Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper and heap of popcorn

How To Clean A Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper?

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Newell McGlynn

Expert writer

Meet Newell, a seasoned expert in the realm of stoves and fireplaces. With an extensive background in the industry, Newell boasts unparalleled experience in working with electric, gas, and wood-burning stoves. His proficiency extends to crafting warm, inviting spaces through a deep understanding of fireplaces.

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Your Whirley Pop popcorn popper is your best friend if you are anything like me. It’s a gadget that lets you make delicious popcorn in just a minute or two and makes the whole process fun! 

The Whirley Pop popcorn popper is great for making your own gourmet popcorn at home. With as many different uses for this machine as there are popcorn flavors, you can make several different kinds of snack foods in addition to movie theater-style popcorn. But eventually, even the most beloved of kitchen tools can get dirty. 

Luckily, cleaning a Whirley Pop is easy once you know how. With these expert tips for deep-cleaning your popper, plus some general maintenance advice, you will be able to keep yours running smoothly for years to come!

How to Clean Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper

Step 1. Inspect 

You will need to thoroughly inspect this first, looking for cracks and crevices in the handle, lid, or spinner. Check for any signs of rust or discoloration, too.

If you notice any cracks, pay special attention to them, as they may have been caused by something as simple as dropping them on the floor. If this happens and you are not able to fix the crack yourself (which I recommend doing), try contacting Whirley Pop directly so they can send you a replacement part instead of having to buy a whole new Popper.

Step 2. Fill It With Hot Water and a Squirt of Dish Soap

Filling Whirley Pop with hot water and dish soap

Fill your Whirley Pop with hot water and a squirt of dish soap. Then, use a sponge to clean the whole thing, paying extra attention to the lid, handle, stir stick assembly, and the bottom of the popper itself. Rinse out any soap residue with hot water.

Step 3. Toss in a Few Corn Kernels and Turn the Heat on High

Turn the heat on high and toss in a few corn kernels, stirring them with a wooden spoon. Do not overfill the pan. Make sure there is plenty of room for steam to rise. This will help prevent popcorn from burning.

Shake the pan occasionally to ensure kernels are not stuck to the bottom. This will also help prevent burning.

Step 4. Dump Out the Dirty Water and Wipe Out Excess Soap

After about ten minutes, dump the dirty water and wipe out any excess soap with a paper towel. You can also use a sponge to clean the inside of the pan.

Don’t use harsh chemicals or abrasives to clean the pan; you may damage your popper’s non-stick surface.

Step 5. Pour in Some Oil

Hand pouring oil into Whirley Pop on stove

Now that the pan is cleaned, it’s time to fill it with oil. Be sure to use a high-quality oil that has a neutral flavor, is not prone to smoking, and can withstand high temperatures. I use canola oil because of its high smoke point and flavor. Other good options are peanut or safflower oils as well.

Once you have filled your Whirley Pop popcorn popper with oil, turn on the heat and wait for it to reach 350-400° Fahrenheit (176-204° Celsius). While our pan is heating up, we will move on to step 6.

Step 6. Spin the Hell Out of It Until You’ve Coated Every Available Surface With Oil

You will want to coat all of your surfaces with a thin film of oil, but not so much that you have sloshing oil in the bottom of your popcorn popper. Oil should be slightly thicker than water and between room temperature and hot to the touch—not too hot or cold. 

If it’s too thin, it will evaporate before you start roasting; if it’s too thick, you won’t get it into all the nooks and crannies. It also needs to be spread evenly over every surface: don’t just pour some from one side!

The best way to coat is by shaking up an old spray bottle full of canola or vegetable cooking oil (something with a neutral flavor), then spraying each part until it’s shiny but not dripping wet with liquid inside.

Step 7. Pour the Excess Oil Out of the Pan.

Pour all the excess oil out of the pan, carefully clean up any puddles of oil that are left behind (they splatter like crazy when they are on hot metal), then wipe the pan down with a paper towel to get rid of any last remnants of oil or popcorn residue.

Now it’s time for Step 8!

Step 8. Your Popper should be Sparkling Clean Now! 

Look at your stir stick assembly once you have cleaned out the popper and stirred everything together.

It should be completely clean. If any lingering remnants of popcorn are stuck there, use a toothpick or similar implement to scrape them out. Then give it another wipe-down with a damp cloth before storing it away for next time!

Cleaning Your Whirley Pop is Easy!

Ensuring your Whirley Pop popcorn popper remains pristine is simpler than you think! Here’s a streamlined guide to help you restore its shine after a delightful popcorn-making session:

  1. The Basic Clean: Commence with warm, soapy water, gently scrubbing away grime. A paper towel can be an ally in removing lingering oil traces, ensuring your popcorn maker is ready for its next use.
  2. Mind the Scrub: While the temptation to use steel wool or abrasive scrubbers might be high, especially after a heavy popping session, it’s imperative to resist. Such materials can scratch and harm the stainless steel, impacting the popper’s longevity.
  3. Dishwasher Dilemma: Contrary to some beliefs, the Whirley Pop isn’t dishwasher-friendly. Its unique build and materials best suit a gentle hand wash, safeguarding its mechanics and overall structure.
  4. Storage Matters: Keeping it at room temperature for prolonged periods isn’t advisable, especially beyond two months. The aluminum body is susceptible to condensation build-up due to temperature fluctuations, risking warping, especially between contrasting seasons.
  5. Oil Choices: While olive oil or dense cooking oils might seem like a gourmet choice, they’re not ideal for this stovetop popcorn maker. Such oils can leave stubborn residues, complicating cleaning processes in the long run. Instead, sticking to recommended oils can ensure optimal popcorn every time, with fewer cleaning challenges post-popping.

A well-maintained Whirley Pop promises consistent, delicious popcorn batches, significantly easing the cleaning task. Let the popping adventures continue!

Things to Avoid When Cleaning Whiley Pop Popcorn Popper

A Whiley Pop filled with popcorn in the kitchen

Cleaning your Whirley Pop popcorn popper requires a gentle approach to ensure longevity. While it’s crucial to maintain its cleanliness for delightful popcorn sessions, some methods and substances can be overly harsh. Here are the major no-nos to be wary of:

  1. Ditch the Harsh Cleaners: While reaching for your regular kitchen cleaners like soap or detergent might seem intuitive, it is a step you’d want to avoid. Similarly, though natural cleaners like vinegar and lemon juice may seem harmless, they can detrimentally affect the popcorn machine over time.
  2. Say No to Bleach: Bleach, though an excellent disinfectant, is a big no for your Whirley Pop. It can potentially strip away the protective coatings on the metal parts, putting the integrity and safety of your stovetop popcorn maker at risk.
  3. Avoid Oven Cleaner: Contrary to a few suggestions floating around, oven cleaners are far too abrasive for your delicate popcorn maker. Not only will it scratch the surface, but it can also speed up the wear and tear process, leading to a prematurely aged appearance.
  4. Steer Clear of Steel Wool: Steel wool pads might be great for other kitchen gadgets, but they are a Whirley Pop’s nemesis. These abrasive materials can wreak havoc on the popper’s delicate surfaces, leading to irreversible damage.

These tips will ensure you avoid common cleaning pitfalls, protecting your popcorn popper for many upcoming gourmet popcorn sessions. Remember, gentle care will keep your Whirley Pop performing at its best for years to come.


Ultimately, the Whirley Pop is a great popcorn popper that can make delicious popcorn in just minutes. It’s easy to use and clean up after, which makes it perfect for families.

If you have one lying somewhere in your house – or maybe even if you don’t! – then give these tips a try. They will help keep things running smoothly for years (or decades) to come!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Season Your Whirley Popcorn Popper?

Seasoning is an important step when you first get your popper, and it can be done in two ways: with or without oil. The traditional way of seasoning the popcorn popper is by adding vegetable oil directly to the popcorn kernels and heating them for about five minutes over medium heat. 

You can skip this part entirely if you don’t want to go through all that trouble, though—or if you are using a Whirley Pop stovetop popcorn maker. Simply put some butter in a bowl and melt it on the stovetop or microwave before pouring it into your paper bag filled with popcorn kernels.

How Often Should You Clean Your Popcorn, Popper?

It would be best if you clean your Popcorn Popper after every use. If you are using it often, like once a week or more, clean it after every use (or at least rinse out the popcorn bowl and wipe down the outside of the popper).

But if you only use your Popper every few weeks, perhaps just wash it out every month to keep things nice and clean.

Can You Put a Whirley Pop in The Dishwasher?

No. It is not recommended to put your Whirley Pop in the dishwasher. The finish on the popcorn popper will get damaged, and you will ruin it. Instead, wash it by hand with warm water and soap.

Do not use any abrasive cleaners or scrubbers, as they will cause scratches on the surface of your Whirley Pop Popper!

How to Clean Burnt Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper?

If you have used the Whirley Pop popcorn maker frequently and it has become dirty over time or if you simply wish to clean your appliance before putting it away, then follow these instructions on how to clean a Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper:

  • Use a scrub brush with a soapy water solution.
  • Scour off any marks left behind by burnt kernels or melted butter residue
  • Rinse thoroughly with hot water

How to Remove Burnt Popcorn from Stainless Steel Pan?

When dealing with a burnt pan, you have a few options to clean it. We recommend using a damp paper towel to clean the pan or soaking it in warm water and a vinegar mixture for 15-20 minutes.

If that doesn’t work, try sprinkling baking soda over the burned spots and scrubbing them with a sponge until they disappear. Alternatively, you can use lemon juice on the area or sprinkle salt over it (the salt will absorb into any stuck-on food).

Can You Use Olive Oil in A Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper?

Olive oil is a healthy alternative to other oils and can be used in a Whirley Pop. However, olive oil is not recommended for cooking because it’s a fragile oil that breaks down quickly at high temperatures. You should use olive oil in your Whirley Pop only if you are popping popcorn or making other foods that aren’t cooked for long periods.

I recommend using coconut oil for popping popcorn because coconut is an excellent source of saturated fat and has many health benefits (including helping you lose weight).

What Steps Should I Follow to Clean a Popcorn Machine, Especially a Commercial Popcorn Maker?

First, always ensure that the popper is cool to avoid burns. Once the popper cools down, dismantle removable parts and wash them in warm soapy water. For the main unit, wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove oil and debris.

It’s also good practice to conduct a deep clean periodically, addressing every nook and cranny to maintain hygiene and performance.

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Photo of author

Newell McGlynn

Meet Newell, a seasoned expert in the realm of stoves and fireplaces. With an extensive background in the industry, Newell boasts unparalleled experience in working with electric, gas, and wood-burning stoves. His proficiency extends to crafting warm, inviting spaces through a deep understanding of fireplaces.


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