Does the blade on a food processor or blender ever need to be replaced?

Do blender or food processor blades need to be replaced
Getty/Maciej Toporowicz, NYC

Question: Does the blade on a food processor or blender ever need to be replaced?

Answer: Just like you need to sharpen the blade of a knife, it's not surprising that you might wonder if the sharp blades on your food processor also need to be sharpened, or even replaced. To find out if this is the case, we turned to the experts at Cuisinart.

"Blades and discs for our food processors rarely need to be replaced if they are cared for and used properly," says Mary Rodgers, director of marketing communications for Cuisinart and Waring.

The only time you ever need to replace them is if they get damaged by improper use or if they're dropped (and indeed, the Cuisinart website sells these replacement parts, but at around $50 for a food processor blade, they're a bit pricey)

(And if you're trying to decide on the best food processor to buy, read up on Comparing Cuisinart and KitchenAid Food Processors.)

Properly cleaning and caring for your blender and food processor chopping blades will ensure that they'll last for years.

To clean the food processor blades and discs, rinse them immediately after each use so that food won't dry on them, which will make it stick and be harder to remove. To clean blades by hand, wash them in warm soapy water. Use a sponge or a textured scrubber, scrubbing from the center of the metal blade to the edge to avoid cutting yourself.

The harsh detergent and hot water in a dishwasher isn't really good for food processor or blender blades,  even if the instruction manual says they are dishwasher safe, so we recommend always washing them by hand.

 But if you do clean your blades in the dishwasher, put them in the top rack. If they go in the bottom rack of the dishwasher, they could get damaged over time from the intense heat of the water. But 

Never use abrasive cleaners on your blades and discs, says Rodgers.

Related: 10 Cooking Equipment No-Nos

To clean the blades of your blender, remove the blender jar from the motor base by lifting the jar straight up and away. Twist off the locking ring, and separate it from the rubber gasket and the cutting assembly according to your manufacturer's instructions. Wash the cutting assembly in warm soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. For most blenders, the locking ring can be washed in the upper rack of a dishwasher, or wash it in warm soapy water. 

For blenders that do not have a removable blade, immediately after using, fill the blender jar about 1/3 full with warm water and a drop or two of dish detergent. Put the lid on the blender and run it at medium speed for about 10 seconds. Then rinse the blender well with fresh water, using a sponge to wipe any remaining residue from the blade or the interior of the jar. 

So with the proper cleaning and care, your blender and food processor blades should last the life of the appliance itself.