We Tried Five Methods to Clean a Cloudy Blender Container — And the Winner Was Surprisingly Effective!

published Oct 18, 2022
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Credit: Photos: Methods: Joe Lingeman; Blender: Getty Images/ CollinsChin

My blender gets a lot of love. In fact, it may be the hardest-working appliance in my entire kitchen. I use it for a variety of tasks, including whipping up smoothies, puréeing soups, making nut milks, pre-chopping kale, and buzzing together sauces and salad dressings. It’s a purchase I’ve never regretted, except for one minor issue. My blender has a plastic container, which has become incredibly cloudy. 

A cloudy blender is often a result of mineral deposits — from both the food that’s prepped in it and the water used to wash it. Although a cloudy blender won’t affect the quality of your shakes and smoothies, it is a bit annoying. After three years of almost daily use, my blender container was so cloudy, it was almost opaque. So, it was high time for me to try to clean it. I did a little internet sleuthing and decided to give five popular methods a whirl. While all of these methods were relatively simple, they differed greatly in their success, but I managed to come out with one surprisingly effective winner!

How I Tested the Methods for Cleaning a Cloudy Blender Container

Because it’s wintertime, I decided to make a puréed soup at lunch every day for a week, then cleaned the blender using a different method each day. My soups contained both staining and stinking agents (turmeric and garlic, for example), so I hoped that the cleaning techniques would do an all-around stellar job at getting everything off. But my main focus remained on the cloudy residue. Which method would get my blender sparklingly clear?

The ratings: I ranked each technique on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the easiest and most efficient, and 1 being the hardest and/or least efficient. I factored in how well each method worked, ease of use, and the total amount of time it took. As I learned, there is no magic solution for an instantly sparkling blender container. But there are some clever, unexpected tools that help you get the job done. Let’s take a look!

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman

Cloudy Blender Container Cleaning Method 1: Water, Vodka, and Dish Soap

  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Rating: 1 / 5

The method: This was an unconventional method, thanks to its inclusion of vodka. The instructions start by mixing two cups of room-temperature water and one tablespoon vodka, then pulsing continually for one minute. After that, dump out the solution and add two cups of warm water with a drop of liquid dish soap. Cover, pulse for one minute, then dump. Follow that with a warm water rinse, and pulse again for another minute. Finish by drying with a microfiber cloth.

How it went: I was not impressed by this method and its multi-step, hands-on process. Pulsing continually for three minutes total was not a fun task, and it did a worse job at scouring than manual scrubbing. The original instructions claim that vodka is “the best food-safe antibacterial cleaner,” but I didn’t find it any more effective than vinegar. Plus, I don’t usually keep vodka stocked on my bar cart. After testing, my blender looked exactly the same as when I cleaned it using the simple dish soap method outlined in method 2.  (More on that below.)

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman

Cloudy Blender Container Cleaning Method 2: Dawn Dish Soap and Hot Water

  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Rating: 1.5 / 5

The method: A blender cleaning method that doesn’t require scrubbing? I was cautiously optimistic. This technique calls for “just a drop” of dish soap, hot water, and a 10-second purée of the mix. After rinsing with more hot water, you’re done. I used Dawn dish soap, which is my favorite brand for tough jobs, thanks to its grease-fighting powers.

How it went: This method sounded too good (or at least too easy) to be true, and it was. Although I will definitely use this method for a quick clean after a blending session, it’s efficient only for superficial cleaning. This is an easy way to get the puréed tomato out of your blender, but it won’t tackle any cloudy residue or mineral deposits. That said, it is lightning-quick, and much simpler than disassembling the blender parts. And if you do it straight away, you’ll decrease the chances that your blender will cloud over time.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman

Cloudy Blender Container Cleaning Method 3: Lemon Juice and Baking Soda

  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Rating: 2 / 5

The method: This technique calls for the juice of one lemon combined with two to three tablespoons of abrasive baking soda. After adding those ingredients to the blender, top it off with water, and blend at high speed. Finish with a scrub using a nonabrasive sponge.

How it went: This is a fantastic technique … for getting rid of lingering smells in your blender. Baking soda is a powerful scent absorber (I always keep an open box of it in my freezer, fridge, and under the sink), and the lemon leaves behind a fresh, zippy, bright scent. But neither of these ingredients were powerful enough to blast through the cloudy residue that clung to my blender’s walls. (This was even paired with a five-minute scrubbing session so intense, it could’ve counted as my daily workout!)

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman

Cloudy Blender Container Cleaning Method 4: Vinegar and Baking Soda

  • Total Time: 12 hours total, 20 minutes active
  • Rating: 4 / 5

The method: This technique begins with a paste made from baking soda and water. Once the two ingredients are thick enough to be spreadable, they get slathered all over the inside of the blender. You let it sit for 20 minutes, then scrub away. (The instructions note that “you’ll need some elbow grease.”) After that, fill with a cup of white vinegar and top with warm water, and soak for several hours or overnight. I was hopeful: I’ve heard that the acidic nature of vinegar is so powerful it can dissolve mineral deposits, grease, and grime. Plus, it’s also strong enough to kill bacteria.

How it went: With all of the steps involved, this method is decidedly not a quick fix, so I docked a half point in my rating. That said, the vinegar was a key player in this technique. As I discovered with the previous test, baking soda doesn’t do much to de-cloud a blender, so even with 20 minutes of vigorous scrubbing, the blender walls were still opaque. But after an overnight soak with the vinegar wash, followed by a quick blend of the solution, the container was looking cleaner. Not perfect (minus another half a point), but definitely brighter. 

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman

Cloudy Blender Container Cleaning Method 5: Powdered Dishwasher Detergent and Hot Water

  • Total Time: 2 hours total, 10 minutes active
  • Rating: 4.5 / 5

The method: This cleaning method calls for two tablespoons of dish detergent powder mixed with an almost-full blender of hot water. After letting it stand for a couple of hours, you dump the majority of the mix, then use a soft sponge to swish, and scrub around the base. The container should then be rinsed thoroughly.

How it went: This technique was the only one I found that called for powdered dishwasher detergent, and I was skeptical at first. I don’t own a dishwasher, so I wasn’t familiar with the power of detergent. Turns out, it’s quite abrasive, which was crucial for the success of this method. I used my beloved Euroscrubby sponge to get the job done. It’s soft and nonabrasive, but surprisingly effective. I first tried cleaning with a bottle brush, but switched over to the Euroscrubby and saw immediately better results. The coarse granules of the dishwasher detergent made quick work of the mineral deposits. I spent what I consider to be a manageable amount of time scrubbing — 10 minutes. After that, my blender looked almost brand-new. It gleamed!

The only reason I didn’t give this method a full five stars is that the powdered detergent was quite filmy, and I had to rinse the blender multiple times with the sink hose nozzle. Finally, I blended hot water on high, which blasted away the last of the soapy texture. But, once I did that, I finally had a clear, clean blender container — ready for my next delicious blended concoction