Blender Basics

Blender Cleaning and Maintenance

by Carmen G.
Updated December 11, 2018

The Easy Cleaning Method

It can actually be pretty easy to care for your blender. Most jobs only need a little soap, some hot water and a minute of your time. You can also use a little vinegar or even some lemon if you need a little extra “spruce up.”

How To:

  • After blending, leave the blender assembled and do a quick rinse-out of the ingredients.
  • Fill the blender about half-way full of hot water.
  • Add a few drops of dish soap (not dishwasher detergent).
  • Run the blender for about 10 – 30 seconds, while holding down the cap.
  • Pour out the soapy water and give it a last good rinse.
  • Done!

When to Use the Dishwasher

You can do quick, easy cleans after any use of your blender UNLESS you’ve done a heavy blending job or have blended with dairy, meat, seafood, or eggs. Blending with any of those items requires a dishwasher trip. For these deep cleans, disassemble the blender and remove the blade assembly from the jar before loading them each separately into the dishwasher.

These are some examples of foods or liquids that will require dishwasher cleaning:

  • milk
  • seafood
  • eggs
  • meat
  • cream
  • yogurt
  • cheese
  • nut butter

Blender Maintenance

As some kitchen appliances go, a blender can last for years when well-maintained. Following the tips below can help your blender be more than just a kitchen appliance and more like a faithful companion.

Cleaning Parts Thoroughly

The most important thing you can do for your blender is to clean it well after each use. That means disassembling it fully. Separate all the parts that come apart like the blades, rubber gaskets, the lid, the lid vent, and any other parts that have crevices that food particles can get trapped in. After cleaning, wipe down the parts and be mindful that they are totally dry before reassembling. Lay them out to air-dry if needed. You don’t want any moisture hanging around or getting trapped inside resulting in the growth of bacteria or mold. And you’ll want to wipe down the face or screen of the blender base for the same reason.

Keeping it Dry

In addition to making sure the parts are completely dry before reassembling the blender, you should also take care not to expose the base to water—even if it’s unplugged. And when you wipe down the face of the unit, do it with a damp cloth—rather than a sopping wet one—as water can seep into any openings between the raised knobs or buttons if the cloth is too wet.

Caring for Rubber Gaskets

When rubber ages or is heavily used, especially thin rubber like the kind used in gaskets and lids, it starts to deteriorate and show wear by becoming brittle. It loses its flexibility and can crack, disabling the seal on your blender’s lid or blade assembly. To extend the life of your rubber gaskets, you can occasionally wipe them down with vegetable oil.

Lightening the Load

A blender can get more years of service if you don’t make it work too hard. If you do things like ensuring enough liquid has been added before blending and using the right speed or program for the job, your blender won’t be pushed past its capabilities. And when your blender doesn’t have to work any harder than it has to, you’ll see a longer lifespan for both the motor and the blades. So when you need to crush ice, use pulse on high speed or even better, use the ice crushing program if it has one. This also means being mindful of the blender’s power capability and steering clear of blending tasks that are meant for higher-powered models. Furthermore, you can also lighten the load on your blender by cutting your ingredients (especially the harder ones) into smaller chunks so the blades won’t have to work as hard as they would on larger pieces.

Checking for Broken or Malfunctioning Parts

Lastly, checking your blender for broken or malfunctioning parts can help you stay on top of your blender’s health. Depending on the symptom, some parts can be replaced (like leaky rubber gaskets) or tweaked (like blades that stick) but sometimes they require replacement (like a cracked pitcher or dull blades). On newer models, replacement parts are available from the manufacturers and third-party vendors. But if it’s an older model, you might find it cheaper to replace the entire blender.

Blender Part Problems to Watch:

  • Leaky rubber gaskets (Replace)
  • Dull blades (Replace)
  • Bent blades (Replace)
  • Sticking blades (Lubricate the blade shaft.)
  • Faulty switches (Replace)
  • Cracked pitcher (Replace)
  • Leaking lid (Replace)
  • Blade shaft and bearing (Replace)

Maintenance Tip:
If the blades don’t seem to be performing as they once did, they could have dulled and should be replaced as dull blades cannot be resharpened. Also, replace a cracked pitcher—attempting to glue or repair a crack in the pitcher is unsafe.

Why is My Jar Still Cloudy?

OK so you’ve cleaned and scrubbed and at the very least followed all cleaning instructions to a T. So what gives? Well, most likely the ingredients you’ve been blending are to blame. Foods like grains, coffee beans, rice, legumes or nuts can scratch up your plastic pitcher and leave it looking less than new. And remarkably, even some greens, protein powders, and spices can do the same thing. If this starts to make things unappetizing for you, it might be time to try a glass blender or to replace your blender’s pitcher.