How do you clean a bamboo steamer?

how to clean a bamboo steamer

When you switch2bamboo for any of your clothing, bedding or household items, it’s common to wonder if they need any extra care.

Being made of, or from, bamboo can have advantages and disadvantages when it comes to cleaning.

So, how do you clean a bamboo steamer?

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How do you clean a bamboo steamer?

Bamboo is the traditional material for making steamers.

They originated from the Han dynasty dating back 5,000 years in southern China. Food was steamed in order to reduce the amount of smoke produced by fires in military barracks at the time.

Being grass and not wood means that the structure of the material is very different and withstands water much better than wood does.

This makes bamboo ideal for use in cooking, especially steaming.

Daily cleaning

Use a mix of warm water and dish soap to rinse and wipe your steamer keeping it clean and hygienic.

Allow the steamer to air dry after cleaning.

Never put your bamboo steamer in the dishwasher.

Deep cleaning

Add 50ml of white vinegar (a cup) with a litre (a quart) of warm water for a deeper, antibacterial clean.

Alternatively, mix one teaspoon of bleach with one litre (a quart) of water for a suitable disinfecting cleaning solution.

Rinse well and allow to air dry for 24-48 hours.

Restoration cleaning

Dampen a soft cloth with either lukewarm water on its own or a cleaning solution as mentioned above.

Have a bowl of normal table salt and dab your damp cloth into the bowl.

Use the cloth to really lift the grime taking advantage of the abrasive action of the salt.

Rinse well and allow to air dry.

How do you keep food from sticking to a bamboo steamer?

Line the steamer with parchment paper, ensuring there is a gap around the edge, or pierce some holes in the paper, to allow the steam to come through.

Using paper makes cleaning your steamer much easier after cooking.

How do you keep a bamboo steamer from warping?

Never put it in the dishwasher

Never soak your steamer in water

Clean, rinse and air dry soon after cooking in order to keep the steamer dry. Keeping it dry is key to stopping it from warping.

Are bamboo steamers toxic?

Most of the toxic substances we end up with in our kitchens are added in the growing process or the manufacturing process of the item.

Bamboo needs no pesticides in order to grow and is almost always organic in nature.

When harvested and split to use in bamboo steamers, the structure of the bamboo means it requires no coatings or finishings, as bamboo is moisture resistant naturally.

Traditional weaving and construction of the steamers do not employ any glues or adhesives and will most likely be the case for any quality steamers.

How to care for other bamboo items.

The washing and drying of bamboo clothing and bedding, including baby items and towels, can be approached in similar ways.

Manufacturers should say whether their fabric is 100% bamboo viscose or rayon, or if it has a mix of fibres it should state this on the label and packaging.

Other bamboo fabrics, such as Lyocell and bamboo linen, have been mechanically ground, pulped with natural enzymes and spun, and are therefore more eco-friendly and a better choice when switching to bamboo.

Lyocell is a soft, semi-synthetic fabric which uses a closed-loop manufacturing process making it more eco-friendly than its distance cousin, Rayon.

It looks and feels soft and will be marketed as bamboo fabric, sometimes mixed with lycra or spandex in order to maintain its shape.

Bamboo linen has the feel of linen. A little rougher around the edges but this is due to the 100% natural, mechanical and chemical-free way it has been processed.


Bamboo fabric keeps the strength of the bamboo plant and is incredibly durable, outlasting cotton equivalents when cared for properly.

When washing your bamboo items they should be washed in a gentle detergent just as you would wool or other delicate items, on a gentle, cooler cycle of your washing machine.

Washing at a cool temperature or a cold wash helps to maintain the shape of the fabric and reduce possible shrinkage.



Using a drier on very low heat is okay, but using too high a heat can damage the bamboo fibres or shrink the fabric.


Drying your bamboo items indoors with artificial heat (radiators and air vents) is better but try not to leave them directly on the heat source.


Drying your socks outside is by far the best method. There’s no risk of over-drying which can damage the fibres, the moisture is carried away rather than collecting in your home and you get the added benefit of having that gorgeous outdoors aroma.

The best cleaning solutions for bamboo furniture, floors and household items.

  1. Household dish soap and lukewarm water make a perfectly suitable solution to wipe down floors, furniture and utensils. Just don’t leave it to soak in and never use the dishwasher for utensils, cutlery or bamboo straws.
  2. For a deeper clean, mix 50ml of white vinegar (a cup) with a litre (a quart) of warm water and use as above.
  3. Mix 1 teaspoon of bleach with 1 litre (a quart) of water for a suitable disinfecting cleaning solution for items such as cutting boards or bathroom flooring.

Using a soft-bristled brush in addition to the solutions listed above will not damage your bamboo items and may improve the result, especially on furniture which has been neglected for a while.

For truly ingrained dirt on bamboo furniture try dabbing some normal table salt onto your damp cleaning cloth (along with one of the solutions above) and use the extra abrasive quality of the salt to really lift the grime out.

Looking to switch2bamboo for cooking?

Reishunger Bamboo Steamer

Our Reishunger bamboo steamer is handmade of high-quality bamboo and built to last. 

The product is designed to recreate the feeling of traditional Chinese cooking while providing the optimal shape to circulate the steam at the perfect temperature.

The two tiers give you the option to not only cook multiple servings at once but you can combine foods. E.g. you can put rice on one layer and fish, vegetables or meat on the other which will give your rice a more refined taste.

Premium Organic Bamboo Steamer by Harcas.

2 Tier Bamboo steamer is the perfect size for home use because it fits most woks and pans. 

The 2 tiers allow different food to be steamed at any one time.

Bamboo is one of the toughest materials on the planet. 

The Harcas Bamboo Steamer is durable, shatterproof and easy to clean.

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