I don’t want to sound overly dramatic but an untidy food processor is heaven on earth for bacteria as it gives them a nice and cozy sugary liquid to stay in. To deny this bacteria party it is not necessary to slave over your kitchen appliances but it is only needed for you to keep them dry and with no food remains.
The second most important reason why it is good to keep your processor clean is the wear of the machine. Keeping your appliance clean will keep your blades sharper, your bowls sparkly and your motor running for years to come.
Now, there are several ways to clean your food processor and different companies propose different solutions but I formulated a simple rule when deciding what kind of cleaning method you will use.
- Is it safe for your fingers?
- Is it clean?
- Is it safe for the appliance?
Use this ”flowchart” every time you wander what is the best way to clean any of your appliances. Sometimes some manufactures will declare that the blades can be machine washed but that is rarely the case and most of the times the blades will become dull after just a few washes.
Here is what you should do when trying to completely clean your food processor:
- Take off all the attachments and the bowl
- Unplug the appliance if it’s electrical
- If it is possible take the processor apart so you can clean the motor separately.
Here you have prepared your food processor for washing, for most purposes you should use a moist cloth with mild water without too much soap.
For most blades it is enough to brush them off with a soapy cloth and pass them trough some cold water. You shouldn’t soak the blades as that can make them dull, also hot water know too dull the blade over time
Word of advice, for the S-shaped blade it is usually better to clean them in the washer as the blades are very sharp and there is a good chance of cutting yourself and, as we said, fingers first.
For other, especially plastic, disks and attachments the mild soapy water will be enough.
The bowl is tricky as you need to make sure that it is clean and dry without any stains or even soap left. The best solution is to use the soft side of the sponge first with some mild to hot water to try to remove all the stains and to later put in just a bit of antibacterial soap in the water.
After you scrub it all down use some mild water to wash away all the soap and go over the whole bowl with a clean damp cloth.
I shouldn’t have to tell you that you should never put the motor in water. In theory it would be best to clean the motor with an air gun but for normal use a clean rag would be enough.
First you should clean the parts that stick out and then you should focus on anything in-between.
If you stumble on any dust bunnies that you can’t reach try blowing them out or using a q-tip.
The base is quite easy to clean if you are able to dismantle it so you have access to all plastic and interior parts.
It is very important that you do not separate parts that are not meant to be separated as some time they, for reasons unknown, refuse to click back together after you are done cleaning. It is also prudent to take a couple of pictures and to have a little bag for any screws you might encounter.
After you took the base apart use a damp cloth with soapy water to clean all the surfaces. You can submerge the plastic parts if they have hard stains but then be sure to dry them up before reassembling as water pockets can be stuck in some holes and they can cause a short circuit.
This can be a real problem, especially for the people using their food processors often and for different kinds of food. Some smells can be obvious and some can be sensed too late when they have already infested your lunch.
Surprisingly the best tip I got on removing these odors did not come from any manufacturer but form my aunt who uses baking soda with water to erase all smells from both the bowl and from the base.
The trick is to fill the half of the bowl with water and to add some (two tea spoons will be enough) baking soda and to leave it like that over night.
Keeping your food processor and, other small kitchen appliances for that matter, clean is important both for your health and for the of the appliance itself and you should do it, at least, once a month. This will keep your food processor running for much longer and can save you a lot of money.
Although most manufacturers recommend machine washing your blades, disks and add-ons you should keep in mind that that often dulls the blades. If you have confidence in yourself that you will not chop your finger off than you should wash all parts by hand.
To prevent odors you can use recommended odor removing products but in my experience backing soda works better and is much cheaper.
One last thing, keep your blades dry. Even if they are steel they are prone to corrosion and there is no reason that a small thing like forgetting to dry up your attachments should force you to buy new ones.