A food dehydrator is capable of offering innumerable benefits for an athlete, hunter, or a busy parent. It is crucial to take the necessary steps to the clean your food dehydrator. If you fail to clean the appliance between each use, you will risk yeast, mold, microbes, and bacteria growth. Below you will discover the steps that you should take to clean your food dehydrator.
The food dehydrator will consist of multiple trays. While some dehydrators are designed with stacking trays, others will be encased in stainless steel, which will offer durability and longevity. The appliance may also contain BPA free plastic, polycarbonate, and silicone food grade materials.
Breaking Down the Food Dehydrator
Unplug the appliance from the electrical outlet, before moving forward. You will need to break down the appliance and keep the parts separated. The trays may be dishwasher safe, but make sure to take the time to read the instruction and maintenance guide completely to ensure the safeness of the components. A dishwasher will be capable of producing water and steam temperatures ranging around 130-170 degrees Fahrenheit.
A temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit is required to eradicate bacteria and microbes. It is always a great idea to place the dehydrator components in the dishwasher prior to each use, just to eradicate any remaining microbes.
Never immerse electrical or digital components in water, because this will damage the intricate technology integrated into the parts.
For those food dehydrator components that are not dishwasher safe, you will be forced to hand wash them in your kitchen sink. Dried food residual will be nearly impossible to remove, so you should let the components soak overnight. This will soften and breakdown the hard debris, so you can easily rinse it off with tap water.
Once the crusty debris is gone, you should wash the components with mild dishwashing detergent and a sponge. Do not use a scouring pad on the dehydrator, because this could potentially scratch or damage the finish.
In order to sanitize the components, when utilizing the hand washing method, you will need to dilute 1/2 ounce of bleach into every 1 1/4 gallon of water. Bleach is capable of eradicating up to 99% of bacteria, viruses, and microbes. Allow the parts to soak for 15-30 minutes, then refill the sink with hot water and mild dishwashing liquid for a thorough cleaning. Be sure to rinse each component underneath the tap for at least 15-30 seconds, to remove any excess detergent and bleach.
Place all of the components on a clean towel and let them air dry completely, before placing them back into the food dehydrator.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the safest products that can be utilized for nearly everything, even cleaning your food dehydrator. Although, apple cider vinegar has been utilized for many decades to combat minor illnesses and food flavoring, you can integrate it into your appliance cleaning tasks.
This type of vinegar is capable of eradicating up to 98% of all microbes, fungus, viruses, and bacteria. It also contains a high content of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. The great thing about vinegar is it does not need to be diluted. You can simply dip your sponge into the vinegar and then wipe the interior/exterior portions of the dehydrator down thoroughly.
If you want to create a paste, you can mix 1/4 cup of powdered laundry detergent with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. If you choose to utilize the paste, you will need to rinse probably 2-3 times to thoroughly to remove all of the detergent residual.
You can also use the paste instead of the bleach for soaking or washing the components.
However, you choose to clean your food dehydrator, it is important to allow all of the components to air dry thoroughly, before reassembling. If you properly maintenance and clean your food dehydrator, it will offer you a long service life and an abundance of nutritional snacks.