Food dehydrators are slowly becoming a staple for most homeowners today. Since you are reading this, the chances are that you already have one in your kitchen.
In that case, this article won’t be about the best dehydrators or which machines dry food faster. Instead, I’ll share with you a few tips on how to clean a dehydrator, base and trays, that might help to extend its shelf life.
Believe me, albeit seemingly delicate, a dehydrator could serve you several decades with proper maintenance.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if items are purchased.
How to Clean a Dehydrator – Things You Need
Before embarking on this task, you need to arm yourself with the following:
Not just any other soap works here. You need to go for specific soaps designed for cleaning dehydrators. In addition to giving you poor results, normal dishwashing soaps and gel cause damage to your device.
2. Warm Water
Arm yourself with enough water and enough space depending on the size of your machine.
3. Non-Abrasive Soft Brush
You’ll need these to scrub and scour away stubborn residue. Ensure that the brush is soft enough not to cause abrasions on your dehydrator’s surfaces.
Helps you reach those hidden parts that the hard brush can’t access. And if you feel that there are some areas that would be extremely hard to reach, feel free to get gas dusters or canned air.
5. Rubber Gloves
A good pair of gloves will protect your skin from the chemicals used for cleaning and the rigors of intense cleaning.
It will aid in wiping off any moisture or vapor after cleaning. This wiping off also helps deprive harmful bacteria that survive in moisture any thriving environment.
7. White Vinegar
This will knock out any form of hardened residue in your equipment.
Cleaning Dehydrator Trays
Soak your trays in warm, soapy water. If you intend to place them in the dishwasher, you need to check the instructional manual to see if it’s actually recommended. Add the white vinegar to thoroughly eliminate any stubborn residue. To get rid of that vinegar smell, just wash the trays with cold water.
Gently scrub your trays with the non-abrasive brush to remove any residue that might still be hanging around after soaking. Use the toothbrush to clean points which the hard brush can’t access.
For the best results, wash the different types of trays separately.
How to Clean Dehydrator Base
When cleaning the dehydrator base, keep in mind that different dehydrators have varied recommendations on this. For example, Nesco doesn’t recommend the removal of any part from the power unit. Here, diligently following the instructional manuals will guide you on how best to clean your case.
For perfectly cleaning your dehydrator, gently use the sponge to wipe off any moisture. You can dry the trays in the sun or keep them in a cool dry place.
Store the trays in a cool dry place with a cover to keep off dust. Ensure the environment is free from any bacterial contamination. Importantly, avoid places that experience temperature extremities.
Maintenance Of Your Dehydrator Machine
The following are quick tips on how best to maintain your dehydrator:
- Always read the manufacturer’s manual first before operating the machine.
- Chop food items as instructed in the recipe. Different food items behave differently in the dehydrator so, it’s good to handle them as required to avoid unnecessary damages.
- Obtain a non-stick liner if you use the Excalibur dehydrator
- This helps to prevent food from dripping onto its bottom. The non-stick liner will contain the fluids and prevent them from causing any harm to your machine.
- Avoid using oil in your dehydrator unless it is part of the recipe
- Applying oil on the trays makes their cleaning and the cleaning of the dehydrator in general a hard task.
- If you intend to dehydrate extremely sticky food, acquire parchment paper and disposable non-stick drying sheet such as ParaFlexx sheets.
- After you are done dehydrating and the dehydrator has cooled down, always take time to wipe your trays. This is to remove the excess residue and oil. Doing this would later make your work easier during the cleaning.
- Avoid the usage of hot water in cleaning your dehydrator. It might cause damages.
- Store your dehydrator and its components well,in a cool dry place. If you are finding trouble storing your dehydrators, be calm as dehydrators such as Presto dehydrators come in a form that makes their storage such an exciting activity.
Why You Should Clean Your Dehydrator
Being a device that helps you prepare your food, the cleanliness of a dehydrator can’t be taken for granted. Cleaning and good maintenance will go a long way to ensure your health is not compromised by unhygienic food.
Boosts Its Usable Life
As with most machines, appropriate cleaning and maintenance of the dehydrator prolongs its lifespan. A poorly maintained dehydrator will develop complications and break down in no time.
You Get Quality Food Each Time
Besides the lifespan, the quality of the final product will be enhanced if your dehydrator is well cleaned and maintained. Poorly cleaned and maintained dehydrators tend to affect the quality of your food products down the road. A good example is the food particles that get stuck in your trays which later affect the taste of other food items.
On the same note, before using a newly acquired dehydrator, you need to clean it first so that you don’t end up with a funny plastic smell in your dehydrated food.
Some food items, for instance, onions have a strong smell that might be easily transferred to another batch. Therefore, it’s only wise to appropriately clean your dehydrator after drying certain foods to avoid transferring such smells and taste to your fruits. You can imagine how it feels like eating apples that taste like onions.
Cleaning and maintaining your dehydrator, as seen above, isn’t any herculean task. You just need to have the right set of tools and the will to do it. A nice, sparkling dehydrator is not only pleasant to the eyes but also to the well-being of your lovely family.
It’s also worth noting that since dehydrators differ in their designs, cleaning them too definitely differ. For example, cleaning non-stick trays require less amount of energy as compared to other types of trays.
So, a good knowledge of your dehydrator is so important for apt cleaning. Lastly, instructional manuals are priceless. Spare time for them.
Eric MitchellEric is the owner, author, content director and founder of dehydratorlab.com. He is the lead architect and the main man in matters concerning dehydrators, their accessories, guides, reviews and all the accompaniments.Whenever he is not figuring out simple solutions (hacks) involving cookery and their eventual storage, you will find him testing out the different types of dehydrators, to bring us the juicy details regarding these devices.He is a foodie enthusiast, pasionate about making jerky has a knack for healthy and tasty food and won't hesitate to share out any ideas that might be of value around this subject.
How To Dehydrate Honey With A Dehydrator
Have you ever realized that honey can be dehydrated? I know you might be wondering if it’s actually necessary to dehydrate honey. Check out our easy guide.
How To Dehydrate Food Without A Dehydrator At Home – 8 Easy Methods That Work
Read this article to find out how to dehydrate food without a dehydrator, try one of these 8 easy methods that work at home.