How to clean a colander

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How do you clean a colander? In this article we tell you everything you need to know about how to clean a colander. First we discuss why you should clean your colander and how often you need to clean your colander. Then we lay out all of our best tips and tricks for cleaning a colander. 

This article describes how to clean a colander. If you are looking for tips on how to clean a mesh strainer check out this article on how to clean a mesh strainer.

How to clean a colander

Why do you need to clean a colander?

Why do you need to clean your colander? Bits of food get left behind when you use your colander to drain water from vegetables, pasta, or any other type of food. If this food is not washed off of your colander before you put it away you may experience unpleasant side effects. 

  • Rotten food. If bits of food are left on your colander after you use it the food will start to rot. The rotting food may produce an unpleasant smell and stink up your kitchen. The microbes that are that are feeding on the rotting food will also get on your dinner next time you use the colander. Yuck!
  • Bugs. Another reason you need to clean your colander is to keep bugs away. Never underestimate a bug’s ability to find trace amounts of food on a kitchen appliance. 

How often do you need to clean a colander?

How often do you need to clean your colander? Ideally you should scrub your colander with soap each time you use it. However, depending on what kind of food you are using in your colander you may be able to get away with giving your colander a quick rinse each time you use it and deep cleaning it every few uses. 

  • Vegetables & non-sticky foods. If you are using your colander to drain water from fruits and vegetables such as apples, grapes, and Brussels sprouts that do not leave behind any residue you can get away with rinsing your colander in warm water after each use. You should give your colander a scrub with soap every 5 – 7 days to get rid of any food residue that is left on your colander. 
  • Pasta & other sticky foods. If you are using your colander to drain pasta or any food that is any way sticky you need to give the colander a thorough scrub with soap each time you use it. As a rule of thumb if you are washing a food that leaves behind any residue that you can see or feel when you rub your finger over the colander you need to scrub your colander with soap each time you use it. 

How do you clean a colander?

How do you clean a colander? The best way to clean a colander is to submerge the colander in a large tub of warm soapy water. Submerging your colander in a tub of water ensures that each hole and crevice in your colander comes in contact with the soapy water. 

You should leave the colander to soak in the soapy water for a minute or two then you can take it out and scrub it with a sponge to remove any caked on residue. You may need to dunk your colander in the tub of soapy water then scrub it multiple times if there is a lot of sticky residue on your colander. 

Tips for cleaning a colander

Here are some of our best tips for cleaning a colander. 

  • Make sure to clean the outside of the holes. When you wash your colander you should always make sure to wash the outside of the colander. Even if the food you put in the colander did not touch the outside of the colander, then water you ran over that food did. That water can carry food residue and deposit it on the outside of the colander. 
  • Use hot water for washing pasta residue. If you are trying to wash pasta or another sticky substance off of your colander then you should use hot water to clean your colander. Hot water will dissolve the sticky pasta residue faster than cool or lukewarm water will.
  • The faster you wash your colander the better. The faster you wash your colander after you use it, the easier it will be to get food residue off of it. If you wait a long time to wash your colander then the food residue will dry and become caked on to the side of the colander. If you wash the residue off before it dries it will glide off more easily. 

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