Properly cleaning your machine after every juicing session is THE BEST way to love your press. If you juice daily, you should clean daily. The sugars in fruit and vegetable juices can get into every nook and cranny, creating sticky, germ-filled messes.
Not cleaning your machine regularly can also lead to problems like tannin build-up, or worse, machine malfunction. Just remember, a clean press is a happy press!
Follow these steps, especially finishing with an alkaline rinse (so important!), for a simple method of cleaning your press.
Set Up for Cleaning Your Machine
Before you start, we recommend filling a sink or large tub with your cleaning solution in the proper ratio, just follow the directions on the package. We recommend Powder Brewer’s Wash by Star San for a safe, environmentally friendly cleaner (contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to purchase some today!).
You can then add your smaller machine parts to this sink full of solution as you uninstall them. Let them soak in the solution and then scrub them for a really great clean (many of our favorite people – our customers! – do a typical three sink cleaning process for these smaller items, check with your local health code for their recommendations).
Hose Your Machine Down to “Dechunk”
If you are able, we recommend using a kitchen hose with a sprayer or a regular hose (or anything that can get water to your machine) to do the initial rinse of your press (see below for a no floor drain solution). Please do NOT use any high powered water sprayer on your press. The control panel and electrical boxes are water tight but spraying directly on them with high power can cause damage.
Start hosing down from the top of your machine to the bottom to rinse off as much of the sugars and chunks as possible. “Chase the chunks” that get into small spaces, starting with the chute. Starting at the top uses gravity in your favor to rinse those chunks all the way down to the floor drain.
#BONUS: No Floor Drain? No Problem! For a “no drain” dechunking: leave the shredder housing assembled (just like when you’re ready to make juice) with the juice pan in place. Turn the shredder on at its lowest speed then run the fluids through the shredder chute for a good dechunking washdown that flows down, through and into the juice pan!
For the outside of your machine, you can use saturated rags to wipe and brushes or pads to scrub. You can also get creative with towels and buckets to wash and rinse. We know you can find a way!
Rinse, Remove and Rinse Some More
Remove the Chute
As you dechunk and rinse, you can begin to remove parts of your machine, starting with the chute. Unlatch and allow the chute to tip forward while you rinse around and behind the blade holder inside the shredder housing (see the chute tipping feature and more in our Getting to Know Your Machine video – very cool!). Remove your chute and set aside in a safe place (no precarious balancing!).
Remove Blade Screw + Washer + Blade + Blade Holder + Hub
Continue rinsing and dechunking your machine. Once you have sufficiently rinsed the shredder housing, remove the blade screw and washer, blade, blade holder and hub (instructions on how to remove your blade here and instructions on how to remove your blade holder and hub here – we recommend cleaning your hub monthly). Drop all of those parts into your smartly prepared sink or tub of solution for deeper cleaning after they’ve been soaked for a while.
Remove Bags + Boards + Juice Pan
Rinsing the bags and boards is a little trickier. There’s definitely going to be some fun chunks inside and around these parts. If you haven’t already removed your bags to empty the cake, we highly recommend you do before hosing everything down. But it’s not the end of the world if you haven’t (just messier). Be sure to rinse the outside and inside of the bags thoroughly. For a deeper clean of your press bags, we have a great how-to here.
Boards are best rinsed in place then again once you’ve removed them. If your prepared solution tub or sink is large enough, we highly recommend soaking your boards there as well. A good scrub down of the boards is a very good idea also. We recommend using a Scotch Brite pad and a bottle brush to get into those little holes.
Your juice collection pan will need to be dumped at this point, as it’s literally been “collecting” all your rinsing water. After emptying, add it to your sink or tub of solution to get a good cleaning later.
Give Your Machine a Good Spray Down + Scrub
After you’ve rinsed your machine, you will now want to saturate it with your cleaning solution. You can apply it with a spray bottle (our preferred method) or just use a rag or brush with a bucket of solution. Scrub down the tannins that have built up with a Scotch Brite pad. It’s a good idea to remove your cylinder cover for cleaning periodically also – you might be surprised what you find in there…
Try to get the cleaning solution into every nook and cranny and scrub as best you can. It is possible to return your machine to it’s original shiny silver with a little elbow grease. Removing discoloration is a sure sign that you’re doing it right. After scrubbing, rinse the entire machine again with water.
Finish With an Alkaline Rinse
ALWAYS finish your cleaning session with a good alkaline rinse on the entire surface of your press – we recommend using the same PBW you’ve been cleaning your machine with. This resets the pH of the machine’s surface and protects the oxidation layer on the stainless steel that keeps your juice safe (read more about the oxidation layer here). We keep a clearly marked spray bottle of premixed PBW handy for just this purpose.
Don’t Forget About the Sink!
You should now have a full sink of all your removable parts from your press that you were adding as you were cleaning. All these parts need a good cleaning and scrub just as your press does.
Cleaning Your Machine Regularly = A Happy Press!
Once you’ve gone through this process a few times, it feels like an old hat. And the best news is that the more often you clean your press (remember, after every use!), the easier the cleaning process will be. On the opposite hand, neglecting your press leads to more elbow grease for scrubbing and lengthier cleaning processes (not to mention using a dirty machine for making juice- ew!).
Start with the cleaning process we’ve provided here, adapt and modify it to make it your own, and you will have a happy machine for clean wonderful cold press juice that will last for years to come.
For a walk through of Press Washdown Best Practices, check out the video below:
Hooray for a clean machine!