I know what you’re thinking: I have to clean my immersion circulator?! And the answer is yes, but not very often. And cleaning them is oh so easy!

Immersion circulator in jar of water next to large container of vinegar on kitchen counter

Not sure what an immersion circulator is? Sounds like you need to learn about sous vide!

You might see some guides that show you how to take your circulator apart and really clean it. For the average sous vide user, this is likely not necessary (and may not even be possible). We’re going to keep it easy for this tutorial.

These instructions will apply to any of the common immersion circulators: Breville Joule, Anova, Anova Nano, etc. For the larger professional units, like some of the higher end PolyScience machines, you should refer to their instructions.

How often do I need to clean my circulator?

You don’t need to clean your circulator often at all, especially if you’re maintaining it well. When I say maintaining it well, I mean not letting it sit in the same water for days and days and days. Here’s when you need to clean your circulator:

  • About every 6 months for normal maintenance. I like to do October and April because those months tend to precede my busiest sous viding times.
  • If you have a big leak during a cook. Ever had a sous vide bag fail, a jar break, or a jar leak? (Sous vide cheesecake tends to be my nemesis!) This is a good time to clean your circulator.

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    Get the Recipe:

    How to Clean Your Immersion Circulator

    Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes



    • Find a smaller container that’s deep enough for your circulator to run. Something like a pitcher, large mason jar, a small cooler, or a cereal container will work well.
    • Place the circulator in your container of choice. Add equal parts water and white vinegar – just enough to come above your circulator's fill line.
    • Set your circulator to 150 degrees F and let it run for 1 hour.
    • Remove the circulator from the container. I like to use this opportunity to gently wash the outside with water and dish soap, but you don’t have to. Rinse.
    • Add the circulator back to your container of choice and refill with just water to just above your circulator’s fill line.
    • Set your circulator to 150 degrees F and let it run for 30 minutes.
    • Remove the circulator from the container and dry it completely with a clean dish cloth.
    Author: Chelsea Cole
    Did you make this recipe?Mention @aducksoven on Instagram or tag #aducksoven.