Rachel asked: How do I clean that brown gunk out of my juicer? I have a juicer that I use five days a week. Although I use it daily, it builds up this brown coating on it, especially in the corners. This brown stuff comes off if I scrub really hard, but I can’t actually reach all of the corners to scrub them well. I was wondering if there was a better way to clean that out? I am pretty sure it comes mainly from carrots, but…
When gunk begins to build up on the walls of the juicer, it means that there are bits of food and juice that are starting to rot and decay. This presents not only an unsightly buildup, but also a health concern as well as it is a prime place for bacteria to grow. Removing the buildup regularly should be part of the cleaning routine. Here are some ways to take the pain out of getting the nooks and crannies of the juicer clean.
Regular Juicer Cleaning
You Will Need:
- Soft brush
- A scrubber (choose one):
- Nail brush or toothbrush
- Baking soda
- Dry rice or salt
- Mild dish soap
- Soft cloths
Steps to Clean the Juicer:
- Begin by unplugging the juicer.
- Disassemble the juicer as much as possible. If you are unsure about how to disassemble your juicer, the intruction book can usually be found online by searching for your brand and model of juicer.
- Dump the bin or container that catches the pulp and scrape it out with a spatula.
- Rinse each piece under running water.
- Use small brushes to clean the small areas, such as a nail brush or old toothbrush. If those don’t work, there are some mini scrub brushes that can found online and used to clean the nooks and crannies. Another option is to use dry rice or salt with a little water; swishing it around can act as a scrubber. A little baking soda on a damp cloth also works well for improved scrubbing power.
- For more thorough cleanings, fill the sink with water and add dish soap.
- Soak each piece for a few minutes and then wash with a brush or soft cloth.
- Pay special attention to the mesh strainer as this can quickly build up with pulp and juice debris. Do not allow the juice particles to dry in this fine screen or they will require a lot of elbow grease and attention to detail to clean.
- Use a soft cloth or sponge moistened with water to wipe down the machine itself. Although the juice is designed to go through a certain route in the juicer, juice and pulp will end up everywhere.
- Allow all of the pieces to dry completely. It is fine to set them on a towel or drying rack.
- Reassemble the juicer.
- You’re set for the next juicing session.
Removing Tough Residue
If you have allowed your juicer to sit for a while without cleaning and the residue has become dry and difficult to remove, follow the steps below. Using a denture tablet or soaking in white vinegar can also work to remove stains.
You Will Need
- Enzyme dish liquid
- Denture tablets
- White vinegar
- A bowl
- A spray bottle
Steps to Remove Tough Residue:
- First, unplug the juicer.
- Take it apart and clean it as well as you can with the methods above in the Regular Juicer Cleaning section. Instead of using your regular dish liquid though, use one that contains enzymes, such as The Laundress or Dawn Ultra Platinum. The enzymes in these products work to break down the built-up food.
- Once you have cleaned the juicer as much as possible, set the parts that still have residue on them in an empty sink or bowl.
- Cover the parts with water to soak and drop in a couple denture tablets. Let the tablets fizz for as long as needed.
- If the residue is stubborn, mix equal amounts of white vinegar and milk. If you don’t have both, you can try using just one or the other.
- If using a bowl to soak the remaining items, fill the bowl with the vinegar mixture. If you don’t have enough of the mixture to soak the juicer parts, put the vinegar mixture in a spray bottle and spray it onto residue. The enzymes in the milk work to break down the juice residue, as does the acid in the vinegar.
- Soak the items for as long as needed for the residue to become loose and easy to scrub away. If using a spray bottle, you may need to spray the surface several times to ensure it stays wet long enough to work.
- Another option is to use salt water. Warm as much water as needed and add a teaspoon of salt for every quart of water. Stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure the salt dissolves.
- Soak the juicer parts in the salt water for as long as needed to soften the residue so that it can be easily scrubbed away.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Juicers that are used regularly can quickly become tiresome to clean. This is why so many juicers end up stashed in the cupboard with the other appliances. When purchasing a juicer, look at the cleaning methods and consider how much time will be involved before committing to that particular model.
- Prompt cleaning makes a world of difference. Fresh juice and pulp will easily wash away with warm water. However, juice and pulp that is allowed to dry will become “glued” to the walls and be much more difficult to remove. Most juicers only take 2-5 minutes to clean properly, so plan it into your morning schedule.
- If there are any metal parts on your juicer that need to be soaked, don’t let them soak for too long or they could rust.
- If you forget to clean the juicer and gunk is allowed to build up, one site user recommends using a fine grade of sand to scour the gunk out of the small holes in the juicer. For slightly larger areas, dry rice could also work.
- Soaking the residue in alcohol, such as vodka, can also work to soften or remove it.
- Check the care instructions before placing any parts into the dishwasher. While some removable parts can tolerate it just fine, others cannot handle mechanical washing methods. If the model requires hand washing, it will void the warranty if the parts are placed in the dishwasher.
- If you use your juicer several times a day, it will only need to be cleaned after the last juicing. For the time in between, soak the pieces in water or wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator.
- Do not place the base of the juicer in the water.
- If you are unable to fully clean any part of your juicer, you may be able to order a replacement part for it from the company.
- Natural Green Home Cleaning for Beginners by R. Kishore
- Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic by Joey Green
- Extraordinary Uses for Orginary Things by Reader’s Digest
- The Complete Household Handbook by Good Housekeeping