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
This wasn’t really helpful to me, as this is what I do daily. My problem is more of a stain that doesn’t come out, I believe it is from juicing carrots.
There are a couple of different ways to tackle carrot stains in particular.
1. Moisten a paper towel or soft cloth with vegetable oil (any type of oil will work). Then, gently rub the stains away. Paper towels work nicely because they can be folded and twisted to fit into tight areas.
2. Mix one part bleach with one part water. Place the stained area in the solution and allow it to soak for at least an hour, several hours is even better. Wash thoroughly before use. If the area is on the base or other part that cannot be submersed, simply moisten a paper towel with the mixture and lay it on top of the stain.
Oil didn’t do much, just made a mess, but the bleach worked. Thank you. 🙂
To get rid of carrot stains, etc., the best cleaning agents that have worked for me so far are baking soda, lemon juice, and/or vinegar. A paper towel and small dish brush both work really well in aiding to get off build-up. HTH! 🙂
I agree with Rachel. The response to the original topic/question/inquiry did not address the issue. Hundreds of thousands of people using juicers and we’re the only ones experiencing this? I would agree that it might have something to do with carrots, maybe something acidic (?) that leaves a milky-white film on parts. Like all of you, I too wash and clean immediately after use, but cannot imagine using any chemical (i.e., bleach) to assist in removing that film. I also wouldn’t recommend any abrasive tools like metal, which could scratch surfaces and make cleaning even more of a challenge. Lemon juice might neutralize the stain, but I just scrub mine vigorously as best I can and accept the milky-white film. Looks pretty ugly, but I use my juicer all the time so I don’t worry much about any bacteria buildup.
I used the bathroom cleaner, Scrubbing Bubbles, and the stains just wiped away. Works like a charm! ( :
Tim in VA says
I too, know of this stubborn juicing film. One of the best crud cutters I’ve used is a combination of heat, ammonia, and baking soda. I dump all the juicer parts into hot water for a couple of minutes, then use a thin paste of ammonia and baking soda along with a fine-bristle brush to take the film off. A rag with a heavier paste is sometimes necessary for finishing the job to my anal-retentive standards. This is my weekend routine. For the rest of the week, hot water and a brush do the job sufficiently. Interestingly, stainless steel parts still have a carrot-orange tint to them, but they are cleaned to a nearly mirror-like finish, so I know I’m not seeing build-up. Carrot juice is powerful stuff! If you use an abrasive to clean plastic, even a mild one like baking soda, it will become fogged. High-grade automotive rubbing compound and cotton cloth can be used to buff this away, if it matters to you. I no longer care about hazy plastic as long as it’s clean.
I just used vinegar and bi-carbonated soda to get that white, milky, fogged stain off my juicer. How easy, I’m so happy! Just put vinegar on a cloth, then sprinkled bi-carbonated soda on the cloth and wiped. Its gone!
Thanks for the tip Andrew! Vinegar and baking soda did the trick without scrubbing. A quick rinse and dry, and my Breville is as good as new!
Can anyone tell me how to take the blade basket out? Mine is not coming out and the instructions say that it will. I need to clean it and can’t figure this out. Thanks.
I have the same problem and have not figured out how to solve it???
The removal method for each juicer is likely a little different, so it would be best to search online for the method for your specific product. Some juicers have a special tool that is required in order to remove the blades, so if you are unable to find instructions for the blade removal, try searching for a blade removal tool for your product model to see if one exists. Good luck!
Source: Hunker – How to Take Apart the Jack Lalanne Juicer
Source: Hunker – How to Remove a Champion Juicer Cutter Blade
Same issue as Sherry has; the blade basket won’t lift out as the instructions say it should. I own a Dr. Tech MM-600 and have tried prying to no avail. I don’t know how safe it is, but I gave up, took a dish hose and sprayed it clean; turning it upside down to dry. This isn’t the way, but it was the best I could do. If this doesn’t work, it’s a short walk to the trash can, but darn it – this juicer wasn’t cheap. Any advice?
I have used white vinegar to clean the parts and it works well for all except the housing that holds the spout. This part has a cloudy film that can be wiped away so that the plastic looks clear but then returns in seconds. This condition is similar to the plastic lens covers on the headlights of my 1997 car. Cleaning products bought in auto stores for this purpose do not remove this patina and my mechanic tells me it is because the materials in the plastic have undergone chemical change and the resulting condition is permanent.
I soaked the blade basket assembly in a solution of caustic soda for about eight hours (1 liter water to about 15 grams of caustic soda granules).
The basket previously had a brownish haze and almost all the holes were blocked.
After eight hours in the caustic soda, I rinsed it, then scrubbed it and brushed it with a fine brush, washed and and it looks shiny new. 99% of the blade basket filter screen holes are now clear – shiny clean again.
Prior to this treatment, less than 10% of the holes were clear and this was accumulated hardened plant matter built up over time – all cleaned away.
Hi there! What is caustic soda and where can I get it from? Thanks so much for your help.
Caustic soda, also known as lye, is a common name for sodium hydroxide. It is available online or possibly in some stores.
Source: Wikipedia – Sodium hydroxide
Michael M says
I clean my Omega promptly after use every day, but, yes, stains can build up without a deep cleaning. Making certain that your sink is CLEAN (or use a clean 5-gallon bucket), place all of the parts save the base … obviously you don’t want to ruin the electronics … in hot water with a couple of scoops of Oxiclean. The oxigenating action will help get the stains off and will as well make it easier to remove any stubborn gunk that’s been left behind in the nooks and crannies of some less easily cleaned juicers. Not so certain I would soak plastic parts in a bleach solution as doing so can sometimes, depending on the plastic, make it brittle.
NOTE: For the temp of the water for soaking, just use hot out of the tap. Again, scalding hot (boiled) water can damage some plastics, causing them to become brittle over time.
Thank you Stephen above. My problem was the sieve, which spins the juice out of the feeder. It has become about 90% blocked. BTW, I clean in very hot water after each juicing and yes, I agree it is most likely the carrots that are the culprit.
I will try Stephen’s method and report back.
For the person that is having trouble removing the cutter/sieve. Different juicers use different methods of holding the sieve in place, but it must be able to be lifted out. A friend of mine had one which literally took all his strength to pry loose and no matter how long he has had it, it still is hard. Happy juicing to you all.
Denture cleaner tablets work pretty well. Add one tablet to about 12 oz. water; I usually add about six to a small bucket and soak all the parts for about 15 minutes. You will still need to brush and rinse the parts afterward, but this unclogged the holes for me.
After reading many posts about this, I decided to try a tub of hot water with a packet of dishwasher detergent. I soaked for several hours, then scrubbed lightly with a gentle scrubber sponge, and the scum / cloudy residue came off! Very impressive. I rinsed super well. My understanding is that it is the enzymes in the detergent that do the trick.
I could tell that the scum would come off because you can scrape it off with your fingernail. It is some type of vegetable residue. I would not be comfortable using bleach or a non-food cleaner, like Oxiclean. Very happy!