How to Prevent a Mold in a Blender to Avoid An Icky Health Hazard

Michael Rubino

September 8

A blender is one of those appliances that you can continually find new uses for. From making drinks and preparing meals to creating salsas and soups, this kitchen gadget is built to save you time and energy. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. These little turbo spinners can easily turn into a hazard zone without proper care. Preventing contamination situations like mold in a blender should be at the top of everyone’s cleaning agenda. 

Sure, mold in a blender is gross, but it can also be a serious health hazard. Not to mention, where mold grows, bacteria often tag along for the contamination party. Once these microorganisms are established, all sorts of particles will be blended in with whatever you popped into your machine. 

A hint of mold is probably not what you had in mind while you were trying to make a smoothie…

To avoid this unpleasant situation, here’s everything you need to know about preventing mold in a blender and all of the health effects that can go along with it.

Why Your Blender?

Understanding mold and the conditions it grows in can help you better prevent it from settling in your machine. "Know thy enemy," right? If your mold awareness is already top-notch, you can go ahead and skip this part or read it for a refresher. 

Mold 101

Mold is a type of fungus with 100,000 species identified so far. Each of these species reproduces by creating microscopic spores and releasing them into the surrounding environment.¹’² Picture a dandelion blowing those fuzzy little seeds in the wind, and you’ve got the right idea.

mold spoores

Like seeds, these spores are non-living particles and will remain unalive until they land on a surface with the right components for growth. Thanks to their hardy nature, most species of mold only need two elements to begin growing.³

These two items are:

  1. Food
  2. Moisture

A key detail to remember: If these two components are present for 24–48 hours, a mold spore can begin to grow. That’s why time is of the essence when it comes to mold prevention.

Once the mold spore transitions into the world of the living, it will start growing roots called hyphae into the surface it landed on and begin that reproductive cycle.

Why Does Mold in a Blender Occur?

Going off of the information above, it’s easy to see why mold in a blender can occur. If a lucky mold spore blows into one of these machines that has not been taken care of properly, it will think it has won the lottery dream home.

Mold colonies are pretty much like teenagers and will eat almost anything. That means that all of the ingredients and items you put inside of the appliance are perfect edible options for a lucky spore. The random organic particles floating around the kitchen also offer up another yummy food source for these microorganisms.

As for moisture, this is another easy check mark for allowing mold growth. Chances are, whatever’s going in the blender is accompanied by some form of moisture, like water or milk. This creates the perfect living situation for contaminants like mold and bacteria to move in. Add in all of the rubber gaskets and crevices that can trap moisture, and it’s a particle haven.

Once inside, every time you turn the machine on, you’re blasting all sorts of particles into what you’re making. That is not a recipe for making your body happy.

The Health Impact of Mold in a Blender

The longer colonies of bacteria and mold exist on a surface, the more microscopic particles they’ll release into the surrounding space. Some species of mold can also create microscopic toxins called mycotoxins when they feel threatened, further adding to the harmful particle party.⁴

A common misconception is that since mold exists all over the world, it’s no big deal when it’s in our homes. True, it’s impossible to completely avoid encountering mold spores and mycotoxins throughout the day. The difference, however, is the level of exposure between this random encounter and something like mold in a blender.

Instead of a couple of particles throughout the day, a contaminated kitchen appliance will blast an unknown number of microscopic particles into something you’re about to ingest. And it will do this every time you use the machine. That’s also not including all of the particles that are being released into the kitchen as well.

Thanks to their small size, these particles can all be inhaled, ingested, and absorbed into the body.¹²

This level of exposure is much greater than bumping into a few while walking into work or driving down the highway. While the body can typically easily handle a few particles here and there by deploying the immune system to get rid of them, a whole army of them can be a bit trickier.⁵’⁶’⁷’⁸’⁹’¹⁰ The immune system will try to keep up, but it can get overrun and malfunction, leading to a long list of potential chronic issues as the toxic load increases in the body.

upset stomach
Common symptoms of exposure include:
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Skin issues
  • Hair loss
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Allergy or cold-like symptoms
  • Brain fog
  • Chronic fatigue

The tricky thing about exposure is that no two people respond the same way. One person dealing with mold in a blender may have the occasional brain fog while another develops a series of 10 or more symptoms. And, because exposure can trigger a multisystemic response, adverse health reactions can span the entire body.

Much more research is needed to better understand how indoor contamination affects the body, but it’s difficult to accomplish for a variety of reasons. Various factors can play a role in how someone experiences mold. Genetics, immune system status, species of mold, and the presence of mycotoxins or bacteria are a few of the elements that can influence how someone reacts.

The potential for a reaction is reason enough to actively work to avoid mold in a blender. Plus, drinking mold, bacteria, and mycotoxins is just icky.

How Do You Prevent Mold in Blender?

Preventing mold in a blender is all about eliminating the components these contaminants need to grow. That means reducing moisture and getting rid of any potential food sources. Mold spores and bacteria particles could have also randomly blown into the appliance, so actively working to remove them is also at the top of the prevention list.

Steps to prevent mold in a blender include:

  • Wash and dry completely after every use: Cleaning the machine regularly will help to remove any particles that contaminants can use as a food source.
  • Don’t let anything sit in the machine: Remember that mold can grow in as little as 24 hours. Food or moisture left in the blender for extended periods of time can allow for contaminants to begin growing. Cleaning the machine immediately helps to avoid this situation.
  • Deep clean after every 3-4 uses: Taking the machine apart and thoroughly cleaning it will help remove any trapped moisture and particles that can allow growth. It will also help get rid of any spores or bacteria that manage to sneak inside.
  • Maintain indoor humidity between 35-50%¹¹: Some species of mold can grow in high humidity. To avoid this, create kitchen airflow by turning on the exhaust while cooking and wiping up any pooled water. If the humidity just will not go down, consider investing in a dehumidifier. 
  • Keep an eye out for wear and tear: Cracks in the machine can trap moisture and particles and be difficult to properly clean. Catching these issues can help avoid mold in a blender from happening to you.
  • Replace it on time: Typically, this is every 3-5 years, but each situation is unique. If the blender begins to malfunction, has wear and tear, or is a struggle to get clean, it’s time to swap it out.
  • Collectively, these can help avoid mold in a blender.

How Do You Clean a Blender?

With all of the tiny parts and rubber gaskets, cleaning a blender is a crucial aspect of prevention.

preventing mold in a blender

First and foremost, make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions for their recommendations on cleaning procedures. All blenders are different, so they’ll have the best knowledge of how to clean your specific machine.  

Steps for daily cleaning include:
  • Remove the jar from the blender base.
  • Spray a botanical multi-purpose cleaner such as Benefect Decon 30 on the base, allow this to sit for 30 seconds, and then wipe with a microfiber towel.
  • Place warm water and white vinegar in the blender and then turn on the self-cleaning or high-speed option.
  • Remove the jar from the base and gently wash it and the lid with a botanical multi-purpose cleaner. Wipe with a microfiber towel and allow it to dry completely before reassembling.
Steps to deep clean a blender include:
  • Unplug the machine.
  • Take each piece apart, including the jar, the jar lid, the base of the jar, and the gasket seal. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for a full breakdown list.
  • Soak all parts in a botanical cleaner, such as white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, and water for at least an hour. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure all of the pieces can be submerged in water.
  • Spray a botanical cleaner such as Benefect Decon 30 on the base, allow this to sit for 30 seconds, and then wipe with a microfiber towel.
  • Remove each part and then wipe with a microfiber towel (be careful of the blades). For hard-to-reach areas, you can use a small abrasive brush.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove any remaining cleaner, then wipe with a microfiber towel one last time.
  • Allow all of the pieces to dry completely before reassembling.

While you’re cleaning, it’s not a bad idea to occasionally sharpen your blender’s blades so that it’s working in prime form.

Steps to sharpen blender blades include:
  • Deep clean the machine by using the steps listed above
  • Put on protective gloves
  • Remove the blades from the container and wash them carefully with a botanical cleaner
  • Allow them to dry completely
  • Run each side of the blade against the sharpening stone. Make sure to hold the blade at a slight angle and move it away from your body.
  • Gently wash the blades one final time
  • Allow everything to dry completely and then reassemble

How Do You Get Rid of Mold in a Blender?

Sometimes, random situations pop up that allow mold in a blender to occur. That fungus among us is a seriously pesky organism.

Unfortunately, the best way to get rid of mold in a blender is to get rid of the machine and replace it with a new one. All of the particles released by mold or broken up during use have blasted all around the machine, blades, and gaskets, and are now stuck to all of the surfaces. Mycotoxins and bacteria, in particular, can adhere to surfaces like superglue and are incredibly difficult to remove.

mold in a blender

With all of the gaskets and small crevices in the machine, that means completely decontaminating can be nearly impossible. Keep in mind that full decontamination includes removing the mold colony by the roots as well as removing the byproducts and other contaminants (like bacteria) that tagged along for the particle party. Anything left behind can lead to further exposure and adverse health reactions, which is why bleach should never be a go-to option for mold remediation.

For hypersensitive individuals experiencing the impacts of exposure, a new machine should absolutely be the course of action taken. The entire kitchen should also be deep cleaned to remove any particles created by mold in a blender. For those who aren’t experiencing any health reactions, you can attempt the cleaning process above to remove the mold, but again, there’s no guarantee all of the contamination will be removed. Make sure to complete the spray and wipe down process at least three times to remove those super-sticky particles like mycotoxins and deep clean the kitchen.

Keep a close eye on the machine after this attempted decontamination. If the mold grows right back or chronic symptoms develop, get rid of the machine as soon as possible, deep clean the kitchen to remove any particles released, and then replace it with a new machine.

How Do You Know if There’s Mold in a Blender?

Detecting if there’s mold in a blender can be tricky. The growth could blend in with the bottom of the machine, or it could be hidden in a crevice on the base. You have to do a thorough inspection as well as rely on your senses for help.

Any Visible Growth?

With so many species existing in the world, mold colonies can come in a variety of colors, shapes, and textures. Some of the most common colors include green, white, grey, blue, red, black, brown, or a combination of them. As for textures, they could be fuzzy, powdery, velvety, or slimy.

If any type of unidentifiable growth pops up in the machine, it's a safe bet to assume there’s a mold problem. Grabbing a flashlight and looking at any and all difficult-to-see locations is a great idea to help catch a problem.

Is There A Smell?

bad smell

Mold growth isn’t always visible. Again, it could be in a hidden crevice inside the machine. In this instance, look to your nose to help determine if there’s a problem.

Growing mold often creates an earthy, musty, damp, cigar-like smell due to the release of gases called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC).¹³ If this odor is coming from the blender, it points to a problem existing inside.

Is There a Weird Taste?

Unfortunately, this icky scenario can indicate that there’s a problem. The longer that mold grows inside, the more and more particles will enter whatever it is you put in to be blended.

If any funky tastes begin to occur, take a closer look at the machine and see if you’re dealing with mold in a blender.

Are You Developing Symptoms?

Not all mold growth is visible, and not all mold growth emits an odor or taste. In cases such as this, it’s important to pay attention to how you feel when around the machine while drinking or eating something made inside or after you consume anything. If chronic symptoms seem to spark up or become worse over time, particularly after being around the appliance, exposure to mold in a blender might be the root cause.

Our bodies are incredible warning systems that will alert us if something’s wrong, including if there’s a contaminant in our indoor environments. It’s up to us to listen to these signals and figure out what the root cause is so that it can be eliminated.

healthy appliances

Getting Your Blending On

All of this information is not to steer you away from using these powerful appliances. It’s to ensure that while you’re making a killer sauce or breakfast shake, you’re not accidentally introducing microscopic toxins into your body. No one wants contaminants getting in the way of your blending mania.

Knowing how to maintain your machine can ensure that mold in a blender doesn’t rain on your parade. Little steps such as this are key in home health and creating an indoor environment that supports your wellbeing.

Health beings at home.™


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