So you just got a Vitamix and want to make sure it lasts as long as possible.
Oh, you smart. 🙂
In this post, you’ll learn the 7 things you can do to prolong the life of your Vitamix.
But first, some good news.
Vitamix machines already last forever
Okay, that headline is factually incorrect.
Your Vitamix will not last forever.
The sun is going to stop burning in 5 billion years, and forever is way past that. Infinitely, actually.
But Vitamix machines do last many years. Often far past their warranty.
Some of the best emails we get are a variation of the following:
“Hey, Lenny and Shalva, I’ve had my Vitamix for 15 years and I’m tired of waiting for it to die. Can you help me find the right upgrade for me?”
In and of itself it’s exciting to hear that a Vitamix owner has a machine that’s a teenager.
But you know what makes this remarkable?
These Vitamix owners are likely not doing many of the life-prolonging tricks we’re going to discuss below.
Had they? Wow.
Makes me appreciate the Vitamix brand even more.
I’m sure you already feel the same way.
Okay, you’ve gotten a preview of the email you’re going to send us in 15 years. 🙂
Now, let’s discuss the three most common causes for Vitamix machines needing service. This will help you better understand “the why” behind the life-extending tactics for your Vitamix.
Usual suspects: The three most common issues causing owners to need service for their Vitamix
It’s important to understand these. The typical “whys” behind a Vitamix needing repair.
Leaking container: If you only made green juice, you’d probably never get a leaky container. But certain ingredients can harm and wear upon the container seal.
Broken or worn drive socket: The drive socket is the rigid metal thingy that fits around the blade assembly’s gear. By using a few of the best practices below, you can help the drive socket stay strong (for long!).
Blown motor: This is the engine that won’t start. In 99% of cases that occur within 10 years of purchase, it’s a user error. In 80% of cases within 15 years, it’s probably from not following best practices.
Do you feel qualified to work at the Vitamix Call Center yet? Either way, let’s move to the things you can do to extend the life of your Vitamix.
Extend the life of your Vitamix with these 7 tips
Want your Vitamix to outlive you? Here’s how to prolong its life.
- Always run a cleaning cycle.
- Use top speed.
- Use the tamper when applicable.
- Layer correctly.
- Be careful with protein powder.
- Don’t put the container in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Use your Vitamix regularly.
Now lets discuss the reasoning behind each.
1. Always run a cleaning cycle
A couple drops of soap, warm water, and 30 seconds on high speed is all you need.
But, look. I get it.
It’s really easy to just leave the container in the sink for later. Or just give it a quick rinse and run out the door.
Don’t do that! Get into the habit of running a cleaning cycle after every blend.
Why is it important to always run a cleaning cycle after using your Vitamix?
Aside from keeping your container clean, reduced residue on the blades mitigates container leaks. And, as a bonus, it’s a food safety best practice!
Note 1: I recognize that your Vitamix machine might be dishwasher safe. But unless you’re going to run the dishwasher immediately, a traditional cleaning cycle is better.
Note 2: An occasional vinegar soak is helpful for cleaning built-up, cloudy residue.
2. Use top speed
You may think you’re “saving your Vitamix” by never running it on top speed.
The engine inside the Vitamix machine is designed to run most effectively on Variable Speed 10 (or High Speed if you have one of the Legacy machines). Blending on lower speeds when you can (and should!) use top speed is actually bad for your Vitamix’s engine.
At top speed, the thermal protection system activates completely. This helps keep your engine cool.
Need an analogy? Here’s one.
Refusing to run your Vitamix on top speed is like driving your 5-speed manual transmission car on the freeway in 3rd gear. Can it do it? Yes. Will it harm your engine. Of course.
Want another analogy? Exclusively using lower speeds on your Vitamix is like swimming laps with one arm tied behind your back. You might think that saving your left arm is a good idea. But Left Arm is not going to be thrilled when Right Arm falls off. (Or, if you drown.)
Want one more analogy? Number four in this quick video about smoothies: The Ten Smoothie Commandments
3. Use the tamper when applicable
If you follow well-tested Vitamix recipes, you should not need to use a tamper for smoothies and juices.
But ice creams and nut butters, for example, need a tamper.
In fact, that’s one of the things that makes the Vitamix so special. It loves it when you use the tamper. (No other blender would appreciate you using a tamper on it.)
Using a tamper to gently guide ingredients into the blade helps the motor process your blends more efficiently. I know it’s counter-intuitive because using a tamper can feel harsh. (If it doesn’t, you’re not doing it right.)
But, failure to use the tamper can overwork your Vitamix’s motor.
In the short run, an overworked Vitamix motor will shut itself off to cool. In the long run, it places undue stress on the motor, which, of course, shortens its useful life.
Moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to use the tamper. Be afraid of not using it.
4. Layer correctly
You may notice something in the recipes from Vitamix or on the Getting Started Guide that comes with your machine. There’s an emphasis on which ingredients you should add first.
Why? Because order matters!
You should layer ingredients soft stuff first, hard stuff last. For example:
- Soft, fleshy fruits (i.e. oranges)
- Harder fruits (i.e. apples)
- Leafy greens
- Frozen fruits and ice
- Seeds and nuts
The Vitamix machine (and probably all other blenders) works most efficiently when layered correctly. With liquid and soft fleshy fruit at the bottom, the blade has something to grab onto. Then, the hard ingredients get pulled in (as well as being pushed down by gravity).
(Why seeds last? We’ll discuss why in the next section.)
The result is an efficient blend without any ingredient idling. Below is a great example of perfect layering: The Green Juice Formula.
The other reason why layering the Vitamix container correctly matters is this: Anytime the blade hits a hard object (ice or frozen fruit) at low speed, the blade stutters and wears the drive socket.
So by putting frozen ingredients on top, the drive socket stays stronger, longer.
Note: This is also the reason to avoid any and all foreign objects into your container. The drive socket and blade do not appreciate smacking a metal spoon. Of course, if this happens by accident, and it breaks the drive socket, you should still call Customer Service and explain what happened. They understand that this stuff happens and should be able to take care of you.
5. Be careful with protein powder
Totally cool if you like to use protein powder. We do occasionally, too!
But if you’re not careful, regularly and incorrectly using protein powder can do damage to your Vitamix machine.
Add protein powder last or through the container while it’s running. That way it gets mixed well and is less likely to get caked onto the blades or the seal.
This helps prevent container damage (leaks).
Note: Same goes for seeds. Add them last or through the container while running.
6. Don’t put the container in the refrigerator or freezer
I know it’s tempting. We used to do it before learning not to.
But don’t place a half-full container in the fridge or freezer.
The extreme temperatures affect bearings in the Vitamix’s blade assembly. Use a mason jar or reusable container to store leftovers instead.
Okay, last tip.
7. Use your Vitamix regularly
Another counter-intuitive point. But the more you use your Vitamix, the longer it will last.
When you use your Vitamix frequently, you’ll be:
- More comfortable using it.
- Less likely to make new-user errors.
- More likely to build good Vitamix-owner habits.
I think owning a motorcycle is a good parallel here. The more you ride, the less likely you are to burn out the clutch. (Or crash.)
Okay, so we’ve talked about why Vitamix machines typically need repair and how to prolong its life. Just one last thing, and this comes directly from a longtime Vitamix Customer Service rep.
If your Vitamix needs service, make the call!
Some people are stubborn and won’t see the doctor. But then their issue lingers until it cannot be fixed.
Don’t do that with your Vitamix!
Everybody at Vitamix HQ wants your Vitamix to run as well as it did on day one. So if it’s having issues, call Vitamix customer service! The number is 1-800-848-2649.
They may be able to troubleshoot the issue with you over the phone. And if not, they’ll schedule a repair.
You just got a Vitamix and we’re so excited for you.
You really can prolong the life of your Vitamix. Use it right, use it often, and if anything goes wrong, give Vitamix HQ a call!
Want more to help you prolong the life of your Vitamix?
Also, I know you may not have bought your Vitamix through us. And that’s okay, but we still want you to be successful right away. So send us an email saying hi, “we just got our Vitamix, can you help us get started?” and we’ll send you onboarding materials with recipes, tips, and tricks!