How to clean a milk frother

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Hot cocoa is the main reason I need to know how to clean a milk frother. That and making tons of lattes for my girls on the weekends. I once “did an experiment” to see how long I could leave it on the side — and *spoiler alert*, it didn’t look (or smell) pretty). Rancid milk door is really barf worthy.

Luckily, many of the best milk frothers have three parts. The main vessel that you pour your milk (or a plant-based alternative) into, the power adapter and a lid – making them super easy to maintain.

Cleaning a milk frother requires three cleaning supplies that you probably have at home anyway. I show you how to thoroughly wipe down your little kitchen utensil in less time than it takes to enjoy your hot beverage.

How to clean a milk frother Good to know

Time: Less than 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Helpful Tips: I used the Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser to show you how to clean a milk frother. While we appreciate that some small kitchen gadgets are made differently, this particular kitchen utensil comes with a lid. Always consult your owner’s manual or contact your manufacturer if you are unsure.

Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to use abrasive cleaners or metal accessories (such as a wire sponge or brush) to clean your milk frother. This is not required and doing so will damage your device and void any warranty/guarantee.

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Here’s what you’ll need: Access to a sink with a faucet Dishcloth for drying (optional)A microfiber cleaning cloth, like this Amazon kit (opens in new tab)How to Clean a Milk FrotherStep 1: Allow your milk frother to cool

In the test kitchen in Reading, Great Britain, Christina Chrysostomou disconnects the milk frother at Hotel Chocolat from the mains

(Image credit: Future/Christina Chrysostomou)

When you have finished heating the milk for your coffee or hot chocolate, turn off the power and unplug the power cord. Decant the finished product and enjoy your drink while allowing the device to cool.

Tip: If you can’t bring yourself to wait a minute before indulging in your hot chocolate, Hotel Chocolat’s experts recommend cleaning your milk frother before you start sipping. This way the mixture does not dry inside the machine. For sparkling results, start cleaning immediately after use.

Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser milk frother with prepared latte drink on white marble worktop in Test kitchen in Reading, UK

(Image credit: Future/Christina Chrysostomou)

Step 2: Fill your frother with a soapy mixture

Christina Chrysostomou fills the hotel’s Chocolat Velvetiser milk frother with warm water and Ecover washing-up liquid in the test kitchen in Reading, UK

(Image credit: Future/Christina Chrysostomou)

Fill your milk frother with warm water up to the max mark and add a few drops of washing-up liquid. You can either use warm water from your tap or boil a small amount of water with your tea maker and mix it with cold tap water.

Warning: Try not to get the base wet as this is where the electrical components are located.

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Step 3: Wipe down your lid

Remove the lid (if your milk frother has one) and gently wipe away any excess milk or hot chocolate with a small, soft brush.

Step 4: Turn on your milk frother

Replace the lid and press the milk frother button, which works to mix warm water and dish soap into a soapy mixture. This self-cleaning step should do most of the work for you, including cleaning the magnetic broom. This process takes about 2.5 minutes.

5. Pour out your soapy water and rinse

(Image credit: Future/Christina Chrysostomou)

Pour the dirty water into the sink and rinse until the water runs clear. In about a minute, your milk frother will be residue-free. Again – avoid getting the underside of the machine wet.

Step 6: Check Your Whisk

Christina Chrysostomou cleans a Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser milk frother whisk in a sink with running water in the test kitchen in Reading, UK

(Image credit: Future/Christina Chrysostomou)

In theory, the steps you’ve already taken should have sufficiently cleaned the plastic/metal whisk. If necessary, you can hand wash it in the sink.

Warning: Do not place in the dishwasher as the extremely hot water will warp and damage this component.

Step 7: Wipe the outside of the milk frother

If you were a little clumsy, there could be stubborn milk froth or chocolate flakes on your vessel. Use a damp microfiber cloth and a little elbow grease to wipe away any debris on this part, and check your lid while you’re at it as well.

FAQsHow often should you clean a milk frother?

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“It’s best to clean your milk frother after each use,” says Angus Thirlwell, CEO of Hotel Chocolat (opens in new tab). “This results in a better tasting hot chocolate and also prevents your machine from getting damaged and broken. A build-up of traces of milk and cocoa could interfere with the whisk’s ability to blend your hot chocolate into that rich, frothy consistency.”

Can you put a milk frother in the dishwasher?

In most cases the answer is no. “Like most electrical appliances, dishwashers are taboo [milk frothers]’ says Thirwell. “Because the pitcher and power base run on electricity, they need to be kept away from excess water, including the trusty dishwasher. We also recommend hand washing the whisk only.”

Get to know our experts

Christina Chrysostomou

Ecommerce Editor

Hey, I’m Christina, one of the ecommerce editors at Real Homes. I own the Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser and went through a phase over the winter of taste testing every single variety of hot chocolate they have created. My favorites are the Coconut White and Salted Caramel/Clementine flavors. I like that this unit has a non-stick coating (like my non-stick skillets and non-toxic cookware) which makes it super easy to clean. It may come as a surprise that despite owning a good little coffee maker with a steam wand, I prefer this when frothing milk for coffee making.