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NOTE: The Nespresso Aeroccino 3 has been superseded by the Nespresso Aeroccino 4.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.
Go straight to:
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:
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.
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:
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
What Needs Cleaning From Within The Aeroccino
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
Cleaning The Outside
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).