How do I self-clean my Vitamix?

Keeping your Vitamix blender clean is essential for enjoying smooth and healthy drinks and meals. While Vitamix blenders are designed for easy cleaning, over time blender containers can accumulate sticky and dried on residues that require a deeper clean. Self-cleaning your Vitamix ensures you remove built-up food deposits and bacteria for optimal blender performance.

Why Self-Clean a Vitamix?

Here are some key reasons to regularly self-clean your Vitamix:

  • Removes dried on or sticky messes – Blending produce like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and berries can leave behind sticky residues that adhere to the container walls and blade assembly. Self-cleaning breaks down and removes these messes.
  • Sanitizes container – Self-cleaning heats the container to over 160°F, hot enough to kill bacteria that can grow in hidden crevices.
  • Extends blender life – Regular deep cleaning prevents permanent build up and corrosion that can damage blender parts over time. Self-cleaning keeps your Vitamix running like new.
  • Improves future blends – For the smoothest texture and most efficient blending, it’s essential the container walls stay slick. Self-cleaning removes clinging debris for better future blend consistency.

How Often to Self-Clean a Vitamix

Most Vitamix blenders should be self-cleaned every 1-2 weeks to keep them fresh and prevent extensive build up. Here are some signs it’s time to self-clean your Vitamix:

  • You notice sticky residue clinging to inner container walls
  • Blender contents aren’t fully incorporating on lower speeds like they used to
  • You detect unpleasant odors coming from the container or lid
  • The container feels slightly rough or grainy to the touch rather than slick
  • Drink or food texture seems grittier than normal

For heavy use, self-clean as often as every week. For lighter use, every 2-3 weeks is sufficient. Avoid letting your Vitamix go more than 3 weeks without a self-clean cycle.

Vitamix Self-Cleaning Methods

Vitamix offers two recommended methods to self-clean your blender – a hot water and dish soap blend and the built-in Self-Cleaning program.

Method 1: Hot Water and Dish Soap Blend

This manual method effectively breaks down residues using a hot, sudsy blend:

  1. Fill container 1/2 to 2/3 full with warm to hot water. The warmer the better for cleaning power.
  2. Add a couple drops of dish soap like Dawn – enough for light sudsing.
  3. Lock lid securely onto container.
  4. Select Variable 1. Start blender and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, blending for 30 seconds.
  5. Move to High speed and blend for 1 minute.
  6. Turn off and rinse container thoroughly with hot water.

The heat and turbulence of the blend removes sticky build-up. Dish soap boosts cleaning action.

Method 2: Self-Clean Program

Many new Vitamix models have a special Self-Clean program. This automated method couldn’t be easier:

  1. Fill container half full with warm to hot tap water.
  2. Lock lid and select Self-Clean program.
  3. The blender runs a heating and cooling cycle for 10 minutes before turning off automatically.
  4. Unlatch lid and rinse container thoroughly.

The Self-Clean program brings water to a steamy 160°F+ to deep clean and sanitize the container. No dish soap is needed.

Tips for Effective Vitamix Self-Cleaning

Follow these tips to get the best results from your Vitamix self-cleaning:

  • Use hot water – The hotter the water, the better it will dissolve and melt residue.
  • Blend on High speed – High blade velocity scours container walls.
  • Avoid extreme build-up – Don’t let residue cake on too heavily before self-cleaning.
  • Inspect seals – Replace lid or bottom seals if letting steam escape.
  • Remove particles – Rinse out or wipe down large food bits before self-cleaning.
  • Clean exterior – Wipe motor base and lid exterior to remove drips.
  • Repeat as needed – Self-clean again if build up persists after first cycle.

With regular self-cleaning, your Vitamix will deliver years of high performance blending.

Self-Cleaning Other Vitamix Parts

In addition to the container, other Vitamix component may need periodic deep cleaning:

Lid and Lid Cap

While the self-clean cycle sanitizes the inside of the lid, exterior parts should be hand washed. Remove the clear lid cap and wash in warm soapy water. Clean the lid top using a dish sponge or soft brush. Avoid harsh scrubbing that can degrade the seal. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

Blender Base

Wipe down the motor base exterior with a soft damp cloth to remove any splatters. Unplug first. Never submerge the base or use strong cleaners. Display bases have ventilation holes – use compressed air to clear dust and debris from these openings.


Hand wash the tamper tool in warm soapy water. Use a bottle brush to clean the inside of thehollow handle if needed. Rinse and dry completely. Never put the tamper through a self-clean cycle.

Can You Put Vitamix Parts in Dishwasher?

Vitamix does not recommend dishwashing any blender parts, including containers, lids, and tampers. The combination of high heat and harsh detergents can degrade components over time. Stick to hand washing and self-cleaning cycles for best results.

How to Clean a Vitamix Container Without Self-Clean

If your Vitamix model doesn’t have a Self-Clean function, don’t worry! You can still effectively clean it manually:

  • Add hot water and a drop of dish soap to the container.
  • Lock on lid and blend on High for 1-2 minutes until warmed and sudsy.
  • Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
  • Repeat as needed for tough buildup.

The hot soapy blend mimics the Self-Clean effect. Be sure to rinse away all soap residue.

Can You Use Vinegar to Clean a Vitamix?

Yes, vinegar can supplement your blender cleaning routine. Its acidic properties help dissolve gunky buildup.

To use vinegar, fill container 1/3 with warm water. Add 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar and drop of dish soap. Lock lid and blend on High 1-2 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

Don’t rely solely on vinegar to sanitize since it doesn’t heat to kill bacteria like self-cleaning does.

Tips for Preventing Vitamix Build Up

Prevention is the best way to minimize Vitmix clean up:

  • Rinse after each use – Quickly rinse container and lid after blending while residues are still fresh.
  • Blend a minute with water – After rinse, add water and blend on High for 60 seconds to flush.
  • Avoid long rests – Don’t let ingredients sit in container for prolonged periods.
  • Start on lower speed – Gradually work up to higher speeds to better incorporate.
  • Use tamper – The tamper helps blend thick ingredients more efficiently.
  • Clean tamper – Remove buildup on tamper tip regularly so it moves freely.

With proper care after each use, you’ll get way less gunky buildup between deep cleans.

Vitamix Container Material

All Vitamix containers are made from hardened co-polyester plastic to be durable and shatterproof. This high-grade plastic withstands blade impact and friction heating during blends. It’s also chemical resistant so flavors don’t retain between blends.

Vitamix frequently innovates production methods and formulas to improve container performance. While still plastic, containers have varying properties between models and generations.

Advantages of Vitamix Plastic Containers

  • Durable – Stands up to years of daily use
  • Shatterproof – Won’t crack if dropped
  • Stable – Doesn’t react with foods or retain odors/flavors
  • Heating resistant – Can withstand hot friction of blends
  • Clear – Lets you see blender contents
  • Lightweight – Comfortable to move and clean

The strong co-polyester composite is ideal for commercial and home blending needs.

Disadvantages of Plastic Containers

A few drawbacks to Vitamix’s plastic containers include:

  • Scratches over time – Friction can gradually dull and scratch the surface
  • Not broiler safe – Can’t handle oven broiler temperatures
  • Stains possible – Some foods like carrots may discolor plastic
  • Not microwave safe – Should never microwave containers

While durable, cosmetic wear is expected over years of use. Proper care helps containers hold up.

Vitamix Container Size Options

Vitamix offers containers in a range of sizes to suit different blending needs:

20 oz Container

The Vitamix personal blending cups have 20 oz capacity perfect for single serve smoothies, dip sauces, dressings, etc. Their smaller size means cleanup is a breeze. The included lid has a flip cap spout for pouring.

32 oz Container

This compact container is popular for family meals and entertaining 4-6 people. Great for soups, dips, nut butters, and smaller batches. Fits under most kitchen cabinets while giving room to blend.

48 oz Container

A versatile mid-size container for blending medium batches for 4-6 people. Ideal for smoothies, purees, nut butters, hummus, salsa, and crushed ice.

64 oz Container

This larger capacity works well for blending beverages and recipes for 6+ people. Good for big batch meal prepping, soups, nut milks, batters, slaws, etc. The wider base offers great blending power.

Container Size Capacity Best Uses
20 oz Single servings Personal smoothies, dipping sauces, dressings
32 oz 2-4 servings Small family meals, soups, spreads
48 oz 4-6 servings Medium batches, smoothies, purees
64 oz 6+ servings Large batches, big smoothies, soups

Vitamix Container Alternatives

In addition to their standard co-polyester plastic containers, Vitamix offers some alternate container materials:

Stainless Steel Containers

Some high-end Vitamix models include optional stainless steel containers. Benefits of steel include:

  • Stainless surface won’t scratch or stain
  • Can handle hot liquids without clouding plastic
  • Broiler safe for finishing recipes in oven
  • Stylish modern aesthetic

Downsides of steel are increased weight and risk of corrosion over time if not dried fully after washing.

Glass Containers

Vitamix used to offer glass jar blending containers with their blenders. Pros of glass were slick sides and being broiler safe. But glass had major risks of shattering and was discontinued.

Food-Safe Resin Containers

Some Vitamix models are bundled with BPA-free Eastman TritanTM copolyester containers. Benefits include:

  • Mirror-finish sides for slick texture
  • Resists stains, odors, cracking
  • Lightweight yet durable

These containers are comparable yet more advanced versus standard Vitamix plastic.

Tips for a Long Lasting Vitamix Container

Follow these best practices for maximizing your Vitamix container’s lifespan:

  • Avoid dropping – Impacts can damage containers over time.
  • Proper cleaning – Follow Vitamix’s methods to prevent buildup of gunk.
  • No metal utensils – Never scrape with metal that can scratch container.
  • Check seals – Replace lid or base seals if loosening over time.
  • Original blender only – Don’t use containers on incompatible blender bases.
  • Store upside down – Invert container after washing for drainage.
  • Check for cracks – Discontinue use if any cracks appear.

With care and maintenance, expect to enjoy years of service from your Vitamix container.

Replacement Vitamix Containers

Over years of wear, if you do need a replacement Vitamix container, they can be purchased directly from the Vitamix website or authorized dealers.

Choose the exact container model designed for your blender’s base to ensure full compatibility. Prices range from $115 for personal cups up to $159 for family-size containers.

Vitamix also offers refurbished containers for a discount of about 25% off retail pricing. These are inspected, cleaned, and renewed to meet Vitamix standards.

Vitamix Container FAQs

Can you blend hot liquids in Vitamix?

Yes, Vitamix containers can safely handle blending hot ingredients up to 140°F/60°C. The specialized plastic withstands high heat from friction. Never blend boiling liquids.

Are Vitamix containers BPA-free?

Yes, all Vitamix containers use BPA-free Eastman Tritan copolyester plastic to be food-safe. They have no BPA or BPS.

Do Vitamix containers go in the dishwasher?

No, Vitamix does not recommend putting any container parts in the dishwasher. The combination of heat, pressure, and harsh detergents can degrade blender parts over time.

Can you use a Mason jar in a Vitamix?

No, Mason jars should never be used in a Vitamix. Glass jars can shatter at high speeds. Only use original containers designed for Vitamix base models.


Regularly self-cleaning your Vitamix container and components is the best way to enjoy many years of high performance blending. Follow the proper methods using hot water, dish soap, and the automated Self-Clean cycle to keep your Vitamix looking and blending like new. With routine deep cleaning and daily care, your Vitamix can be a long lasting kitchen staple.

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