What does a trip to the movies, a day at the ballpark, and walking around a festival all have in common? They are all made even better with a delicious box of buttery popcorn! Popcorn is a great profit generator, but it is important to keep the popcorn machine in your operation working in top condition by regularly and properly cleaning the machine. 

By regularly cleaning your machine, your popcorn will taste better, and your machine will last longer with less maintenance needed. Learning to get into the habit of properly cleaning the machine is essential to the continued growth of sales. Let’s review the best way to clean your commercial popcorn popper. 


Easily clean your popcorn machine by following these steps: 

  • Turn off all light and heating switches 
  • Unplug the machine 
  • Allow the machine to cool to keep operators safe – these poppers run at extremely high temperatures! 
  • Remove the kettle and wipe it down with a sponge or damp towel, but remember to never submerge in water to avoid damaging the electrical components 
  • Wipe all glass with an ammonia-free, food-safe glass cleaner 
  • Wipe metal surfaces with a damp towel, including the kettle. For intense messes in the kettle, see more in-depth steps for cleaning below. 

Very important note: for any surface that touches food, clean it with a food-safe cleaner 


If grease has built up to a degree that will not come off with a few wipes, it may be necessary to “boil-out” the kettle to get it clean once again: 

  • Use specific cleaner formulated for kettle cleaning and about two cups of water 
  • Bring to a boil, then turn off and unplug the unit 
  • Empty the liquid into a container after the amount of time indicated by the kettle cleaner 
  • Rinse and wipe 
  • The Benchmark USA 43001 kettle cleaning kit makes this process easy! 



Cleaning your popcorn machine without using proper safety precautions can cause serious harm to operators. Remember these points as you clean your commercial popcorn machine: 

  • Do not allow any employees under the age of 18 to clean the kettle due to extremely hot temperatures that it reaches. 
  • Wear protective gloves while cleaning in order to keep bare hands from coming in contact with the cleaner.  
  • Use an ammonia-free cleaner so that there is no lasting damage caused which can happen to a variety of plastics and metals. And store in a safe location away from prep area to prevent spills and direct contact with product 

Popcorn Tips: 

We won’t mess with your science for creating the perfect batch, but we did want to give some tips for serving five-star popcorn: 

  • Pre-packaged kits make it easy to have the perfect amount of corn, oil, and salt and will create consistency among shifts. 
  • Store popcorn in a sealed container at room temperature to avoid chewy popcorn. 
  • Vegetable oil cannot withstand the heat required to make popcorn and can lead to smoke and fires. Use coconut, palm, canola, sunflower, peanut, or soy oils for a suitable oil for popping. 
  • Scoops made specifically for popcorn make it much easier to fill bags. 

Now, rest assured that your popcorn machine can properly pop a delicious snack for guests and will continue to work as good as new! In the need for popcorn supplies? Central offers popcorn kits, scoops, bags, and more from a variety of vendors to help your operations flow without a hitch. 

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