Vitamix Explorian Blender, $179 from Amazon
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It’s obvious, perhaps, but sometimes we don’t see what’s right in front of our eyes until someone else points it out. In this case, the (maybe not-so-secret) secret is: You can make your blender clean itself. (Sort of like you can mostly make your coffee grinder clean itself. Sadly, no such luck with your dirty kitchen sponge or grimy sheet pans.)
The Easiest Way to Clean Your Blender
1. Immediately after you pour out your smoothie, sauce, or whatever you’ve just blended, rinse the blender with hot water. This is key; don’t let it sit and the contents inside get gummed-on, or you’ll be back to scrubbing.
2. Fill the blender 3/4 full with fresh hot water and add a couple drops of dish soap.
3. Put the lid back on and blend away.
4. Rinse again with hot water, and you’re done. Seriously simple, right?
5. Turn it upside down in a rack to dry. That helps drain every last bit of water so no mold starts to grow. For the same reason, never put the lid back on until everything is completely dry.
6. Use a damp sponge or dish cloth to clean the base of any splatters. It may go without saying, but never submerge this part in water.
Stuck-On Bits or Stains?
If you do end up with stuck-on bits or see blender discoloration, try blending lemon (you can drop in quarters of the fruit with rinds intact) or vinegar, plus some baking soda and water in your blender, then letting that mixture soak overnight. The next day, follow steps 1-5 above and you should be all set. When scrubbing is the only thing that’ll do, though, an old toothbrush is useful for tackling the smaller parts where the base connects to the blades, and it keeps your fingers safe. If the buttons have gotten grimy, a Q-tip dipped in vinegar or rubbing alcohol will help you get in the grooves around them.
Check out our favorite eco-friendly cleaning supplies, including green dish soap that actually works.
When to Deep Clean Your Blender
While the above rinse-soap-blend-rinse method is great for daily cleaning after making your morning smoothie, you will want to occasionally give your blender a deeper clean by unscrewing the base and removing the gasket and washing everything separately (don’t forget the lid, even if it doesn’t look dirty). Even if they’re advertised as dishwasher-safe, you may want to wash the parts by hand to prolong their lifespan. Aim for a deep clean once a month (unless, for some reason, you’re blending raw chicken or unwashed greens, in which case deep-cleaning is the safest option).
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.