The Best Ways to Clean Your Blender
Whether it’s in a glass or a bowl, I love a good smoothie. They’re great for breakfast, for snacks, after a workout. They’re just so darn quick and easy to make.
What I don’t love?
Cleaning that blender!!!
I use the thing practically every day but I have to confess, I was mostly just rinsing it with water.
That smoothie residue leaves a thick film on the sides and the bottom of the blender. And with those sharp blades in there that blender jar is definitely not easy to clean.
It turns out I’ve been cleaning my blender all wrong, who knew?
Let’s face it, if you’re making, and eating, a delicious smoothie, you want to start with a really clean blender.
But if it’s not properly cleaned there could be leftover food particles that can contaminate what you’re making.
Cleaning the WHOLE Blender
Even if you think your blender jar is clean, what about the base? If that’s not properly cleaned it could be adding germs and bacteria to your kitchen counter.
Studies have shown that when it comes to bacteria and kitchens “the most diverse communities were associated with infrequently cleaned surfaces.”
Right now you may be getting a little nauseous wondering about how not-clean your blender is.
The good news is that it doesn’t really matter what brand your blender is. Let’s just make sure that when you’re making a smoothie you’re starting with a really clean blender.
One of the biggest mistakes most people make when it comes to their blenders is that they don’t clean the base. The problem is there may be tiny particles of food and other things on it. Typically unless you spill on it you’re not cleaning it. Am I right? Of course I am, I used to do the same thing.
So even if you don’t spill anything on it, you should be cleaning down the base of your blender at least once a week. This keeps bacteria and germs from piling up where you can’t see them and then contaminating your kitchen counter every time you move that thing around.
I usually take a damp kitchen cloth and add 2-3 drops of a surfactant-free non-toxic Everyday Cleaner to get that puppy sparkling clean and germ-free. Wipe the counter down while you’re at it and pat yourself on the back for efficiency.
Does Your Blender have Biofilm?
Not getting rid of blender biofilm is another huge mistake when it comes to keeping it clean.
Biofilm is the accumulation of a bunch of different kinds of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungus, and protists.
When gathered together on a surface that will support them they form something called an Extracellular Polymeric Substance (EPS), which brings together DNA, proteins, and sugars that stick together.
When you don’t let the inside of your blender soak you’re not getting at the biofilm that’s building up on the inside of the blender jar. Studies show that kitchen bacteria have a distinct ability to form a biofilm.
The foods you blend in your smoothie, especially if they’re probiotic in nature, like yogurt, can add bacteria that stay inside your blender jar. Unfortunately, a standard cleaning doesn’t really cut it. Believe it or not, neither does bleach (which you don’t want to use anyway)
Instead, you want to put plain water up to the fill line in your blender jar. Add ½ a teaspoon of non-toxic dish soap, put the lid on, and blend for 60 seconds. Let the whole thing sit for 15 minutes. Dump out the soapy water and then clean the blender jar the way you normally would. The soap helps to break down the biofilm.
Biofilms can sometimes add an unpleasant odor to any surfaces they are on. Although soap usually does the trick when it comes to breaking down biofilm, if it’s really funky smelling soap alone might not be enough.
If you need a little extra cleaning power, you can add 1 tablespoon of baking soda with the dish soap. Blend it all together and let it sit before washing the blender jar.
Your Cloudy Blender Jar Might Have Mineral Deposits
If you use your blender as much as I do sometimes it gets cloudy looking on the inside. In addition to biofilms you can get cloudiness. This could be from mineral deposits. Sad news, the Dish Soap by itself doesn’t really work on mineral deposits. But there’s actually a way to get it off the jar.
You’ll need a toothbrush for this so be sure to mark it somehow so that it doesn’t get used for brushing teeth anymore. Put 2 tablespoons each water and vinegar into your blender jar.
Add 2-3 drops of Dish Soap. Then dip your toothbrush into this mixture, sprinkle a little baking soda on the wet toothbrush and get to scrubbing.
Keep dipping and sprinkling as needed and work your way around that blender jar, top to bottom, and side to side. You’re going to be amazed at how clean your blender jar gets.
Cleaning Blender Accessories
The last tip is to be really thorough when it comes to cleaning your blender accessories.
There’s a lot more of them than you realize.
There’s the lid, that little removable part to the lid (which doubles as a measuring device if you need more liquid #bonustip), the tamper (for certain kinds of blenders), extra blades, etc.
If you’re like most people you probably just rinse the lid and throw the other accessories into the dish washer. I get it, that’s quick and easy. But now you know that’s really not enough.
You want to start by disassembling your blender jar.
Unscrew the blade assembly so you can deep clean that rubber gasket, the base, and the blades. If your blender has a rubber seal on the lid use a butter knife and pop that bad boy off so you can get that really clean too.
A good scrubbing with dish soap and a sponge is important. If you think you need it you can add a little vinegar to the sponge to help with cleaning odors from those assembly bits. You want to make sure you get all those nooks and crannies.
Giving the jar and accessories a deep clean once a month helps you keep your blender sparkly and sanitized.
Now that you’ve cleaned it you might be looking for an idea of what to make in it. So here’s a tasty green smoothie that can be your uber-clean-blender-celebration beverage
Ultra Green Smoothie
- 1 cup green tea
- 1 scoop protein powder, plain or vanilla is best
- 3 large handfuls of spinach
- 1 small handful other leafy greens
- 1 cup green grapes
- 1 green apple
- 1 cup frozen pineapple pieces
- Place green tea in the blender
- Then add by protein powder
- Then the greens
- Next add your unfrozen fruit
- Then add your frozen fruit
(the order in which you load your blender helps it to run more efficiently and blend better)
Blend until fully combined
Add extra liquid if needed
Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!
Flores, G. E., et al. Diversity, distribution and sources of bacteria in residential kitchens. Environmental Microbiology. Volume15, Issue2. Special Issue: Environmental Ecology of Pathogens and Resistances. February 2013. Pages 588-596.
Lim, E. S. et al. Isolation of indigenous bacteria from a cafeteria kitchen and their biofilm formation and disinfectant susceptibility. Science Direct – Elsevier. LWT. Volume 77, April 2017, Pages 376-382
Biofilm Basics. Montana State University – Center For Biofilm Engineering Programs. http://www.biofilm.montana.edu/biofilm-basics/index.html. Accessed online: August 21, 2020