Blenders are a wonderful invention.
There’s no question that they are incredibly useful, especially if you’re a soup or smoothie fan.
Unfortunately, cleaning them can often seem like a huge hassle.
I even have some friends who avoid using their blenders because they don’t want to have to clean them out later!
The good news is that cleaning out your blender doesn’t have to be a difficult process, and you can cut out a ton of the extra effort without sacrificing good kitchen hygiene. Even better, all you really need is a blender, and little water, and some soap.
Don’t worry, there are several variations on this same basic cleaning process, and I’ll walk you through each so that you’re ready to clean your blender no matter how long it’s been waiting.
Even better, I have three secret ingredients you can use to make those basic cleaning steps even more effective and powerful. I’ll go over the basics first, and then we’ll dig into how you can use those simple kitchen ingredients (you may already have everything you need) to really take things to the next level.
In this guide you’ll learn:
- The simplest method of giving your blender a thorough clean
- How to deep clean your blender effectively
- How to address old scents and stains in your blender jar
- The most effective, natural cleaning ingredients for your blender
- And much more!
What's in this Guide?
How Effective Blender Cleaning Helps You
Blenders are an incredibly powerful kitchen tool. They’re useful whether you’re looking to add more variety and healthful foods to your diet by making green smoothies, or are just looking to re-create the luscious squash soup from the restaurant the other night.
But too many people avoid blenders because they don’t want to deal with the cleanup, or because their blender has developed a noticeable scent they can’t quite get rid of.
Don’t worry, my quick cleaning and deep cleaning methods will help you keep your blender in top shape (or help you restore it), and aren’t very difficult or time consuming. Add the three secret ingredients, and you’ll never have to worry about a dirty blender again.
The first thing you should know is that it’s important you clean your blender as soon as possible after you use it. That’s what the quick clean method is for.
Cleaning quickly helps prevent stains and odors, and also gets your blender ready to use again. You should quick clean every time you use your blender, whether that’s every day or only a couple times a year.
You also need to deep clean your blender occasionally, to keep it looking, smelling, and working it’s best. I’ll detail a deep clean method too, and discuss how often you should use it.
Using both the quick clean method and deep cleaning has tons of benefits for your blender, but here are some of the most important ones:
- Helps to prevent blender blades rusting
- Prevents stains in your jar
- Keeps odors and bacteria out of your blender
- Prevents food transfer
- Helps preserve the taste of your food
- Prevent and fix cloudiness in your jar
What You Need To Know About Cleaning Your Blender Effectively
Read More >> 5 Ways You’re Cleaning your Blender Wrong
Some blenders are also easier to clean than others. Square blender jars can be tricker than rounded ones, and odd corners and angles can make it more difficult to clean even a rounded jar.
If your blender has a self-cleaning mode, you can use that as a replacement for quick cleaning your blender, but you should still deep clean your blender regularly.
The last thing you should know is that the sooner you clean your blender the easier it’s likely to be. While I have some cleaning methods to help you address stains, scents, and dried food crusts inside your blender, it’s still easier if you don’t have to worry about those complications.
Of course, if you’re looking for more ways to get the most out of your blender, Consumer Reports has put together a helpful guide.
Not sure which blender is best for your needs? Browse through my other articles on this site, I’ve written several blender guides from the best blenders for Indian food to the best blenders for shakeology.
If you already know how to clean your blender, feel free to skip forward to the last section of this article to learn my three secret cleaning ingredients.
Supplies You’ll Need To Clean Your Blender
Fortunately, since you already have the most expensive tool you need to clean your blender quickly, the blender itself, everything else is low-cost and likely something you already have in your kitchen.
I’m going to list the basic supplies for all the variations on this cleaning method, and then discuss which ones you’ll use when in the next section.
Don’t worry too much if you don’t have quite everything I list. Oh, and I’m giving you the three secret ingredients a little early. Read on to learn how to use them.
The first three supplies are the only things you really must have to clean your blender quickly and efficiently (Quick Clean Method):
- Your blender, blade, and lid
- Warm water (enough to about half fill your blender jar)
- Dish soap
If you use your blender daily, I recommend a deep clean 1-2 per week (Deep Clean Method). To deep clean your blender you’ll need a few additions:
- A sink for soaking
- A sponge or dishcloth
- A drying rack
The blender cleaning methods (Quick Clean and Deep Clean) are great if you’re working with a relatively clean and well-maintained blender to begin with. To eliminate further odors and stains, these are my three secret ingredients to take your blender cleaning to the next level:
- Vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, either one)
- Lemon Juice
- Baking Soda
Read More >> What are the Top 5 Blenders for Baby Food?
What Are The Different Ways to Clean Your Blender
There are two basic methods for cleaning your blender: Quick Clean Method (using the blender itself to do all the work) and the Deep Clean Method where you take the blender apart and individually clean every piece.
I will also introduce a Bonus Method of using my secret 3 ingredients to up-level your blender cleaning.
Method 1: How to Clean Your Blender Using The Quick Clean Method (5 Steps)
Step 1: Decide Whether You Need A Pre-Soak
The first step is just to decide whether your blender needs a pre-soak to help loosen dried food, or to help absorb scents and stains before you wash the jar.
A pre-soak can also be useful if the last thing you blended was particularly thick, or if you’ve noticed sticky stubborn spots on the blender jar.
If needed, soak in warm water for 5-10 minutes.
Step 2: Fill Halfway With Soap And Water
Fill the blender about halfway, or wherever the liquid max fill line is on your blender. A little lower than the max fill line is a good idea, since soap will foam up and fill more space than plain water.
Use a drop or two of your favorite dish soap. It doesn’t take too much, and using more soap than you need increases the chances of overflowing and creating a mess.
Step 3: Blend Clean
Check to see if your blender has a self-cleaning mode. If it does, go ahead and use that. Check the users manual to see if your blender has an auto timer on the cleaning mode or not. If it does, you can let it do it’s thing.
If your blender doesn’t have a cleaning mode, turn on to medium/high speed. Let the blender run for 30 seconds to a minute, and then turn it off.
This video offers a good example of a blender with a pre-designed clean setting, as well as some helpful tricks for addressing cleaning heated blenders, since they can have some different kinds of stains and stuck on grime.
Step 4: Check the Results
Most of the time, after 30 seconds blending on medium/high speed, your blender will be clean and ready to drain. Occasionally though, it won’t be quite clean enough. Let the foam subside for a moment so you can clearly see the jar.
If it’s thoroughly cleaned, move on to step 5. If not, run the blender for another 30 seconds. If there are still any spots that need to be cleaned after another 30 second cleaning, it probably needs a deep clean instead.
Step 5: Drain, Rinse and Dry
The last thing is to dran, rinse, and dry the blender. Pour the soapy water out the regular pour spout, it will help to clean the pour spout as well as the blender jar.
Remove the lid from the jar to let it dry. Ideally, you should also take out the blade to let it dry, so it will dry faster. That will help the blade last longer, since you won’t be stressing the metal as much.
Once everything is dry, your blender is ready to reassemble and use!
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Method 2: How to Deep Clean Your Blender (3 Steps)
You should deep clean your blender regularly, but how often largely depends on how often you use it. If you use your blender daily, you should probably deep clean it once every 1-2 weeks.
If you use your blender less often, say only once or twice a week, you should clean it about once a month.
If you use your blender less often, try to deep clean it about once every other month at most.
You should also quick clean your blender jar before using it if you use it less than once a month, to make sure you clean out all the dust and stale air before putting fresh food inside the jar.
Step 1: Take Your Blender Apart
You’ll wash every piece of your blender separately. So, for your first step, remove the jar, blade, lid, and any other accessories from the base.
Look over every piece of the blender. Specifically, look for flecks of food, small stains, or anything that looks different from the last time you deep cleaned your blender.
This is a good opportunity to look for damage, or any signs that you may need to replace any of the accessories. Looking everything over also helps you target spots of food, and will make it easier to clean all the nooks and crannies.
Step 2: Wash Under Running Water
You should use a regular sponge or dishcloth and dish soap, but don’t soak your blender parts in the sink.
Soaking too long in the sink can damage moving parts of your blender, like any hinge on your lid, so it’s better to avoid soaking.
Use warm or hot running water, and scrub your whole blender jar, inside and out. Make sure there are no specs of food or sticky areas left when you’re done.
Set aside to dry.
Next carefully clean the blender blade. Make sure you wipe down both sides of every blade and the blade base.
If you see any mild rust or corrosion, you might be able to polish it with the rough side of a sponge, but avoid using steel wool. If the rust spreads too far, or starts to affect the blades themselves, it’s time to replace the part.
Next wash the lid, paying special attention to the rim where it seals with the jar. This is where food is most likely to get trapped.
If your blender uses a rubber rim, like many Ninja and Oster systems, you’ll need to be careful that you don’t damage the rubber while you clean it. It may be easier to wash this area with your hands than to use a sponge.
You should also pay special attention to the pour spout, especially if it has a hinged lid. This is another area that often traps small particles of food, so make sure you get soap in every corner and rinse it thoroughly.
Tampers and other blender accessories don’t often need too much attention. Give every surface of these accessories a quick scrub with a soapy sponge and then rinse in warm running water.
Set everything aside to dry.
Step 3: Disinfect the Base and Reassemble
The last step is to clean and disinfect the base while the rest of your blender dries.
First, look at the base of your blender. Are there drips or splatters on it, or does it look relatively clean? If it looks like food or liquids got on your blender base since your last deep clean, you may want to use a damp soapy sponge to scrub off the stains.
Next, you should disinfect the whole base, including the bottom. If you have disinfecting wipes in the house, those will work well. Otherwise, hydrogen peroxide on a paper towel works too.
Once everything is dry, re-assemble your blender.
Fortunately, this whole process is fairly easy if you’ve been quick cleaning your blender every time you use it. But, it can be a little more difficult if it’s been a while since you cleaned your blender, or if you forgot to quickly clean it after using it.
Now that you know the basics of cleaning your blender, it’s time to learn how to get a more powerful clean. Keep going to learn how my three secret ingredients can give you even better results, and make deep cleaning a little easier.
Take Cleaning Your Blender to the Next Level with these 3 Secret Ingredients
The blender cleaning methods I’ve discussed are great if you’re working with a relatively clean and well-maintained blender to begin with.
That isn’t always the case though, and the good news is that there are some extra steps you can use to restore a blender jar that’s already stained, scented, or just not quite clean enough to use.
The cleaning supplies and ingredients I’m about to discuss are also fantastic if you’ve just made a batch of heavily spiced or strongly flavored food, and want to clear some of the lingering scent and flavor before you use your blender again.
The best part is that taking care of stains and odor doesn’t require any expensive cleaning solutions or a lot of work. You probably already have everything you’ll need in your kitchen. If you don’t these ingredients can be purchased at just about any grocery store for only a couple dollars each.
All you need to address staining and odor in your jar is vinegar, lemon, or baking soda. Simple. Here’s how they work:
When to Use:
- Your blender still smells like the last thing you blended
- You have stubborn food spots that won’t come clean
- Your blender jar smells musty or mildewed
- You noticed strange flavors the last time you blended something
Use vinegar in place of dish soap, remove the blender blade, and soak for five minutes. Follow up with a soapy quick clean for the best results.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular choice, and is particularly good for deodorizing once the jar is dry. Unfortunately, apple cider vinegar is also some of the most strongly flavored itself, so it can be a little smelly while it soaks in your jar.
Still, apple cider vinegar is also a fantastic addition to your smoothies if you’re looking for a good pro-biotic boost!
Distilled white vinegar is a slightly milder option, and is common for cleaners. It’s also very affordable and can be used for tons of other household purposes.
In a pinch, even red wine vinegar, rice wine vinegar, or other alternatives will work. But, if you consistently use red wine vinegar, it may tint your blender jar slowly over time.
*Note: Vinegar can corrode some metals, so avoid using even diluted vinegar to clean any metal, including your blender blade and kitchen knives.
When to Use:
- When there are sticky spots on the inside of your jar
- Your blender jar still smells like the last thing you blended
- You blender jar smells musty
- You just made ice cream or other very sweet foods in your blender
Lemon juice is a good vinegar alternative, less effective on stains, but better for deodorizing the jar. Lemon juice is also excellent for eliminating sticky spots inside your blender, likely caused by leftover sugars the last time you made ice cream or a sweetened smoothie.
You can use bottled lemon juice or fresh to deodorize. Fresh lemon may help to leave a fresh scent in your jar though, since it has more of the aromatic flavinoids than bottled lemon juice.
Mix a tablespoon or so of lemon with enough warm water to fill your blender. Soak for five minutes, and drain.
You may need more lemon juice if you have a very large blender, or if you’re trying to address a particularly strong odor. You can also mix vinegar and lemon for more powerful results, since they help combat slightly different scents. Vinegar is better for bitter scents, or spoiled food. Lemon is better for too much spice, and musty scents.
If you’re using fresh lemon, you can also use the lemon slices or peel to clean sticky spots on the inside of your blender jar. Just scrub the sticky spot with a fresh slice, or the inside of a section of peel, until the acid starts to dissolve the stickiness.
For either method, follow up with a quick clean, and dry.
When to Use:
- Your blender hasn’t been used in a while
- Your blender has strong food scents (from rich spices, for example)
- Your blender has a strong or unpleasant odor
- Something dried or fermented in your blender
- Your blender jar is starting to fog
Baking soda is the ultimate deodorizer. Like vinegar, it’s best used as a pre-soak instead of while the blender blades are churning up the water.
If you want to use baking soda while the blades are in you can, but you’ll likely need to replace those blades a little sooner.
The trick here is not to be stingy with the baking soda. Large blenders will probably need a couple tablespoons of baking soda in water to be truly effective.
The bigger the stink you want to eliminate, the more baking soda you should use.
Don’t over soak to try and eliminate more scent. Baking soda can only absorb so much odor before it begins to release the scent again. Repeated soaks work better than longer ones when it comes to getting rid of a funky smell.
Baking soda can also clear the plastic or glass of your jar if it’s started to fog a little. It’s not a cure all, but don’t be surprised if your blender jar looks a little clearer after a baking soda soak.
I prefer to deep clean my blender after a baking soda soak, instead of a quick clean. There are a couple of reasons. For one a deep clean helps make sure none of the baking soda makes it into my next meal.
Deep cleaning can also help make sure there isn’t anything caught in a corner where I haven’t noticed it that could be causing the odor I was dealing with in the first place.
A soapy quick clean is better than nothing though, and can be a good stop-gap if you’re pressed for time.
My Final Thoughts on Cleaning Your Blender (and the Three Secret Ingredients that Help)
Cleaning your blender doesn’t have to be a chore, and when these tools can be used to make delicious dips and nut butters, or even to perfect your queso before your next potluck, you should look forward to using these tools, not dread the cleanup.
Remember that regular maintenance is key to keeping your blender clean and useful for years to come.
Anytime you’ve got a tricky cleaning job, or the jar just isn’t quite as clear as you’d like, grab my three secret ingredients to help boost your cleaning power.
With the quick clean and deep clean methods, plus these three ingredients, you have everything you need in your blender cleaning arsenal. Happy Blending!