Dried Milk on Steam Wand

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
cmcclellan

Postby cmcclellan » Mar 20, 2012, 2:17 pm

I was just wondering if anyone else had the issue of milk being dried onto their steam wand after they froth. I try to wipe off my steam wand immediately after use, but there still always remains some residue. I have a Gaggia Classic, but replaced the faulty pannarello wand with the Rancilio Silvia steam wand. Any advice would be great!

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Randy G.

Postby Randy G. » Mar 20, 2012, 2:34 pm

When I am in "prep mode" at my coffee bar I always have a kitchen dish towel over my shoulder. When I am setting up I wet one corner (about 6" of it) of the towel at the sink and squeeze out the excess moisture. When I steam, as soon as the pitcher is removed from the wand I use the wet corner to wipe the milk off the wand. I have been doing that for over a decade and have never had a problem with milk sticking.
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woodchuck

Postby woodchuck » Mar 20, 2012, 2:42 pm

I generally keep two cloths around - a black towel I use for drying the portafilter and a small wet microfiber cloth that I use for cleaning the steam wand. I find the abrasive qualities of the microfiber cloths do a good job of keeping the milk foam off the wand. They also do a great job of cleaning the stainless on the machine.

Cheers

Ian

entropyembrace

Postby entropyembrace » Mar 20, 2012, 6:19 pm

You can put a spoonful of baking soda into a steaming pitcher 1/3rd full of water and steam that...it will break down the milk residue so you can wipe it off easily.

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bean2friends

Postby bean2friends » Mar 20, 2012, 7:11 pm

I too keep a wet micro fiber towel on top of the machine and use it for wiping off the wand immediately after use. I like the idea of baking soda in a pitcher of water. I might give that a try. What ever you do, clean it off immediately after use. Metropolis has a teaching segment where I learned this.

MDL

Postby MDL » Mar 20, 2012, 7:57 pm

Same story here; use a quite damp/wet microfiber or terry cloth towel to wipe off the wand before it dries out and you should have no residue left. If there is residue you are not doing an adequate job of wiping it off.

entropyembrace

Postby entropyembrace » Mar 20, 2012, 9:02 pm

I have a damp dish cloth sitting next to the machine when I steam milk to wipe it off immediately and I still get residue buildup...I guess my cloth is fail. :?

genecounts

Postby genecounts » Mar 20, 2012, 10:25 pm

I watched Chris at Chris Coffee and was impressed about how clean everything looked afterwards. Since then have imitated him:

Wipe wand down immediately after foaming with folded cloth....then wrap same folded cloth around end of wand and run 4-5 seconds of steam.
All this before pouring froth into shot else milk will have embedded on wand.
Never a prob and wand has always stayed shiny clean.

.....and the LADIES are always so impressed! ha

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LaDan

Postby LaDan » Mar 21, 2012, 1:10 am

Your cloth is not wet enough.

Intrepid510

Postby Intrepid510 » Mar 21, 2012, 1:47 am

Yeah plus one to what the guy said above me you need wet cloth not just damp, and something like microfiber works Beth as some kitchen towels just dont cut it.