tips for cleaning a Vitamix blenderIf you’re new to high-speed blenders, you might be wondering how to clean a Vitamix. After all, you want your blender to look like new for as long as possible. Or maybe you’ve had your Vitamix for a while and noticed that your container is getting cloudy. Or even worse, your blender container smells less than fresh even after washing it with water and soap.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to clean Vitamix after everyday use, how to deep clean it, and how to prevent any buildup in the first place.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

How to Clean a Vitamix Container – Everyday Use

There are three ways to regularly clean a Vitamix – run the self-cleaning cycle (or blend for 30 seconds on high), hand-wash it in the sink, or use the dishwasher.

Self-Cleaning

Everyday maintenance of a Vitamix blender is a breeze. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Immediately after use, rinse the blender container with warm water.
  2. Add a drop of dish soap in the container and fill it halfway with warm water.
  3. Securely attach the lid and turn the dial to speed 1 (or low). Gradually increase the speed to 10 (or high), and let the blender run for 30-60 seconds.
  4. Pour the content out and rinse the container thoroughly.
  5. Towel dry the container and the lid.

If your machine has a pre-programmed cleaning setting, everyday maintenance is even easier. The blender practically cleans itself. All you have to do is follow these steps:

  1. Immediately after use, rinse the blender container with warm water.
  2. Add a drop of dish soap in the container and fill it halfway with warm water.
  3. Securely attach the lid, select the “clean” setting, and start the blender. Vitamix will automatically shut off once the cycle has finished.
  4. Pour the content out and rinse the container and the lid thoroughly.
  5. Towel dry the container and the lid.

Hand-Washing

There are times when running a self-cleaning cycle is simply not enough. Some ingredients are notoriously sticky and always remain stuck on the sides of the container or under the blade. Nut butters, protein powders, gelatinous seeds or bread dough all provide a cleaning challenge.

If the cleaning cycle didn’t work, follow these steps next:

  1. Add a drop of dish soap in the container and fill it halfway with warm water.
  2. Use a soft bottle cleaning brush (or a sponge) to remove any food residue from the sides of the container and from underneath the blade.
  3. Pour the content out and rinse the container and the lid thoroughly.
  4. Towel dry the container and the lid.

If you don’t want to waste any blend, you may want to consider the Vitamix under blade scraper. It’s like a squeegee for the sides of the container and gets under the blade easily.

Using the Dishwasher

One of the most common questions around cleaning a Vitamix container is whether it can go in the dishwasher. According to Vitamix, all SELF-DETECT containers as well as the S-Series containers (discontinued in 2019) are top-rack dishwasher-safe. Legacy containers (without SELF-DETECT technology) are not dishwasher safe.

For information on all Vitamix containers, see my » Vitamix Containers guide

That being said, I don’t recommend running any Vitamix container through the dishwasher for several reasons:

First, if you put the container in the dishwasher, it’s most likely going to sit there for a while. To keep the blender container looking new for as long as possible, clean it immediately after use. If you wait too long to clean it, food residue may dry onto the container, leading to a mineral buildup.

Second, the dishwasher can put stress on the container, blade, and bearings. The hot temperatures and harsh detergents certainly aren’t conducive to prolonging the blender’s life. The hot temperatures may distort or crack the container, wear down the blade (and other parts) over time, and cause the bearings to rust after prolonged dishwasher use. The harsh chemicals in the detergent can also etch the plastic, turning the container permanently cloudy.

Third, the dishwasher isn’t always very practical. Personally, I use my Vitamix several times a day whereas I only run my dishwasher once a day, typically in the evening. So, if you’re like me, you’ll have to take the container out of the dishwasher and wash it anyway.

If you’re still set on using the dishwasher, at least strictly adhere to the instruction about temperatures, detergents, and racks to be used.

how to clean a Vitamix container

How to Deep-Clean a Vitamix Container

According to Vitamix, you should give your Vitamix container a deep-clean every month or so. To do so, perform the following steps:

  1. Add 4 cups of cool water and 4 cups of white vinegar into the container and let it soak for 4 hours.
  2. Pour the content out and rinse the container thoroughly.
  3. Towel dry the container.

How to Clean a Cloudy Container

Over time, you may notice that your Vitamix container has developed a white film caused by a mineral buildup.

Both food and water contain minerals that create micro-thin layers on the inside of the container. Over time, these micro-thin layers build up, giving the appearance of a cloudy container. This is especially true for mineral-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, protein powders, and green powders. Water from areas with hard water is also problematic.

To prevent the minerals from building up in the first place, empty the blender container after blending, wash it immediately, and dry it with a clean kitchen towel. Avoid food or water residue sit in the container. This is the most effective way to delay the onset of the cloudy film.

Alright, but what if your container is already cloudy? Here’s how to clean it:

  1. In a small bowl, add ½ cup of baking soda and 3 Tbsp. water, and mix until a thick yet spreadable paste forms.
  2. Spread the paste evenly all around the inside of the container. Let it sit for about 20 minutes.
  3. Using a clean soft-bristle brush (or a cloth), apply a slight pressure to rub the mineral build up off.
  4. Rinse the container thoroughly.
  5. Towel dry the container.

Avoid using scrubby sponges or abrasive cleaning powders that could scratch the container.

If the baking soda scrub didn’t work, the cause of the cloudy container might be miniscule scratches (see below).

How to Clean a Stained Container

Another common problem is a stained or discolored Vitamix container. Highly pigmented or acidic foods, such as turmeric, tomatoes, or coffee, are notorious for staining plastic. Here’s how to take care of it:

  1. Place the container in the sunlight for a few hours for the UV light to break down the stain.
  2. If stains persist, clean the container with a baking soda paste.

How to Eliminate Odors

Unpleasant smells coming from a blender container can occur if you don’t wash the container immediately after blending or if you use particularly pungent ingredients, such as onion, garlic, hot peppers, etc.

If there are lingering odors in your Vitamix container, you can try the following:

  1. Add 1 cut up lemon and 2 cups of warm water into the container.
  2. Securely attach the lid and turn the dial to speed 1 (or low). Gradually increase the speed to 10 (or high), and let the blender run for 30-60 seconds.
  3. Pour the content out and rinse the container and the lid thoroughly.
  4. Towel dry the container and the lid.

Scratched Blender Container

Grinding rough ingredients, such as grains, legumes, seeds, or even frozen ingredients can create minuscule scratches to the inside of the container. These scratches make the container appear cloudy. Unfortunately, this is irreversible.

If you do plan to blend rougher ingredients regularly, you can purchase an extra container. This way you can always blend rough ingredients in one container and smooth ingredients in another one.

how to clean a Vitamix

How to Clean a Vitamix Base

It’s not only the container that gets dirty. The actual base needs an occasional cleaning as well.

Remember that the base should never come near water, including the dishwasher. The base is where the motor and all electrical components are. Pouring water over them will cause damage, not to mention the dangers of mixing water and electricity.

To clean the Vitamix base, perform the following steps:

  1. Unplug the blender.
  2. Using a damp clean cloth, wipe the centering pad, the front panel, the sides and the back of the blender base as well as the cord.
  3. Remove the centering pad and clean underneath it (optional). Do not remove any parts from within the base.
  4. Let the base air dry on the kitchen counter.

While the Vitamix base doesn’t have to be cleaned after each use, it’s a good habit to get into. 

how to deep-clean a Vitamix

How to Clean a Vitamix Blade

If you have only owned an old-fashioned blender, you know that to truly clean a blender container, you typically need to take apart the jar assembly and clean the container, the rubber gasket, and the blade individually.

There are currently only three Vitamix containers that have a removable blade – the 40-oz container, the 20-oz blending cup, and the 8-oz bowl. To clean the individual parts, follow these steps:

  1. Immediately after use, unscrew the blade from the container.
  2. Rinse the blender container with warm water.
  3. Add a drop of dish soap in the container and fill it halfway with warm water.
  4. Use a soft bottle cleaning brush (or a sponge) to remove any food residue from the sides of the container.
  5. Pour the content out and rinse the container thoroughly.
  6. Hand-wash the cutting blade and the gasket seal with warm soapy water. Rinse thoroughly.
  7. Towel dry the container, the blade, and the seal. 

All full-size Vitamix containers come in one piece, no disassembly for cleaning required. In fact, Vitamix warns against disassembling the container as it voids the warranty. The warranty is also void if the container, container component, or any portion of the blade assembly is altered by someone other than Vitamix or an authorized Vitamix service provider.

In the event the container or container component needs service or repair, you are advised to call Vitamix customer service at 1-800-848-2649.

how to clean a Vitamix blender

How to Clean a Vitamix Q&A

What is the best way to clean a Vitamix?

To extend your blender’s life, always utilize its cleaning cycle or wash it by hand. This will keep the container and the blade assembly in the best shape.

Can I use bleach to clean my Vitamix?

Personally, I don’t like to use bleach in my household. However, you can use regular bleach to clean a Vitamix container. Bleach sanitizer should be 100 ppm for polycarbonate containers. An overly strong sanitizer concentration can cause:

  • Milky or chalky appearance of containers
  • Hairline cracks in container edges or handle
  • Brittle containers
  • Bubbling or peeling of container
  • Blade assembly bearing seal failure
  • Rusty retainer nuts

Do I need to remove the blade to clean my Vitamix container?

There are only three Vitamix containers that have a removable blade – the 40-oz container, the 20-oz blending cup, and the 8-oz bowl. All full-size Vitamix containers have a fixed blade that should not be removed for cleaning. The only time the blade assembly might have to be removed and replaced is if the blade:

  • Does not spin or is difficult to spin by hand.
  • Has a vertical or side-to-side movement.
  • Makes an audible noise while spinning.
  • Has nicks, cracks, or gouges in the outer surface.

There is moisture trapped under the retainer nut. How do I dry it up?

Moisture can get trapped under the retaining nut after running the container in the dishwasher, soaking it in the sink or submerging it in water.

A condensation can also build up after big temperature changes. A blender container is not meant for storage and should not be placed in the fridge.

Removing the retainer nut voids the warranty, so the best way to deal with trapped moisture is to heat the blade assembly by running it empty on high for a minute, then leaving it for a while. Be aware that you can damage the bearings if you run them with an empty container for multiple minutes, so make sure you do it in phases.

Will Vitamix replace my container if it’s cloudy or scratched?

Unfortunately, no. The warranty does not cover cosmetic changes that do not affect performance, such as discoloration or the effects of the use of abrasives or cleaners or food build up. That being said, give Vitamix customer service a call. They may be able to replace your container as a one-time courtesy. 

Otherwise, you can buy a new container directly on the Vitamix website.

For more tips on maintaining a Vitamix blender so it runs at its best, see » How to Use Vitamix Correctly