10 Tips That Will Extend the Life of Your Vitamix Blender
In the world of blenders, there is none better than the Vitamix. With its top-notch performance, versatility, and durability, it’s no wonder it’s been on the top of the list of “best blenders” for many years.
Besides its versatility and capabilities, the Vitamix is also a long-lasting appliance that will outlast your kitchen decor. Indeed, most of these blenders last upwards of 10 years—but what if they could last longer?
Though many people believe their Vitamix blender will “last forever”, that’s (strictly speaking) not true. All machines and appliances have their breaking point, even ones as well-designed as this. For that reason, these helpful tips will help keep your Vitamix blender running for years and years.
Take a look at the 10 quick and easy tips to not only keep your Vitamix running longer but also keep it performing like it did the day you purchased it. We will also share the most common reasons for a Vitamix to malfunction.
The 10 Tips That Will Extend the Life of Your Vitamix Blender
The issues above may not happen often or quickly, but eventually, your blender can fall victim to any one of them. The good news is, there are ways you can prevent them from happening, or at the very least, prolong the lifespan of your blender.
The 10 tips below will keep your Vitamix in good working order, and allow it to last years longer than the average blender.
1. Always Run a Cleaning Cycle
If there is only one care step you take with your Vitamix, running a cleaning cycle is the most important. This is something you want to do immediately after each use. Thankfully, however, it only takes about 60 seconds to complete. First, fill the container halfway with warm water then add a couple of drops of dish detergent. Depending on your model, you may have a cleaning cycle mode. If not, run it on high for 30 seconds. Rinse and allow to air dry.
For harder to remove stains and odors, you can also do a vinegar soak overnight. Not only is cleaning your Vitamix important for sanitary and health reasons, but food stuck under the blades and on the container can cause the integrity of the material to weaken which can then cause leaks.
2. Layer Your Ingredients Correctly
Many people are under the mistaken assumption that they can throw all their ingredients into the blender willy nilly-like without any side effects. Unfortunately, this is not true. It’s more important than you think to add the ingredients in the correct order to keep from wearing on the motor and gear shaft.
When you add the softest ingredients first, it allows the blades to warm up while the heavier, denser items help push the rest of the ingredients down into the blades. You also want to keep nuts and seeds for last as hard nuts can cause the blades to shatter if they hit them during the blender’s initial start-up. This, in turn, can cause damage to the drive socket. You also want to be careful with powders that we will discuss next.
3. Be Mindful of Powders
Looking at the layering technique above, you wouldn’t think that powders would need to go last, right? Be that as it may, when you mix powders with liquid, it quickly becomes a sticky, gooey, gummy texture your Vitamix’s blades will not be a fan of. On the other hand, protein powders are great in smoothies and other recipes, so we suggest adding them last so they will be dissolved into the other ingredients.
Another idea is to add them slowly through the lid hole while the blender is running. By doing it this way, you can pour the powder in slowly allowing it to dissolve and not become a sticky situation that can wear on the motor and drive socket. We also recommend adding seeds in the same way.
4. Use the Correct Speed
If you are familiar with Vitamix, you know it has variable speeds that you can use depending on your recipe. It is also true that you should always start your blender on low to allow it to work its way to top speed slowly. It is also important, however, that you run your blender on top speed as often as possible.
Seems counter-intuitive, right? What it comes down to is the design of the motor. This blender has a thermal protection system built in that keeps the motor from overheating when you use it on high for extended periods. While that is a great feature, the only problem is the cooling action only takes effect when your Vitamix is at top speed.
5. Be Mindful of Quantity
Another important care tactic is to ensure you use the right quantity of ingredients. You mustn’t overfill, but you also don’t want to use too little, either. Understandably, you will not always need to make large quantities of a recipe, but in many cases, it’s better to use more than less. At the absolute minimum, you need to make sure the blades and bottom portion of the container are covered.
You also don’t want to add too many ingredients and overfill the container. Doing so will add too much strain on your motor, drive socket, and container. Make sure you are not filling past the max capacity. This will also ensure everything is chopped or blended effectively.
- Note: Vitamix blenders come with either a 64-ounce or 48-ounce container. You want to consider your needs carefully before choosing to ensure you are getting the size that will best suit your needs and be the most effective.
6. Use the Tamper
Don’t disregard your tamper! When making recipes such as hummus, doughs, thick smoothies, ice creams, and other thick recipes, it’s important that you use the tamper to help guide the ingredients to the blades. Essentially, it is a blade helper. If you have already used the accessory, you know it can feel a bit abrasive, but it is much more of a help than a hindrance. Thick ingredients can easily gum up your blades and stress the entire blender. Using the tamper can also keep the blades from getting jammed.
It’s also important that you only fill the container two-thirds of the way full if you plan to use the tamper. Adding too much will make it too difficult to use, and it can even cause the blender to overflow.
7. Remember Wet and Dry Chopping Techniques
To add water or not to add water, that is the question.
Here’s the deal with wet and dry chopping. You want to use wet chopping if you are adding coarser ingredients such as carrots, cabbage, or onions, etc. When you add water, the blades turn it into a vortex bringing the harder veggies down to the blades intermittently. This will give you a better chopping experience versus adding all the denser vegetables to the bottom where they can cause your blades to get jammed, not to mention, harm your trusty drive socket.
You will also get a more consistent and smoother chop when using water in the container. Conversely, dry chopping will give you a rougher, chunkier finished ingredient. If you choose to dry chop, you want to keep the level of ingredients low, so as not to put too much pressure on the blades and motor. The easiest way to remember wet versus dry is by thinking of stones. Stones found in the water tend to be smooth while stones found on land are rough.
8. Blade Scraper
If you are making thicker recipes like hummus or almond butter, the under-the-blade scraper is important. This little squeegee-like tool allows you to get all the leftover ingredients that get stuck under the blade. It’s shocking how much of your recipe can get stuck down there, plus you don’t have to risk bandaged fingers trying to clean it by hand.
When it comes to these thicker recipes, a cleaning cycle will not always do the trick, and leaving any residue can cause leaks in your container. Making use of the blade scraper will go a long way to keeping things clean. For some items, like almond butter, you can also do a “smoothie clean”, as well.
If you have some leftover nut butter under the blade, add your favorite smoothie ingredients and blend. This will get the majority of it out, plus after a normal cleaning cycle, you should be in good shape. Not only that but adding some nut butter protein to a smoothie is not only delicious but healthy, too.
9. Keep Your Container Out of Cold Temperatures
Like us, we are sure you have found yourself with a leftover smoothie, soup, or other tasty treats you want to save for later. It can be tempting to throw the whole kit-n-kaboodle in the fridge or freezer to be eaten later. Unfortunately, that is one of the worst things you can do to your Vitamix.
The quickly dropping temperature the container experiences when you put it in the refrigerator or freezer can cause it to contract and weaken its structure; this can cause leaks. Even worse, the drop in temp can affect the blade assembly causing it to malfunction. Though it may be a pain, put your leftovers in a separate container, and give your Vitamix a quick clean cycle.
10. Use Your Vitamix Often
This may seem like the most obvious, yet the most unthought-of tip in the whole bunch. While the Vitamix blender is a basic machine that is fairly simple to use, there are some tips and tricks (many of which we mentioned) that come with time. The more you use your blender, the less likely you will be to make mistakes. You will also feel more comfortable with the machine, and be better prepared to troubleshoot or catch small issues that could turn into bigger problems.
Keeping your Vitamix front and center on your counter will keep it at the forefront of your mind. What’s more, over time you will develop a lengthy and healthy array of recipes that your Vitamix is ready to whip up for your palette’s pleasure.
The 3 Common Reasons for a Vitamix Malfunction
There are three top reasons why your blender may not be performing as usual, or why it stopped working altogether. It’s important to keep these in mind, so you can take steps to prevent them from happening.
1. Motor Issues
Like any other machine, a motor is not going to last forever. When your blender stops working, overheats, or begins to make odd sounds, it’s typically the motor at fault.
2. Leaking Container
A leaking container is one of the most common problems with any blender, and the Vitamix has not escaped this issue-though it’s less often. A container that has been compromised is not only a messy nuisance, but it can also be dangerous. Taking steps to avoid it is important.
3. Damaged Drive Socket
To keep it as simple as possible, the drive socket is a rigid piece of metal that is attached to the gearbox below the blades. Essentially, it’s what makes the blades move. Over time and with normal wear and tear, the drive socket can become damaged and break. This is another area that you want to be mindful of when taking care of your Vitamix.
These ten simple and easy tips will not only extend the life of your Vitamix blender but will also ensure that it continues to work at top performance through its life span. We hope that we have helped you find the best way to care for your blender and some efficient ways of keeping it in the best condition possible.
- You might also like: Vitamix Professional Series 200 Blender Review – Pros, Cons & Verdict
Featured Image Credit: GregReese, Pixabay