Turkey basters are useful for so much more than cooking a juicy Thanksgiving turkey. For example, you can make pancake art with a baster or separate egg parts. Yet when all the cooking fun is done, how do you remove the food residue from a turkey baster? We looked into this to help you find the best way to complete this task!
Here’s how to clean a turkey baster:
- Remove the bulb from the rest of the baster
- Clean the tube with a test tube cleaner or a thin bottle brush
- Or run the turkey baster through the dishwasher
- Rinse soap residue thoroughly
- Let the baster parts air-dry or towel-dry them
In this article, we’ll talk further about the steps above so you can get your turkey basters clean. If you’re wondering how to clean a silicone baster or how to put a turkey baster bulb back on, we’ll discuss that as well!
Follow These Steps to Clean a Turkey Baster
Per the information in the intro, let’s get into the steps for cleaning food residue from your turkey baster.
1. Remove the Bulb from the Turkey Baster
Most turkey basters are two pieces, the bulb, and the tube. When you want to suck up fluid or release it, you will squeeze the bulb. The tube is where the fluid is pulled up through. Most turkey baster bulbs are rubber, while the tube could be glass, stainless steel, plastic, or silicone.
To detach the bulb from the tube, hold the tube firmly and pull on the bulb. It should come right off. Don’t squeeze the turkey baster tube too hard, or you could damage it or even break it if yours is glass!
2. Clean the Tube with a Test Tube Cleaner or a Thin Bottle Brush
Depending on how much money you spent on your turkey baster, it might have come with a cleaning brush. If yours does, use this instrument to get in the tube and remove grease, wet pancake mix, or turkey fluids.
What if your baster didn’t include a brush? That’s fine. You can use a test tube cleaner or a thin bottle brush. This nylon tube brush from Forney on Amazon is 8 ½ inches by a ½ inch, so it should be able to fit into your turkey baster tube.
A five-pack of bottle brushes available in different sizes are helpful not only for cleaning your turkey baster but other small jars and containers that have until now been difficult to wash.
When you have your cleaning instrument of choice, moisten it with water, put a dollop of dish detergent on the brush, and then use it to clean the food or grease from the turkey baster tube.
Don’t scour too hard, especially if your tube is made of glass or stainless steel, as you don’t want to scratch it.
3. Rinse the Tube Thoroughly
When you’re done washing, run the turkey baster tube under the sink and keep rinsing it until you don’t see any more soap bubbles. You wouldn’t want soap residue stuck in the baster, as you’d undoubtedly taste it the next time you used it!
4. Let the Parts Air-Dry or Towel-Dry Them
Since the turkey baster tube is enclosed, leaving it wet and warm in a cabinet is the perfect condition for mold and mildew to develop. You can hand-dry the tube when you’re done washing it or let it air-dry, but please don’t put it back in your kitchen pantry or cabinet wet.
If you want to use a paper towel for drying, take one piece of paper towel, twist it until it makes a cone-like shape that’s small enough to fit inside the tube, and then insert it. You can also use this method for cleaning your turkey baster in a pinch!
Can You Put a Turkey Baster in the Dishwasher?
You like to put as many of your dishes in the dishwasher as you can, as that’s less you have to wash by hand. However, this is your first time cleaning a turkey baster. Is the baster dishwasher safe?
Yes, a turkey baster should be fine to clean in your dishwasher. Both parts should go on the top rack rather than the bottom. The exception is if the dishwasher’s heating element is nearer the top. In that case, then you’d want the baster tube and the bulb on the bottom rack.
If your dishwasher has one, you can also store both parts of the turkey baster in the door cutlery caddy. Don’t force the bulb in there, though. If it won’t fit, then just put the baster tube in the caddy and wash the bulb on one of the dishwasher racks away from the heating element.
The bulb should be positioned down while the tube should be facing up. Run your dishwasher like usual with all your other Thanksgiving or Christmas dishes.
When the turkey baster parts are done going through the dishwasher, you still have to air-dry them or manually dry them before reattaching the bulb to the tube (more on this a little later!).
How Do You Clean a Silicone Baster?
You decided to buy a silicone turkey baster. Silicone is a good choice since it’s safe to use in the fridge, freezer, and microwave.
Yet when it comes time to clean your silicone baster, how do you do it?
Here’s the good news. All the steps we’ve laid out for you thus far are applicable for cleaning a silicone turkey baster.
Yes, you can even wash a silicone baster in the dishwasher. We would recommend keeping the baster away from the dishwasher’s heating element. Although silicone doesn’t easily melt, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
How Do You Put the Bulb Back on a Baster?
The bulb of your turkey baster came off so easily, but you’re struggling to put it back on. You can’t use the turkey baster unless the bulb is reattached, but how do you do it?
Here are some steps to follow.
1. Warm up the Bulb
Although most turkey basters bulbs are rubber, they’re still not as flexible as you’d like. To get the bulb more malleable so you can slip it back into place on the baster tube, you need to warm it up.
The bulb might be pliable enough right out of the dishwasher. If it isn’t, then fill a bowl with hot water and then let the bulb sit in the water for a few minutes. You might have to put a heavier kitchen item on top of the bulb, so it sinks.
There is no need to boil water for this. Just turn your faucet on hot, and that temperature should suffice. Please be careful not to burn yourself when putting the baster bulb in the bowl of hot water or when taking it out.
2. Flip-Back the Bulb’s Opening
The bulb might be loosened enough now that sliding it onto the turkey baster tube is easy-peasy. If you’re still having a hard time, then flip back the opening of the rubber bulb, so the opening is wider. Take care not to tear or otherwise damage the rubber.
3. Slide the Bulb onto the Baster Tube
The malleable bulb should be much more willing to go on the turkey baster tube after flipping the rubber back. When you have the bulb attached, pull it down until it’s securely on the tube.
Avoid using any kind of lubricant to slide the bulb onto the tube, as then the turkey baster is dirty, and you’d have to take it all apart and clean it again!
To clean a turkey baster, you only need to remove the bulb from the tube, use a thin wire brush with dish soap on it, and let the parts dry before reattaching them. Alternately, you can safely wash both components of a turkey baster in the dishwasher.
Whether you use your baster only for the holiday turkey or for everyday culinary adventures, now you know how to keep yours clean and sanitary!
Before you go, be sure to check out some of these other posts that may be of interest to you:
Should You Butter Turkey Or Chicken Before Roasting?
How Do You Cook A Turkey In A Convection Oven?