Cleaning A Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother

nespresso aeroccino milk frother

Introduction

nespresso aeroccino milk frother
The Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother with milk burnt onto the bottom.

I’ve had a Nespresso Pixie since June 2012 and at the same time I acquired a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother (Aeroccino 3 to be precise). These devices are very nice to have and work well even after 2½ years continual use. The coffee is very nice too.

NOTE: The Nespresso Aeroccino 3 has been superseded by the Nespresso Aeroccino 4.

However there is a slight problem with the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother but it is not insurmountable. It’s very easy to burn milk on the bottom where the most intense heat is applied. You can see it burnt on in this picture where the whisk has been removed.

This article advises how to keep a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother clean. There are pictures portraying the burnt milk problem and advice is given on how to avoid it.

The featured image can be seen here.

Go straight to: Cleaning The Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother

How The Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother Works

The Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother is coated on the inside with a very hard ceramic surface which is not a Teflon (PTFE) coating. It is easily cleaned unless the milk is burnt onto the surface.

The Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother has:

  • a bowl to contain the milk;
  • a heater beneath the bowl;
  • a post upon which a whisk can be mounted situated eccentrically within the bowl;
  • a backlit  electric button on the outside to control it;
  • a transparent plastic lid with a removable rubber seal;
  • a base with a built in ON/OFF switch and a green POWER ON light. It also has a storage compartment for one whisk.

The Aeroccino stands on the base to connect to mains electric power in a similar way to a cordless electric kettle.

There are two different whisks supplied:

nespresso aeroccino milk frother
Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother Base
  1. A Plain Whisk nespresso aeroccino milk frother  made with a piece of wire encircling the cross of a plastic former with a central hole and a knob on top which sits on an eccentric post coming up from the bottom of the bowl.
  2. A Spiral Whisk nespresso aeroccino milk frother  made of spiralled wire wrapped around a heavier gauge circular wire which is mounted between the two points (not a cross) of a plastic former with a central hole and a knob on top. The use of spiralled wire causes the whisk to generate more froth.

The knob on top of the whisks is for holding them when inserting or removing them from the post in the bowl. One whisk can be stored on a post built onto the base under a hemispherical flip-over cap shown in the open position here.

Each whisk rotates because the thick plastic support arms have magnets in them which are driven by a rotating magnet on the end of an electric motor spindle which comes right up inside the post from underneath.

Heating The Milk

Heat is provided by current flowing concentric printed circuit board strips on a board stuck to the underside of the bowl. These strips can burn out. Mine has just burnt out today (19th December 2015) after 3½ years of daily use. You can see it in the picture below:

nespresso aeroccino milk frother burnt out
Nespresso Aeroccino Heater With A Burnout

A resistance test between points A and B in the picture shows  infinite  resistance. The burnout is encircled below the post in which the magnet on the motor spindle rotates.

I find it interesting that it lies under the point where milk burns on the bottom of the bowl. It is obviously the point that got hottest in my case and I have seen them burnt out just here in other pictures I have seen on internet videos. It lies very near to the motor which might add to the heat in this area and reduce air circulation at this place within the container.

I may be able to fix the Aeroccino by obtaining another one, from an auction website, which has a faulty motor but still has a good heater.

Using The Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother

Filling The Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother

DON’T FORGET TO MOUNT A WHISK ON THE POST BEFORE FILLING WITH MILK. Without a whisk to move the milk around the milk will get hot in one place until it burns onto the bottom. When filled with milk the presence or absence of a whisk cannot be seen.

There are two maximum level marks on the inside, each relating to a particular whisk as can be seen from the shape of the marks. The top one should not be exceeded when the Plain Whisk is used and the bottom one should not be exceeded when the Spiral Whisk is used. If the milk level is above the appropriate mark it may overflow when whisking. Whisking creates a vortex in the milk which pushes it up the sides until it reaches the lid. The lid is transparent so the action can be seen. It has a rubber seal but it must be pressed down firmly to make a complete seal. The lid not only keeps the milk inside it keeps the heat in too.

Frothing Milk Only

In order to simply froth the milk without heating it the button on the side of the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother must he pressed until the button backlight comes on with a blue colour. Then the whisk rotates but no heat is applied. The Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother will automatically switch off after the milk is frothed.

Heating and Frothing Milk

To heat and froth the milk the button just has to be given a quick press and the backlight will come on with a red colour. The whisk rotates while heat is applied. The Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother will automatically switch off when the milk is hot enough.

Switching Off Manually

If it is necessary to stop the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother whilst in operation the base can be turned off with a switch on the side.

Pouring The Milk Out

The Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother has a nice lip formed all around the top edge so that milk can be poured out at any point. I find that if a large amount of milk is poured at once it doesn’t drip much when pouring stops, but if only a small amount of milk is poured when it is filled to the top mark it can run down the side and drip when pouring stops.

After pouring out all the milk some remains inside the Aeroccino clinging to the side. If it is held slightly tilted for half a minute or so; some of the remaining milk gathers in one place and it can then be poured out.

Cleaning The Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother

“It is important to rinse the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother between uses and visually check that there are no deposits on the bottom.” — Helpful Colin

Cleaning The Inside

nespresso aeroccino milk frother
Froth in the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother.

When the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother is emptied the inside remains coated in frothy milk. If it was heated milk it may already have begun to stick to the heated area at the bottom of the bowl. So if it is refilled and more milk is heated there is a great tendency for milk to burn onto the bottom. The original frothy layer forms a congealed heat insulator on the bottom. Because of its frothy nature any air bubbles in the congealed layer give it a high thermal resistance and the heat is not so easily conducted away by the new liquid milk sitting on top. This results in the temperature rising too high and burning the old congealed froth onto the bottom.

nespresso aeroccino milk frother
A Deposit in The Aeroccino.

It is important, therefore, to rinse the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother between uses and visually check that there are no deposits on the bottom. Wiping out any deposit with a damp cloth is easily done after using it once from a clean state. Milk usually gets burnt on after subsequent use without cleaning.

helpfulcolin.com
Green Fibre Scouring Pad

When milk is burnt on a green fibre scouring pad can get it off. I prefer to use my finger nails because they are less abrasive and I want to preserve the ceramic coating at all cost. I feel that loss of the ceramic coating may exacerbate the problem.

My Regular Cleaning Method

“I find this process suits me because I don’t have to spend much time doing it, and I rarely have to get my hands wet.” — Helpful Colin

nespresso aeroccino milk frother
The Aeroccino Soaking

In my household the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother regularly produces enough warm milk for two cups of coffee. I then wash it out after each use. I find I can just wash out the old froth under the tap. Then I rinse it twice with warm water from the tap and pour it away. (This uses up the cold water while the warm water is coming through to the tap.)

Finally I fill it with warm water, give it a small squirt of washing-up liquid and leave it soaking until the next time it is required (often 2 hours or more). By that time the washing-up liquid has usually dissolved any minute deposits remaining on the bottom. Afterwards I give it a good rinse.

Cleaning The Whisks

I haven’t found that the whisks get particularly contaminated. I normally use the plain whisk and rarely use the spiral whisk. So I haven’t experienced the spiralled whisk getting congealed milk on it over time. I have found that leaving the whisk in place, when I leave it with warm soapy water inside it, is sufficient. Occasionally I take the whisk out to check it. If it’s dirty I wash it with other pots. I haven’t washed it in a dishwasher.

helpfulcolin.comOne of my commentators (Craig) found his spiral whisk got contaminated. If a whisk gets a build up of milk or calcium on it, then try soaking it in a strong solution of bicarbonate of soda or descaler. A half hour should be enough time. Brush it clean with a toothbrush.

Descaler can be obtained from Betterware or Lakeland.

Cleaning The Outside

Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother
Upturned Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother

Do not immerse the Nespresso Aeroccino milk frother in water. Instead, sponge it all over. Keep water away from the electrical connection underneath in the centre. If water does get in soak it up with a cloth or a piece of kitchen roll. Make sure it is very dry before using it again. Leave it upside down to let the air get around it for a while.

Over time dirt can get deposited in the annular groove underneath near the edge. It also accumulates around two adjacent screw heads. See the upturned Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother (above). Clean them with  an old toothbrush dipped in washing-up water. Run a piece of kitchen roll paper in the groove to dry it afterwards. Similarly dab the screws with kitchen roll paper or a tea towel.

This Is How Another User Cleans It

“We’ve had issues with our Aeroccino milk frother at work (mainly due to staff not washing it properly between uses). I find soaking it overnight in a fairly thick paste of bicarbonate of soda and warm water, and washing with a gentle sponge/scourer helps.” — Annie Bee 30/07/2015.

The quote above is taken from a comment to this post.

Author: Helpful Colin

I have a background in telecommunications and a fascination with all things scientific and technical - from physics to electronics, and computing to DIY.

17 thoughts on “Cleaning A Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother”

  1. Interesting article……unfortunately when there is a blatant error in what is written it becomes impossible to trust ANY of the content. I refer to your description of the two level marks inside the aeroccino which are not maximum and minimum marks as you suggest.

  2. Why dont you tell us warranty period and replacement policy, cause everyone whose on here is clearly having issues

    1. The most expensive milk frother has in my opinion a hot spot in the bottom. There is probably an manufacturing issue. In our milk frother , there is a spot where the coating is gone and only rosty iron is left. T this moment I am looking for zan other brand. Sad story.

      1. Hi Theo,
        Sorry to hear you milk frother has deteriorated so much. Mine is still OK without deterioration due to persistant cleaning after every use. My wife has also bought a Dualit milk frother for times when we have guests and need more milk all at once. It hasn’t had a lot of use but looks nice. Dualit Milk Frother, Silver. So there is an alternative.

  3. Would Scrubbs ammonia dissolve the precipitated casein (if that is what it is) inside the bowl? It is an absolute pain having to clean the wretched stuff off every time you use it, and, like Colin, I am always worried about damaging the stick proof coating.

  4. We’ve had issues with our Aeroccino milk frother at work (mainly due to staff not washing it properly between uses). I find soaking it overnight in a fairly thick paste of bicarbonate of soda and warm water, and washing with a gentle sponge/scourer helps.

  5. Thanks helpful Colin. I didn’t use my frother for a couple of months and forgot what whisk did what now I know. This Nespresso frother is excellent and I would not be without my one no dirty wand to clean no burnt milk just smooth warm or cold milk.

  6. Wow, I’ve also just had an Aeroccino 3 burn out this month too! Maybe they are programmed to self destruct in December 2015? But mine was an easy fix. Just had to replace the thermal cutoff fuse inside. On my Aeroccino the thermal cutoff fuse was an Uchihashi 22xr. I used the the specs from this fuse to oder an equivalent fuse from Digi-Key which cost $1.70. I suggest testing your thermal cutoff fuse with a continuity tester. I really doubt your circuit board is actually cooked, the cheap thermal cuttoff fuse would have “sacrificed itself” before that happened. Hope you kept the frother, it’s easy to fix!

  7. You have not mentioned cleaning the lid and seal. This has at least six corners and faces than accumulate stale milk and can be a real pain to clean. The milk splashes up around the seal and probably due to the gap in the lid flange the milk can get into the seal and spread all around it. Cleaning it as part of the machine by spinning up some water and soap does not get into the grooves of the seal and it has to be removed and cleaned with a fine nail brush to get into the corners. Using water in a warming cycle simply speads the milk into a froth that spreads all over the seal. Poor design and no joy reporting it to Nespresso.

    1. Hi Jeff,

      It’s nice to read your comment and see how you clean it. My original article was intended to address the situation where milk burns on the bottom of the bowl. It then moved on to other parts but I forgot about the lid, sorry.

      Since the lid seal is like an elastic band we just pull it off and wash the lid and the seal in a bowl of washing up water with other pots.

  8. Nice article. Thank you for taking the time to write it.
    I use the whisk for my milk and under the spring has become SERIOUSLY dirty.
    Any ideas how to clean off the milk build up?
    I can’t get the spring off so I am a bit stuck.

    Thanks

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