Do You Clean Your Can Opener? Here’s How To Do It

Yes, can openers need to be washed, too!

Do you clean your can opener after every use? 

If you do, that’s great! Can openers are super useful kitchen tools that it’s often neglected. It needs to be washed! Opening cans with a can opener that still has leftover food on it can cause it to stuck up the gears and make turning the gears difficult. At worse, rust can develop on the gears and the blade, effectively stopping those gears from turning. Using a can opener with rust on the blade can also lead that to that rust falling into your canned food. That’s not good. 

Photo by Patrick Martires

How do you clean your can opener?  

There are a few ways you can do this. You should at least be rinsing your can opener under running water after every use to remove any food that may stick to the blade as it cuts through the can. If any thick, oily sauces dirty it, you can wash it as you would any dirty utensil: use a sponge, dishwashing soap, and gently clean the gears and blade. 


For any stubborn food or gunk that’s making the gears hard to turn, you can use a toothbrush instead of a sponge to really get between the gears and blade. You can find inexpensive toothbrushes with “hard” bristles so it can clean the “teeth” of the gears better.  

To lubricate your can opener so its easier to turn the gears, we discovered this genius trick to get it running smoother: wax paper. Fold wax paper until you get a nice, thickly folded edge. Run this through your can opener blade and gears. The wax will not only make the gears easier to use later, at the same it will dislodge any of that stubborn food that you didn’t get with your toothbrush, too. You can do this several times as needed. 

Don’t spray any grease or apply oil to those gears. Just like rust, it can get into your food. Instead, maintain your can opener and keep it clean so that every use from now will be an easy and safe task.



Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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