Most people don’t realize it but your can opener can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. This is because when you use your can opener, often a little bit of food that leaks out of the can gets onto the blades and the cutting wheel of your can opener, and dries there. So it doesn’t take long for a can opener to become pretty disgusting, but because most people don’t have a close look at the cutting wheels, most people don’t realize just how dirty is.
There are two reasons you need to make sure that you are cleaning your can opener regularly. One, if you end up getting cut accidentally by the blade, then you don’t need to worry as much about just how much bacteria is on it. And secondly, you don’t want any of that bacteria entering into the canned food that you open every time you use it.
For hand crank can openers, you can usually just pop them straight into the dishwasher. I do make sure that it’s completely dry when it comes out and double-check the hinges to make sure there’s no water trapped there that could affect how well it moves in the future.
For electric can openers, can be a bit more tricky. But before you do anything with your electric can opener you want to unplug it so that you don’t have to worry about having any accidents. If the cutting wheel and the lid part can be removed from your electric can opener, you want to remove them and soak them in a bowl of hot water with dishwashing liquid. This will loosen any food debris that has been trapped on it. Then you want to use a scrubbing brush or even something as small as a toothbrush to then go over and scrub the blade area. You want to be very careful how you do this so you don’t accidentally cut yourself.
For reassembling your electric can opener, make sure every three-piece is completely dry. You don’t want to reassemble it and trap any of that water into it where it could end up rusting.
Depending on how much you use your can opener, you do want to clean it every few months, wanna even more frequently as needed, if something was particularly messy when you opened it. . That way if you do accidentally cut yourself, you don’t need to worry being such a breeding ground of bacteria. And only that, you want to ensure that you’re not contaminating anything you open with some of the bacteria that may be dropped on your cutting blades.
If you do end up cutting yourself on a can opener, you want to make sure you clean the cut well, use antibacterial cream, and watch it carefully for any signs of infection.