Learn how to clean a bamboo steamer with either a lemon, a tea bag, or a nylon brush to scrub your steamer. Below, we will share our favourite ways to maintain your cookware. We will also share our recommended cleaning steps for when you find mold inside your steamer.
So, whether you plan to steam fish, frozen dumplings, or other bamboo steamer recipes, our easy tips will make cleaning up afterwards effortless.
If you’re looking for a quick rundown, scroll to the bottom of the page for the compressed version. You can also stick around to learn some important tips and tricks for how to clean your steamer baskets.
To begin, let’s take a look at the importance of knowing how to clean a bamboo steamer and when you will need to do so.
- Do I Need to Clean My Bamboo Steamer?
- How Do You Clean a Bamboo Steamer Before Use?
- How To Clean Your Bamboo Steamer With a Lemon
- Tea Bag
- Nylon Brush
- Is It Dishwasher Safe?
- How To Dry a Bamboo Steamer?
- How Do You Keep Mold Out of a Bamboo Steamer?
- How To Clean Mold From a Bamboo Steamer
- How To Clean a Bamboo Steamer
Do I Need to Clean My Bamboo Steamer?
You must clean your bamboo steamer after every use or it will begin to mold.
Bamboo material steamers are, as the name suggests, made of bamboo. This means that they are extremely porous, even more so thanks to the steam. If bits of food stick to the bamboo and work their way into the wood, they can start to mold.
Mold in a bamboo material steamer is dangerous as it can seep into your meals and rot the wood, making the steamer useless. The best practice is to maintain the hardware of the steamer to prevent molding before it happens.
Mold prevention is the primary reason why you should know how to clean a bamboo steamer. You don’t want to put your health at risk unnecessarily.
How Do You Clean a Bamboo Steamer Before Use?
To clean your bamboo steamer before first use, you’ll want to follow these steps not only to ensure they are dirt-free but also to prepare them for cooking.
- Clean your bamboo steamer the first time by washing all parts in hot soapy water and rinsing well.
- Soak all parts of the steamer in hot water for half an hour.
- Stack all baskets and lids on the rim of a deep pot and steam for a half hour.
- Your clean new bamboo steamer is now ready to use.
Now that the baskets are ready, you can cook almost anything in them. Once you’ve started using them, you’ll need to use a different method to maintain them. Properly maintaining your steamer will help it last longer and steam more efficiently.
Let’s take a look at the three best methods for cleaning a bamboo steamer.
How To Clean Your Bamboo Steamer With a Lemon
Lemons are perfect for cleaning almost anything as they are high in citric acid, have a low pH, and contain antibacterial properties.
To learn how to clean a bamboo steamer with lemon use the following steps.
- Slice a piece of lemon
- Rub the lemon slice on the baskets and lids to remove any food particulates. Be sure to get everywhere.
- Rinse the baskets to remove any residue and let air dry.
- Your baskets are ready for the next use.
Another great way to cleanse your bamboo cookware is with a tea bag. While this may seem like an odd or unconventional method, it works quite well.
Knowing how to clean a bamboo steamer with a tea bag packs lots of benefits. The secret lies in the tannins contained inside the tea. Tannins are a plant compound, that has antibacterial properties, effectively cuts through grease, and adds luster to wood. So, not only will a tea bag clean your bamboo steamer, it’ll make it shine too!
- Make yourself a cup of black tea.
- Instead of discarding the tea bag, rub it on the baskets and lids to clean them.
- Rinse the steamers and let air dry. Your steamers are clean, and you have a lovely cup of tea waiting for you.
Learning how to clean a bamboo steamer with a nylon brush will save you a lot of time. Nylon brushes are extremely common and easy to find. You likely already have a few lying around your home.
- Acquire a soft-bristles nylon brush.
- Steam the bamboo for a deep cleanse for about ten minutes with no food in them.
- Gently scrub the baskets with the brush and hot, soapy water.
- Rinse and dry the steamers.
Nylon brushes can come in any shape or form from a small bathroom-sized scrubby to a large outdoor bush broom. You’ll want to opt for a small dish scrubby with nylon bristles to clean your bamboo steamer.
Is It Dishwasher Safe?
Bamboo steamers are not dishwasher safe. Dishwashers use high-pressure hot water and strong soap to clean dishes. Exposing wood to this can have disastrous results.
Not only will the heat and water warp the wood, but the pressure and harsh chemicals in the soap will also cause the wood to splinter and crack. If that’s not bad enough, the wood also absorbs the water, and the dishwasher won’t be able to dry it. You’ll be stuck with a wet, warped, and damaged steamer.
Therefore, like any wooden utensil or dishware, putting bamboo steamers in the dishwasher is a very bad idea.
How To Dry a Bamboo Steamer?
Part of learning how to clean a bamboo steamer is also learning how to dry one. Unlike other kitchen supplies, you can’t just wipe them down and put them away.
It’s also best to avoid soaking the steamer in water. You want minimal water inside your steamer because mold cannot grow in places that are kept nice and dry.
You can prevent mold and mildew from building up by leaving your steamer out to air dry for up to two days. If you put a steamer away partially wet, especially somewhere dark and warm, it can grow moldy and become unsafe.
How Do You Keep Mold Out of a Bamboo Steamer?
The best way to prevent mold in your steamer is to clean it regularly and properly. Keep your steamer and baskets out of direct sunlight. This step will help reduce the chance of mold growth if you’re drying them outdoors.
If you’re drying your steamers inside, use an elevated stainless steel drying rack. You can also purchase insulated steamers that help to reduce the direct heat from the pot. Lastly, cover your steamer and baskets when storing them to prevent dust and food particulates from getting in.
How To Clean Mold From a Bamboo Steamer
The best way to remove bamboo steamer mold is by soaking it in a half-and-half mix of water and white vinegar for 5 to 10 minutes. Use the nylon brush to scrub the mold off, then rinse them in hot water and set them out to air dry. Leave the steamer and baskets out until they have dried completely to ensure that everything is sanitary.
How To Clean a Bamboo Steamer
- Nylon brush
- Soap water
- Drying rack
- Steam the baskets as you would when cooking but with nothing in them for approximately ten minutes. This optional step is great for removing lots of food residue.
- Use hot, soapy water and scrub the baskets gently with the brush making sure to get all the nooks and crannies.
- Rinse the baskets with clean water to get all the soap off, then set them aside on a drying rack for up to two days before storing.
If this article was helpful, please share it so others can learn how to clean a bamboo steamer with these methods. Also, if you’re looking for more cleaning tips, take a look at this article on how to clean a mortar and pestle.
Thanks for reading, and happy steaming!