A can opener is an incredibly useful tool in your kitchen. It is used to open canned foods in a matter of seconds while preventing skin cuts caused by the sharp metal. Even if the device helps you open the cans safely, there are other can opener cleaning hazards that put your family members’ life at risk. Keep reading to learn how to clean the can opener properly.
Why cleaning can opener is important?
While in most cases the can opener is the least cleaned kitchen device, it is extremely vulnerable to germs, dirt and metal shavings. Given the fact that all these contaminants are either invisible or hard to reach, most homeowners fail to remove them during the regular cleaning. In result, the metal pieces and bacteria from the device get in your food while opening new cans.
To prevent the contaminants putting your life at risk, you have to clean the can opener thoroughly. Allow more time on cleaning it to remove each and every piece of mess stuck on it. It will ensure the can opener hazards disappear and the canned food is safe to eat.
What are the can opener cleaning hazards?
Germs are a frequent guest on your can opener. When the wheel rolls to cut the metal, bacteria accumulates inside it. You may think that bacteria get fully removed when washing the device, but it’s hardly so. Being placed in the back of the wheel and inside the gears, the microorganisms are hard to reach to. They multiply, grow and transfer to the food when you open a new can.
Germs are highly dangerous for your health. They can cause various ailments, from stomach ache and fever to diarrhea and poisoning. You don’t want it to happen to your family members. That’s why, you have to take can opener cleaning seriously and wash it meticulously after each opened food container.
2. Metal shavings
Metal shavings are tiny pieces of metal caused by friction between the can and the can opener. Metal shavings accumulate on the can opener and if you don’t remove them, they get in the food, contaminating it. It can be both biological (bacteria) and chemical (toxins) contaminants that make the edibles harmful to ingest.
Hunker also hints at physical hazards caused by sharp metal shavings that can injure the throat and stomach membrane and hurt the eye if they become airborne. Luckily, dangerous shavings are not stuck on the can opener forever. They just require a bit more dedication and elbow grease to get rid of while cleaning the device.
How to properly clean can openers?
If your can opener is not much affected by gunk, use hot water and dish detergent to get it clean and ready for a new use. Mix the ingredients in a bowl to create a concentrated sudsy solution. Immerse the can opener in the solution and let it sit for a couple of minutes for the grime to get loose and bacteria to die. Use a harsh sponge or a toothbrush to scrub the wheel and remove the dirt stuck inside it. Rinse under a strong jet of water to force the stubborn debris out.
Let the device dry in a properly ventilated space. RealSimple suggests to open the handles of the gadget to allow every particle of moisture from the wheel and gears to evaporate. Remember, should water traces remain in the wheel, you will have to deal with a new hazard – rust. That’s why, let the device dry out thoroughly. Avoid using paper towels to dry the can opener, as they may not absorb all water from the wheel.
If it’s been a long time since you last cleaned the can opener, give up on dish soap and switch to something more powerful. There are many germs and metal shavings accumulated on the device a dish soap can’t combat. Bleach in this case can do a great job of deep cleaning and disinfecting the device.
Mix a tablespoon of bleach and one gallon of water. Add the solution in a spray bottle and spritz it onto the can opener. Focus especially on the wheel and its neighborhood, as this is where most of contaminants are located. Wipe down the wheel with a cloth or use a toothbrush to add scrubbing power when dealing with stubborn grime.
Do not clean the gadget in a rush. You want to scrub persistently and patiently until the stuck-on debris finally comes off. Rinse the device with much water and let it dry with its handles open. Allow several hours for the can opener and wheel to get rid of water and bleach residue. Then, apply some mineral oil on the wheel to prevent rust and make it roll more smoothly.
Can vinegar be used to clean can opener?
Vinegar is great at removing mess from a can opener. Half-fill a bowl with vinegar and immerse the device in it. The Kitchn recommends to let it sit for a few minutes if the gunk is light and for several hours if the dirt is tough. If anything, you will see bubbles and dirt coming out of the can opener suggesting that the vinegar is doing its job. You can also scrub the tool with a toothbrush dipped in vinegar to reach to the hardly accessible parts. Once the can opener is sparkling clean, wipe it with a dish towel to soak as much moisture as possible, then let it air dry for a couple of hours.
As unnoticed as they are, can opener cleaning hazards deserve a lot of attention. Metal shavings, germs and gunk accumulated on the tool get in the food as you open new cans. You don’t want them to cause serious health problems. That’s why, make a point of cleaning the device before opening a new can. Refrain from wiping with a wet cloth for just a few seconds, as it will leave the stuck-on mess in place. Make patience your best friend and give a thorough cleaning to your can opener to ensure it gets rid of all type of contaminants.