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How to Clean an Air Fryer, Chemex, and Other Tricky Kitchen Tools

August 2nd, 2021

Why does it seem like your favorite kitchen tools are always the hardest to clean? If you find yourself wondering if the juice is worth the squeeze—quite literally—when it comes to cleaning your juicer (and all its accompanying parts), you’re definitely not alone.

Instead of skipping your morning French press because of its confusing clean-up or worrying about missing potential bacteria inside your food processor, commit these kitchen hacks to memory to help execute even your trickiest kitchen cleanups with confidence. With a bit more know-how (and some natural cleaning essentials from Thrive Market), you’ll be able to navigate all your favorite kitchen gadgets like a pro.

How to clean a Chemex:

You’ll need: Distilled white vinegar, unscented dish soap, long-handled bottle brush 

  1. Remove the wooden pieces by untying the leather cord 
  2. Fill the Chemex with equal amounts of white vinegar and warm water 
  3. Let the mixture sit overnight to remove the coffee oils that may be on the sides of the Chemex
  4. Dump out water and vinegar mixture 
  5. Scrub the Chemex with the dish brush while running clean, warm water inside 
  6. Wash again with dish soap and rinse well 

How to clean an air fryer:

You’ll need: Sponge, baking soda, dish soap, soft scrub brush

  1. Remove the baskets and pans and allow them to soak in hot, soapy water for at least 10 minutes 
  2. Scrub with a non-abrasive sponge to remove grease or food residue
  3. For any hard-to-remove spots, make a paste using baking soda and water and scrub with a soft-bristled brush
  4. Clean the inside of the air fryer with a non-abrasive sponge, then wipe down with a dry towel
  5. Allow all pieces to dry completely before reassembling 

How to clean a toaster oven or convection oven:

You’ll need: Dish soap, small cleaning brush or toothbrush, baking soda, cleaning vinegar (or distilled white vinegar)

  1. Remove all racks and trays and allow them to soak in hot, soapy water for at least 10 minutes 
  2. Use a toothbrush or other small brush to remove any crumbs inside the toaster oven (including inside any cracks or crevices) 
  3. Wipe the interior of the oven with a rag soaked in soapy water (Note: do not scrub with an abrasive sponge, as it could remove the non-stick coating)
  4. Remove the racks from the water and scrub them with a soft brush to remove any oils or caked-on food 
  5. To remove grease from the glass on the oven door, create a paste of baking soda and water and scrub with a soft brush 
  6. If the glass is still greasy, spray a bit of white vinegar on the surface and wipe away
  7. Allow the racks and interior to dry completely before placing the racks back inside the oven  

How to clean a drip coffee maker:

You’ll need: Distilled white vinegar

  1. Fill the coffee maker’s water reservoir with a mixture of half water and half distilled white vinegar
  2. Turn the coffee maker on and let it brew halfway through a brewing cycle
  3. At the halfway point, turn the coffee maker off and allow the mixture to soak for at least 30 minutes 
  4. Turn the coffee maker back on and allow it to finish its brewing cycle
  5. Dump the vinegar mixture
  6. Run one more brewing cycle with pure water 
  7. Wipe the coffee pot with a clean towel 

How to clean wooden cutting boards:

You’ll need: A dish brush or sponge, dish soap

  1. After using a wooden cutting board, run it under the hottest water possible to remove all debris (Note: never soak a wooden cutting board, as this can cause the wood to crack
  2. Take a brush or sponge and scrub your cutting board with a small amount of dish soap, concentrating on areas with built-up food debris
  3. Allow to dry thoroughly in open air
  4. When you clean your cutting boards, inspect the wood to make sure  there are no cracks, which can become breeding grounds for bacteria

How to clean a blender:

You’ll need: Dish soap, bottle brush

  1. For a quick clean, fill the blender halfway with warm water a few drops of dish soap
  2. Turn the blender on high speed and allow the mixture to remove any residue from the walls of the blender (Note: make sure the lid is securely fastened to avoid overflow
  3. Dump the soapy water, then rinse the blender a final time
  4. For a deeper clean, use a long-handled dish brush to scrub the sides of your blender, being careful to avoid the blades 

How to clean a food processor:

You’ll need: Dish soap, soft rag or sponge, bottle brush, baking soda

  1. After each use, remove the blades and carefully wash them by hand using a soft towel and some dish soap (Note: food processor blades typically can’t go in the dishwasher, as the heat could warp the plastic component or dull the blades
  2. To clean inside the food processor’s container, fill it halfway with warm water and a few drops of dish soap, then run on a low setting 
  3. Dump the soapy water, then rinse the container with clean water to remove any excess soap 
  4. If you notice that your food processor has an unpleasant smell, it could be mold; in this case, soak the container in a mixture of water and baking soda for at least 10 minutes, then rinse 

How to clean a reusable water bottle:

You’ll need: Bottle brush, unscented dish soap, distilled white vinegar

  1. For daily cleaning, fill the bottle halfway with a mixture of warm water and a few drops of unscented dish soap 
  2. Scrub the interior of the water bottle with the bottle brush, taking extra care around mouth opening
  3. Dump the water mixture and rinse the bottle thoroughly with clean water 
  4. Allow the bottle to dry upside down overnight 
  5. If your bottle begins to smell, clean it more thoroughly by soaking it overnight in a mixture of half water and half white vinegar

How to clean a juicer:

You’ll need: Dish brush, sponge, dish soap, towel, all-purpose cleaner spray

  1. Disassemble the juicer and discard (or, preferably, compost!) any pulp that may be in the container 
  2. Soak the container, lid, plunger, and any other non-electric components for a few minutes in a sink of soapy water 
  3. Take a sponge and scrub any pulp off each plastic part of the juicer
  4. For the metal strainer and any metal grinding components, use a more abrasive dish brush to remove any built-up pulp 
  5. Dry each piece carefully with an absorbent towel to avoid mold growth 
  6. To clean the electric base of the juicer, spritz the base with a gentle kitchen cleaner and wipe with a soft towel 

How to clean a French press:

You’ll need: Rubber spatula, dish soap, bottle brush 

  1. Empty the grounds using a rubber spatula and toss them in the compost bin or trash can 
  2. Add a few drops of dish soap and fill the French press halfway with warm water, then give it a few plunges 
  3. Dump the soapy water and rinse the French press thoroughly 
  4. Scrub the carafe and plunger (especially the mesh part) with dish soap and a bottle brush 
  5. Give all components one final rinse
  6. Allow to dry upside down before re-assembling 

How to clean a stand mixer: 

You’ll need: Dish soap, absorbent towel, toothbrush

  1. Remove the beaters, whisk, or any other attachment immediately after using and soak in a sink of warm, soapy water to prevent food from drying 
  2. While some mixer attachments are dishwasher-safe, you may choose to hand-wash your attachments using hot, soapy water 
  3. Wash the mixer’s bowl by hand or place it in the dishwasher 
  4. Using a damp cloth, wipe down the entire surface of the mixer to prevent build-up from clogging the cracks and electronic components
  5. If the exterior of your mixer is particularly dirty, you may take a dry toothbrush to clean the vents and other hard-to-reach places 

How to clean Stasher bags or other reusable silicone bags:

You’ll need: Dish soap, distilled white vinegar, bottle brush

  1. Avoid turning your Stasher bags inside out, as this can damage the bonded edges and make them less strong 
  2. After each use, shake out all food particles
  3. Using a long-handled bottle brush, wash the inside of your Stasher bag with dish soap and warm water to prevent mold from growing
  4. To remove a strong smell, soak your bags in a 50/50 mixture of warm water and white vinegar for a few hours 
  5. As an alternative, you may also bake (yes, bake!) your silicone bags in the oven on at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about eight minutes to remove smells
  6. To naturally remove stains from your Stasher bags, allow them to sit in the sunlight for a few hours for a natural bleaching effect

How to clean a garbage disposal: 

You’ll need: Garbage disposal cleaning pods

  1. If you notice an unpleasant smell coming from your garbage disposal, run some hot water, toss a cleaning pod inside, and run the disposal like you normally would to remove build-up and nix odor  

How to clean reusable beeswax food wrap:

You’ll need: dish soap 

  1. Clean your food wraps by hand using cool water and alcohol-free dish soap (Note: hot water and dish soap containing alcohol may melt or damage the beeswax coating and make the wraps more difficult to clean)
  2. Lay the food wrap flat to dry thoroughly before folding and storing or reusing

How to clean metal straws: 

You’ll need: Straw cleaning brush, dish soap

  1. Rinse the straw under warm water, holding the straw upright and allowing residue to flow out the bottom
  2. With a straw cleaning brush, thoroughly clean both the top and bottom holes of the straw 
  3. Use a few drops of liquid dish soap to clean the exterior of the straw, and allow the soap to flow through the length of the straw’s interior 
  4. Give the straw a final rinse before drying 

How to clean reusable coffee filters: 

You’ll need: Unscented dish soap

  1. Discard any coffee grounds in the compost bin or trash 
  2. Give the coffee filter a thorough rinse, brushing away any leftover grounds
  3. Use a few drops of unscented dish soap and gently scrub your coffee filter, taking care to rinse the soap out thoroughly 
  4. Allow to dry overnight by hanging or draping the filter so it doesn’t grow mold in any folded areas  
  5. Every other week or so, boil your cloth coffee filters for about 10 minutes to remove built-up oils from coffee.

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Amy RobertsAmy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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