How to Clean a Popcorn Machine with Vinegar

  • Author: Sue Dorrens
  • Published: December 6, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Popcorn machines are usually pretty easy to clean. However, you might find a buildup of grease in your popcorn machine over time, especially if you use oil or butter. You will need to clean it from time to time with something that cuts the grease. Although you can use grease-cutting dish soap or non-toxic citrus cleaners, some people prefer a more natural and less toxic option.

Vinegar is a great solution. Continue reading to learn how to clean a popcorn machine with vinegar.

Prepare the Popcorn Machine for Cleaning

Start by making sure that the popcorn machine is unplugged and has had time to cool.

The kettle inside heats the same way as a pan on top of the stove, so you can burn yourself if you don’t allow the machine to cool down sufficiently.

Popcorn machines often have a warming deck or drawer that also gets hot to keep your popcorn warm while it is waiting for you to eat. Make sure that the entire machine and all of its elements have time to cool before you start cleaning.

How to Clean Your Popcorn Machine Regularly

You won’t need to clean your popcorn machine with vinegar every time and is best used after you’ve noticed some buildup in your machine. A quick wipe-down clean with a paper towel or clean cloth is an easy way to maintain your popcorn machine as you use it.

Simply wipe out the kettle where you had oil. Then, take a damp cloth and wipe the inside of the machine. You should also wipe the heating tray if you have one, and any drawers or other sections.

Make sure that you take a clean, dry cloth to dry these surfaces after you wipe them down so that there isn’t any water in the machine.

If you want to clean the glass panels, you should use vinegar and water solution to make them sparkle. The vinegar will cut through any grease and wipe away fingerprints on the glass. Once you finish, you can take a damp paper towel and wipe away any that remains on the glass panels.

If you have used a rental popcorn machine a simple wipe-down is all it should need before you return it.

How to Deep Clean Your Popcorn Machine

If you use your popcorn machine multiple times in one day, you don’t have to remove the oil each time. You can use the machine for several batches without cleaning in between. You just need to make sure that you don’t leave the oil in the kettle for a long period of time, or it can go bad. If you only use your popcorn machine once in a while, you should clean it each time.

clean a popcorn machine with vinegar, cleaning popcorn machine
How to clean popcorn machine with vinegar?

You can start with the kettle, and you can use a vinegar and hot water solution (one part vinegar to two parts water) to clean it. Use a clean cloth and wipe the vinegar solution on the kettle until the grease is gone. Then, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe the kettle.

You should then wipe down all of the inside parts of the machine with a damp cloth and vinegar. It will de-grease and remove oil and fingerprints throughout the entire machine.

Why is Vinegar so Good at Cleaning?

You may want to understand more about vinegar and what makes it such a great cleaning agent. Vinegar contains the compound acetic acid, and distilled white vinegar has a pH of 2.4, which is more acidic than orange juice.

There are different types of vinegar, and they come from white or red wine grapes. You can find apple cider vinegar from apple cider, and rice vinegar that is made from rice.

The one that stands out is white vinegar. It is normally made of acetic acid produced in a lab and combined with water. Vinegar is a strong cleaner because of its high acidity level.

If you want to try an over-the-counter popcorn cleaner, see the illustration.

How Does Vinegar Work to Clean?

Why is vinegar one of the best cleaner for popcorn machines? The acidity in vinegar is what makes it a good cleaner. It can fight against buildup and dissolve things like grease, stains from hard water, glue from stickers, and soap scum. Vinegar can also shine up mirrors, floors, cabinets, and more.

Vinger also kills bacteria and is perfectly safe for food items, but check the vinegar you select to check its ingredients. You can even combine vinegar with baking soda to dissolve red wine stains.

You should avoid using vinegar on natural stone or delicate fabrics. Vinegar is too acidic for these items and can damage them. Only use a vinegar solution to clean porous surfaces like glass, ceramic, etc.

Use Vinegar If the Kettle Is Burnt

If somehow your kettle has burned the popcorn with oil or butter in it, follow these steps to get it shining again:

  • Put the kettle on the stove and turn the stove on. Heat it up so that the oil is liquid again.
  • Put some water in, and use a soft spatula or a wooden spoon to get the burnt parts off of the kettle.
  • You can also add vinegar, and it will help the burnt oil scrub off the sides.
  • You should heat it up for a minute before you wipe it away.

Where to Avoid Using Vinegar

Vinegar does well as a cleaning agent on glass and plastic, but it can be a problem on rubber or metal.

The acid can actually cause metal or rubber to corrode. If you use vinegar to clean your popcorn machine, you will want to wipe it off with a clean towel and warm water.

How to Make a Vinegar Solution for Cleaning

vinegar and water mix to clean popcorn machine, cleaning popcorn machines
Cleaning popcorn machine with vinegar

When you are preparing your vinegar solution for cleaning, start by warming the vinegar. Then, take a dish or a spray bottle, and mix one part vinegar with two parts warm water. You can spray the solution onto the kettle and the glass in the popcorn machine, or you can use a warm towel and spray the solution onto the towel before wiping the towel across all surfaces.

If you clean your popcorn machine regularly, you shouldn’t need to let the solution sit for very long. You should be able to wipe the machine down and then go over with a clean towel to dry.

Popcorn Machine Cleaner

Vinegar is a handy cleaning solution if you need to remove oil or grease from your popcorn machine. Vinegar is the perfect solution to avoid using toxic chemicals to clean your popcorn machine. This way, you know that your next batch of popcorn will be delicious and safe to eat.

You might also like our article on home theater popcorn machines.

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