How to Clean a Popcorn MachineLast updated on 6/20/2018
Popcorn machines are a major money-maker for concession stands, snack bars, and more around the world. They produce a food that's constantly in demand to make sure your customers can walk away from your business satisfied with their purchase and bringing them back for more later. But when you're finishing up after a busy day, you also have to make sure you clean your popcorn machine to prevent grease build-up, food contamination, and other harmful problems. Keeping a clean popcorn popper is not only sanitary, it helps your food taste better too. It may take time after you've closed down for the day, but a clean kettle is essential to continued growth.
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Cleaning Your Popcorn Machine
Before you start the cleaning process, make sure all of the light and heating switches are turned off, and unplug the machine. Let the kettle cool for at least 30 minutes before you attempt to clean it. During that time, you can mix your Kettle Kleen concentrate with water to create the cleaning solution. To clean your popcorn machine, follow these easy steps:
- Pour liquid cleaning solution into kettle.
- Plug machine back in and turn on kettle's heat until solution boils.
- Turn off heat and let kettle cool.
- Remove kettle from supports.
- Pour solution into safe disposal location.
- Using a rag, wipe down the rest of the kettle.
- For stubborn soils, repeat steps as necessary.
Here is a video demonstrating how to clean a popcorn machine.
Cleaning the cabinet is the next step. With the kettle out of the way, wipe down the floor plating inside the cabinet and remove the crumb tray. Clean those as needed with a metal-safe solution. As those dry, wipe down the windows and frame of the unit with a material-safe cleaner and towel. This will quickly remove any splotches or stains that the popper picked up during the day.
With your cabinet, kettle, and plating clean, you're ready to reassemble your unit. Once it's all back together, you're done!
Safety and Preparation
When cleaning your popcorn machine, it's important to recognize a few safety steps and precautions.
First, don't allow any employees under the age of 18 clean the kettle. Because this part of the machine is responsible for popping kernels, it gets extremely hot. Only experienced operators should touch it.
Next, make sure to wear protective gloves at all times. This will prevent your bare hands from coming into contact with cleaner.
For best results, use a cleaner that does not contain ammonia. Ammonia can leave lasting damage on a number of common foodservice surfaces, including different forms of plastic and metal. We recommend using Carnival King Kettle Kleen to sanitize your popper to make sure it's ready for your next busy day. It's formulated for maximum cleaning potential without harming surfaces or leaving contaminating residue.
Last, keep your cleaner concentrate in a safe place away from the machine as you're working. It's easy to bump and knock over a bottle, so it's best to store unused supplies somewhere safe when cleaning.
After cleaning your popcorn machine, you can go back to making popcorn the very next day. Make sure to keep up with daily cleaning and maintenance of your popcorn popper. Not only will it keep you clear in case of a health inspection, but it'll keep your machine running strong for a long time.
Popcorn machines are one of the leading drivers of profits at concession stands, movie theaters, and convenience stores, so it's worth it to properly clean and maintain your equipment. Cleaning your popcorn machine will improve the flavor of your popcorn, pop the kernels more efficiently, and lengthen the lifespan of the machine.