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Cleaning a Can Opener

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To clean and disinfect the wheel of a can opener, just use white vinegar and an old tooth brush. Dip the toothbrush in the vinegar and scrub clean. Swish in hot soapy water and rinse.

By fossil1955 from Cortez, CO

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By KS Granny [3]10/15/2011

I've had problems with rust if I soak a can opener, or leave it messy. I've learned to never put down my handheld can opener. I use it, rinse it thoroughly under hot running water (turning the wheel with it open and closed), then stand it in the drain rack to drain. Then I remove the lid from the can and use it.

I keep a magnet on the fridge by my food-preparation area, and I put the magnet opposite the starting point (when I get past that point). That way the lid doesn't fall in while I'm busy washing the can opener.

Thanks for the tip about the toothbrush, though, no matter how careful you are, mistakes happen (especially when you're rushed or have "helpers"), so it's good to have a good way to clean it when that happens.

By Lilac [18]10/15/2011

I put my hand held can opener in the dishwasher. I have done it for years. If you don't have a dishwasher you can put it in your hot dish water. No problem. If you have an electric can opener sometimes the head snaps off. Can openers should be washed everytime you use them just like anything else.

By Dorina [2]10/29/2010

Great post! I keep an old toothbrush in my kitchen for all tiny scrubs just like the can opener.


Here are questions related to Cleaning a Can Opener.

Question: Cleaning a Can Opener

Why is it everytime I buy a can opener it only last for a few months and then it rust and becomes difficult to use? I heard you are not supposed to submerge them in water, but how should you clean them then? Any suggestions?

By Onesummer

Most Recent Answer

By Vicki07/10/2012

As a postscript, the rust is not likely to hurt you anyway....don't toss them for a bit of rust. Will probably give you some extra iron. Just my opinion, I have used hand can openers exclusively for years and I am still here.


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Cleaning a Can Opener

To clean a can opener, whether it be an electric or a hand crank one, place a folded piece of paper towel around the edge that cuts the top of the can off, and proceed to have the edge go through the process that you use to cut. You will find that the end result is a nice clean edge. No broken fingernails to worry about. Happy cleaning.

By Joesgirl

RE: Cleaning a Can Opener Blade

I take the top off the can opener (electric, the part that cuts the can) and place it in my silverware basket in the dishwasher, when I'm doing a load of dishes. It cleans it perfectly, or if I open something ugly like tomato sauce, where it spurts all over, then I use my fingernail brush or an old toothbrush to clean it. (05/14/2004)

By tigerlil234

Clean Your Can Opener

Use a chenille type "pipe cleaner" stem to remove the dirt that collects on the wheel of the can opener. By Syd (12/23/2004)

By ThriftyFun

RE: Cleaning a Can Opener Blade

I use an old toothbrush to clean the blades and roller on my can opener. It works wonders and I don't have to worry about getting cut. (12/23/2004)

By peaches

Archive: Cleaning a Can Opener

I have a hand held can opener that has some gunk on it. How do I clean it?

By Lynda from Kearny, NJ

RE: Cleaning a Can Opener

You can take a new toothbrush, get it wet and apply a drop of dishwashing liquid. Then scrub the gunky areas with the toothbrush, rinsing with water as you go. Store can opener upright in dish drainer, to air dry. (04/16/2009)

By Dibbs

RE: Cleaning a Can Opener

Pour Rubbing Alcohol onto a paper towel or old toothbrush and wipe it off or run it through the dishwasher. You can also soak it in denture cleaner. (04/17/2009)

By Cyinda

RE: Cleaning a Can Opener

After cleaning it, every so often run wax paper through it. This works well on manual or electric can openers. (04/17/2009)

By keeper60

RE: Cleaning a Can Opener

I run mine through the dishwasher every few days. I've had the same one for over 10 years and it's never failed me yet!

After a cycle in the dishwasher I take a small square of paper towel, dip it in vegetable oil, and run the paper towel through the can opener. If I don't do that then I just give it a good spray of Pam and then crank it a few times. (04/22/2009)

By Cricketnc

RE: Cleaning a Can Opener

If you don't have a dishwasher, just soak it in soapy water for a few minutes and then scrub with a fingernail brush or old toothbrush. (04/22/2009)

By Deeli

RE: Cleaning a Can Opener

For easy cleaning, I spray mine with Oven Cleanser before retiring for the night; then in the morning, I just use a toothbrush for easy removal of any remains while rinsing under hot water. It sparkles. (10/10/2009)

By Cajun62234

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