Is A Plastic Blender Safe To Use? Does It Matter The Type Of Plastic?
In the world of healthy-eating, blenders are a huge figure and pose as the solution to many people’s dietary concerns. A lot of people won’t have time to wake up, work out, make a healthy avocado toast and have some sugar-free, natural, freshly squeezed juice. That’s why blenders are great- throw in all the healthy goodness, blitz away- and drink it as one delicious glass of juice/smoothie.
In short- yes, plastic blenders are safe to use, provided they use BPA-free/chemical-free plastic material types.
Blender blenders can come in different jar materials including plastic, glass, and sometimes even aluminium/other metals (stainless steel blenders, for example). The type of jar actually doesn’t have a drastic effect on the blending efficiency or the perfromance (the difference in blender performance is negligible to none), but are plastic blender jars safe to use, considering all the knowledge we have nowadays regarding BPA plastics?
Here are some of the points we’ll cover:
- The types of blender jar materials available
- The benefits and drawbacks of each
- A comparison of plastic and glass blender jars, side by side
- Cost comparison
- Durability comparison
- Criteria testing
- Which one is best for your needs?
Read our guide to learn about the different type of blender jar options- particularly plastic blender jars, their differences, benefits, safety concerns, and alternatives.
Plastic Blender Jars 101: What You Need to Know
Glass jars are the ideal option, and we’ll discuss later in this article as to why that is. High-performing, higher-end, and more luxurious glass jar blender options will use a purely glass-based body for the blender.
It’s a comforting thought to bear in mind that not all high-end blenders use a glass blender container material- in fact, many popular instagram-worthy blenders such as those by Blendtec and Vitamix use polycarbonate-plastic material blends. In fact, many professional chefs and commercial stores use plastic-bodied blenders. Plastic jars have massive variation in the type of plastic they are- hence, it’s a common path to just purchase a glass jar in attempt to avoid all the confusion.
Budget blenders usually use lower-quality plastic jars, and these will likely have harmful BPA-chemicals (bad news – chemical leaching!) unless specified that they don’t. Lower-quality plastics also stain and scratch easily- as well as being prone to developing an unpleasant smell (food odors) over time.
Higher-end blenders may opt for materials such as high-grade plastic, co-polyester plastics, or polycarbonate. While these cost you more, they’re often scratch-resistant, heat-resistant, and absorb less unpleasant food odours.
As a whole, commercial blenders with a plastic jar are cheaper and can be replaced easily. The plastic body allows them to be more portable, pourable, liftable, and storable due to the lighter weight. They’re also readily available in a variety of capacities- miniature to jumbo. And above all, they tend to be shatter-proof.
- Lightweight; perfect for pouring, handling, easy storability (can be hung)
- Easily replaceable jar
- High capacity options available
- Shatter-proof/difficult to break if dropped
- Leaching of chemicals may occur
- Food odours will be absorbed into the plastic over time
- Easier to scratch
- Prone to discolouration and staining
- BPA-free options will be more expensive/less readily available
- Some may not be heat-resistant, so not a great option for hot foods such as soup
Glass Blender Jars 101: All You Need to Know
How do plastic blender jars compare to glass blender jars? Part of it may be the vintage appeal- glass looks quite sultry and pleasant to keep on your counter. It’s also an expensive-looking material, which emanates a sense of luxury. Glass also feels sturdier and safer (while this is ironically contradictory to the truth- as one of the main cons of glass blender jar bodies is that this material will shatter if dropped, while plastic usually won’t).
The main benefit to a glass type of blender jar is the lack of BPA chemicals, which can enter your consumables and cause bodily harm.
Furthermore, another great thing to note about glass jars is that discolouration is something which won’t occur. The glass won’t stain, as ingredients are unable to penetrate it. On the idea of food penetration, glass jars won’t absorb and emit any of the food odours either.
The final core benefit to glass blender jars is that it’s heat-proof and holds up well with piping ingredients such as soups. They’re also very dishwasher-friendly.
- No discolouration or odour absorption
- Stain resistance
- Durable; scratch-resistant
- Safer and healthier for your body
- Heavier (less portable, liftable, pourable)
- Bulkier (not efficient for small spaces)
- More expensive than plastic jars
- High-end options unavailable
Glass vs Plastic: Battle of the Blender Jars
Now that we’ve broken down both of the main options, it’s worth looking at them side by side to help establish which one is the best option for you.
Plastic is evidently the option many people would favour, due to the light weight, difference in cost, difference in capacity, and shatter resistance. However, you need to remember that the cost may not be as cheap as you imagine if you go for a better quality, BPA-free jar. In fact, higher-quality plastic can sometimes outperform some glass blender jars. Blendtec and Vitamix are two renowned brand who create amazing blenders without any glass at all.
Plastic isn’t a great option for those of you who will be using ice. Froyos, slushies, ice-creams, milkshakes, and smoothies will all use ice which can scratch a plastic blender jar over time.
On the other hand, glass blenders are known to perform very well in comparison to plastic blender jars in terms of scratch-resistance, chemical leaching, healthiness, odour-resistance, and eco-friendliness.
Below, we’ll discuss an alternative jar material you could opt for if you’re still undecided. Keep reading!
Stainless Steel Blender Jars 101: All You Need to Know
The final option of blender jar materials is stainless steel. This isn’t the most widely-available, or popular option- due to the main issue being lack of transparency. You can’t see through the jug and check how your drink looks- which isn’t very convenient in situations such as:
- Soup making: you can’t keep reopening the lid to check consistency as this can introduce bacteria into the soup and cool it down too
- Ice-cream/Frozen Yoghurt making: You’ll want to blend just enough so that the consistency is thick enough to scoop, and thin enough to be malleable. With stainless steel jars, you can’t see this consistency easily
One benefit to steel blender jars is the sleek, modern appearance that looks great sitting on pretty much any countertop. Many commercial environments such as cafes, bars, restaurants, and dessert parlours use stainless steel as it’s easier to clean, are usually very powerful, and highly shatter-proof.
- Very light-weight without giving off a “cheap” appearance
- No BPA-chemical or other chemical presence; no chemical leaching
- No food odour absorption
- Excellent temperature retainment (insulation/conduction)
- Very easy to clean
- Sturdy and durable
- Can be dented if dropped repeatedly or on sharp edges
- Can be expensive in comparison to plastic
- Cannot see what you’re blending; no transparency
- Markings are useless as the body isn’t see-through
- Failure to detect the texture of drinks during blending process
How to Pick the Best Jar Material?
The answer to this question depends entirely on your needs. To answer the main question; plastic can be safe as long as you purchase a blender with zero BPA chemicals. These can penetrate the plastic and enter your beverages, consequently causing harm to your body.
While it is cheaper, more convenient, and very lightweight- plastic is a material which we should all aim to cut down or limit our use of. Plastic is non-biodegradable, and extremely harmful to marine life. These toxic chemicals found in plastic penetrate the ocean’s water and kill marine life, which will throw off entire ecosystems- and we need the wildlife just as much as we need basic elements such as air and water.
You need to consider the following points:
- Am I concerned about my carbon foot-print enough to influence my blender decision? If so, go for glass or stainless steel
- Do I want something as cheap as possible? Go for plastic jars
- Do I want my blender to look appealing? Go for a glass jar
- Do I want a powerful blender for getting the job done- no aesthetics involved? Plastic (BPA-free) or stainless steel may be the option for you
- Do I want it to be as easy to clean as possible? Stainless steel
- Does weight matter to me? If not, go for a glass jar
- Am I willing to spend a fair bit on my blender? We recommend opting for a glass jar, as we find stainless steel ones to be quite useless in domestic kitchens
Bonus: Best Uses for Your Blender
We’ve thrown in a little stack of tips and tricks to help make the most out of your blender, and here’s some of our top uses!
- Tomato Soup: Make a delicious tomato soup by following three easy steps- with some butter or oil, cook your fat chunks of fresh tomatoes along with chopped celery and carrots (cook until softened and add your spices), Pop them into your blender with half a cup of water once they’ve cooled down, and blend! You can return the mixture to heat and simmer with fresh herbs, cream, and seasonings.
- Smoothie/Açaí Bowls: You can freeze fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries- but make sure you use at least one cup of frozen bananas- blitz them together on full speed with partially frozen yoghurt or water and add agave syrup, maple syrup, or honey for sweetness.
- Guacamole: You can make this internationally-loved Mexican favourite very easily using two ripe avocados, chilli flakes, a squeeze of fresh lemon, spices (cumin is key!), and a dash of olive oil. This fresh, healthy spread is best enjoyed on toast, crackers, with nachos as a dip, or in wraps.