My friend Heather wrote a post over at Eat Drink Better recently that listed the 5 grossest items in your kitchen. You can read her article for the complete list, but #2 on there was the blender.
The reason? People (including me!) don’t clean their blenders properly. Your blender is made up of a few pieces, and to really clean it you have to take it apart. Not the motory bits, but unscrew the bottom, remove the blade, and if your blender’s lid separates into two pieces, you want to take those apart too before cleaning. I’ve got more details below on how to clean your blender properly.
Until reading her article, I was cleaning my blender by just putting the pitcher part in the dishwasher and either washing the lid by hand or sticking it in the top rack. First off, don’t put your blender’s lid in the dishwasher. I do it with mine because once you ruin it, why not keep taking the easy way out, right? But if you haven’t, don’t! The heat from the dishwasher can warp the lid, and you’ll have to do like I do: hold the lid on when you turn it on to prevent smoothie from spraying all over. D’oh!
How to Clean Your Blender
So, how you do get your blender clean? Here’s what you do:
- Unscrew the bottom part, and remove the blade. Take a moment to remember how it was assembled, so you can put it back together. It shouldn’t be hard – most blenders only have 3-4 parts to the pitcher. Wash everything, soapy water and let them dry. You can put the glass pitcher part in the dishwasher if you prefer, or wash it by hand.
- Take the lid apart and hand wash both pieces in hot, soapy water.
- Reassemble when everything is totally dry. You don’t want to trap water anywhere, because that is a recipe for mildew. Ick!
EDIT: Chris had an important tip in the comments below for folks that own fancy high speed blenders, like the Vitamix. You’ll want to check the directions on how to clean them. He said that his Vitamix doesn’t come apart, and to clean it the manufacturer says, “fill to the 5qt line, add two drops of soap, turn the blender up to high for 1 minute, rinse.”
It’s also a good idea to wipe down your blender’s base. After reading Heather’s article, I took a close look at the base of my blender, and it was covered in food stains. GROSSSSSSSS! As she mentions, you do not want to submerge the base in water, because the motor is in there, and you will ruin your blender and possibly electrocute yourself.
Shameless plug: Now that your blender is clean as a whistle, grab your copy of 40 Days of Green Smoothies, and get blending!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by cookbookman