Helpful tips for when your Vitamix needs a deep clean
Dear LINY: How do I clean my Vitamix?
Good question, Vitamix owner! As you know, Vitamix Blenders clean themselves.
A few cups of hot water and a drop of soap are usually enough to clean your Vitamix. That’s probably how it was demonstrated for you.
But maybe you use peanut butter or onions or flaxseed or turmeric or other mineral-rich ingredients in many of your Vitamix creations. And maybe you are not always able to clean your container immediately. (Life happens.)
So perhaps you’re dealing with one of these common Vitamix cleaning challenges.
- Turmeric stains
- Cloudy container (carafe)
- Lingering odors
- Nut butter residue
- Hummus on the walls
Or perhaps it’s Springtime and you think your Vitamix could use a refreshing deep clean. Great!
Being that helping people pick and use their Vitamix is practically all Shalva and I do, we know how to handle these Vitamix cleaning challenges.
So let’s discuss exactly how to clean your Vitamix. Plus, as a bonus, you’ll learn a few time-saving Vitamix maintenance tricks.
But first, let’s make sure we understand why it’s important to clean your Vitamix well.
- Why you should trust us
- The container cleaning habit
- Vitamix in the dishwasher?
- Method: Easy cleaning cycle
- Cloudy container: fixes
- Odors: Eliminating them
- Turmeric stains: removing them
- Nut butter under the blade: removing it
- Hummus on walls: saving it
- Flaxseed sticking: preventing it
- Bonus tips
- Spring Cleaning / Deep Cleaning Recipe
- Needs repair?
- Related and recommended
Why you should trust us
Since leaving the corporate world, Shalva and my work have focused exclusively on the Vitamix machine. (The Vitamix has even permeated our personal lives, as pictured.) We use ours daily, own nearly every model, and are uniquely equipped to be the premier authority on household Vitamix use. Most simply, there is not a better person to ask how to clean your Vitamix.
Why both cleaning your Vitamix after each use?
Your Vitamix comes with a long-term, full warranty. But, if cared for properly, it can last 10-15 years, easily.
Doing a good job cleaning your Vitamix may not seem worth it. There a few reasons why it is.
Your Vitamix will:
- Last longer.
- Look nicer.
- Process better.
So after each use, make sure you take the 60 seconds to clean it the right way. This habit will pay dividends down the road.
So how do you do it?
What’s the quickest, easiest, and most effective way to clean your Vitamix after each use?
Here’s what you shouldn’t do:
Do not put your Vitamix in the dishwasher
Your machine may very well be dishwasher safe. All Smart System and Space-Saving machines are, in-fact, dishwasher safe.
But here’s why we do not recommend it.
First of all, you should be using your Vitamix more often than running your dishwasher. We certainly do.
Second of all, the dishwasher can put stress on the container, blade, and bearings. Extreme temperatures and potentially harmful dishwasher deterrent are not helping you prolong the life of your machine.
Third, regular cleaning is quick and easy. 60 seconds should be all you need to run a standard cleaning cycle.
Let’s talk about how to do that.
How to clean your Vitamix after each use
The more you clean your Vitamix, the easier it is to clean.
So get into the habit of it.
Run a cleaning cycle after each use. Here’s the method:
1. Wall brush. If you used sticky ingredients, take five seconds and brush all the inside and outside walls. It helps to do this with warm water running. At this point, your Vitamix is 80% clean.
2. Soapy water. Fill halfway with hot water and a couple drops of soap.
3. Run cleaning cycle.
- Program-enabled Vitamix: Start the cleaning cycle.
- Standard Vitamix: Blend on low and then high for 10-30 seconds.
4. Rinse and air dry.
Altogether, this regular cleaning routine takes 60 seconds.
Here’s my mother demonstrating this regular cleaning cycle (starts at 10:10):
If you get into the habit of doing it every time you blend, you should not have to deal with stains, buildup, or odors in your Vitamix container.
But chances are you’re here because your container is cloudy. Let’s talk about that.
What to do with a cloudy Vitamix container
Dealing with some serious mineral buildup resulting in a cloudy container? You have a few options.
1. Magic Eraser (not recommended). This may be effective, but given the secret chemicals inside the magic eraser, it’s probably is not the most healthy method.
2. Bleach soak (not recommended). Will the cloudy go away? Possibly. But bleach is so caustic, we won’t even use it on our toilets. (Yes, Shalva and I clean our own toilets.)
3. Baking soda paste rub. With a bit of persistence, this method works well and is non-toxic. Put a bit of baking soda in a small bowl and use a slightly damp paper towel to rub the inside of your container in a circular motion. Be sure to run a regular cleaning cycle after.
Once removed, the best way to make sure your container doesn’t get cloudy again is to do the following:
Towel-dry your container after cleaning it.
That way, there won’t be any left over water to leave mineral deposits behind. Watch!
Dealing with a persistently cloudy container
If the baking soda paste rub didn’t work, you may have another cause for the cloudy container: Scratches.
You see, some hard ingredients, when thrown around during a blend, can leave small scratches on the inside of the container.
To avoid further scratching, you may want to consider a secondary container. This helps for smaller batches with harder ingredients (ice creams, dry grains, etc).
Lingering odors in your Vitamix container are common when you use ingredients like onion or garlic. Yes, those aromas are nice on their own.
But you do not want them infiltrating your green juice.
So if your Vitamix container still smells funky, use the vinegar soak method.
- Sponge down the outside of the container. There’s usually some buildup there.
- Soak your container overnight in vinegar. Use a mixture of 2 parts hot water to 1 part white vinegar. In the morning, rinse.
- Run a cleaning cycle. Container halfway filled warm water plus a bit of soap.
This should eliminate odors in your Vitamix container and restore your Vitamix to its previous splendor.
Now, if there’s an orange tint still, you may need to deal with the turmeric you’ve been blending.
Removing turmeric stains (from your Vitamix container)
Nothing is less sightly than a yellowed Vitamix container. Turmeric is incredibly good for you, but also a very annoying ingredient to clean up after.
Here’s the trick:
Leave your container in the sunlight for an afternoon. The sun’s UV rays will naturally bleach your container back to its original glory.
Yes, it’s that simple.
And if you’d like to mitigate the impact of turmeric stains on your container, consider this: Hot blends (soups or lattes) rich in fats (nuts) will stain more than cold blends using turmeric.
Let’s move on to thicker blends making your container dirty.
Nut butter stuck under blade
Nut butter is notoriously sticky and difficult to remove from your Vitamix. Lucky for you, it’s also an amazing smoothie ingredient!
Instead of trying to clean out the nut butter, simply make yourself a smoothie. That way, you have no wasted nut butter.
This smoothie is great to make right after making a nut butter.
And when you’re ready to clean the container, there will be less to clean. And, you’ll only have to clean it once!
What about lingering nut butter on walls or under the blade? Try these few tricks:
- Use a sponge or scrub brush before running a cleaning cycle.
- Run a cleaning cycle.
- Use a sponge or scrub brush after running a cleaning cycle.
- Run another cleaning cycle with fresh water.
After all that, is there still nut butter near or under the blade that you cannot reach with a sponge or brush? You may want to consider this blade scraper made for the Vitamix.
Hummus left on the walls of my Vitamix
Hummus is also one of those recipes that likes to stick to the sides of the container. And so the solution is similar nut butters:
Use a sponge or brush to clean the walls after running a cleaning cycle.
Don’t want to waste any hummus? Great!
Order some of these super affordable and specially made Vitamix spatulas (free shipping via that link).
The flaxseed stuck to container problem
Some foods stick to the walls of a Vitamix like glue. Flaxseed is the #1 culprit.
There are three ways to get around this problem:
- Add seeds last. That way they’ll get pulled into the middle and not thrown against the sides.
- Add seeds through the lid plug mid-blend (on a low setting).
- Add flaxseed when blending is complete. Simply add your ground flaxseed meal to the top and mix it by hand.
Same story with chia or hemp seeds. 🙂
Bonus tips for making cleaning your Vitamix easier
Bonus tip 1: Cleaning the Vitamix motor base
Your Vitamix motor base does not need to be cleaned after each use. It won’t hurt if you do, though.
If your smoothie or soup spills down the side, wipe it off before it becomes a hardened mess.
It’s safe to wipe all surfaces and sides with a damp cloth or paper towel.
This will save you from hardened buildup that’s difficult to remove.
Bonus tip 2: Clean under the centering pad
The centering pad is removable. Clean under it and the pad itself.
Just be sure the power cord is unplugged when cleaning.
Aiming to do this monthly will keep the job manageable and your machine running smoothly.
Bonus tip 3: Skipping a mid-meal cleaning
Sometimes your Vitamix is the star of your meal and you plan to use it for more than one blend.
Maybe you’re making soup in your Vitamix and want to blend up a salad dressing for your side dish.
This is a fair excuse to skip the habitual cleaning cycle post blend. A quick rinse is probably fine.
You can also consider investing in a second container (we use ours all of the time).
Deep Clean / Spring Cleaning Recipe
It’s been a while and your Vitamix machine could benefit from being freshened up.
Here’s what you should do:
- Clean the outside of the container.
- Clean the inside of the container.
- Clean the lid.
- Clean the lid plug.
- Clean the outside of the motor base.
- Clean under the centering pad.
- Clean the front panel.
- Clean under the machine.
- Run a cleaning cycle (warm water, drop of soap)
- (optional) Do a vinegar soak
- (optional) Do a baking soda scrub
My container I use is way beyond repair
If you’re still under warranty (and have tried the above methods to clean), give Vitamix customer service a call 1-800-848-2649. They may be able to replace your well-loved container as a one-time courtesy.
Otherwise, you can buy a container direct from the manufacturer.
The best way to remove stains and odors and buildup from your Vitamix container is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Make a habit of running a cleaning cycle after each use!
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Related and Recommended For Vitamix Owners
Are you a Vitamix owner? Here’s what you should read next.
- Do These 7 Things to Prolong the Life of Your Vitamix
- Why you should (or should not) consider a Dry Grains Container
- Is a Vitamix Worth it (29 reasons it’s not)? (an article for your Vitamix-envious friends)
Browse: The Best Vegan Vitamix Recipes
Consider: Vitamix Classes: Some good options for Vitamix owners
Watch: Vitamix demonstrations: What you can make in a Vitamix
Ha! I like where you said ” (Yes, Shalva and I clean our own toilets.)”
Why would we think you didn’t clean your own toilets? Someone seems to have a high opinion of themselves.
“We use ours daily, own nearly every model, and are uniquely equipped to be the premier authority on household Vitamix use. Most simply, there is not a better person to ask how to clean your Vitamix.”
That statement is quite grandiose and not true (because there are people with more experience).
We own every single Vitamix blender and have been long time Vitamix users. They get used about 6 times each day (currently we only use the A3500 models – at home, but we have the rest) at home and 50+ times daily at each of our 27 restaurants. We’re even more qualified to give advice on Vitamix cleaning maintenance and are the true, ultimate authority of household AND commercial use.
Lenny Gale -
Patricia Blackwell -
Here is a different idea that really seems to help with the cloudy film buildup. After cleaning, I lightly rub a small amount of canola oil on the inside, then wipe out with a paper towel. It really works!
Looking for suggestions on how to clean the bottom of the container.
Thanks for any tips!
Lenny Gale -
Hi there, have you seen the new blade scrapers?
Blades on my Vitamix 5200 are getting hard to turn, and the machine is sounding weird. Is it time to replace the whole thing.
Lenny Gale -
Not necessarily. It might just need to be cleaned — I recommend giving customer service a call and they can help you troubleshoot. 1-800-848-2649
Help! I made a sauce with silken tofu and forgot to clean it immediately. Now I can’t get the gunked on tofu off. I’ve tried baking soda and vinegar, soaking it for hours… What can I do?
Lenny Gale -
Let’s try this. Fill the container with water and let it soak for an hour. Then, pour it out. Using a paste of baking soda and water, manually scrub the buildup with a paper towel or cloth. You might have to scrub for a bit, but it should come off.
Tossing an egg shell or 2 in during the soap and water cleaning method works great for those times you wait a little to long before rinsing. It acts as a mild abrasive slurry knocking loose dried on particles.
Lenny Gale -
Interesting idea. We try to keep up with cleaning our Vitamix immediately to help prolong its life.
My vitamix has built up a smoky layer. I can scrub it off – where I can reach it. I can’t get to the blades or lowest part of blender. Suggestions? I’ve had my vitamix about 4 years. I love it and use almost daily but I feel like it’s dirty and that’s really bothering me!
Lenny Gale -
Hi Susan, we do a vinegar/water soak about once a month that really helps to maintain the container. Mix 1 part white vinegar and 3 parts water, fill entire container and let soak overnight. If it’s a lost cause, call customer service and they will send you a new container if it’s still under warranty 🙂
Wendy Trackim -
What about the bottom of the container? Can you run water on that?
Lenny Gale -
You can certainly rinse the bottom of the container… you just don’t want to submerge it.
Lenny Gale -
Hey everyone. Noticing that people are landing here quite a bit, which is great.
The problem is that this page needs an update.
While I work on the update, please don’t hesitate to email me directly with any questions you have about how to clean your Vitamix.
I can’t find anyone who’s talking about how to clean the lid of the vitamix. I make a green smoothie or two most days and the lid is a complete pain to clean. It’s such a complex shape food gets trapped in the little gaps.
The best idea I’ve had so far is to simply put the lid on the counter inside up and cover it with cling film/ glad wrap or what I think you guys call ceran wrap. That way its completely flat now and no food sticks. A little rinse and you’re done. Then every few days switch out the wrap.
I feel that the lid shape is a HUGE design flaw with the vitamix and nobody’s talking about it.
hope this is useful to you
Once you have poured out your green smoothie, pour about a 1/4cup of water or nut milk into the jug. Blend on high for about 30 seconds. A clean lid!
Loving my Vitamix, truly a quality investment.
Lenny Gale -
Yes, Audrey. Maybe add a drop or two of soap, too! 🙂
I generally clean my container and lid quite well but I did not realize I can remove the landing pad for cleaning. Thanks for the post.