How to Clean a Food Processor

Washing the Base, Handle, Motor, Blades & Removable Parts

Food processor with chopped nuts inside and cover on the side

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

In This Article
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 25 mins
  • Total Time: 20 - 25 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10-20

Cleaning your food processor may be a tedious task when it's constantly being used to chop, slice, and shred many recipe ingredients that leave food residue behind. However, for a long-lasting appliance, it's important to maintain your food processor by cleaning each piece and the processor itself.

Rinse the bowl and blades after each use for a light cleaning to remove most food. Your food processor should be deep cleaned after every few uses or whenever stubborn food debris becomes stuck to it.

Below, learn how to clean a food processor in 15 minutes along with tips and tricks to keep your appliance in tip-top shape with regular maintenance.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Nylon brush
  • Dish cloths or sponge


  • Mild dish soap
  • Baking soda


Mild dish soap bottle, yellow sponge and cloth, next to bowl of baking soda and yellow nylon brush

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

How to Clean a Food Processor

  1. Take the Food Processor Apart


    Unplug the food processor before taking it apart. This appliance, especially the blades, can cause injury to your hands if accidentally turned on during disassembly. Take care in handling the very sharp blades and never leave them within reach of children.

    Food processors have several pieces. Take the appliance apart by removing the top, removing the pusher unit, taking out the blade, and taking the bowl off of the motor. Bits of food can hide in any of these areas and you'll need everything separated in order to clean your food processor. Set the blade aside for special care.

    Food processor separated apart into different sections for cleaning

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Wash the Blade

    You should wash the blade first, immediately after use. This will help keep it sharp as any moisture from ingredients or soaking can dull the blade. This also prevents food from drying inside the crevices or tube attached to the blade. These will be easier to rinse out immediately after use. Taking care not to cut yourself, gently scrub it with a mild soap and a pad. Dry the blade with a dry dish towel so there is no moisture that can lead to rust.

    Food processor blade being cleaned and rinsed under running water

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  3. Wash the Removable Parts

    All the removable pieces of the food processor, like the bowl, attachments, and handle, can be cleaned in warm water with a mild dish soap. You can let them soak for awhile if you don't want to do wash them immediately. If you can't reach the inside of the handle, you can use a toothbrush or a small cleaning brush to remove food debris.

    Do not scrub the parts of the processor with abrasive cleaners or pads. Alternatively, removable parts besides the metal blades can be washed in the dishwasher on the top rack.

    Removeble parts of food processor washed in kitchen sink with sponge

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  4. Wipe Down the Base/Motor Unit

    Clean your food processor's base and motor area by wiping it down with a damp cloth. Do not submerge this unit in water or pour water over the base/motor unit. A simple wipe down is usually all that is needed. Dilute equal parts distilled white vinegar with water to tackle any odors.

    Remove stains from your food processor with mild dish soap or a baking soda paste. This is especially helpful for stubborn stains from food like red sauce.

    White food processor base wiped down with damp yellow cloth

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  5. Fully Dry and Assemble the Processor

    Dry the pieces of the processor completely. Put it back together and store it away. If you use your food processor on a regular basis, store it on a countertop or in another accessible location.

    Food processor reassembled after drying closeup

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska


  1. If your processor is smelly, mix a 1-to-1 ratio of baking soda and water. Store it in the bowl of the processor for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. The baking soda will absorb the odors.
  2. Nylon brushes can help clean blades without as much danger of cutting yourself. For cleaning tubes, you may want a little wire brush that can get inside the tube.
  3. Be sure to dry all the pieces thoroughly to prevent bacteria growth or damage.
  • Are food processors hard to clean?

    Most food processors are easy to clean once disassembled. All removable parts can be soaked in dish soap with warm water or cleaned in the dishwasher (with the exception of the blades and the motor base).

  • Where should I store my food processor?

    Your food processor can be stored in your kitchen cabinets when not in use. Most importantly, ensure the storage area is free of moisture to prevent rust on the blades. Various blades can be organized on a magnetic strip inside the cabinet, stored in a container, or kept in a pan organizer rack. Just ensure that blades remain out of reach for children.

  • Why does my food processor smell?

    Your food processor may begin to smell after food debris builds up when it is not cleaned properly. Clean the removable parts with dish soap and warm water or an equal mixture of vinegar and water. If the odor coming from your food processor is a burning smell when the appliance is on, it may be overheating from running with dull blades or liquid inside the appliance.