Our lovely La Marzocco Linea at Stack HQ is a workhorse. Lots of people making lots of drinks, many of which require the frothing of milk. We are regularly reminded to clean the steam wand to prevent damage to the machine.

But what happens to the machine if you fail to thoroughly clean the steam wand?

2 Answers 2


Word on the street is that:

  1. The milk residue will get "baked on" by the heat of the steam wand, making it even more difficult to clean than if you'd just done it when the milk was still wet.
  2. Any milk left on the tip of the wand will get sucked up into the machine's water reservoirs by changes in air pressure, where it will stay and become rancid and ruin everybody's drinks.

This is according to Joel's biweekly beratings on the topic. We might ask him to cite his sources.

  • 6
    Joel? Joel who? I don't know of any Joel.
    – stevvve
    Jan 28, 2015 at 18:47
  • 1
    @stevvve: I don't even work at SE and I know who Joel is.
    – Alex A.
    Jan 29, 2015 at 2:14
  • 1
    Haha @Alex my comment clearly needs a " ;-) " to properly convey my tone.
    – stevvve
    Jan 29, 2015 at 21:35
  • 1
    @stevvve: I could infer your ";-)" but I should have added my own ";-)" to my comment. ;-)
    – Alex A.
    Jan 30, 2015 at 1:18
  • 3
    ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) :-)
    – stevvve
    Jan 30, 2015 at 1:22

I cant speak for this particular machine, but i failed to clean the steam frother on my old machine and residual milk caked on to the (aluminum) wand! I tried everything to get the residue off but not even sandpaper worked.

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