Juicing is beneficial in helping you lead a healthier life, and it’s an essential tool if you want to embark on a raw food diet. For many of us, eating a lot of servings of fruits and vegetables are unnatural and hard to start on (especially veggies), so juicing can help us consume them for the nutrients we need. What’s great about juicing is that you can simply drink your vegetables, and you can add some fruits for flavor. But using and maintaining a juicer needs commitment. Some people who have used a juicer struggled to clean it up and thought that a fresh glass of juice isn’t worth the time to clean the juicer. This is why some juicers end up getting stored for years in the cupboard. Yes, a juicer might be a more complex thing to clean than your other kitchen items, but with proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy using it every day to boost your health. A few minutes of cleaning is just a small sacrifice for a longer lifespan.
How to Clean a Juicer
A juicer needs regular cleaning to stay functional and reliable for longer.
To effectively clean your juicer, you will need a soft brush, a scrubber (a nail brush or a toothbrush), a soft scraping tool (like a rubber spatula), dish soap, towels or drying rack, and clean water.
Steps to clean juicer:
- Unplug the juicer.
- Disassemble removable juicer parts. Check your device’s manual or booklet on how to properly do so.
- Take out the pulp bin and scrape out the contents with a spatula. Dump it on a ready biodegradable pulp bag, and use it as a compost later for your garden.
- Rinse each piece of your juicer under running water. Be sure to brush away any debris for easier cleaning. Use small brushes to clean the small areas around your juicer parts as you rinse. Some juicers come with a cleaning brush, so you can use it as well.
- Fill sink or basin with hot water and a little mild dish soap. Soak the pieces for a few minutes, then wash them with brush or soft brush. Pay special attention to the mesh strainer, because it’s the part that gets clogged easily with pulp and juice debris. Don’t allow juice particles to dry in this fine screen because it will be harder to clean.
- Rinse them all out, then place them on a towel or a drying rack. Air drying is more sanitary than using a towel to pat them all dry.
- Check the motor unit and look for any places where grime could hide. Use a soft cloth moistened with water to remove it. Also use this to wipe down the machine itself, because some juice and pulp can end up on it.
- Make sure everything is dry before you can put the parts back together.
How to Remove Tough Residues in a Juicer
If it isn’t your first time to use a juicer and you have already allowed it to sit for a while without cleaning, the residue has become difficult to remove. If that happened with your juicer follow the steps below.
You will need a bowl, denture tablets, white vinegar, milk, salt, enzyme dish liquid and a spray bottle.
Steps to remove tough residues in juicer:
- Unplug the juicer.
- Disassemble juicer parts. Clean it as well as you can using the steps mentioned above on how to clean a juicer. But instead of using a regular dish liquid, use an enzyme dish liquid. Scrub the hard-to-remove gunk with the help of this dish soap.
- Set the parts that still have residue in an empty sink or bowl.
- Fill the sink or bowl with water and drop in a couple of denture tablets. Let the tablets fizz for as long as needed. Denture tablets can help clean them out.
- If the residue is still there, use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and milk. Either soak the parts in there, or put the vinegar mixture on a spray bottle and spray it on to the residue. If you don’t have both, just use any one of the two. The acid in the vinegar and the enzymes in milk can work together to break down the remaining juice residue.
- Let the parts soak into the mixture until the residue becomes loose and easy to scrub away. If you used a spray bottle, spray the surfaces a couple of times more to keep the parts wet until the residue loosens up.
- Wash the parts with soap dish as usual and dry them on a towel or drying rack.
Important Tips for Using Your Juicer
If you want your juicer to last longer, you have to take care of it well as you use it. Here are some practical tips to keep in mind to guide you as you use your machine:
1. Make sure you consider how much cleaning you need to do before buying a juicer
A juicer is a significant investment, especially masticating and twin gear juicers that usually costs around $250 and up. So before you buy a juicer, consider how much cleaning you need to do with it. Juicers that are used regularly can become tiresome to clean, and this is why a lot of juicers end up stashed in the cupboard with other appliances. If fast cleaning is an important factor for you, you can choose single auger, horizontal juicers because they have small juicing screens compared to centrifugal or vertical juicers.
2. Place small amounts of food at a time
To make it easier for you to clean a juicer, it’s better to place small amounts of food at a time. When you insert small amounts, the juicer just needs to be crushed and ground with less effort for the machine, thus you have less food particles that will be stuck at the machine. This is a great way to care for your juicer, even though it says you can insert whole produce on it. If you purchased a powerful juicer, then do insert whole fruits or veggies if the manual says so, but insert food one at a time only.
3. Have pitchers or storage jars ready
Juicing can be messy, especially if you use a juicer with no pitcher included, like some basic citrus juicers. So have your storage containers (and some extra ones if you’re going to juice a lot) on the table to fill up before you start juicing. This way, all you need to do is to fill, seal and store. By the way, the length of time you can store a juice depends on the type of juicer you use. Generally, you can only store a juice in the fridge for maximum of two days.
4. Keep towels at arm’s reach
Before you start juicing, place a paper towel or a drying mat under the juicer chute to protect your counter. Having a towel near you before you start can help you immediately clean up the spills on your kitchen counter.
5. Clean the screens immediately after juicing
Prompt cleaning and washing makes a lot of difference for a juicing screen. If you leave it for later, the tiny pulp bits and some juice residue can dry and seal the holes and make it more difficult to remove. If you can’t clean it immediately, at least soak the screens on a bowl of water until you can wash them.
When it comes to soaking, it’s best to do it in hot soapy water so any residue can be removed. Then brush them clean and rinse. If there are metal parts, don’t keep them soaked for too long because they can rust.
6. Use a strong light source as you clean
To make sure your juicing screen is really clean, look it through a strong light source. Your screen may look clean, but when held up into a light, you may see holes that are clogged even if you clean it regularly. This happens usually to juicers with fine screen and used with hard fruits and root vegetables.
7. Have a pulp bag ready
Cleaning up the pulp can be the most annoying thing to do after making yourself a fresh juice. So, always keep a pulp bag ready and line your juice collector with a biodegradable bag. This way, you can save your pulp and use it as compost, or you can store them in the freezer to make a smoothie or veggie soup.
8. Always dry parts after cleaning
Most tap water has at least some mineral content that can create watermarks or add mineral deposits in the sieve holes of a fine screen. To prevent this, make sure you also dry the machine itself with a towel.