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I want to clean the heads and bring it up like new but somebody suggested that i shouldn't use bleach or the usual cleaning products because that will damage the seals etc (chemically to aggressive). Is this true or are they being a little too over cautious. If it is true, what should i use, some sort of vinegar?
We do the same as smudger....seems to work well (we use just ordinary white vinegar ). Watch out for calcification build up in the pipes ( which contributes to smelly heads ). Again, white vinegar will normally dissolve it. Friends of ours empty the oil in a frying pan down the heads when they have a fry up...seems to work also.
Yes, we've used standard malt vinegar as well. It works, and you can buy big bottles very cheaply (white vinegar very, very cheap in France ). We prefer the white vinegar just to avoid any chance of a stain from the malt.