I Finally Found Out Why I Can’t Fully Clean My Super-Cloudy Blender

published Jun 20, 2023
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Someone holding clean blender.
Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Our Vitamix blender is probably our most-used kitchen appliance, and I absolutely love it. We’ve had it for over a decade and have used it daily since we got it. The only problem with it is that the pitcher really shows its age and the amount of use it’s gotten. It’s so cloudy that it looks dirty even when it’s just been cleaned. I really dislike this — not only because it looks gross, but also because using something that doesn’t look clean to prepare food feels extra disconcerting. 

Usually, what makes the blender cloudy is a build-up of hard-water deposits. When hard water sits on the surface of the blender time after time, eventually it becomes impossible to remove with routine cleaning methods. I’ve tried various techniques, including a baking soda and vinegar method, which helped at the time. My blender container gets cloudy again so quickly, though, and I feel like each time I attempt to restore it to its glass-like transparency, it gets harder to do. 

I’m not one to give up, though, and I recently came across an idea I really wanted to try: using citric acid to cut through the hard-water stains. Citric acid, which is food-grade and safe, is often used to descale coffee makers, tea kettles, and other items. In hopes that it would work wonders on my cloudy blender, I decided to try it out. 

I filled the container with hot water and added six tablespoons of citric acid (go for the big bag; it goes a long way). Then I added a few squirts of dish soap, mixed the solution with the handle end of a spatula, and allowed the blender to soak for about 20 minutes. I then poured out the water and scrubbed the interior with a Scrub Daddy

It did seem like some of the hard-water deposits were gone, and before I dumped out the water, I could even see bits of them that had lifted off the interior of the container. However, my blender didn’t look crystal clear like I wanted it to. So I turned to my trusty Bar Keepers Friend to see if that would help encourage more of the stubborn deposits off. I saw some improvement, but still, not full transparency like I wanted. 

Next, I turned to the big guns: Cif Cream Cleanser. (This is the stuff that removed even the burnt-on grease splatters on the back of my speed oven.) I squirted it into the interior of the blender and scrubbed again with the Scrub Daddy. Once again, there was a visible improvement, but I wouldn’t call it completely clear.

At this point, I stopped and wondered if my blender cloudiness was caused by something that can’t be fixed, like teeny-tiny scratches. In my research, I learned that there’s an actual name for what can happen to blender containers: crazing. According to U.K.-based blender brand Blendtec, “Material crazing may occur from a chemical interaction with a cleaner or an oil, such as an essential oil. Crazing may appear as a cloudy fog or tiny cracks. These effects are only cosmetic and you can still use your jar(s) without any problems. There is no solution for removing any crazing.” (Vitamix blender containers and Blendtec containers are both made from the same material: copolyester.) 

However, I did manage to get the bottom square portion of the blender clear with the aforementioned methods. This suggests to me that the interior of the blender may have reacted with something that was placed inside of it at some point in time, as the copolyester portion that wasn’t in contact with the substance did get clear. 

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Knowing that my persistent cloudy blender problem isn’t necessarily a result of not finding the right cleaning technique, but rather natural wear and tear has allowed me to relax about having a still-somewhat-cloudy blender container. Although in this instance more knowledge didn’t exactly give me the outcome I was looking for (a life-changing cleaning hack), it did allow me to accept the little flaws in my blender and stop trying to clean to perfection. I’ll take it.