Can openers should be washed after every use. The bade of the can opener will touch the food inside the can and can grow bacteria which and be transferred to other cans. Wash hand and electric can openers after every use. Hand can openers should be washed in warm soapy water using a sponge or scrubbing brush. Clean electric can openers using a damp cloth and allow them to air dry.
This article will explore the tips, tricks and all you need to know about cleaning your can opener and preventing rust.
How to clean a hand can opener
Hand can openers can be cleaned in warm dish water with dish soap. Fill the skink with warm water, add dish soap and wash the can opener using a sponge with a scourer or scrubbing brush. Open the can opener wide so you can reach all areas of the cutting blade.
Take care not to touch the cutting blade with your fingers as they are sharp and can easily cause cuts. Always use a sponge or scrubbing brush to remove any food.
Rinse the can opener with cool running water and allow the can opener to dry on a dish rack. To help it dry quicker use a tea towel to remove the excess water. Allow it to dry in the open position to allow the water to drain and the blade to dry completely.
Check out this great video on how to wash and disinfect your can opener.
Can openers in the dishwasher
Washing a can opener in the dishwasher is not advised as the heat and excess water can damage the cutting blade. Water can easily sit inside the can opener and cause rust spots quickly. It is much better to take 5 minutes to hand wash the can opener.
This will help to prevent rust and keep your hand can opener in good condition.
How to clean an electric can opener
Electric can openers can be cleaned using a thick, wet cloth to wipe the blade clean. Use a microfiber or dish cloth to remove excess food straight after use. This will make it easier to remove as the food will not have dried onto the blade.
Allow the electric can opener to dry on your bench before putting it away which will help to prevent rust.
How to keep a can opener in good condition
There are a few main steps that you should take to look after your can opener to keep it in good condition for longer.
1. Wash it straight after use
Washing your hand can opener as soon as you use it will help to remove any food residue before it dries. Use warm, soapy water to get it clean and rise with cool, clean water. Allow it to dry in your dish rack or try it with a tea towel. Be careful of your fingers when cleaning a can opener as they are sharp.
2. Keep it safe in your drawer
Keeping your can opener in an area that stays dry is important. This will prevent surface rust and keep the blade sharp. Avoid placing your can opener in an area that gets steam from your stove or rice cooker.
3. Avoid the dishwasher
To keep your can opener in the best condition do not put it in your dishwasher. The heat and excess water can damage the blade and cause surface rust. The hot water from the dishwasher will heat up more than your sink so can damage your can opener.
New vs old can opener cleaning
While new can openers will be less likely to dig right into the can of food, they will still get dirty and need to be cleaned. Old school can openers that would pry the lid open manually, bending the edge and tearing the lid off would get covered in food.
Old can openers however were simple in construction so it was easy to get some warm soapy water in to the cutting blade to clean it off.
Newer can openers are more intricate but still need to be cleaned. Getting the blade clean with a brush is the best way to get into the hard to reach areas of the can opener.
Choose a good quality can opener to prevent rust
Choosing a good quality can opener in the first instance will help to prevent rust in the long run. Good quality stainless steel parts are less likely to rust particularly if they are kept clean and dry. While many handles are made of plastic, ensuring the parts are made from good quality steel is an important step.
Rust can be caused on can openers by leaving acidic foods like pineapple juice or tomato juice on the can opener blades. While water can speed up the process, leaving acidic foods on the blades in another main cause of rust.
A secret can opener cleaner
A fantastic way to get into the smaller parts of your can opener to clean it out is by using a toothbrush. Use a clean new toothbrush and allocate that as your can opener cleaner. This will get into the small areas of your can opener and get it squeaky clean.
Keep the toothbrush in your kitchen to scrub your can opener clean after using. Rinse the can opener after scrubbing and allow it to dry well.
Do can openers need to be washed? | Summary
Can openers should be washed after every use and doing this straight away will prevent food from drying on the blade. Wash it in warm soapy water using a scrubbing brush or toothbrush and rinse well. This will keep your can opener in good condition and allowing it to dry thoroughly will prevent rust.
Invest in a good quality can opener to start with and you will be on the way to a lifetime of can opening goodness.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.