Steam Wand (cleaning tip)

An addition to your normal cleaning routine (sponge, cloth etc..)

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When steaming milk, most people clean the outside of the wand with a damp cloth or sponge (sometimes with a little detergent), they usually blast some steam through to ensure the holes don't block. Unfortunately the holes in the end of your steam wand do eventually start to block up. Many people I know when inspecting these holes and having a dig around with a pin, find to their amazement that the holes can be significantly blocked, without them realising. Unblocking these holes usually leads to vastly improved steaming performance.

I have a little tip, to help prevent those holes ever blocking up and to keep your steam tip holes and the inside of the tip nice and clean. It has become such a habit that i don't really even think about it.

After steaming and cleaning the end of the wand with a cloth etc.., purge steam from the wand for a few seconds, close the steam valve and then wait about 3 seconds, take a jug (use the milk jug) filled with some cold water and plunge the steam wand into it (about 2-3 inches deep). If you have done it correctly, you will hear a small suck/click type sound as the water is drawn into the steam wand. Lower the jug so the tip is exposed open the steam valve and fire that water out of the steam wand tip…..If all has worked successfully, you will be rewarded by jets of water from the holes, these flush out any residue and prevent build up milk solids.

This happens because the wand is very hot inside after the purge and plunging it into cold water causes a vacuum to form inside the wand which draws the water into it. do not worry about drawing contaminated water into the steam boiler, on a home prosumer machine performed as I describe, this cannot happen.