The best way to clean a blender in 7 simple steps

A blender filled with beetroots being run in a kitchen
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Having one of the best blenders in the kitchen can give you the freedom to enjoy delicious smoothies, frozen drinks and healthy soups. But while blenders are versatile, they can also be tricky to clean. Often, they are too large to fit in a dishwasher or may not be dishwasher safe, and trying to clean sharp blades by hand can be awkward. 

Hygiene in the kitchen is paramount, so finding the best way to clean your blender is vital to avoid any risk of nasties from bacteria that grow from food residue left behind. Apart from keeping your blend in good order and extending its life, it will also help to prevent any strong food odors that can settle on the pitcher.

Here, we share details on how to give your blender a clean a blender so you can always be guaranteed a healthy and delicious result.

Tips before you start

We’d always recommend having the best tools for the job as it makes the task easier and quicker. And when you’re rushing about before work or preparing an evening meal, time is precious. So, before you start, make sure you have these items to hand:

A jar of baking soda

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  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Cleaning cloth
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)

Don’t let food residue sit within the blender
When you’ve whizzed up your smoothie or blended your soup, pour the mixture into another container, even if you are not planning to drink the smoothie or heat the soup immediately. Leaving food residue and liquid in the blender will cause it to dry out, making it harder to remove from all the nooks and crannies.

Safety warning
Before cleaning your blender, always unplug your appliance and be particularly cautious when working near the blades, as they are extremely sharp.

1.  Take the blender apart 

Start by removing the pitcher from the base unit — you should be able to remove it by twisting it in an anti-clockwise direction. Then, remove the lid.  

2.  Clean the base of the blender 

Woman wiping the base unit of a kitchen blender

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Wipe over the base unit of the blender with a warm, damp cloth to remove any splashes and food debris. Be careful to clean around the controls. 

3. Rinse the blender 

Black lid of a blender being rinsed under a tap

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Place the pitcher and lid in the sink and rinse with warm water to remove as much food residue as possible. At this stage, you do not need to use any implements to remove the remaining ingredients. The idea is to give the blender a rinse. 

4. Clean the blender 

Fill the blender halfway with hot water from the kettle or tap, and add a few drops of dish soap. Don’t be too enthusiastic about the soap — you’ll find out why soon. Reposition the blender back onto the base unit and secure the lid.

5.  Set the blender to its highest setting 

Someone adjusting the power setting on a blender

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Turn the blender on high speed and leave it to run for about 15-20 seconds. If your blender has a pulse setting, give it a quick burst too. The dish soap will mix in the water and form a foam. Although adding too much soap will cause an overflow of suds, if you’ve been using a recipe that includes oil, such as a salad dressing, you may need to add a few extra drops to help dissolve the grease. 

6. Empty the contents and rinse through

Once the blender has been cleaned, empty the contents and rinse it, removing all the soap suds.  

7. Leave to air dry 

Mother and daughter drying a blender

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Rather than trying to dry the blender and its sharp blades with a dish towel, dry the outside of the blender, then leave it to air dry, ready for its next use.

How to remove stubborn food residue

Chickpeas being mixed with tahini in a blender

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We know it’s not always possible to clean an appliance as soon as it’s been used — life gets in the way. But if left, food and liquid will dry onto the casing and be harder to remove. You may also find that certain foods with thicker consistencies are more difficult to budge, such as nut butter.

If food residue remains after following the above steps, try these quick hacks to give it a deep clean. 

Option 1: Warm water and white vinegar

Add ¼ cup of warm water, ¾ cup of white vinegar

Option 2: Warm water and baking soda

Add ¼ cup of warm water and ¼ cup baking soda

Turn your blender on a high speed and blend the contents for about 15-30 seconds. Then, follow steps 6 and 7 above. 

Make the most of the blender's self-cleaning setting

Some blenders will come with a self-cleaning setting, so if buying one for the first time or replacing an existing blender, check if it has an auto-clean setting. One example is the Breville Super Q Blender, which came out best overall in our best blenders buying guide. 

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Camilla Sharman
Staff Writer, Homes

Camilla Sharman has worked in publishing and marketing for over 30 years and has covered a wide range of sectors within the business and consumer industries both as a feature, content, and freelance writer.  

As a business journalist, Camilla has researched articles for many different sectors from the jewellery industry to finance and tech, charities, and the arts. Whatever she’s covered, she enjoys delving deep and learning the ins and out of different topics, then conveying her research within engaging content that informs the reader. In her spare time, when she’s not in her kitchen experimenting with a new recipe, you’ll find her keeping fit at the gym. In the pool, stretching at a yoga class, or on a spin bike, exercise is her escape time. She also loves the great outdoors and if she’s not pottering about in her garden, she’ll be jumping on her bike for a gentle cycle ride.