Keurig Frother Not Working? Here Are 11 Easy Solutions

Updated on: September 22, 2023
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Keurig frother not working

Your morning alarm just rang and you can’t think of anything except that caffeinated cappuccino. You slowly make your way to the kitchen, just to discover that your Keurig milk frother is not working.

How disappointing! Not the best way to start the day!

But don’t worry dear reader, your day is most likely not ruined. There is hope!

There are many common issues that could be preventing your Keurig frother from working properly. Fortunately, most of these are easy to fix.

In this post, we’ll go over these and more. Read on and let’s fix that Keurig forther ASAP because I know you need coffee.

Let's get started!

Why Is My Keurig Frother Not Working?

Unfortunately, Keurig's frother is a bit finicky; it’s not uncommon to wake up one morning and find out it is not working as it should.

Thankfully, most issues can be resolved relatively easily.

In this section, we’ll provide reasons as to why your Keurig’s frother could not be working, as well as potential solutions to fix it and get you caffeinated as quickly as possible.

Note that these issues and solutions are applicable to both the K-Café coffee maker frother as well as the standalone Keurig frother.

Issue #1: You’ve Added Too Much Milk

Description of the Issue

Yes, this can happen even to the best of us, specifically before our first morning coffee!

Before you start tinkering with the frother, simply check if you’ve added too much milk. There is a line that marks the maximum amount of milk you can add.

If you exceed this line, your Keurig frother may not work to avoid overflows and spills that could damage your Keurig K-Café.

How to Fix it

  • Simply pour out a bit of milk until you are below the maximum amount.

Issue #2: The Frother Is Not Sitting Properly on Your Keurig

Description of the Issue

Check that the frother is sitting stably on its base.

Again, this might seem super-obvious but the milk frother will not start if it's not installed properly. It’s worth checking this before trying other fixes.

How to Fix it

  • Remove and replace the frother on its base. If the frother is installed properly it should be stable without any wobbling.

Issue #3: You Forgot To Close the Lid

Description of the Issue

This one is self-explanatory. You forgot to put the lid on. Without the lid, the forther may not work correctly.

How to Fix it

  • Put the frother’s lid on!

Issue #4: The Frother’s Whisk Is Not Installed Properly

Description of the Issue

This is a similar issue as above, but not as obvious. The whisk (the black spinning wheel) should be able to spin freely when the frother is sitting on the base.

When you put the frother on the base, you should be able to see the whisk lift up slightly such that it’s floating above the bottom of the jug. It should be able to spin freely. If the whisk is touching the bottom of the jug, it may not be able to froth properly or at all.

Keurig Frother Whisk not spinning

How to Fix it

  • Try lifting up the whisk with your finger (with the frother jug on the base) and see if it “floats up”.

  • If this does not work, check the whisk for damage or dirt. 

Issue #5: The Whisk is Stuck Due to Milk Gunk

Description of the Issue

This whisk (black spinning wheel) should be able to move freely. If you try to rotate it with your fingers and the whisk is not spinning or you feel some resistance, the Keurig frother may not work as it should.

The number one culprit is milk residue buildup.


By the way, if your Keurig frother works even though you don’t clean it, it will eventually stop working.

So show some love to your Keurig frother and clean it! Not only it will prevent issues but it's also the hygienic thing to do.

Imagine if stale milk gunk dislodges from the whisk and you find that in your latte while drinking That’s enough to put anyone off milk for life!

How to Fix it

  • Remove the whisk and thoroughly clean it. Wash inside the frother’s jug with soap and water until it’s squeaky clean.

Issue #6: Your Keurig Still Needs More Time to Heat Up

Description of the Issue

If it’s the morning and it's the first time using your Keurig that day, then your Keurig coffee maker needs some time to heat up. You see, your Keurig can only draw a limited amount of power. It’s not capable of heating up while frothing at the same time, as this requires too much power.

A telltale sign is if you hear water boiling. This means your coffee machine is heating up.

How to Fix It

  • Wait until your Keurig coffee machine has heated up. The milk frother should start after a few minutes.

  • If your machine is heated up, note that the frother does not always work while simultaneously brewing coffee. I believe this depends on how hot the machine is or it may not be getting sufficient power to brew coffee, heat the milk, and spin the whisk. So to avoid any issues, I recommend waiting until the Keurig machine is done brewing coffee before activating the frother.

Issue #7: The Frother’s Base Is Dirty or Obstructed

Description of the Issue

There is a small switch on the base of the frother which you should be able to press up and down freely. If it’s stuck, the frother will not start.

How to Fix It

  • Clean the base of the frother and remove any gunk that may be preventing the switch from moving freely. Only use a damp cloth but do not pour water since it could damage the motor! 

Issue #8: You Are Using the Wrong Type of Milk

Description of the Issue

The frother appears to be working fine. The frother's whisk is spinning and the milk is heating up, but it does not froth milk properly for your lattes or cappuccinos.

Is there something wrong with your Keurig milk frother?

Most likely it’s the type of milk you are using. Not all milks are created equal! The best milk to froth is fresh whole milk. However, you will have trouble frothing skim milk or almond milk! Also, make sure you use fresh milk (just in case it's turning bad which could affect the frothing).

How to Fix It

  • Try frothing with whole milk which has a higher fat percentage. Ideally, 2 percent or whole milk give the best results.

  • If you’re using non-dairy milk such as almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk, try using  “Barista Edition” dairy alternatives that have more milk fats for a creamier and better microfoam. Soy milk usually froths well due to its high protein content. Oat milk also froths relatively well, while almond milk usually does not. Barista edition non-dairy milks such as Pacific Foods Barista Series Soy Milk, Califia Farms Barista Blend Oat milk or Silk Barista Collection almond milk have added fat for better micro-foaming.

Issue #9: The Milk Frother’s Motor May Be Overheated

Description of the Issue

You have checked that the frother and whisk are installed properly, and you’re sure the coffee maker is hot enough (see Issue #6) because you just prepared a coffee.

If you have just prepared many coffees with frothed milk in a row, and the frother is now refusing to turn on, the most likely reason is overheating.

How to Fix It

  • Remove the frother from the base and turn off your Keurig K-Café. Wait about 10 minutes to allow the machine to cool down, then try again.

Issue #10: The Frother’s Motor May Be Broken

Description of the Issue

If you’ve tried all of the above solutions and the Keurig frother will not turn on, then most likely the motor is broken.

This is even more likely if you remember milk overflowing and spilling into the frother's base.

How to Fix It

  • If the motor is broken, you will need to contact Keurig customer service.

Issue #11: The Heating Element of Your Keurig’s Frother is No Longer Working

Description of the Issue

If you’ve tried all of the above solutions and the frother turns on and the whisk is spinning. However, the milk is not heating up and all you get is cold froth. Also, you've made sure you did not press the "cold" button.

If that's the case, your frother’s heating element may need replacing.

How to Fix It

  • Unfortunately, there is not much you can do besides calling Keurig customer service.

How To Prevent Issues With Your Keurig Frother

Here are the most important steps you can take to ensure your Keurig frother lasts for a long time:

  • Don’t skip the cleaning! You should clean your K-Café’s frother after every use, no exceptions!

  • Avoid overfilling the frother’s jug! There are some safeguards to prevent spills, such as the frother not starting when you’ve added too much milk. However, some types of milk can more than double in volume when frothing, which could result in the milk overflowing. If the milk overflows, that’s bad news for your frother as the milk may infiltrate the motor via the base. Yikes!

  • Avoid frothing many drinks consecutively. Let’s face it, Keurig coffee makers are not commercial latte machines. So it’s normal for it to overheat after preparing a few drinks in a row. Avoid doing this as it will shorten the motor’s lifespan. Instead, give your machine a small break if you need to make drinks for all your guests!

About the Keurig K-Café

Keurig K-Café

The Keurig K-Café is Keurig’s answer to specialty coffee drinks.

It comes with a 2-oz coffee shot option, which is a unique Keurig cup size. This is as close as Keurig gets to espresso.

Further, the K-Café is the only Keurig machine with frothing capabilities. It can prepare hot or cold milk froth for delicious flat whites, lattes, and cappuccinos (or virtually any coffee drink for that matter)!

For more information, make sure you check our Keurig K-Cafe Review!

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you clean your Keurig’s milk frother?

If you have the Keurig K-Cafe frother, go ahead and use the dishwasher. The Keurig milk frother is dishwasher safe.

If you have the standalone Keurig frother, it’s best to manually wash it while removing the whisk and lid. If you see any gunk that refuses to come out, soak the whisk in warm soapy water for about 30 minutes.

Can you froth non-dairy milks with your Keurig’s milk frother?

Yes, you can! However, not all milk types froth equally the same. For example, almond milk has very little fat so you may get the foam you hope for. However, there are “barista edition” non-dairy milks are available online.

What is the warranty of the Keurig frother and the K-Café?

Keurig offers a 1-year warranty for its K-Café coffee maker and its standalone milk frother.

How do I contact Keurig for troubleshooting advice?

You can contact Keurig Customer Support through their site or by calling 866.901.BREW (866-901-2739) in the US or by calling 1-800-361-5628 if you are in Canada.

They are open 7 days a week from 7 am to 12 am EST.

Why does my Keurig frother keep beeping?

The most likely reason you will hear beeping is if the frother’s whisk is placed incorrectly. Make sure the whisk is lifted above the jug’s base and that it can spin freely.

Another reason is that the whisk is stuck and not spinning due to milk residue. In that case, a thorough cleaning is in order!

The Bottom Line

Dear reader, we hope this post has been helpful in troubleshooting your Keurig frother.

In summary, most of the issues arise from user error (e.g. adding too much milk, not closing the lid) and from a lack of cleaning (e.g. milk gunk preventing the whisk from rotating).

If you’ve completed the above solutions yet your Keurig frother is not working properly, then feel free to send us a message.

I’ll do my best to respond as quickly as possible!

Felipe is a tea expert with an engineering background! He loves to drink and learn all about tea and coffee. His love for tea was discovered while living in Japan and his favorites are Sencha & Pu'er!
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