How to Clean Your Blender (Vitamix, Blendtec, OmniBlend, etc.) in Two Minutes or Less

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Today’s post on cleaning your blender in two minutes or less is a tip that, while not quite revolutionary, might just change your life for the better. Using this tip has definitely improved mine!

You see many of us who are trying to eat healthier count on our blenders daily. Whether our blender is of the department store variety or a more durable, powerful, and efficient high-speed blender like a VitamixBlendtec, or OmniBlend, we need it to be ready for us when the mood hits for a green smoothie or a chocolate milkshake, or any other recipe that requires use of a blender. And after we use our blenders to create these recipes, we don’t want to spend lots of time cleaning our blenders, before they’ll be at the ready for our next blending endeavor, right?

I don’t know about you but when I decide I want a smoothie or some other blended creation, it’s usually immediately after my hunger pangs hit. Time is of the essence. Having a clean, ready-to-go blender is critical to keeping the hunger beast at bay.

Unfortunately, I also happen to be the queen of making something delicious in my blender and then walking away while the remnants dry and become virtually impossible to remove without soaking, scrubbing, etc. So more than once I’ve headed to the kitchen to make an incredible blender creation only to discover that my blender pitcher is still dirty or (the more likely scenario) still soaking from my last blending event. Sigh.

Who wants to deal with that occurrence? Thankfully, that’s all in the past for me now. I am a reformed woman and today I am going to show you how you, too, can avoid the same pitfalls of blending and how you can clean your blender in two minutes or less! Really.

The Back Story

When my good friend Diane (The Whole Gang) and a bunch of gluten-free friends came to visit last summer, we conducted the inaugural run of my Vitamix. As some of you might recall, all the Home for the Holidays contributors had given me my Vitamix as a “hostess gift” the previous Christmas when I had hosted the Home for the Holidays event. (Yes, I really have amazing blogger friends!)

After we’d emptied the Vitamix, Diane gave us all a cleaning lesson, reminding me of a tip that I had used faithfully in the past, but had forgotten about over time. It’s pretty simple really. After blending your concoction du jour, you simply add hot water and liquid dishwashing detergent to your blender pitcher, blend, empty, rinse, and drain.

Here are some quick snapshots I took when making one of my recent Creamsicle smoothies (recipe to be shared soon) and then quickly cleaning my Vitamix pitcher via this terrific, easy method. I’m sharing the “before” photos because I want you to see just how “coated” my pitcher was before I cleaned it using this method. Let’s walk through this super simple process step by step, shall we?

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Initially the Pitcher Doesn’t Look That Messy, Does It?

Initially, the pitcher doesn’t look that messy or hard to clean. But then I forget to slowly turn up the speed, hitting “High” suddenly. Now the insides of the pitcher are completely covered, even though the contents only fill it halfway.

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A Blender Full of Creamsicle Smoothies After Hitting the “High” Button Means a Messy Pitcher

So let’s get to the cleaning part! Again, it’s so simple really. After pouring out all the contents of your blender, add just a little liquid dish detergent. And I mean just a little. Look at the second photo below.  That little drizzle of dish detergent is all that’s needed. The blender will do its magic with the water and make a small amount go a long way in its cleaning.

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Add Some Liquid Dish Detergent to the Blender Pitcher

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See That Little Dribble? … That’s All It Takes

Do a quick rinse of the lid under running water and then fill blender pitcher about a half to two-thirds full with hot water. As I’m filling the pitcher, I use my clean fingers under the running water to help clear off any mixture that’s on the rim. Turn blender on at low speed increasing to a higher speed and then flipping onto High for several more seconds. You will be able to tell if the pitcher is clean, by the lack of  any contents left on the sides.  Run an additional 30 seconds if needed. (Note that I didn’t get a photo of the blender with the foamy, bubbly cleaning soap mixture while it was running, but I will do that in the future and add it here when I do.)

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Fill Vitamix about Two-Thirds Full with Water

Turn off blender, empty pitcher into sink, and give both lid and pitcher another quick rinse under hot water.  Admittedly, I’m a bit phobic about leftover soap on my dishes, so I never skip this step. As you can see, your once coated blender pitcher and lid are both now shiny clean!

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You Can See That Your Blender Pitcher and Lid Are Both All Clean

Turn pitcher and lid upside down to drain on appropriate drying surface.

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Drain As You See Fit On Counter, Drying Rack, or …

Quickly wipe down the base of your blender with your dish cloth. Then, if you have enough room for under cabinet storage like I do, you can place a glass or plastic container over the housing of the base of the blender (to protect it from water seeping in) before placing the pitcher upside down over all. In my kitchen, there’s not enough room under my cabinets for the lid to also fit on top, so I place that on an appliance beside my Vitamix (usually either my ice cream maker or my toaster oven).

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Vitamix Pitcher Draining on Base (with Housing Protected with Tupperware Container)

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Vitamix Draining on Base in Place Under Cabinet

That’s it! Go forth and make many delicious recipes in your Vitamix, or other blender, and then use this 2-Minute Clean-up Procedure to ensure that you never ever have an “unready” Vitamix again. Believe me … if this simple, common sense method has worked for me, it will work for you!

p.s. Bonus Kitchen Tip:  I store my liquid dish detergent in a decorative oil cruet. It looks so much more attractive and no squeezing is required; you simply turn the bottle over until as much detergent as you need comes out. I keep mine on my sink between my hand soap dispenser and my scouring pad holder (other than when I’m taking photos of it!). Only one person has ever mistaken my liquid dish detergent for olive oil and that was a man who had never been in my house before. He simply inquired why I had olive oil by my sink. At the time, the liquid dish detergent that I was using was golden in color, so from that point on, just to be safe, I started purchasing liquid dish detergent that was a different color from olive oil.

Liquid-Dish-Detergent-in-Oil-Cruet

This post is linked to Allergy-Free Wednesdays.

Shirley
Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.

Comments

31 Responses to “How to Clean Your Blender (Vitamix, Blendtec, OmniBlend, etc.) in Two Minutes or Less”

  1. Ricki on August 17th, 2013 4:47 pm

    Love it, Shirley! That’s how I clean my VitaMix, too. We also don’t have enough room for the lid to fit, but I figured out that if I just place the lid on top, but UPSIDE DOWN, then slide the whole machine with lid under the cabinet, it fits!! Try it and let me know if it works for you! :D xo

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:28 pm

      Rats, Ricki! I don’t have enough room under my cabinet to do that. :-( So I will have to continue with my current method, but thanks for sharing! Some readers might be able to use your method. ;-)

      xo,
      Shirley

  2. Vicky on August 17th, 2013 5:05 pm

    What a great idea to share this tip!! This is exactly how I clean mine! I do periodically take it to bits to clean all the parts though, just in case!

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:29 pm

      Thanks, Vicky! It seems most folks do already know this trick. ;-) And, yep, periodic, more intensive cleaning might be advised. :-)

      Shirley

  3. Brandae on August 17th, 2013 6:17 pm

    Thanks for the tips! Any suggestions on how to remove coffee staining from the plastic container?

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:31 pm

      You’re welcome, Brandae! Since we’ve already exchanged emails on the remedy for coffee stains, I’ll defer to later on that one on gfe. ;-)

      Shirley

  4. Cheryl Harris on August 18th, 2013 12:09 pm

    love the easy tips and reminders!

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:32 pm

      Thanks, Cheryl. We all need both, right? ;-)

      Shirley

  5. Jennette on August 18th, 2013 3:03 pm

    This is totally brilliant! I have a Vitamix and I’m going to try this the next time I make a smoothie.

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:33 pm

      Hey Jennette–I’m sure you’ve tried this method by now. Hope you loved it! ;-)

      Thanks,
      Shirley

  6. Louise on August 18th, 2013 7:18 pm

    Do you take the bottom off and clean the blade and under the seal?

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:34 pm

      Hi Louise–Rarely do I completely disassemble mine. If you stay on top of cleaning right after each use via this method, it’s pretty effective.

      Shirley

  7. Maggie on August 18th, 2013 9:03 pm

    I don’t know why I don’t do this more often Shirley! Thanks for reminding me of such a great tip. xo

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:36 pm

      You’re welcome, dear! Hope it makes your life simpler! :-)

      xo,
      Shirley

  8. Ina gawne on August 19th, 2013 9:57 pm

    Shirley – you are sooo lucky to have received a Vitamix as a gift! I must admit, my second hand 15.00 Cuisinart has not been a disappointment…it too has been a power house! We have smoothies just about every day. At first I was quite paranoid about gluten contamination. So when I first brought it home, I cleaned it meticulously with hot soapy water. Then I carefully added 1/4 full of boiling water and let it rip. After that I put it into the dishwasher. It came out sparkling clean! Don’t honestly know how I managed all these years without it!

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:37 pm

      Ina–You got a bargain! So glad you made it work for you and it’s still going strong! :-) I agree that I am a lucky girl AND with your statement on not knowing what you did without it. ;-)

      Shirley

  9. InTolerant Chef on August 20th, 2013 3:28 am

    Great idea indeed Shirley! Do you have any tips on cleaning a cold juicer too? They can be a real hassle!

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:40 pm

      InTolerant Chef–Happy to pass on this tip, but hmmm on the juicer. With some of my gluten-free girlfriends here, we juiced all weekend (well, I should say, one dear friend juiced and some others helped her chop veggies and fruit, while I just enjoyed all the fruits of their labor. ;-) I know that the friend who owned the juicer cleaned it immediately and she had a special toothbrush to help her. Sadly, that is all I know. :-(

      Shirley

  10. Kim-Cook It Allergy Free on August 22nd, 2013 11:36 am

    Love it, Shirley! That is how I clean mine too. I actually have the cabinet height container which is the same size volume-wise but is actually shorter and fatter instead. So, I can just barely squeeze my lid on and have it fit under the cabinet. LOL
    Love your tips!

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:45 pm

      Oooh, that’s a nice option, Kim! And thanks for the sweet feedback as always! :-)

      xo,
      Shirley

  11. The Crunchy Urbanite on August 25th, 2013 11:01 pm

    What about the layer of organic build-up underneath the rubber ring at the base? I find the only way to get that is to still disassemble my blender.

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:46 pm

      The Crunchy Urbanite–You can certainly–and should–do a more extensive cleaning periodically, but this method works for a long period of time if one is diligent about it. ;-)

      Shirley

  12. Kate @ Eat, Recycle, Repeat on August 25th, 2013 11:14 pm

    this is such a great idea! I always seem to have leftover crusted stuff when I try to wash my blender by hand. I wonder if it would work on my mini food processor? Probably a little more counter mess. And I love the soap dish idea too!

    • Shirley on August 26th, 2013 1:50 pm

      Hi Kate–Thanks! The crusted stuff comes from letting it sit for even a few minutes. :-( Best to hop on the hot water and dish soap right away! I’m not sure about the food processor since it’s not designed for all liquid, is it? I know I wouldn’t use this method of my mini chopper. I think it would damage it as well as make a big mess. Glad you love the soap idea! It’s not mine. I saw it years ago and just started doing it and loved it. :-)

      Shirley

  13. Sharon Mc. on August 28th, 2013 5:11 pm

    I almost always clean my blender when I’m done but I have to admit…I have a dirty blender waiting for me at home! I made a smoothie to enjoy on the way into work this morning and of course was rushing out the door. I’ll wish I had taken the time to clean it when I get home!
    Hugs,
    Sharon

    • Shirley on August 30th, 2013 12:29 am

      I was just thinking of you, Sharon, and up popped your comment! :-) Believe me, I know about rushing out the door after making smoothies. I, too, loved sipping one in the car on the way to work. This is another task that has to become a habit, but do it once or twice and see how quickly you can do it and I think you’ll become a convert! ;-)

      Hugs to you, dear!
      Shirley

  14. amber on January 21st, 2014 1:58 pm

    Hi Shirley,

    How did I miss this post!!! I dread cleaning my Vitamix (we have the same one – red and all). I get my hand down in there with the cloth and carefully clean around the blades and think, “There has got to be a better way.” I am going to do this from now on. Great tip. Love it!!

    Hugs,
    –Amber

    • Shirley on January 22nd, 2014 12:38 am

      Hey Amber–So glad you found this tip! It’s life changing really. :-) Occasionally I get distracted and don’t follow my own advice and clean my Vitamix this way immediately and, boy, am I bummed when I have to clean my pitcher the “old-fashioned” way you mention. It’s NO FUN! :-(

      xo,
      Shirley

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