Clean a Can Opener

How to clean a can opener? Do those even need cleaning? I didn’t think so until a took a good look at my own and realized how gross it was. Then I also remembered that pretty much every canned thing has juice in it and more than once have I spilled some of the juice onto the can opener. As you can see in the photo above, there is a …healthy… amount of goo just living there on the can opener. At this point is when I realized I really did need to clean the can opener.

You will need:

  • Cotton swabs
  • White vinegar
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Sturdy pointy thing

How to Clean a Can Opener

Can opener

  1. Use your cotton swab to coat the tight spaces in the white vinegar. The vinegar will start to loosen and break down the goo and grime. Also, please be careful of the blade, as the blade is sharp and can cut you.
  2. Start scrubbing the blade wheel with a cotton swab soaked in vinegar and be sure to get underneath the the gear as well.
  3. Use a sturdy pointy thingy, like a toothpick, to get into the spaces in the top, washer part of the blade wheel. I was able to start spinning the washer part independently to scrape out the goo. When cleaning your can opener, do not force any part to spin that doesn’t want to. You can see below all of the gunk that came off of the wheel and under the gears.
    Clean a Can Opener
  4. Dip the microfiber in the white vinegar to shine the flat parts of the can opener. Again, the white vinegar, while smelly, will cut through grease, grime and goo on the the flat parts of the can opener. I forgot that my can opener had a nice mirror finish to it.
    Cleaning a Can Opener
    Cleaning the Can Opner

Much better! Cleaning a can opener with white vinegar has some disinfecting properties, in case you are worried about that. Angela, why don’t you just clean the can opener in the dishwasher and avoid this mess? Great question. I prefer to clean a can opener this way because the dishwasher method will drench all of the moving parts and over time cause the gears to rust. Also, the dishwasher detergent can dull the blade on the can opener the same way it can dull your knives. Using this hand wash method to clean the can opener can help to lengthen the life of your can opener, plus vinegar helps to remove rust.

Happy Cleaning!

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7 Responses to How to Clean a Can Opener- Quick and Easy Tips

  1. kentuckylady717 says:

    Good job Angela…..but I just clean mine every time I use it and it doesn’t get like this….I hand wash it with a bottle brush and don’t have to worry about cutting my hand…..
    I used to put mine in the dishwasher and it got real rusty and looked so gross I couldn’t even stand to use it….so wrote the Co. they sent me a new one and I do not put this one in the dishwasher…..
    BTW…..QVC has a great can opener by Mark Charles usually shown on David’s show on Sunday and it is about $18.00, no parts to rust, nothing sticks to it, it takes the top of the lid off, no sharp edges left on the can or lid……my sister ordered one and she loves it… is on my list to order at some point…..

  2. Debra Dunn says:

    How would you clean an electric can opener??

    • Angela says:

      Generally the same way, just make sure you unplug it first. Do the detail cleaning with the toothbrush/cotton swabs dipped in white vinegar and wipe down the outside with a damp cleaning cloth. Do be careful of the electrical parts and make sure it is fully dry before plugging back in.

  3. Julie says:

    I remember reading once that a can opener is the most under cleaned kitchen utensil – not any more! I usually bung mine in the dishwasher now and again and hope for the best! I might go and have a proper look right now.

  4. says:

    So useful article! I usually clean my can opener with dish soap. Thanks a lot for your advice!

  5. Lizbeth Gallante says:

    Dry the area as quickly as possible – open the windows (if the weather is dry and sunny), use portable fans to stir the air and create negative air pressure in the affected room, or run dehumidifiers (if it’s cold or wet outside) to dry out the wet area within 24-48 hours after the disaster in order to reduce the risk of mold growth;

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