How to Clean a Juicer
Juicing has come a long way in recent decades. While you can still squeeze citrus fruits the old-fashioned way — with your hands — the only way to extract juice from firmer fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and kale is with a juicer.
There are three basic types of modern juicers:
- Centrifugal Force: Fruits and vegetables are shredded by blades in a spinning container, The centrifugal force pushes the juice through a fine-mesh strainer and the pulp into a waste container. This is the fastest, loudest, and least expensive type of juicer.
- Masticating or Cold Press: Using a single spiral auger to masticate the produce, this juicer mimics the action of chewing. The juice is slowly extracted into one container while the pulp is extracted into another. This type of juicer is slower but extracts more juice from produce, especially leafy greens and grasses.
- Triturating: Used by professional juice shops, this juicer has two augers that grind the fruits and vegetables into very small particles to extract the juice. It produces the most juice, leaving behind a very dry pulp. This is also the largest and most expensive type of juicer.
No matter which type of juicer you choose, cleaning is essential. Without regular cleaning, small bits of pulp can get trapped in the components and begin to decay, leading to bacterial and mold growth. Luckily, many of the components of a juicer are dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up, and using just a few pantry items can keep your juicer clean and healthy.
How Often to Clean a Juicer
Every type of juicer should be cleaned after every use. The tiny bits of pulp can quickly harden making them much more difficult to remove later. Prompt cleaning will also prevent the decay of food particles. Make a five-minute clean-up part of your daily juicing routine. Though even with daily cleaning, make sure to give the juicer a deeper cleaning weekly.
Always take the time to read the manufacturer's guidelines on how to clean your particular juicer model to prevent damage to components. While most juicers have dishwasher-safe parts, if hand-washing is recommended by the manufacturer, using the dishwasher for cleaning can void the warranty. If you have tossed or misplaced the user guide, you can usually find it online.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- 1 Non-abrasive sponge
- 1 Soft-bristled bottle brush
- 1 Toothbrush
- 1 Spatula
- 1 Microfiber cloth
- 1 Dishwasher
- 1 Dishwashing liquid
- 1 Dishwasher detergent
- 1 Baking soda
- 1 Distilled white vinegar
Before you begin the cleaning process, turn off and unplug the juicer from the wall outlet.
Disassemble the Juicer
Remove the juice and pulp collection containers. Disassemble the juicer to access the grinding mechanism, strainer, lid, and plunger.
Empty the Pulp Container
Use a spatula to scrape out the pulp container. The pulp can be used in some recipes, composted, or placed in a trashcan.
Wash or Rinse Components
Fill a sink with hot water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Place the components in the sink and let them soak for two or three minutes. Use a non-abrasive sponge to wash the plastic containers. Use a soft-bristled bottle brush or toothbrush to clean the strainer and around the grinding components. Rinse the clean pieces well with hot water and allow to air-dry or dry with a microfiber cloth to help prevent water spots.
Even if you plan to place the parts in the dishwasher, give them a quick rinse to flush out the pulp particles. This is particularly important for the fine mesh of the strainer.
Clean the Juicer Base
Dampen a non-abrasive sponge with water and wipe down the base of the juicer. Never submerge the base that contains the motors in water! Dry with a microfiber towel.
Reassemble the Juicer
Once every component is clean and dry, reassemble the juicer and you're ready for the next use.
Weekly Deep Cleaning
Once a week, or if you have allowed food particles to harden on the components, do a deeper cleaning.
Remove Dried-on Particles
If pulp has been allowed to dry and harden in the juicer components, fill a sink with hot water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid, add the components and allow them to soak for 15 minutes.
Dip a toothbrush or bottle brush in dry baking soda and gently scrub the components. The baking soda will act as a gentle abrasive. Rinse the components often and continue scrubbing until they are clean.
Remove Water Spots and Streaks
If the containers have streaks and water spots, fill them with distilled white vinegar and allow them to soak for 15 minutes. Pour out the vinegar and wipe them down with a non-abrasive sponge. Rinse well and dry with a microfiber cloth.