Cleaning a Juicer
Wondering what’s the best way to clean a juicer? Look no further. Simply follow the 8 easy steps below.
These steps use no harsh chemicals – just inexpensive, naturally-effective ingredients you probably already have at home.
And there’s more.
You’ll also learn about why it’s so important to clean your juicer, and common mistakes to avoid. By the time you’re done, you’ll be a juicer-cleaning pro!
Let’s get started.
Cleaning a juicer with vinegar or baking soda
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Disassemble the juicer.
2. Clean out any pulp in the pulp filter.
3. Rinse each part with clean water.
4. Use a mini scrub brush to remove pulp and dried residue from the inside crannies. (To remove stubborn residue, soak in water with natural dish soap for a few minutes).
5. Using all-natural dish soap, wash all the parts thoroughly. Using a 100% natural dish soap will prevent toxic chemical residue from ending up inside your next juice.
Watch this video for more details:
Learn more about chemicals in conventional dish soap in this post.
6. Now it’s time to get rid of any microbial buildup on the juicer parts. In a dishwashing pan (such as this one), mix one part water to one part vinegar. Soak the juicer parts in the mixture for 30 minutes.
(Don’t want to use vinegar, or don’t have any? You can use one part baking soda to 9 parts water instead.)
7. Rinse the juicer parts with clean water and let them air dry. (Air drying is more sanitary than towel drying; click here to learn why).
8. Reassemble the juicer.
Done – now you’re ready to enjoy a clean juicer!
Why cleaning your juicer is important
While we drink freshly-squeezed juice because we care about our health, cleaning your juicer regularly is equally important for your health.
You see, fresh fruits and vegetables often arrive in your kitchen contaminated with pathogens, according to the CDC.
That’s why you should always wash your produce carefully (with all-natural dish soap) before juicing them.
It is possible that some of those pathogens might survive the washing process, making their way into the juice.
For most people, drinking freshly-pressed juice made from carefully-washed produce won’t make them sick, even if a couple of pathogenic microbes do make their way through. Most people’s immune systems can easily vanquish a small number of invaders.
However, a larger “dose” of disease-causing microbes can more easily overpower your immune system and make you ill.
One way that could happen is by drinking fresh-pressed juice that has been sitting around for awhile. That time-lapse would allow the microbes that made their way into your juice a golden opportunity to multiply.
Another way is through contaminated juice residue that hangs around on your juicer itself.
A Spanish study found that juicers are breeding grounds for bacteria.
Think about it: juicers contain lots of nooks and crannies.
Combined with moisture and the nutrients that come from fruits and vegetables, those nooks and crannies are a haven for harmful bacteria to colonize.
In fact, 43% of the juicers that the Spanish researchers sampled contained high enough levels of disease-causing bacteria such as Salmonella to fail the European Union’s food-safety standards.
That’s why it’s so important to clean your juicer regularly with vinegar or baking soda, using the 8-step method described above.
Can vinegar and baking soda really clean a juicer?
That’s a fair question! Here’s what the research says.
A number of studies have confirmed the cleaning power and antimicrobial properties of vinegar, making it an excellent natural alternative to toxic synthetic chemical cleaners.
Over the years, researchers have confirmed that vinegar:
- is effective at killing E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
- kills 98.6% of all microbes inside kitchen sponges
- kills bacteria that cause tuberculosis if applied for 30 minutes
Not bad for an inexpensive, nontoxic, all-natural ingredient!
You don’t need to buy a special kind of vinegar; just your standard household vinegar works great (like this one right here).
But as you’ve probably guessed from our 8-step method above, vinegar isn’t the only natural juicer cleaner most folks keep at home.
Baking soda is also a powerful cleaning agent that works great on juicers.
A team of scientists found that applying baking soda to a surface for just five minutes is capable of killing pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, and E. coli.
Other studies have confirmed that baking soda is able to kill 99.99% of certain viruses within a single minute.
In fact, it’s so effective at killing bacteria that you can even use baking soda to brush your teeth (which says something because bacteria are what causes plaque).
But why use ingredients like vinegar or baking soda? Why not bring out the big chemical guns? Let’s take a closer look!
Never clean a juicer with harsh chemicals
We’ve noticed that there’s a lot of confusion circulating on the internet about what cleaners are safe to use in a juicer.
The list below include all harsh cleaners that some bloggers out there are recommending as appropriate juicer cleaners – but make no mistake.
Each of these is too dangerous to use.
Never use bleach to clean a juicer. Bleach can severely harm your eyes, lungs, and skin. The residue that it leaves behind inside the juicer will cause diarrhea and vomiting if it ends up in your juice. Steer clear of it. (If you’ve already jumped the gun and gotten bleach all over your juicer, here’s what to do).
2. Denture cleansers
Many people think that because denture cleansers are meant to be used on something you put in your mouth, they must food-safe. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Most denture cleansers contain persulfate, which is a harsh inorganic chemical that creates free radicals and, according to the Environmental Working Group, can harm the immune system. Not something that belongs inside a health-boosting beverage.
3. Isopropyl alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol is a common household disinfectant, but it’s totally unsuitable for cleaning a juicer. The National Research Council’s Committee on Toxicology warns that isopropyl alcohol is lethal if ingested. No way do you want even the smallest amount of that in your juice!
Borax is another ingredient that should play no role in cleaning your juicer. It’s been proven to irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs, and also to cause havoc when ingested. Keep borax out of your juicer.
Time-saving tops for cleaning your juicer
No matter how much you enjoy a glass of fresh juice, cleaning up afterwards is a bummer. But these tips and tricks will make it go faster.
Cleaning a juicer tip #1
Place an old towel underneath the juicer to prevent the countertop from getting splashed and save time wiping off stains. Instead, toss the towel in with your laundry.
Cleaning a juicer tip #2
If you’re making a veggie juice, line the pulp collector with a freezer bag (like this one) and save the pulp for your next soup broth. You’ll spend less time cleaning up, and won’t waste the fiber and flavor.
Cleaning a juicer tip #3
Wash your juicer immediately after use. Remember, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Washing up immediately will prevent leftover juice and pulp from drying and save you a ton of work later.
Cleaning a juicer tip #4
Soak the pulp filter in water and natural dish soap. The filter is the most difficult part to clean, and simply soaking it for 5-10 minutes makes washing it so much easier.
Cleaning a juicer tip #5
After cleaning the pulp filter, always hold it to the light to ensure you haven’t missed any stray pulp residue. This will help to prevent your next freshly-made juice from getting spoiled with leftover bits of pulp that have had time to spoil.
And if you REALLY want to take your juicer-cleaning skills to the highest level, avoid these common mistakes:
Mistakes to avoid when cleaning a juicer
- Never place your juicer parts in boiling water to disinfect them. The heat can easily deform any plastic parts and make reassembling the juicer impossible.
- Avoid scratching off dried pulp with sharp objects. Doing so can cause chemicals inside the plastic parts to leech into the juice. (Psst: that’s why you need a mini scrub brush!)
- Never towel-dry the parts after you’ve washed your juicer. Towels tend to harbor bacteria that would only get rubbed onto the freshly washed parts and multiply there. Air-drying is a more sanitary and less time-consuming option. (Learn more about this here).
Now you know how to clean a juicer
Hopefully this post has expanded your knowledge of how to clean a juicer!
If you’re ready to learn more interesting things about tidying up in the kitchen, then here are 11 dirty things in the kitchen that most people forget to clean.
And: are you tidier than most folks? Find out in this post.
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