Blender sales are skyrocketing due to the growing popularity of juice cleanses and smoothies of all kinds. But blenders are a food preparation tool of note –suitable for much more than just pulverizing fruit and vegetables.
It’s a timesaver in the kitchen that makes short work of liquidizing soups, mixing cake and pancake batter, and making all manner of sauces.
It’s a tool that some cooks only use sometimes to make the odd milkshake, while others consider it an essential appliance that they can’t do without.
Only one drawback though: cleaning this tricky item. Cleaning a blender takes some effort. Food particles tend to get stuck under and around the blade, making it awkward to clean properly. It’s not unusual to find blenders lurking in kitchens packed with evidence of previous uses.
In fact, they are such a pain to clean that one is tempted to simply stick them in the dishwasher. But is that safe to do?
Well, there are parts that are safe to put in the dishwasher, but the motor housing is definitely not one of them.
So how do you go about cleaning a blender?
Quick, regular cleaning
Every time you use your blender, simply rinse the blender jar under the tap. Take a cup of hot water with a bit of dishwashing liquid in it and pour it in the jar. Secure the lid, turn the blender on and let it swish away for a while. This action will wash away most of the stuff that’s in there. Then rinse the jar off again with hot water and wipe it with a dry dishcloth.
The thorough cleanse
The above method does a good enough job on a daily basis but every now and then you need to get stuck in there and do a proper job to prevent bacteria growth as a result of food particles that remain stuck at the bottom of the jar and under the blade.
Start the process by running the blender with a special solution to dislodge stuck-on food.
Special solution: mix one-part baking soda with one-part water and run it through the blender. This old trick is great for getting rid of bits and pieces and also gets rid of any lingering odors. Empty the blender and start cleaning it by following these steps.
1 – Take the blender apart
To really do a thorough job, you have to take the blender apart, so you can clean the jar, the gasket ring, the blade and the base separately.
First, make sure that the blender is unplugged. Unscrew the jar from the motor base and take the jar lid off. Detach the base of the jar and undo the gasket ring and the blade.
2 – Wash everything
Wash everything separately using warm soapy water and a dish rag or a sponge. Don’t use any harsh implements that might do damage. Rinse everything thoroughly and dry with a clean dishcloth afterwards.
You can wash the parts not connected to the motor in the dishwasher. This means the jar, its lid, the blade, the jar base and the gasket can be put on the top rack of the dishwasher if you so wish. The blade and jar base are especially awkward to wash by hand, so it’s great to be able to put them in the dishwasher.
A dishwasher could ruin the gasket ring and the blade though. Frequent washing at high temperatures can degrade the rubber of the gasket ring and the blade can get damaged if it bangs against other dishes in the dishwasher. Also, blades that are continually washed in the dishwasher will become dull over time.
3 – Clean the motor housing
- Make sure the blender is unplugged before you clean the motor base.
- Never submerge the base in water. Consult the user manual and you will see that it’s not safe to submerge the base in water or to put it in a dishwasher – it shouldn’t get anywhere near water.
Simply wipe the motor base with a warm, damp cloth. The cord also tends to get surprisingly grimy so remember to wipe that as well.
4 – Reassemble the blender and store it
Put the blender together again, but make sure all the components are thoroughly dry first. Most people simply store their blender on the counter top for easy accessibility and if counter space allows.
How to maintain your blender
Always read the manufacturer’s manual for special cleaning suggestions for your specific brand and model.
After every use, rinse the blender jar thoroughly with warm water to which you have added a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Secure the lid and run the blender machine for about 30 seconds. Rinse thoroughly and let the jar dry.
Your blender will last longer if you always start blending from a low to high variable speed and if you put liquids in the jar before you add solids. This will ensure that the blades and the motor will last longer.