Easy Cleaning Tips for Your Bamboo Steamer

Bamboo steamers are a popular kitchen appliance for steaming food and maintaining its natural flavors. While they're an indispensable tool for Asian cooking, they require proper care to last and work efficiently.

In this cleaning guide, we will discuss different methods for cleaning and maintaining bamboo steamers.

Cleaning After Each Use

To extend the lifespan of your bamboo steamer, it's essential to clean it after each use. Follow these steps for routine cleaning:


Fill a sink or basin with hot, soapy water using mild dish soap. Immerse the bamboo steamer in the water, ensuring that the basket and lid are entirely submerged. Allow it to soak for about 10 minutes to loosen any caked-on food particles.


Gently scrub the surface of the bamboo steamer basket and lid with a soft nylon brush or non-abrasive sponge, paying attention to the corners and crevices. Avoid using abrasive scouring pads or harsh cleaning agents, as they may damage the bamboo fibers.


Rinse the bamboo steamer basket and lid under hot running water to remove any soap residue. Ensure that all soap suds are rinsed away to prevent any unpleasant taste or residue on the steamer.


Place the bamboo steamer on a clean kitchen towel or a drying rack to air-dry. Ensure that it is completely dry before storing it to prevent mold and mildew growth. For faster drying, you can place the steamer in a well-ventilated area or use a hairdryer on low heat.

How To Clean Bamboo Steamer

Additional Cleaning Tips for Bamboo Steamers

Keeping your bamboo steamer clean and odor-free is crucial to preserving its functionality and extending its life. Here are some additional cleaning tips to consider:

Pre-Cleaning a New Bamboo Steamer

Before using your bamboo steamer for the first time, wash it with warm water and dish soap. Then, place it in a pot or wok of simmering water and steam clean it for about thirty minutes. This initial cleaning helps eliminate any dust and makes the steamer more pliable for future use.

Use a Black Tea Bag

Tannins in black tea can help remove stuck-on food particles and bacteria. Soak a black tea bag in hot water, then scrub it against the surface of your bamboo steamer. Rinse and air-dry the steamer as usual.

Line Your Bamboo Steamer

To prevent food from sticking to your bamboo steamer, use liners like parchment paper, cheesecloth, lettuce leaves, or cabbage leaves. Place your food on top of the liner, making it easier to clean the steamer later.

Remove Odor with White Vinegar or Baking Soda

If your bamboo steamer has an unpleasant odor, mix a one-to-two ratio of white vinegar and water and soak the steamer in the mixture. Alternatively, sprinkle baking soda on the bamboo steamer and let it sit for a few hours. In both cases, rinse the steamer with hot water and air-dry.

Scrub Off Any Mold

If your bamboo steamer develops mold, soak it in a one-to-two ratio mix of white vinegar and water. Scrub the moldy areas with a brush until the mold is gone, then rinse and air-dry.

Proper Maintenance and Storage

In addition to cleaning, proper maintenance and storage are essential for preserving the quality of your bamboo steamer. Avoid oversoaking the steamer, as prolonged exposure to water can weaken the bamboo fibers. Store it in a dry and well-ventilated area to prevent mold growth.

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