Cleaning Tips And Couplers....

Decorating By debsuewoo Updated 5 Sep 2005 , 7:32pm by candyladyhelen

debsuewoo Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 5:05pm
post #1 of 47

Just wondering how you guys clean your tips and couplers? I WAS cleaning as much of the icing out of them as possible (who wants Crisco down the drain?) and then putting them in the mesh bag that Wilton sells and placing them in the dishwasher..... it worked okay. However, my instructor just told me to put everything in a pot of boling water and let the water clean them for me...... So, this is good for the tips and couplers, but what about the bags? Would that work for bags?


46 replies
Moviechick00 Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 5:08pm
post #2 of 47

I try to get out as much of BC that I can from the bags and tips. After I soak them in hot water with vinager for no more than 15 mins. That usually works if not then I put them in the dishwasher. MC

Sugar Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 5:28pm
post #3 of 47

Dawn dish soap and elbow grease, along with a brush.

I don't have a dishwasher, and boiling the tips still doesn't disolve that horrid Crisco.

BJ Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 5:43pm
post #4 of 47

Dawn, hot water from the tap, a tip cleaning brush, and as "sugar" said - elbow grease. Dawn dishwashing soap is really good at cutting grease. If your using your tips for royal icing - do the vinegar and water soak first and then the Dawn wash - that removes all traces of grease from your tips definately. You don't have to boil the tips - that's really a waste of time. A good washing is fine if you use the right products. No - I don't work for Dawn - haha thumbs_up.gif

MariaLovesCakes Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 5:47pm
post #5 of 47
Originally Posted by debsuewoo

Just wondering how you guys clean your tips and couplers? I WAS cleaning as much of the icing out of them as possible (who wants Crisco down the drain?) and then putting them in the mesh bag that Wilton sells and placing them in the dishwasher..... it worked okay. However, my instructor just told me to put everything in a pot of boling water and let the water clean them for me...... So, this is good for the tips and couplers, but what about the bags? Would that work for bags?


I put them in a big bowl with hot water and soap and leave them there for a while. I replace then water and add some more hot water and soap. AFter a while, it is much easier to clean...

CakesByEllen Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 6:01pm
post #6 of 47

I clean them by hand. I have a disposer, so I don't worry about it going down the drain.

heracastle Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 6:03pm
post #7 of 47

I usually use the sprayer on my sink and hot water to get down in the tip then soap and water. If the icing has dried I soak it a bit in soapy water then spray them out and wash them by hand. The sprayer usually gets it all. I don't use royal icing so I've not had to worry about any left over oil to use the vinager. I have a dishwasher, but I don't like putting them in there. No good reason why other than I'm just weird. That was my 1/2 cent.


SheilaF Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 6:05pm
post #8 of 47

I clean by hand too. Or beg my daughter to do it for me, then soak them in vinegar to totally clear the grease (esp if I'm going to be working w/royal icing) and then soak in water again to remove the vinegar. I have put them through the dishwasher, but they really don't get clean enough (IMO) that way. The tips anyway. I will put the plastic couplers in there. The tips always seem to fall inside of each other and the one on the outside won't really get clean.

debsuewoo Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 7:54pm
post #9 of 47

Thanks for the pointers! I just tried the boiling water and am not impressed with it..... not at all as magical as gthe instructor made it sound.


Sherryb Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 8:10pm
post #10 of 47

I just use Dawn when I use royal icing, but I use dawn and vinegar when using buttercreme. I just run HOT water,dawn and vinegar in the sink when I start decorating and as I finish with what I am using I clean out the icing and put bag and all in the sink.

MrsMissey Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 10:17pm
post #11 of 47

I clean my tips and couplers in the closed utensil compartment of my dishwasher. If I am not in a rush for clean bags, I just hang them inside out and upside down in the dishwasher, with a plastic clothespin and clean them with my regular dishes. If I need them right away, I just wash them by hand.

peacockplace Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 11:06pm
post #12 of 47

ooh....good idea about the plastic clothes pin! I'm going to use that. I use the dishwasher too!

MrsMissey Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 11:09pm
post #13 of 47

..thanks! I'm guessing the wooden ones would work also, but I just happened to have some plastic ones and figured what the heck, I wasn't using them for anything else!

dinkadoo Posted 8 Aug 2005 , 11:57pm
post #14 of 47

I boil mine in a mixture of water and dishsoap. I've never had a problem. Just rinse them and set them out to dry.

leily Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 1:42am
post #15 of 47

no dishwasher here icon_sad.gif
I toss all of my tips/nails/couplers in a large class jar (a large pickle one to be exact) when I am done. Put in some Dawn and fill it with boiling water just above all my items. I let it sit for quite a while-usually while doing the rest of my dishes or longer. Then I dump that out and put more dawn in there and let running hot water run over them for at least 15-20 minutes. I check what is clean, take out what is clean and rinse and dry. Any thing else that is still dirty I repeat the running hot water with Dawn.

As for bags. I only use one or two at a time-I only use resuable ones for my icer tips. All my other ones I use Disposable bags-much easier for me. I actually let these sit over night if I can. Then when the icing is dry i turn them inside out over the garbage can-this gets most of the icing off. Then I just wash in a sink with hot water and Dawn. Set them up-side down in a cone shape and let air dry over night.

This works easier for me as I am not decorating a cake every night or every other. So I have the time to rinse/repeat, and let my bags dry over night.

junebuggey Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 2:42am
post #16 of 47

I know this will sound strange, but place tips in microwave proof container. Add a few drops of Dawn. Add water until the tips are covered making sure you have several inches of room at the top of the container for suds. Set the oven on high for 2 minutes.

The metal in the oven is insulated by the water so no arching occurs. The tips may need a second round if they were full of icing, otherwise rinse and you are done.

P.S. as an added bonus, the steam cleans the gook the kids left on the walls and doors. Clean tips and oven--what a deal!

PolishMommy Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 4:06am
post #17 of 47

I give them the old 1-2-3!

1. Pinky finger
2. Baby bottle nipple brush
3. Wilton tip brush

Dunk in soapy water in between!

midwestmom Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 6:54am
post #18 of 47

i put mine in the closed utensil part of my dishwasher also. i don't wash anything by hand icon_smile.gif
and i use the disposable bags.

wifeshelper Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 7:13am
post #19 of 47

i clean my wifes bags,tips and what not. i just use the little brush you can buy. it works pretty well and dawn soap. we dont have a dishwashers so its all by hand.

PureShugga Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 9:10am
post #20 of 47

I am with JuneBuggy on this one. I swear by it. I belong to another site and when I told them of the microwave method - everybody freaked out - saying I was crazy - until they tried it and they all swear by it now!!!

It's funny because this is the only method I use since it is what our Wilton Instructor says she's been cleaning her tips like this for 20 years.

The key is making sure you have enough water to cover the tips completely - throw in some Dawn and pop em in the microwave for a few minutes and VOILA! Clean tips! I've been doing it this way for almost a year and if it's good enough for my instructor for 20 years - its good enough for me - sometimes I don't even get all the BC out of the tip - I just throw them in there and if they need a few extra minutes then I give it to them. I swear!! You need to try this! You won't go back! If you do it right they come out clean as a whistle - I converted others on another site now lets see if some of you are willing to try this and post your thoughts afterwards!

MrsMissey Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 1:31pm
post #21 of 47

Although the thought of that scares the living daylights out of me, I'm going to try it because it sounds like a great time saver! I'll let you know how I make out!!

Misdawn Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 1:38pm
post #22 of 47

Ok...if the tips are metal and you aren't supposed to put metal in the microwave....isn't that a bit unsafe?

CIndymm4 Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 1:40pm
post #23 of 47

I have never thought about using the microwave either, but the thought of making cleaning the microwave easier from leftovers the teenagers have failed to clean up makes it seem like a 2 for 1 time, I'm going to try it!

Sugar Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 1:46pm
post #24 of 47

That is an interesting idea. I have put metal in the microwave (not on purpose) and all that happened was that it light up real pretty icon_lol.gif

I have a $35.00 microwave, so I may just give this a try!


Misdawn Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 1:50pm
post #25 of 47

I put a bowl with aluminum foil on it (without even thinking) in the microwave one time for about a minute and my microwave caught on fire! The thought of putting my metal tips in the microwave makes me uneasy....

LittleBigMomma Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 1:52pm
post #26 of 47

I'm with MrsMissey on this one, it scares me. But, I am going to try it. I am so tired by the time clean-up time rolls around that I am willing to try anything. I have been know to leave the tips on the counter WITH frosting in them until .... well, you get the idea.

junebuggey Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 1:53pm
post #27 of 47

As I stated in the original post, the water acts as the insulation for the tips. Microwaves accelerate the movement of the water molecules and that is how the heat is generated. The water protects the metal from the waves and no sparking will occur. I am a science teacher, or so my certificates and degree say.

I know the idea flies smack in the face of all we were ever taught about using a microwave, but I wouldn't risk my new microwave if I wasn't certain this worked. The key is having enough water to cover the tips completely. I often use the wilton tip bag to dunk and quickly retreive the tips. This method takes the pain out of the most dreaded part of the art --- clean-up.

I tell my decortating students - Once you zap you won't go back.

Junebuggey icon_biggrin.gif

Calejo Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 2:30pm
post #28 of 47

I'm leary about it too,and I know my husband might freak out if he finds out I tried it, but if I can cut my cleaning time down, so be it! It would be a whole lot nicer than doing each tip one at a time by hand.

mommymarilyn Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 9:02pm
post #29 of 47

I put my tips and couplers in the utensil holder in my dishwasher (one compartment has a lid), but I always soak them first in water and dishwashing liquid too - probably redundant, but that's what I've always done. I, too, am a little scared about the microwave thing, but hey, I'll try it - I'll just be sure to stand there in case I need to turn it off real quick - but sounds like a good idea to me!

NEWTODECORATING Posted 9 Aug 2005 , 10:28pm
post #30 of 47

JuneBuggey, You are a time saving GODDESS!!!, and my new best friend!!!

I must say I was very leary of metal in the microwave but it just so happened that I had several tips and couplers in the kitchen that I had been avoiding all morning and I thought "What the heck, I haven't gotten bad advice from here yet ", so I did it.

OMG how great this is. No arching, no fire, no exploding kitchen (I was prepared for all the above) I placed couplers, tips, and even a nail in a old sippy cup, covered with water and dish soap, left enough room for bubbles, set microwave for 2 min and stood by waiting to make up an excuse to my husband as to why I did something so stupid.

The only thing that happened is I have a new cleaning proceedure and will think fondly of you with every cake I make.

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