How to clean a blender quickly and easily - in five simple steps

With so many delicate moving parts, it’s not that uncommon to wonder how to clean a blender properly. Thankfully the answer is pretty simple...

blender with food in, how to clean a blender
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Learning how to clean a blender might not sound very fun, but it's essential to know how to do it properly, in order to keep yours in tip-top condition for years to come.

The best blenders are pretty magical things. They blitz, puree and pulse at the touch of a button and can transform - among many other things - a whole bagful of fruit and veg into smoothies in seconds. These incredible time-saving devices are so simple to use, that you don’t want to be held back by not knowing how to clean yours – especially if you’ve spent time researching and investing in the right blender for you, or the best hand blender.

The best thing is, cleaning a blender can actually be as simple as using one; there’s no need for specialised cleaning styles to get your blender sparkling - just some straightforward methods in a few simple steps. 

While every effort has been made to ensure this guide is universal, blenders do vary, so please check with the manufacturer if you’re unsure about any section.

How to clean a blender

1. Disassemble the jug

Once you've nailed how to use your blender, you'll need to clean it in order to keep it in good condition. And the first step is simply disassembling it, as you can't wash all of its parts in the same way. In most blender models, separating the two key removable blender components – the jug and lid – merely involves twisting the lid to unclip it. Once this is done, unclip the jug from the stand; on most models this is done by twisting it anti-clockwise to release the mechanism. Finally pull upwards to remove the jug. 

2. Scrape away excess

Now to begin the cleaning process. Fully empty the jug you’ve been using and carefully scrape away any raw food stuff into a compost caddy (if you have one), or any cooked scraps into a food waste bin. Use a small silicone spatula to get in around the blade – the trickiest part to clean – as well as to thoroughly scrape down the inside surface of the jug. Check the lid for excess waste too.  

3. Rinse and repeat

To remove the worst of the remaining food, rinse the lid, jug and blade under warm water before gently washing them using warm soapy water until completely clean. Be careful to avoid touching the blade – you don’t want to damage it, or yourself. Rinse each part again to remove all soapy residue.

4. Try this trick for stuck-on food

Finding it difficult to scrub off stuck-on stubborn food from your blender recipes, in awkward parts of the machine that you just can't reach? Never fear, because there's actually an easy solution. If, after rinsing your blender, some food just isn't coming off, you can use a simple hack to tackle the problem. All you need to do is fill the jar/cup with equal parts water, and equal parts baking powder (or soda). Then, simply turn on your blender for just a few seconds (we'd suggest using the lowest power setting), which will help to dislodge the stubborn mixture. 

Then, pour out the water and baking powder solution and rinse again with warm water and soap and - voilà! Your blender should now be a lot cleaner than it was before.

how to clean a blender

(Image credit: Getty Images)

5. Dry it carefully

There’s nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to drying: simply leave all the pieces of your blender jug on a draining rack or carefully dry them using a tea towel, before returning to its stand. We'd suggest leaving the blade(s) to air dry on the rack, to ensure you don't injure yourself whilst drying.

Important things to note when cleaning your blender

1. Rinse as soon as possible

It might sound obvious, but the easiest way to keep your blender clean is to rinse and wash it immediately after use. Leaving anything food or liquid to dry onto the blade or bowl makes it much harder to wash. However, make sure to detach the blender from the mains electricity before rinsing. 

If this does happen though, it’s not the end of the world. Simply apply the above tricks for washing dried on food off and you'll be good to go. 

2. Don't be too rough

While it’s tempting to use abrasive cleaning tools, such as wire wool, to clean smoothie recipes off of your blender, it’s actually detrimental to the product in the long-run. Abrasive products will scratch plastic surfaces/ jugs in particular, meaning they won’t wear so well and potentially become susceptible to staining. As such, avoid this where possible. 

3. Never put the base in water

It's important not to miss out the base when figuring out how to clean your blender. But remember, you can’t give the full base a wash in the sink (there are far too many electrical elements in play to attempt that) - but you can easily keep it clean without an ill-advised soaking. Depending how dirty it is, it may take a little elbow grease. 

Whichever style of blender you’ve opted for, the treatment is always the same: Wet a soft sponge cloth with warm water and a little washing up liquid, then buff around the base. Take extra care to check for food underneath (that might have made its way around the feet), or anything that might have spilled onto the spinning mechanism in the centre. Once finished, polish using a dry tea towel or cloth, using a firm touch to remove any last fingerprints or water marks. 

4. Don't assume it can go in the dishwasher

Although not technically advised by many brands, in some cases you can put your blender in the dishwasher. However, we’d absolutely recommend checking this with the manufacturer of your particular model before attempting this.

And if you're wondering, now that you've properly cleaned your blender, are smoothies good for you? See our guide.