How To Clean Dried Milk From Coffee Machine (Easy Steps)

How your favorite morning coffee tastes can be determined by the maintenance techniques you or your barista apply in cleaning the coffee maker especially if you add some milk to your coffee now and then.

Since milk is acidic and if left without cleaning after use, it gets sour due to the exposure to air and the growth of any bacteria that might have fallen on it.

This would affect the taste of your next cup of coffee if not cleaned off properly.

But how then do you manage your coffee machine to consistently give you that excellent taste without damaging the machine itself?

Here is how to clean dried milk from coffee machine after each use to prevent any alteration in the taste of your coffee.

How To Clean Dried Milk From Coffee Machine

When cleaning the coffee machine, you don’t have to soak the whole machine in water because not every part of the machine is water tolerant, some parts may be damaged if it comes in contact with water.

Clean it part by part and according to their water-tolerant level to prevent damaging the machine engine.

For the parts that cannot be damaged by water like the steaming pitcher, wand, and sleeve a soaked sponge and soap solution would be of great help.

Here is how the various parts can be cleaned using soap solution, baking soda, a sponge, and a wet towel.

Cleaning the pitcher

The steaming pitcher is water-friendly therefore a lot of water can be used in cleaning it. Just add a few spoons of baking soda and soap to the water and steam in the steaming pitcher.

Flush it out through the exit spout that dispenses your milk. Repeat this with clean water a couple of times more and then allow it to cool.

This steaming and flushing also clean any residual milk available in the milk system that supplies the milk from the container through the tubes to the frother.

Cleaning the wand of the coffee machine

Cleaning the wand of your coffee machine is an easy task that can be achieved in very simple steps. While using the machine it is best to quickly use a wet towel to wipe off any spilled milk to prevent it from drying up.

But in a situation where you might not remember to do so and the milk ends up drying there you can get it off by steaming it or using a solution of warm water and liquid soap,  others add a spoon of baking soda to the solution which is still good and effective.


  • First, get a bowl of warm water with a mixture of liquid soap and baking soda.
  • Soak the steam wand for about 30mins and allow to simmer.
  • The dried milk will soften and become easy to wash off.
  • Use a sponge and scrub off thoroughly then wipe with a wet towel or preferably a microfiber cloth.

Some people may prefer to use warm water in steaming the wand instead of soaking it totally in water, this is equally effective too. To steam the wand, after steaming the milk…

  • Run warm water and soap solution through the pipe that draws up the milk into the frother.
  • Allow it to steam for some time and then let it out through the milk dispensing spout.
  • Repeat this process with clean warm or cold water to rinse out any soap.

Cleaning the Sleeve of the coffee machine

Cleaning the Sleeve of your coffee machine is not different from the technique used in cleaning the wand. A bowl of warm water, soap, and baking soda will do the trick.

  • Get a solution of warm water, baking soda, and soap, preferably liquid soap for easy dilution.
  • Deep the sponge in the solution and scrub off any milk debris that might have dried up. The reason for using warm water is so that the milk can quickly get soaked and be scrubbed off easily.
  • Use lukewarm water to rinse, repeat rinse two more times and dry with a clean wet towel.

How to clean the water drip tray

Be it at a public restaurant or our private kitchens, having our water drip trays stained with dried milk is nothing close to good sight. Here is a good way to wash off any dried milk from your water drip tray.

  • Soak the tray in a bowl of warm water and soap solution.
  • Leave there for a period of 30mins to get all the milk soaked and softer.
  • Use a brush or sponge to scrub the debris.
  • Rinse with clean cold water.

How to clean the portafilter and basket

The portafilter of your coffee machine can be cleaned using just water, soap, and baking soda. The baking soda would also get rid of the oil stain from grounded coffee beans that might have stained it. Here is how

  • Soak the portafilter and basket in a bowl of warm water and let them simmer for a few minutes.
  • Scrub with a brush or sponge and just wipe with a wet towel.

Cleaning the Group head shower screens

Unscrew the group shower head from the coffee machine, you’d have three pieces of metals, soak them in a bowl of warm water. Wash with a sponge or brush and rinse with clean water, it must not be warm.

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The article has given a simple and detailed description of how to clean dried milk from coffee machine in just a few steps for each part of the coffee machine that is likely to have frothed milk spilled on them.

For the case of the steam wand, soaking totally in water is not a bad idea as many other articles have put it. But while soaking it in water, be careful not to get the milk sucked up back into the milk system, use a sponge to scrub and clean with a wet towel.

But if you choose to steam either by running warm water through the steamer or using a hot towel, wrap the wand with a hot wet towel and leave it for a few minutes and clean.