How to Clean a Piping Bag

Classes and instructional videos can quickly teach you how to create attractive borders and decorations on your cake, but -- oddly -- few go on to explain in detail how to clean your piping bag afterwards. Inadequately cleaned bags are unsanitary and potentially hazardous, so learning to clean them properly is an essential skill.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish detergent
  • Stiff brush (optional)
  • Clothespin
  • Pot or heatproof mixing bowl (optional)

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Step 1

Squeeze any remaining contents from your bag, saving them for later if appropriate. Uncouple the tip from your bag and set it aside, then turn your bag completely inside out. Remove your coupler's inner ring and set that aside with the tip.

Step 2

Run the bag under the hottest water your tap can manage short of scalding your hands, to dissolve and rinse away fat-based icings, whipped cream or fatty mousses. For choux paste or other flour-based batters, rinse under cold water instead.

Step 3

Wash the bag thoroughly with hot, clean water and conventional dish soap. If your bag is the heavy-duty canvas type, scrub the canvas thoroughly with a stiff brush, both inside and out. Canvas bags are permeable, and fat will lodge in crevices of the fabric's mesh.

Step 4

Clip the piping bag to the upper rack of your dishwasher, using a clothespin, and run it through a high-temperature wash cycle with your next load of dishes. The high-temperature cycle is hot enough to effectively sterilize the bag. If you don't have a dishwasher, put the bag in a clean pot or heatproof mixing bowl, and cover it with boiling water for at least 30 seconds before draining.

Step 5

Hang the bag to air-dry thoroughly. Some have a loop at the wide end for this purpose, or you can attach a clothespin or stationery clip to the lip of the bag and hang it from a hook. Alternatively, stand the bag upright in your dish drainer overnight to dry.


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