Have you got a potato masher and really need to find out how to clean it? If that’s the case, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to look at a few issues surrounding potato mashers so you can find out how to clean them. Potato mashers are always a good item to have, but they aren’t always easy to clean. There are lots of small holes that can make them quite tricky. Even so, if you keep reading this article you should be able to find out how to do it a bit more efficiently. We’re also going to look at a few other things associated with potato mashers, like what one really is and what they are good for.
What is a potato masher?
A potato masher is a kitchen utensil that is mainly used for mashing potatoes. Sounds simply, right? These mashers have been around for a long time, and are normally made from either plastic or metal. They have a handle which sits perpendicular to the mashing plate, which is either a plastic or metal grid with loads of holes in it.
Once you’ve got a cooked potato (normally boiled), you then push down with the masher so that it goes through all the little holes. THis creates mashed potato. You might need to mash the potato a few times so it forms a finer pulp and the potato gets to the right consistency of mashed potato for your preferences, or the meal you’re cooking.
Potato mashers are really easy to use, and they’re such a simple piece of kitchen equipment—but that’s what makes them good. Some of the best design and technology over the last century or so is some of the simplest. You might see automatic potato mashing machines or other kitchen gadgetry that tries to replace this kitchen utensil, but they simply aren’t as good. Sometimes, it’s better to keep things simple and that’s why the traditional potato masher has stood the test of time.
While potato mashers are a great piece of design technology, there’s one drawback in that they aren’t that easy to clean.
What are potato mashers good for?
Potato mashers are obviously good for mashing potatoes. Simply, right? That being said, potato mashers can actually be used for a range of other vegetables and foods. They’re obviously great for mashing sweet potato, but can also be used to mash carrots, suedes and other similar vegetables. Depending on the type of masher and type of cheese, they can also be used for that (but not always easily). Potato mashers aren’t normally good for mashing meat, but you may be able to mash meat that’s already been minced to break it up again—like if you want to re-mold a burger. You’ll need something strong than a potato masher if you want to mince actual meat though. However, potato mashers could also be used for mashing garlic, depending on how big the bulbs are and how small the holes are on the masher. This will be easier if the garlic has already been cooked.
For other vegetables that you want to mash with a potato masher, it’s normally easier if they’ve been cooked. Carrots are hard to mash raw, but easy if they’ve been cooked—just like potatoes. While potato mashers aren’t great for every type of veg, they do work really well with carrots.
How to clean a potato masher
Now you know what a potato masher is good for and what you can use with it, you probably want to know how to clean the potato (and other veg like carrots) off of it. Here are a few tips to start off with:
Check if it’s machine washable
The simplest and easiest way to clean a potato masher is in the dishwasher. But you’ll need to check if it’s machine washable or not. Not every potato masher is. It’s also not uncommon to find a potato masher in your drawers and not have any idea whether it can go in a dishwasher or not, so you might need to just risk it for one time and see what the results are like.
Generally, plastic ones might be less likely to be dishwasher friendly. Some stainless steels aren’t good in dishwashers either. However, most potato mashers should be able to be cleaned in a dishwasher. Some stubborn dried lumps of potato might require multiple runs, or some soaking beforehand.
If your masher comes out a bit melted or misshaped, then don’t put it in the dishwasher again. If you haven’t got a dishwasher or have a potato masher that isn’t dishwasher friendly, then follow these steps to get it clean…
Soak it in warm water
The first step if you haven’t got a dishwasher (or can’t put the masher in it) is to soak the masher in warm water. This might not be necessary if you can scrape some small bits or if it hasn’t dried yet. But if it has, you’ll need to break the dirt down. You could put some washing up liquid in the water as well.
Brush and scrape
Once you’ve softened the dirt with warm water, it’ll be easier to remove with standard brushing and scraping tools.
Rinse under cold water
You might be able to do this before soaking and brushing it if the potato (or other veg) that’s stuck to it isn’t that dry or there isn’t much of it. Sometimes, a simple rinse will do enough to break down and remove the dirt. You’ll have to try a combination of these steps if you want to get the best results on the dirtiest utensils, though.
Hopefully, you’ve now seen how to clean a potato masher properly. Now you can start using your masher more often to make some great meals.