How to clean a Vitamix Container

Posted · 36 Comments

How to clean a cloudy Vitamix container. Everyone loves how easy it is to clean a Vitamix container, but if you only clean the way you see demonstrators doing it in shows, over time you will end up with a cloudy film of mineral build up. Learn how to keep your Vitamix sparkling clean, and crystal clear!

Why Vitamix Containers Turn Cloudy
How to Prevent Mineral Build Up
How to Remove Existing Mineral Build Up
How to Remove Turmeric Stains
NEVER put your Vitamix Container in a Dish Washer or the Fridge!
How to Clean under the Centering Pad on your Motor Base


Why Vitamix Containers Turn Cloudy
Vitamix containers can turn cloudy over time from mineral build up. The minerals come from your water supply (in hard water areas) and from your fruits and veggies. Greens used in Green Smoothies are especially filled with minerals that are wonderful in your body, but not so wonderful in multiple, micro-thin layers on the insides of your container!

If you only clean your container the way you see demonstrators doing it in their shows (spin on High with a little bit of soapy water then rinse and then allow it to drip-dry), over time, you will end up with a cloudy container:

clean cloudy vitamix containers

There are two reasons containers can turn cloudy, that cannot be removed or fixed:

Chemical Damage – If you run your container through the dishwasher some dishwasher detergents have chemicals that can “etch” the plastic.

Physical Damage – Scratches to the plastic caused by blending hard foods like date pits (usually done by accident), grains, rice, etc.


How to Prevent Mineral Build Up
If you are lucky, you found this article before you got a Vitamix, right after you got one, or while your container is still bright, clear, and shiny. To prevent the minerals from building up on your container use one or both of the following methods:

1)  Clean with a bottle brush and drip dry.  Or…

2)  Clean with the spin-with-water-and-soap-on-high method that Vitamix teaches, then hand dry with split fiber microfiber cloths.

Both methods involve physical contact with the inside of the container which helps to knock the minerals off of the sides, and prevents them from building up over time. Either method will work by itself to keep the minerals from sticking to the sides of your container (but if you are OCD like me, you will do both).  😉

A note about this Casabella Bottle Brush. Any bottle brush will do, but I love the handle and the bristles/head on the bottle brush pictured in the middle. Amazon used to sell that bottle brush by itself, but now they only sell it in a package of 3 brushes (2 of which I don’t use). Here is a great alternative way to get the bristles/head that work well in the Vitamix Container, you just don’t get the cool handle with this option… Casabella Bottle Brush, with removable and replaceable heads.  Any bottle brush you find at a local store (like your grocery store, Walmart, or Bed Bath and Beyond) will work also.

A note about the microfiber clothes. Any cloth that dries the container will work. I like the “split fiber” microfiber cloths because they are extra absorbent. I always keep two in my drawer next to my Vitamix and use one in each hand to dry both the inside and the outside of the container at the same time! You will find many more uses for these wonderful cloths.


How to Remove Existing Mineral Build Up
If your container is Already Cloudy, here is how you can clean it up…

There are many “recipes” for getting a Vitamix container clean which involve blending a variety of ingredients such as lemon, lemon juice, white vinegar, water, baking soda, denture cleaners, etc. but these chemical cleaning methods will not remove heavy build up of mineral deposits.

The only way to successfully deal with mineral build up is by using a mechanical removal solution.

Here is the mechanical removal method that works best for serious cases of heavy mineral build up. Make a paste of baking soda and water, or just put dry baking soda in a bowl, and dip a wet, white paper towel into the baking soda. Apply the paste to a small area of the inside of the container, and use a circular scrubbing motion using pressure to rub the mineral build up off.  Keep checking your paper towel – you will see it turn from darker to lighter colors as the “yuck” comes off! When you get one small area clean (your paper towel remains white after scrubbing), you can move to a new area. This process can take a long time on a very cloudy container, but once finished, you wont have to do it again. You can then keep your container free of cloudiness with the bottle brush and the hand-drying method.

NOTE: Don’t use any other type of powdered cleaner -they can cause micro-abrasions. Only baking soda is hard enough to remove the mineral build up, but soft enough not to scratch the plastic of the Vitamix container.

I have not tried them yet, but I’ve heard that the “Magic Eraser” will get mineral build up off of Vitamix containers. In looking at the description on Amazon, and reviews, it seems that a magic eraser might work mechanically rather than chemically. I ordered some magic erasers, but I don’t have a container with mineral build up to try it on, so when I do my next show, I’ll let a couple of days of build up develop on my show container, give the Magic Eraser a try, and let you know how they work!

Once your container is shiny again, use the bottle brush, and/or hand-drying method described above to keep it that way! 🙂

If you think your container is beyond hope, use the contact form on this page to ask for my pricing on new containers. If you use the bottle brush and/or hand drying method from the get go with a new container, it will always look shiny and new!


How to Remove Turmeric Stains
Turmeric is a very healthy ingredient, but many people are shocked when it turns their Vitamix Container a pretty shade of yellow or green. This is an easy fix. Place your turmeric stained container out in sunlight, and the UV rays will bleach it clean again!

vitamix container turmeric stain removal


NEVER put your Vitamix Container in a Dish Washer or the Fridge!
You can put your lid and lid plug in the top rack of the dishwasher, but NEVER put the container in the dishwasher! The chemicals in dishwasher detergents are different, and harsher than dish soaps. Over time those chemicals can damage the factory seal and/or the bearings inside of the blade assembly. The chemicals in dishwashing detergent can also “etch” the plastic of your container, turning it permanently cloudy. If this happens, using the mechanical cleaning method described above will not work, because it is not a film on the container, but is actually chemical damage to the container itself.

Do not put your Vitamix container in the fridge. The temperature fluctuations cause shrinkage and expansion that is not good for the different material (plastic, rubber, and metal) parts of a Vitamix container.


How to Clean under the Centering Pad on your Motor Base
This is a little off topic because it is not your container, but it is a great tip for those who don’t know that you can clean under the centering pad on your motor base! Just peel it up and off of the round drive socket.  Use your bottle brush or sponge to clean the centering pad, then dry it. Clean the motor base with a soft sponge or cloth. Replace the centering pad, and you’re done!

cleaning under Vitamix centring pad

 

If you found this information helpful, PLEASE share it with your friends! Use the form below if you would like to be notified when there are new posts to the Blender Lady Blog…

  • Buyer's Guide Button

    If you are in the market for a Vitamix machine,
    PLEASE email me at
    VitamixLady@gmail.com
    And ask for my “Form Letters” that give my
    Vitamix Model Recommendations, Pricing, and Ordering Information!

    OR connect with me using this form:


    By Lea Ann Savage – Copyright 2015

    36 Responses to "How to clean a Vitamix Container"
    1. Elaine says:

      Thank you so much for the baking soda method! I have tried soaking the container in vinegar several times, as suggested on the vitamix website, but it did nothing for the buildup. I figured there had to be another way, so I’m glad to find your website and to have a shiny clean container again!

    2. Heather says:

      My 1 yr old vitamix container was looking rather nasty even though I clean it meticulously…. I assumed it was unfortunate and unremovable food stains in the plastic and I even thought about replacing it….then I found your mineral build-up post and it made complete sense to use baking soda. My container is now perfectly clear again. Two hints….work on a white towel as it is easier to see any spots you have missed and secondly, if your hands are getting tired, try wrapping the paper towel several times around a butter knife or any other blunt cutlery as this works as a stronger cleaning tool than your hands or fingers and yet it doesn’t scratch (as long as your new “power tool” is wrapped well) Thanks for the excellent advice!

    3. Intrigued says:

      Have you tried just putting the baking soda and water in the vitamix and running it awhile? Seems like that would let the machine scrub itself clean.

      • blenderlady says:

        Yes, that would be a “chemical” method as described in the article, and that has never worked for heavy mineral build up for me. Only the mechanical method described in the article has ever worked for me.

    4. Grace says:

      I’ve noticed the mineral deposits on the blades of my vitamix too. Have you found a way of safely cleaning the blades?

      • blenderlady says:

        I personally leave the minerals on my blades, but because I clean with a bottle brush, the amount of build up is minimal. The minerals don’t affect performance, and are not a health concern, so I just leave them. IF you could get down there somehow with a paste of baking soda, I would think you could scrub them off. Many people like to use denture cleaners. You might give that a try. A soak overnight in white vinegar will also soften the minerals prior to attempts to scrub them off of the blades.

    5. Mary Sweeney says:

      Yes, Magic Eraser DOES work. 🙂 And I tried it on my French Press also.

    6. Lula says:

      Thanks for these amazing advices! I would like to know how long does it take for the container to become clear again when we put it in the sun? I live in a place where it is not possible for me to leave my container without surveillance.

    7. Danielle says:

      Hello! Love your website and your videos. My issue isn’t with buildup, but with trapped water. I’ve never put ky vitamix in the dishwasher or submerged it in water, but underneath the plastic circle under the blades there is trapped dampness. No idea how it got there or how to dry it! I asked the company i bought it from for advice and she said it’s fine and that it would dry out. I don’t see how that’s possible, plus it’ll just get wet again if there’s a leak! I wanted to get your opinion before i write back to them. Thanks!

      • blenderlady says:

        Hello Danielle, I recommend contacting Vitamix Customer Service – 800-848-2649 (They can answer your question about how the moisture got there. If they determine it is leaking, they will fix it)!

        – When they say, “If you know your party’s 4-digit extension, please dial it now” – DO NOTHING.  
        – After they say, “If you want to dial by name, please press 1” – DO NOTHING.
        – Then they will say, “Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed, for Household Product Sales and Customer Service, please press 1” – PRESS 1

        Then you can choose from these options:
        1 – If you have No internet access, and you want to Register your Machine online.
        2 – To check on the Status Of your Order – PRESS 2 – When they answer, give them you Order Number.
        3 – Sales (to buy a Vitamix or ask pre-purchase questions)
        4 – Repairs and Warranty issues
        5 – Questions about Recipes
        6 – General Vitamix Questions

        I find that if possible call as close to 8 am EST – this is the best way to have your call answered as quickly as possible!

        I hope this helps!

    8. Dennis Bond says:

      Tried the Oxi-clean method that Terry listed earlier and it worked amazing! Buildup was very bad and yet it all soften up and came off leaving a clear caraf.

    9. Deb says:

      I have ordered a new carafe and would like to clean the blade real good while it’s detached from carafe. any suggestions?

    10. Terry Harrison says:

      I’ve tried several different ways to clean my carafe, and here’s what worked best for me: Fill the carafe with warm water and add 1 scoop of Oxi-Clean. Leave overnight. In the morning I gave it a good cleaning with dish soap and it was crystal clear (with no scratching). For the lid, I made the same solution in a 5 gallon bucket from Home Depot and soaked the lid. I did some research online and Oxi-Clean is ok for using on dishes, just wash (w. soap) good afterwards. You will be amazed.

      • Blender Lady says:

        Hello Terry! Did your carafe look like the one in the picture with a build up of mineral deposits? I’ve never found a chemical solution to removing the mineral build up, but I haven’t tried Oxi-Clean either. I’ll have to try that one day if I ever find a container that has mineral build up! 🙂

      • Charlie says:

        Which OxiClean was used to clean the carafe?

    11. jennifer says:

      Hello,

      so happy I have found you blog & advice! The baking soda worked perfectly, even if it took almost an hour. 🙂
      But: I made a green smoothie just yesterday, and then washed the container using a brush & hot water, let it drip dry for a few minutes and then dried it with a microfiber cloth…. there is a greenish shine again 🙁 totally different from the mineral build-up, but exactly where the smoothie was poured, the plastic got a little green. any dea what i can do? i will definitely also wash it with soap after the next green smoothie..

      many thanks for your precious advice

      jennifer

      • Blender Lady says:

        Hello Jennifer, I’ve never heard of this happening! Try putting it in the sun as if it were a turmeric stain, and see what happens, then let me know. I am eager to see if that helps.

    12. Genny says:

      My blender container sure is cloudy so I’m going to try out washing it soon. I had no idea about not putting your blender in the fridge. I’ve only done it a few times, but sure not doing it any more!

    13. Tisha says:

      have you tried the Magic Eraser yet? Not sure when this was last updated, just curious! Such great info thanks for sharing

    14. Patrick says:

      I asked a Costco demo person if they had any suggestions for getting the dark brown cloudiness out of my Vitmix. Surprisingly enough, he suggested bleach in the following manner:
      Pour enough bleach to just cover the height of the blades. Run the unit on high for a couple minutes. Add dish soap and hot water. Run it again. Dump out the contents and fill it again with warm/hot water and dish soap and crank it up to high for a minute. Repeat several times until you are comfortable that you got all the bleach out of it.

      While i hate the idea of putting bleach in something i use daily for food prep…i must admit because of the dark brown cloudiness i could not see inside the container prior to doing the cleaning. Afterwards, the brown stains were gone and i could see inside the container quite well.

      • Blender Lady says:

        Hello Patrick,

        Do you use carrots in your recipes often?

        Clorox will bleach the mineral build up making it easier to see through, but only mechanical action as described in the article will remove mineral build up itself. Vinegar will soften mineral build up in preparation for physical removal techniques, but it will not dissolve and/or remove the minerals. Most people under estimate how hard you have to scrub, or how important it is to focus on only a very small area until the mineral build up is removed before moving to a new area. Never use an abrasive powder other than baking soda, or you risk scratching the container. Scratches cannot be removed.

    15. Feldbot says:

      The UV for turmeric stains worked like a charm! Thanks so much for making my carafe clear again!

    16. Mary says:

      Been wondering this week if I missed the boat on cleaning, but I haven’t seen how to (or if it’s even necessary) underneath the blade (inside the container.) Does gunk accumulate that needs to be scrubbed off periodically? Just a very hard-to-reach area. Recently, regular blenders were cited as hosting lots of bacteria under the blade. Then I though, “what about my Vitamix”? I never have cleaned under the blade where it spins.

      • Blender Lady says:

        Gunk accumulates in a “regular” blender because liquid can reach the seal from the inside of the container – the Vitamix has a permanent factory seal. If you clean using soap and water and a bottle brush (or the spin on high with hot soapy water method) and rinse well, you will not have problems with bacteria.

        • Mimi says:

          I always wondered about my small container. It gets gunk under the outside bottom and is loose. I have had to tighten it by hand and clean it buy taking it apart. It has been that way since I received it. Did I get a defective one?

          • Blender Lady says:

            It should not be loose or need tightening by hand. I recommend that you call Vitamix Customer Service – 800-848-2649 

            I’m finding that the best way to get through quickly to Vitamix is call at 8 am EST (when they first open).  If I have to call in the day time, I put my cell phone on the charger, and on speaker and multi-task until they get to me.

            – When they say, “If you know your party’s 4-digit extension, please dial it now” – DO NOTHING.  
            – After they say, “If you want to dial by name, please press 1” – DO NOTHING.
            – Then they will say, “Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed, for Household Product Sales and Customer Service, please press 1” – PRESS 1

            Then you can choose from these options:
            1 – If you have No internet access, and you want to Register your Machine online.
            2 – To check on the Status Of your Order – PRESS 2 – When they answer, give them you Order Number.
            3 – Sales (to buy a Vitamix or ask pre-purchase questions)
            4 – Repairs and Warranty issues
            5 – Questions about Recipes
            6 – General Vitamix Questions

            Vitamix Customer Service Representatives are trained to diagnose the problem over the phone.  If parts are needed, they will be sent free shipping.  If repairs are needed, Vitamix will pay for shipping both ways!

            I hope this helps!  

    17. Jen says:

      Wow its hard to believe how yellow the tumeric made that container but then it turned right back to clear again. Pretty amazing!

      Are there any ingredients that can leave permanent stains that should be completely avoided?

      Thanks!!

      Jen

      • Blender Lady says:

        Hello Jen,

        Some people grind cinnamon sticks in the dry container, and that can stain the container, but I don’t think it is permanent. I believe that the sun will also bleach out that stain as well. I am not aware of anything else that will stain the container – beets don’t stain the container (but will stain your hands)!

    Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *