How to Clean a Popcorn Kettle

Updated March 23, 2017

Popcorn popper machines are used in concessions and event halls to create a large quantity of popcorn in a short amount of time. Popcorn kernels and oil are placed in a metal kettle at the top of the machine. As the kettle heats up, the kernels pop and popcorn falls into the basin underneath the kettle. Popcorn kettles should be wiped out after every use to keep them clean. Without frequent maintenance, carbon deposits and burnt oil develop on the interior of the kettle, affecting the flavour of the popcorn.

Turn the main power switch of the popcorn machine to the off position. Unplug the popcorn popper and let the entire machine cool before attempting to clean the kettle. Several elements of the interior of the popcorn machine can burn you if you're not careful.

Lift the lid of the popcorn kettle toward the top of the machine. It should stay up using magnets. Flip the latch on the side of the metal popcorn kettle. It will swing down to give you easy access to the interior of the kettle.

Scoop out any old popcorn kernels or debris from the inside of the kettle using a clean paper towel. Discard the debris into a plastic bag-lined dustbin.

Wipe the interior of the popcorn kettle with a clean dry paper towel, swiping away any leftover salt, popcorn bits and popcorn popping oil. Use multiple dry paper towels until there is no residue on the inside of the popcorn kettle. Throw away the used paper towels.

Purchase a popcorn kettle cleaning solution to remove black carbon or burnt-on popcorn oil from the metal kettle. Try solutions such as the Paragon Popcorn Machine Kettle Cleaning Kit, Heat N' Kleen Popcorn Kettle Cleaner or the Deuster Company Kettle Cleaning Kit. Use these kits only when rubbing with paper towels can't clean off the kettle well.


Do not submerge the kettle in water as this could damage the electrical components.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Kettle cleaning kit
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About the Author

Trisha Bartle began her writing career in 2007, with work appearing in publications such as "Adventures for the Average Woman" and DexKnows Weddings. She has also been a professional wedding photographer since 2001. Bartle holds an Associate of Applied Science in programming and game development.