Popcorn makers require more cleaning than you think, and if left unclean, these machines become a mold magnet!
Cleaning your popcorn maker regularly is essential to keep it operational. However, not everyone knows how to clean a popcorn maker while protecting it from any damage.
I’ve been using this machine for quite some time now and have cleaned it a number of times. In this article, I have rounded up seven easy steps to effectively clean a popcorn maker. No more struggling, as I’ve made cleaning the popcorn maker an easy process.
Types of Popcorn Makers
There aren’t just one or two, but multiple types of popcorn makers available. And some of them require a different cleaning approach. Below you’ll find different types of popcorn makers used in modern households.
Hot-Air Popcorn Makers
Hot-air popcorn makers are the most convenient to use, and cleaning them is also a cakewalk.
However, since there is no oil or butter involved, you don’t have to clean the stubborn grime.
Stovetop Popcorn Makers
The stovetop popcorn makers are completely washable, and you can quickly make them spick and span. However, they require oil, so some dust and grime will be there to clean.
Steps to Clean a Popcorn Maker
Step 1: Let the Machine Cool
Never clean the popcorn maker right away after preparing a batch. You need to let it cool for a few hours. Plug out the electrical cables, if any, and you can proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Discard the Remaining Popcorn
Merely emptying the popcorn collector chamber is not enough to discard the popcorn. You need to remove the residual popcorn manually. Grab the collector and turn it upside down; now tap it gently, and the residue will fall out immediately.
Step 3: Clean the Dust and Dirt
Take a close look at the internal surfaces of the popcorn maker and look for dirt and dust. You might notice some dust accumulated inside; it’s time to clean it. Use any dry and soft cloth to clean the inner areas and remove the dirt.
There are plenty of good-quality brushes available you can use to clean the plastic parts.
Do not use a cleaning agent while dusting, as it may lead to the dust sticking to the popcorn maker, which becomes difficult to clean.
Step 4: Apply a Soapy Solution to the Washable Components
If you have a stove-top popcorn maker, you can clean every component. However, not every component in a hot-air popcorn maker is washable, so you cannot clean the entire machine.
Go through the instruction manual to learn what parts you can wash.
Put all the parts into a sink, and apply a mild soapy solution. Now use a soft-bristle brush to remove the dust and grime.
If you are not sure about using a brush, you can even hand wash a popcorn maker by using a soft sponge.
Once done with all washable components, you should clean the chute. The chute is not removable and is on the inside of the popcorn maker. Wipe the chute using a damp cloth, and clean the debris.
You can use Amazonbasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths to clean the chute effectively.
Step 5: Dry Out the Components
Drying the popcorn maker is essential if you are planning to use it frequently. Place it on a dry surface, and start wiping each component one by one. You can use a soft microfiber cloth since it absorbs moisture and helps you do the job quickly.
Step 6: Assemble It
Now you are all set to assemble the popcorn maker. Grab the instruction manual if you are not sure how to put all the parts together.
Assemble all parts together, and make sure to apply the plastic lock if you have a hot-air popcorn maker.
Step 7: Use It Again
Put in corn kernels, plug in the cable, and you are all set to make a fresh batch of delicious popcorn. If you own a stovetop popcorn maker, you can place it on the stove and start making popcorn again.
Follow these effective cleaning steps in series again and keep the popcorn maker squeaky clean all the time.
Below is a quick video that sums up everything I just said;
Tips to Know When Cleaning a Popcorn Maker
Now that you know about the exact steps to clean a popcorn maker, it’s indispensable to know about some tips as well. Below I’ve shared the exact tips I follow when cleaning my popcorn maker.
Prepare a Thin Soapy Solution
Soap solutions with thick consistency don’t work well when cleaning a popcorn maker. You need a thinner solution that easily seeps inside and helps clean every corner. Here are steps to make a soapy solution:
- Take some water in a bowl
- Add a few drops of mild liquid detergent
- Stir and use
You can also add a few drops of lemon juice or baking soda to clean a popcorn maker that hasn’t been used for months.
Know if it is Dishwasher Safe
Some components of a hot-air popcorn maker, including the plastic cap, are dishwasher safe, and you can put them into the dishwasher for easy cleaning. However, you need to be sure about these parts beforehand.
The easiest way to know it is by going through the instruction manual. Or you can search your popcorn maker’s model online to know more.
Don’t Clean it While Hot
Cleaning a hot popcorn maker is dangerous and is not good for the machine as well. Whether you own a hot-air popcorn maker or a stovetop one, you should let it cool down before cleaning. Do not spray cold water on the popcorn maker to cool it.
Be Gentle to the Glass or Plastic Parts
Some popcorn makers have glass and plastic parts, which you need to take care of while cleaning. Make sure not to bang them on the kitchen benchtop or to not scrub them vigorously.
Don’t Disassemble it Forcefully
Not every part of your popcorn maker is removable, so be gentle with it. Do not try to forcefully remove anything. Some parts also have locks, so twist them gently and remove these components for cleaning.
Frequently Asked Questions on Cleaning a Popcorn Maker
Q: What is the best degreaser for a popcorn machine?
A: You can use mountainFLOW Bike Wash and Degreaser to remove the stubborn grime from the popcorn maker. Spray the solution inside and rub it gently using a soft sponge for effective cleaning.
Q: Does vinegar remove grease?
A: Yes, vinegar can dissolve grease, but it may take some time. If there is a lot of grease inside the popcorn maker, it is better to use a degreaser.
Q: How frequently should you clean a popcorn maker?
A: You should clean the popcorn maker after every use. Prepare the number of batches you want, and then clean the popcorn maker by following the steps explained in this article.
Q: Does washing a popcorn maker damage it?
A: No, washing a popcorn maker does not damage it. However, you need to be sure about cleaning it properly. Do not wash the electrical components and other such parts that the manufacturer does not recommend cleaning.
With these seven easy steps, you can effectively clean your popcorn maker after each use. Always use a good-quality soap solution, and rinse it out completely.
Moreover, you can use some homemade solutions such as vinegar and baking soda for effective cleaning.
It is a good idea to go through the instruction manual to learn more about popcorn makers and their components.