How to clean a milk frother

Updated February 21, 2017

Cleaning your milk frother, or steam wand, is important not only for health reasons. Cleaning it can actually increase the lifespan of your espresso machine. Proper cleaning is important and you should do it at least once a week. If not, your coffee taste sour. Also, the longer you let dried milk collect on the surface of your steam wand, the harder the milk is to remove.

Wipe the steam wand with a damp cloth to remove any milk residue.

Clean the inside of the wand with a steam wand brush. Unscrew the tip from the wand and dip your brush into the recommended cleaner for your machine. Run the brush up inside the tube, making sure you fully remove any residue.

Open the steam valve after cleaning to purge the steam wand. Vent steam into your milk frothing container for about 30 seconds .

Fill your container with enough hot water to submerge your steam wand tip. To maximise your cleaning efforts, fill the bucket with enough water to submerge your portafilter and basket as well. These three pieces are cleaned using the same method.

Add the recommended cleaning detergent for your model of espresso machine and stir until the cleaner dissolves. Use 1 tbsp of detergent for every quart of water.

Let the pieces soak for about a half hour. Remove the pieces and rinse them with clean water. Dry them with the dishrag.

To remove any build-up inside the tip of your steaming wand, use a toothpick and poke inside the hole to remove any milk residue.

Things You'll Need

  • Large container
  • Hot water
  • Cleaning detergent
  • Dishrag
  • Toothpick
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Elyse James began writing professionally in 2006 after deciding to pursue a career in journalism. She has written for "The Algonquin Times" as a general assignment reporter and published blogs and articles on Webcitybeat. James holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Ottawa.