Baristas and coffee lovers alike can agree that the ideal cappuccino or latte is served with perfectly textured and heated milk, which is achieved through the frothing and/or steaming of said milk. The taste and texture of the milk, on the other hand, are dependent on a well-maintained milk steamer or frother.
Milk circuits, steam wands, and frothers require regular cleaning due to the milk proteins and residue that can build up in and around the steam wand or frother. This build-up tends to cause blockages and leave nasty, sour-smelling milk on dairy equipment. Truthfully, no one even wants to imagine taking a first sip of a cappuccino and being hit with a foul smell that comes from old milk residue left in a frother.
Furthermore, old milk can harbor bacteria that could potentially have adverse effects on our health. This is certainly something to consider when serving milk-based drinks, whether in a commercial or home environment.
That is why cleaning and maintenance are essential; it keeps foul smells and build-up away while also assisting with the upkeep of diary equipment. Cleaning also helps keep bacteria at bay.
Caffenu provides baristas and coffee enthusiasts with the ultimate solutions for maintaining and cleaning steam wands, milk frothers, and other dairy equipment, including: An alkaline-based milk system cleaner and an acid-based milk system cleaner.
You might be asking what the differences between the two are. Essentially, it is the chemical make-up of the two, which slightly differs: one being an alkaline-based solution with a high pH and the other being acid-based with a low pH.
Both cleaners, acidic, and alkaline, serve as disinfectants that assist in hygienically cleaning the milk circuits and equipment.
You might also wonder which solution to use on what equipment. The truth is, either solution can be used on any dairy-based equipment. However, it is best practice to use what your machine’s manufacturer recommends; it may require both.
Coffee machines or milk systems that use hot water and/or steam to produce frothed milk would require an acidic milk system cleaner. This is especially the case where these machines are explicitly not descaled to remove limescale and rust build-up. Further, these machines are susceptible to limescale build-up as well as the milk proteins that accumulate in the milk circuit. A typical machine that could require acidic milk system cleaner, would be a commercial espresso machine’s steam wand and dairy components.
On the other hand, machines with systems that froth milk but have no water or steam come in contact with their milk circuit and/or components would require an alkaline-based solution. Also, this is because it is primarily milk proteins, fats, and oils that require breaking down, as opposed to the limescale that builds up from water/steam contact. Hence, there is no need for the acidic solution.
To conclude, the alkaline and the acidic milk system cleaners could be used with any dairy equipment, but each offers an active ingredient to serve its specific purpose.
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