's defense, I've seen their cafe and they have amazing cleaning standards. Some of the best I've seen, better than a lot of the "holier than thou" cafes that get mentioned a lot on this site.

They've got a pitcher rinser on bar... they use it... they know what they're doing. Blah Blah Blah...

Terika are you referring to the inside or outside of the pitcher?

If the outside... scratches happen, sometimes you just gotta pony up for some new pitchers, especially at your volume. Drying the pitchers after use helps a ton to prevent scale buildup on the outside. And of course, our friendly micro-fiber towel is the best bet for polishing.

If you're referring to the inside of the pitcher, I'd suggest a 10 minute Rinza soak (yes Brady that stuff is amazing) or putting Cafiza/Puro Caff at a high concentration (I just sprinkle the stuff onto a sponge and kinda grind it in) then use the scratchy side of a not so scratchy sponge and a couple quick scrubs should do the trick. Might want to wear gloves if going the second route. If you have scratches on your hand it can get a little... burny... haha.

Read somewhere in the thread to use bleach?... do NOT use bleach! Bleach eats stainless... that's kinda 'duh' where I'm from. Bleach eats everything really. Especially the sponge you're using to scrub it.

Also, you can make a big ol' bucket of Cafiza solution up and pour it into the pitchers at the end of the night. Morning person dumps and rinses.

-bry
Actually, Terika, drain opener is neither extreme nor (overly) risky. It's caustic soda, which although not good for humans, is readily soluable in water and easily removed. Unlike bleach, it does nothing to metalic objects.

Milk based paints last almost as long as egg based paints; we're talking hundreds of years. That stuff is hard to remove with common detergents. Remember, it's not like removing oil; that's casein. It's hard and it's strong and it'll last longer than you will if you don't remove it with something powerful.

As I said before: I use all my own tools so I never have to do more that wash mine with water. I guess my actual suggestion to you is to do the same and let someone else clean up after themselves.
Not always an option... she would need probably 30 pitchers the way their bar is set up and at their volume... Plus her position is to enforce proper cleaning and maintenance so a "leave it for someone else to clean" attitude is going to come across pretty hypocritical.

Terika... Rinza by Urnex or "Dairy Cleaner" by Puro Caff (which I guess is also Urnex, so whatever). They're made for dairy products and do work differently in my experience.

And uh... about those new hires on the bar (not the barista school... the bar). We know it's them... we know... ;-p No, but seriously, you guys have gone so long without a problem, it's bound to be new "Tulip Time" help, as best as I can figure. Make sure all of the asst managers are paying close attention to the new hires and their cleaning practices. And hey, maybe some of them weren't ready for bar yet after all, who knows?

Regardless, if you don't feel like Rinza is working, or have already tried but to no avail, try Cafiza onto the scrubby side of a damp sponge. It takes a while, but it works. I took pitchers that had milk sitting in them for weeks to looking brand new with this technique, it just takes time. (bought a shop that locked up and went out of business overnight... we purchased it in a state where it looked like they closed in the middle of a rush... pucks still in portafilters even!) Just soaking and rinsing won't cut it, you're gunna have to get an abrasive scrubby. Steel wool works great too.

Lemme know...
-bry


Fraser Jamieson said:
Actually, Terika, drain opener is neither extreme nor (overly) risky. It's caustic soda, which although not good for humans, is readily soluable in water and easily removed. Unlike bleach, it does nothing to metalic objects.
Milk based paints last almost as long as egg based paints; we're talking hundreds of years. That stuff is hard to remove with common detergents. Remember, it's not like removing oil; that's casein. It's hard and it's strong and it'll last longer than you will if you don't remove it with something powerful.
As I said before: I use all my own tools so I never have to do more that wash mine with water. I guess my actual suggestion to you is to do the same and let someone else clean up after themselves.
So true, Bryan, but you should know me better than that by now. :)

My idea of "leave it for someone else" included emailing out clear instructions as to what was to be done and why. Everyone knows not to mess with my toys. Those who care are doing a great job of cleaning the shop's tools. Those who don't care aren't about to change their ways and I can't fire them.
Terika said:
Thanks for your defense, Bryan.

Yes, we have great cleaning standards and are constantly trying to raise the bar in every way possible, yet our employees are not the only ones that use our stuff...the barista school sees a lot of new baristas. :) The pitcher rinser has been a huge help, but we have had some build up on the inside of the pitchers that the usual methods of cleaning aren't helping. I have tried numerous hot water soaks with various detergents like purrocaf, clean express, etc. Yet I still can't get the inside to be completely shiny.

I was just wondering if there was something out there made specifically for breaking down milk remnants. I don't want to go as far as using drain cleaner...that seems a bit extreme and risky. Maybe I'll just have to keep my eye out at Coffee Fest in Minneapolis and see if anything catches my eye.

Thanks for the advice!


Yeah... that's the worst. You can work hard to maintain your stuff for years only to have some less-thorough people undo all of that in a couple of shifts. Its amazing how quickly stuff like that happens.

I'm a green Scotch Brite kinda guy for things like that, though that is kinda the nuclear option. The only other thing I can suggest would be Bon Ami "non-scratch" scouring powder... I've not tried it on milk pitchers but it does an awesome job on stainless steel pans.

That said, I think you've hit on your solution. Take your worst pitchers with you to Coffeefest. Visit the cleaning chemical guys, let them do their sales pitch, then whip out a pitcher and let them prove it :).

Tell them its a bX experiment, and that you're going to let us all know which one worked the best. Bet you'd even get some freebies...

I know I'm interested in knowing which ones work best.
Fraser Jamieson said:
So true, Bryan, but you should know me better than that by now. :)

My idea of "leave it for someone else" included emailing out clear instructions as to what was to be done and why. Everyone knows not to mess with my toys. Those who care are doing a great job of cleaning the shop's tools. Those who don't care aren't about to change their ways and I can't fire them.

Oh I know what you meant... just posting comments for the masses in case people reading would take it the wrong way.

But yeah, no worries. I knew it wasn't that kind of "not my problem."



Brady, I hadn't even thought of your take on what Terika said, about whipping out the pitcher upon the "Well here is why our product is the best product ever, of any kind of product ever even dreamed up" speech, that's pretty great!

-bry
So, Terika... sounds like we're taking our worst pitchers to Coffee Fest... :) Bring it on.

Terika said:
Thanks for your defense, Bryan.

Yes, we have great cleaning standards and are constantly trying to raise the bar in every way possible, yet our employees are not the only ones that use our stuff...the barista school sees a lot of new baristas. :) The pitcher rinser has been a huge help, but we have had some build up on the inside of the pitchers that the usual methods of cleaning aren't helping. I have tried numerous hot water soaks with various detergents like purrocaf, clean express, etc. Yet I still can't get the inside to be completely shiny.

I was just wondering if there was something out there made specifically for breaking down milk remnants. I don't want to go as far as using drain cleaner...that seems a bit extreme and risky. Maybe I'll just have to keep my eye out at Coffee Fest in Minneapolis and see if anything catches my eye.

Thanks for the advice!

Bryan Wray said:
To Terika and her shop's defense, I've seen their cafe and they have amazing cleaning standards. Some of the best I've seen, better than a lot of the "holier than thou" cafes that get mentioned a lot on this site.

They've got a pitcher rinser on bar... they use it... they know what they're doing. Blah Blah Blah...

Terika are you referring to the inside or outside of the pitcher?

If the outside... scratches happen, sometimes you just gotta pony up for some new pitchers, especially at your volume. Drying the pitchers after use helps a ton to prevent scale buildup on the outside. And of course, our friendly micro-fiber towel is the best bet for polishing.

If you're referring to the inside of the pitcher, I'd suggest a 10 minute Rinza soak (yes Brady that stuff is amazing) or putting Cafiza/Puro Caff at a high concentration (I just sprinkle the stuff onto a sponge and kinda grind it in) then use the scratchy side of a not so scratchy sponge and a couple quick scrubs should do the trick. Might want to wear gloves if going the second route. If you have scratches on your hand it can get a little... burny... haha.

Read somewhere in the thread to use bleach?... do NOT use bleach! Bleach eats stainless... that's kinda 'duh' where I'm from. Bleach eats everything really. Especially the sponge you're using to scrub it.

Also, you can make a big ol' bucket of Cafiza solution up and pour it into the pitchers at the end of the night. Morning person dumps and rinses.

-bry

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