Citrus squeezers are one of the handy tools that you can have whether in the kitchen or in the bar. They save you from exerting too much effort from pushing and twisting a citrus fruit and only getting a little amount of juice. Also it prevents your hands from getting sticky because with just one squeeze or push, your job is done.
Citrus squeezers normally come in affordable prices but it doesn’t mean that we should neglect their maintenance just because they’re cheap. It is a helpful tool and it is only fitting that it receives the care it deserves. Keep reading if you want to learn how to properly clean your citrus squeezer.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Citrus Squeezer
Like all other kitchen gadgets and tools, sanitation is of the utmost importance as they are indeed used for food preparation. When your tool is not clean, your food will be affected in a bad way, and we want to avoid this. Before we get to learn the importance of cleaning this tool, let us closely examine the structure of the citrus squeezer.
Most citrus squeezers have two pieces that are shaped like an ice cream scoop that have a bowl-like shape on one end and then stretched to a handle. These two pieces are attached through a pin and a hinge that ultimately makes a lever mechanism that is responsible for squeezing.
The bottom part contains holes that serve the purpose of catching the seeds of the citrus upon squeezing, however some pulp can get through them. If not properly cleaned, those pulps that are stuck in the holes will accumulate and will lead to mold and bacterial growth. When you see that the sides of the holes have those tiny black spots, this is an indication that the holes are not thoroughly cleaned and mold has already grown. It may be time consuming to clean these little holes but they are the most important part to clean since the juice comes through the holes and you don’t want to compromise anyone’s health by drinking unclean juice.
The next thing you need to watch out for is the bottom of the upper piece. This part doesn’t have any holes but it can have various designs, some are smooth with a dent while others have lined designs. Some fruits, especially those that are not organic, have a wax coating on them and even if you wash them, the wax will still be there.
Normally, you cut a lemon or lime in half before putting it in a citrus squeezer and there is a misconception that the lemon is placed peel side down to conform to the shape of the squeezer, but the correct way to position it is actually the opposite, flesh side down, that way the juice will go straight through the holes and not spurt everywhere. Since the bottom of the first part gets to touch the peel of the fruit, which potentially has wax, it still starts to build up through constant use and will get gross looking over time.
Bottomline, you have to give extra time in cleaning your citrus squeezers because they have quite complicated surfaces that need proper cleaning especially the 2-in-1 squeezers and the only way that less chances of dirt buildup is to clean it after every use.
Clean Your Citrus Squeezer the Right Way
All kitchen or bar tools and equipment need constant cleaning so the sanitation requirement is met and clean food and drinks are served every single time. Follow the steps below so you can achieve a thoroughly cleaned citrus squeezer, as it should be.
Step 1: Take your citrus squeezer and wash it with running water.
Step 3: Use the scrub side of the sponge and get every area especially those that don’t have a smooth surface.
Step 4: Use a small brush to get through the holes and the bottom of the first piece.
Step 5: Finish it off by wiping the squeezer using the soft side of the sponge.
Step 6: Rinse the squeezer thoroughly with running water. Then, lightly pat it with a clean towel and let it air dry further.
Step 7: Once fully dried, store it in a safe place or hang it when possible.
- Use a dishwashing liquid soap that has a mild scent or no scent at all so that it doesn’t get incorporated into the juice.
- You can use a cotton bud or swab to clean the holes and if they don’t fit, you can thin it out by pulling some of the cotton or use a soft-bristled brush instead.
- You can use hot water to be the finishing rinse so the scent of the soap, if any, can be removed and the bacteria should be removed as well.
- Cleaning by hand is always recommended rather than putting the citrus squeezer in a dishwasher because it allows you to clean it thoroughly.
1. Can I put my citrus squeezer in the dishwasher?
Most citrus squeezers are dishwasher-safe and while it would be easier and quicker to have it cleaned in the dishwasher, the option of cleaning it by hand is preferred as it will be more effective that way and you can control which parts you want to clean more such as the holes. Also the pin that holds the two pieces together will break down over time when the squeezer is constantly cleaned in the dishwasher especially with the dry cycle, making it brittle and may snap the next time you use it. You can put it in the dishwasher if you don’t have the time to clean it by hand but don’t do it consecutively.
2. What soap should I use to wash my citrus squeezer?
Use a dishwashing liquid soap that has a mild scent or better if it is unscented. Sometimes, soaps can have a really strong smell that doesn’t seem to go away even if you have washed it off in running water for a long time. That scent will stick to the tool when dried and will be incorporated into the food it is intended to prepare, and no one wants to taste soap in their drink or food.
3. What is the difference between a citrus squeezer and a citrus juicer?
The words “squeezer” and “juicer” are sometimes used interchangeably but there’s actually a difference between the two that needs to be cleared up. The citrus squeezer is the tool being discussed in this article, the one with the two scoop-like parts joined together by a pin. On the other hand, the citrus juicer is the one that has a cone-shaped reamer placed on a bowl that catches the juice of the citrus fruit. Unlike the squeezer that gets the job done in one clench of the hands, the citrus juicer requires more effort as it is used by pressing the fruit on the reamer and twisting it to extract the juice. It also gathers less juice than the squeezer.
4. Do citrus squeezers rust?
Citrus squeezers are made from industrial aluminum and some are coated with non-toxic, certified lead-free coating that gives it a non-stick finish and makes it food-safe. With this, not only are they durable but are also resistant to rust as the juices from the citrus will not affect the material. With proper maintenance, citrus squeezers will have a long life span.
5. Is it better to use a citrus squeezer or a citrus juicer?
Both tools have distinct features that will be judged by the user him/herself. The citrus juicer is a bit more traditional and is far cheaper than the squeezer but you’ll end up with sticky hands after every juicing, whereas the squeezer gets all the juice in one squeeze but some people who have joint complications in the hand may find this process discomforting so, really it depends upon the user’s preference.
Choose your Squeezer of Choice
If you still haven’t got a squeezer, check out these citrus squeezers for you to choose from. Some are multipurpose while some like to focus on a single citrus fruit, but no matter the type, all of them are durable. Furthermore, when making citrusy drinks, you’ll need to cut the lemon or lime in half first and you will need, you guessed it, a cutting board. So, here are the top 15 cutting boards to pair with your citrus squeezer.
In order for tools to last longer, they need proper care and maintenance, the case is no different with citrus squeezers. Cleaning them by hand may require more time but it is absolutely worth it. This ensures that you are using a clean, efficient and effective tool every time you make a delicious cocktail that requires citrus juice. Remember, you are only as good as your tools allow you to, of course when they are taken good care of.