How to clean milk frother

What do you need to know when cleaning your milk frother? How to clean milk frother? Read this post to clean the milk frother properly.

A milk frother is an excellent addition to your coffee maker. Such a device is ideal for making a delicious cappuccino or latte macchiato at home. Milk foam that you make with a milk frothing device is often many times firmer than milk that you beat in a pan, and thus you ultimately make a better cup of coffee. However, cleaning of these gear can be difficult, because they generally are (partly) not dishwasher safe.

how to clean milk frother

In this article, you will get some useful tips for cleaning your milk frother, so that you can keep it nice and clean and in a perfect condition without too much effort. It is, of course, delightful to make your milk froth in a fresh and clean machine. Who wants to pour foam from a jug with brunt residue into the coffee. Also, the firmness and quality of the milk foam are negatively affected in most appliances if the device is not clean. So it is also crucial for the result to keep it clean.

Also, you can read how you can prevent the appliance from getting dirty in the first place, and how specific characteristics of different milk frothers can help you with cleaning. You will learn how to keep the milk frother spick and span, removing even the most stubborn burnt milk residue without damaging your gear.

How do you prevent burnt milk residues?

Of course, it is always better to prevent caked milk residues than scrubbing afterward. Fortunately, if you take a smart approach to clean your milk frother, it doesn’t have to be that much effort. First, it’s essential to start with a clean appliance every time you use it – don’t leave any dirt on it, as it only pulls deeper into the interior the longer you leave it alone. 

For the same reason, it is a good idea to rinse the jug immediately after using it. Even if you do not want to do the dishes yet and want to enjoy your freshly brewed cup of coffee, it is wise to rinse the milk jug at least before it cools down. With this, you immediately dilute the milk residues and will not be able to pack. Then you can wash the device thoroughly with soapy water later.

Fortunately, most modern milk frothers have an anti-stick coating that prevents milk from caking. So, when purchasing a new device, this is an excellent feature to look for and have in mind. Some milk frothers are now also equipped with a smart stop system, with which the device switches itself off as soon as the milk foam is ready. This prevents the appliance from heating the milk for too long, where overheating can often lead to milk caking. If your milk frother does not have this function, it is, therefore, smart to keep a close eye on it and switch it off, empty it and rinse it in time.

Tips for cleaning a milk frother

I have already mentioned that most modern milk frothers have a Teflon anti-stick coating that makes cleaning easier. But it also means that you have to be careful when cleaning the milk frother. This layer can be damaged if you attack it with a scouring sponge, for example. So only use ordinary wipes, which can not scratch. This prevents damage and possible loosening of the layer and also prevents caking in the future because the coating can continue to do its job.

By having in mind all the tips I mentioned, you can generally easily prevent the caking of milk residues. But if the milk does stick, then here’s a handy tip. Stubborn dirt can remain if you only wipe the device with water and a cloth, so you will occasionally have to remove it. 

A simple way is to soak a washing-up tablet in warm water in the jug. These tablets are very concentrated and can remove even the most stubborn dirt. After everything has been soaked off well, you only need to remove all residues that have come off with a cloth and rinse the appliance thoroughly under the tap to remove soap residues.

milk frother for a latte

Every milk frother is different, and this also applies to the parts. So always check which elements are safe for your dishwasher. Two different types of milk frother can be found: one in which the froth is an elongated milk beater that comes down from the lid, and one in which the blades are short on the bottom. These also require different treatments to keep them in top condition.

In the kind where the foam comes out of the lid, if you’re not careful, you can quickly create an enemy. The problem with this type is that the lid is often turned upside down after use, to prevent the milk from covering the entire countertop. This is a terrible idea. Milk residues then drip into the motor, and yes, in the long term, your milk frother breaks down. You can easily prevent this by hanging the lid with a milk beater upright in a tall glass. This way, the lid does not rest on the mixer, and the milk drips neatly without spilling on your counter. Also, make sure that you do not overfill the milk frother because then the foam can rise into the motor.

Another difference is that with devices where the beater comes out of the lid, the lid is usually not dishwasher safe, but in some cases, the milk jug itself can be put in the dishwasher. When the beater comes out of the bottom, the lid can often be put in the dishwasher, but it can never be done. Always make sure that you check in advance for a new appliance which parts can and cannot be washed in the dishwasher to prevent damage.

With various models of milk frothers, it is striking that many users experience over time that the milk foam becomes of less good quality and firmness. Often the cause of this appears to be that the shaft, which rotates the foam, no longer runs smoothly. You can prevent this by regularly cleaning the ash; with many models, you can easily remove this. If that does not work, it can work to inject some WD-40, causing the ash to come off and sometimes rust or caked milk to come out. Then clean it thoroughly, so that all dirt and all WD-40 is gone, and your milk frother is like new again.

Coffee maker with an integrated milk frother

Many, especially more expensive, modern coffee machines are equipped with a built-in milk frother. Over time, you may notice that your milk frother is making less firm and less tasty foam. This may be because the tight milk pipes become clogged. Every machine is different, but with most devices, you can simply remove the parts to be cleaned from the milk foam system to rinse them off. Take a look in the manual to find out exactly how to do this with your device; usually, it is also extensively discussed what the best way to clean these parts is.

coffee maker with built in milk frother

Most brands have also developed cleaning solutions for their coffee machines, which removes stubborn milk residues without damaging the device. Always use detergent from the same brand as your coffee machine, as other products can often cause damage.

What to look for in a milk frother? How to clean milk frother properly?

Let’s look back at the main points of this article. If you don’t have a milk frother yet, there are some essential points to keep in mind when purchasing a new appliance. If it has an anti-stick coating, and whether it has an auto-switch off function or remains until you switch it off. A device that has these features can save you a lot of effort during cleaning so that you can enjoy your fresh cup of coffee even better.

Milk frothers with the above features are generally quite easy to clean, especially if you rinse them under the tap immediately after each use. But if some dirt does accumulate over time, it may be worth loosening or cleaning the ash with WD-40, or try dissolving a dishwasher tablet in the jug in warm water. I believe that this should be more than enough to get the device clean; do not scrub with a scouring sponge. It will destroy the anti-sticking layer and achieve the exact opposite of the desired result. Milk will only cake up faster.

Delicious cappuccino

Always make sure the appliance is clean before you use it again, to prevent old dirt from penetrating deeper. Dry the device well after cleaning before using it again, because a lot of users indicate that the milk foam is less firm when the frother is still wet.

Be practical, and avoid caking milk residues – this is much better than wondering how to clean milk frother afterward. Read the manual of your milk frother carefully and handle the appliance responsibly to avoid any damage. If you follow the tips in this article carefully, you will enjoy years of delicious milk froth from your shiny clean and well-functioning milk frother.

If you have a Nespresso Aeroccino, you may find useful the following video.


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