nespresso aeroccino milk frother

Cleaning A 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NOTE: The Nespresso Aeroccino 3 has been superseded by the Nespresso Aeroccino 4.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 showing alternate Whisk in its housing.
nespresso aeroccino milk frother plain whisk

1. A Plain Whisk

This is 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.

nespresso aeroccino milk frother spiral whisk

2. A Spiral Whisk

This is 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 through 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:

burnt out heater
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 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.

What Needs Cleaning From Within The Aeroccino

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.

Green Fibre Scouring Pad
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.

The Official Cleaning Method

Your Nespresso Club Assistance Service guide on how to care for and clean a Nespresso Aeroccino milk frothing device.

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.

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.

One of my commenters (Craigh) found his spiral whisk got contaminated. I suggest that, “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 calcium descaler. A half hour should be enough time. Brush it clean with a toothbrush.”

Sources of descaler:

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 (commenter to this post).

My Other Milk Frother Posts



34 responses to “Cleaning A Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother”

  1. Tony avatar

    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.

    1. Helpful Colin avatar

      Thanks Tony for pointing this out.
      I have amended this article. It was a serious mistake.

    2. Daniel avatar

      I didn’t realize that milk could overheat on the bottom- that is scary. If you don’t mind, I added a note about this issue and linked to this post on my article about the Aerocinno:

      1. Helpful Colin avatar

        Hi Daniel,
        Thanks for referring to my article.
        You’ve written a neat piece on the Aeroccino. Please check the number of times the button must be pressed for the various functions.
        Regards, Colin.

      2. Simon Percival avatar
        Simon Percival

        I have 2 Aeroccino 3s and they both burn the milk, despite cleaning it after every use.
        Is there a milk frother that heats the mil but doesn’t leave burnt milk on the bottom?

  2. Stu avatar

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

    1. Theo avatar

      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. Helpful Colin avatar

        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. Alastair Wilson avatar
    Alastair Wilson

    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. AnnieBee avatar

    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.

    1. Helpful Colin avatar

      Hi Annie,
      Thanks for your advice. I will edit my post and refer to your comment.

    2. Gianni zappella avatar
      Gianni zappella

      Soaking it with white vinegar of night works great.

  5. John avatar

    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.

    1. Helpful Colin avatar

      Hi John,
      Enjoy your coffee. Recently I found an alternative supply of Nespresso compatible plastic coffee pods under the Dualit brand available from Costco.

      1. Craig avatar

        Sorry, just found out there was more than one version of the Aeroccino 3. Some with a cutoff fuse, some without.

  6. Craig avatar

    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!

    1. Helpful Colin avatar

      Hi Craig,

      Thanks for the helpful comment. Please check my post again for added detail including a picture. It’s a burnout all right.

  7. Jeff avatar

    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. Helpful Colin avatar

      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. craigh avatar

    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.


    1. Helpful Colin avatar

      Hi Craigh,
      The tool to use is an old (or new) toothbrush.
      The chemical to use is descaler for removing calcium build up. Descaler can be obtained from Beterware or Lakeland.
      I hope it works for you.
      Regards, HC.

  9. Linda G Smith avatar
    Linda G Smith

    Thanks for your article Colin, I found it because I love to understand how things work, so thanks for explaining how the magnets make the whisk spin. I have been successful cleaning the milk frother by just adding a little dish soap a little water and pushing the heat froth button. caution: too much soap or water will make it overflow. After it runs, I remove the whisk, rinse, and set down to dry, pour the suds over the top, rinse the top and set it down to dry, and rinse the inside of the bowl, and dry it with a soft dish towel, dry the whisk and top and reassemble, ready to go for next time.

    1. Helpful Colin avatar

      Hi Linda,

      You are obviously succeeding at keeping it clean. Watch out for calcium build up on the whisks. If that happens use a descaler product from a company like Lakeland or Betterware.

      Regards, Colin.

  10. Suz avatar

    Recently, the plain whisk has been coming off while whisking and I find it sitting on the bottom of the frother when I pour the milk. It happens about once a week and I don’t think I am doing anything different. A couple times this meant I needed to put it back on and froth again but usually the milk is fine. Have you seen this happen and/or any suggestions?

    1. Helpful Colin avatar

      Hi Suz,
      I don’t know why your whisk leaves the bearing it rests on. I have to presume that the drive magnets are pushing it off for some reason. When the whisk is immersed in milk it will appear to weigh less due to its buoyancy and so it will be more easily lifted.
      It maybe that occasionally you put the whisk on the bearing with its orientation such that the magnets in the whisk oppose the magnets in the drive. At that point it may stay on due to friction until you put the milk in giving the whisk buoyancy and reducing the friction so it is forced off by the magnetic field.
      I have read on the net that others have experience this problem. Maybe some whisks have the magnets fitted incorrectly during manufacture.
      Since I don’t have a working Aeroccino I can’t conduct any experiments that might help.
      Good luck.
      Kind regards, Colin.

  11. Janine Kent avatar
    Janine Kent

    Does the whisk remain on the post during operation or is it supposed to detach?

    1. Helpful Colin avatar

      Hi Janine,

      It’s supposed to stay on the post at all times. If you turn it upside down it should still remain in situ even though gravity is trying to make it drop off. In fact if you turn it upside down and try to pull it off a little it should flirt back on when you let go.

      I seem to remember seeing posts on the internet in the past about this problem but I don’t remember a particular solution. Except there is a solution held by fixya but I think you need to phone them to get the answer. That might cost you.

      The whisk has magnets in it (prove it by spinning it over a compass). Inside there is a motor with magnets on the spindle which interact with the magnets in the whisk and spin it around. The attraction between the two sets of magnets is what holds the whisk onto the post.

      I think that if the whisk jumps off the post there is something wrong with the orientation of these magnets in manufacture or they have lost some of their magnetism since.

      Mine have never come off on either my Aeroccino 3 or 4.

      If it’s still under guarantee you might want to get it replaced. If a friend has one try swapping whisks to see what happens.

      Good Luck.

      Regards, Colin.

  12. Ned avatar

    Is peeling coating from Nespresso a common issue? The bottom where the coating meets the sides has peeled in some areas, actual flakes of the coating have fallen out. Is this a health issue? Additional coating could be in our oat milk! Please advise.

    1. Helpful Colin avatar

      Hi Ned,
      Sorry to here your non-stick coating is flaking off. I’m using my second Nespresso milk frother and I’ve not had a problem like this with either of them. I have however had a problem with a Dualit frother. See my post Is My Dualit Model DMF2 Milk Frother Corroding?
      I personally think you won’t come to any harm and cite this article in Scientific American. However I wouldn’t want to continue ingesting pieces of the coating. Teflon is also referred to in the UK as PTFE (These letters are taken from the four parts of the chemical name Poly-Tetra-Fluoro-Ethylene.) It is a presumption by me that that is what they are coated with.
      My advice is to complain about the problem if it is still under guarantee and if you haven’t done anything to cause it.
      Regards, Colin.

  13. Kevin D. Shipman avatar

    This is way too complicated. There is a simple and completely effective solution. After frothing put about 1/2 inch of water into the frother. Add just two drops of Dawn and run the unit. Voila! Perfectly clean even after having been stained for a couple of years.

  14. Chris Knight avatar
    Chris Knight

    I cleaned mine of stubborn burnt on deposits using very hot caustic soda solution – all came off in minutes.
    Hot caustic soda is potentially dangerous of course but with care it offers a great solution to this problem. Boil water in a kettle – put some in a plastic jug, carefully add soda slowly – it will ‘fizz’ then add to the dirty frother. Leave a while and rinse out – don’t get any on your hands!

  15. Jim Baidacoff avatar
    Jim Baidacoff

    Hi Colin. We’ve had our Aeroccino for a number of years now and it still works (and we keep it clean). The problem I have been facing recently is that the frother is frequently throwing its plain whisk off the post. Is this a problem you have heard of.

    Thank you for your consideration. Sorry if I’ve posted this to an incorrect forum. It was the most useful one I found.

    1. Helpful Colin avatar

      Hi Jim,
      I first came across this soon after I wrote my article. All I know is what is on the internet about it. There maybe something wrong with the magnets in the whisk. The magnets couple with those on the motor spindle underneath.
      I searched for you and found this:
      I hope it helps.
      Regards, Colin.

      1. Jim Baidacoff avatar
        Jim Baidacoff

        Thank you

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