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Cleaning an extremely dirty pasta machine


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Having read the eGCI article on making fresh pasta, I was charged up and looking to buy a pasta machine. Being a stingy student, I saw how much they cost and put it on my Christmas wishlist instead. Then today, I was in the supermarket and they had a table selling the various props that they used to have in their recently-renovated Deli area. You know, the stuff they put up to project the image of a cosy little Italian shop, but never actually sell -- there were a few giant jars of olives, some long long <i>long</i> stale bread rolls, some Italian-looking crockery, and then in amongst the clutter, an Atlas Marcato pasta Maker.

I'd heard that these models are very high quality and can last a lifetime, and since this had no obvious structural problems and all of the pieces were there, I bought it for the very reduced price of $11. As stingy as I am, $11 for a $60 Pasta Maker seemed worth the risk. The only problem is that it is extremely filthy. I don't think it's ever actually been used -- the parts that come into contact with the pasta dough are reasonably clean -- but the rest of it is grease central. There is no rust or corrosion, just a consistent coating of sticky horrible grease. Most of it feels like when a price sticker has been pulled off leaving behind a gummy sticky patch.

Did I waste $11, or can this thing be salvaged? I though I would ask here first since <a href="http://fantes.com/marcato.htm">I've read</a> that these machines shouldn't be cleaned with water. I don't mind if it takes me days to restore this thing (Uni holidays, I have a lot of time on my hands), but I want to do it right.

Any tips?

(First post by the way -- hi! -- apologies if it's overly long-winded)

Dr. Zoidberg: Goose liver? Fish eggs? Where's the goose? Where's the fish?

Elzar: Hey, that's what rich people eat. The garbage parts of the food.

My blog: The second pancake

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Here's to synergy, doctortim. I don't have an answer, unfortunately, what I do have is my own pasta machine sitting on the counter waiting to be cleaned after spending the last year sitting in my garage while we cut hardwood flooring a dozen feet away. So, eah, dust and gunk on a pasta machine. cough I haven't bothered to look at it yet to see how disgusting it is -- I needed to fortify myself with a cup of tea first -- but with an luck someone will post the miracle words that, when whispered to such a device, transform it to gleaming and pristine.

One can hope.

...oh yeah, welcome to eGullet.

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Try mixing some baking soda and plain white vinegar to a loose paste and use a scrub brush to clean all parts. I use this mix for burnt skillets, saucepans and other metals.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Personally I might just try giving it a good traditional scrubbing and put it in a very low oven to dry....spray it with Pam or something, wipe well and run some flour/water "dough" through to make sure its really dry

T

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

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Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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I use Dawn Power Dissolver spray.

Take the machine apart, place it in the sink and spray all the exposed surfaces with the Dawn -

Allow it to "work" for at least 30 minutes or longer.

Pour boiling water over it and let it set in the water for a couple of minutes, brush the exposed surfaces and down into the recesses with a dish brush (I use a nail brush).

Drain the water from the sink and rinse well with hot water.

When mine needs this kind of cleaning I blow it dry with a heat gun but a hair dryer works well also.

If there are any little sticky spots left, the best way to get them off and to polish the metal is to take a barely damp folded paper towel, dip in DRY baking soda and rub the spot. This is what I use to clean my antique chrome appliances and it works beautifully to remove those burnt on grease spots that are difficult with any other method.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Use "Goo-gone" to get the greasy stuff off. Then wash the whole thing in a sink of hot sudsy water. Rinse, then blow-dry. I use my shop air compressor, but I would think using a hairdryer and some patience will get the job done. I've washed mine several times (my wife uses is to roll gum paste), and I don't have a problem at all with rust (I owe that to the thorough drying)

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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Thanks for all of your tips so far!

Is the critical thing here, the thing that discourages the use of water, the prevention of rust? If I am sure to dry it quickly, is that the most important? Or is there something about its contact with water, whether I dry it or not, that will damage the machine?

Dr. Zoidberg: Goose liver? Fish eggs? Where's the goose? Where's the fish?

Elzar: Hey, that's what rich people eat. The garbage parts of the food.

My blog: The second pancake

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You never want to put a complex piece of machinery away with water on or in it.

You may find that when you want to use it, it will not want its parts to move.

I dry mine well and even spray a little vegelene in the works and turn the crank a few times, just to make sure.

Years ago I had one that someone used, rinsed and put away in its plastic bag (to keep dust off) and when I wanted to use it, the crank would not turn. It wasn't exactly rust, but some kind of corrosion (gray flakes fell out when I pounded it on the counter) had caused the works to seize up.

I take care of my stuff and it keeps working just fine.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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