Event & School Fundraising Ideas

When it comes to fundraising for special events and schools, the number one goal is to have a high profit margin. We’ve done the math for you and can report that concession foods bring in an average of 70%–80% profits, making it an ideal way to raise money. You don’t have to be an expert to see this kind of a return. Here at Gold Medal, we’re available to give you fundraiser tips from themes to concession choices and more. From training your volunteer staff to choosing the right size popcorn machine, you can browse our site for school fundraising ideas and so much more.


How Do You Clean a Popcorn Machine?

Cleaning a Popcorn Machine

Cleaning your popcorn machine is a big part of keeping it operational and continuing to produce the delicious flavor customers love. Make sure daily unit and kettle cleaning are standard procedures at your concession stand or wherever you pop corn.

Steps for Daily Kettle Cleaning

Be sure to always follow your equipment manual for specific instructions for your machine.

Caution: ALWAYS allow your kettle to cool for at least one hour before attempting to clean it. A hot kettle will cause burns if touched. Never use ice or water to cool down a hot kettle – severe kettle damage will result!

Cleaning the Outside of Your Kettle

Once cool, the outside of the kettle can be wiped with a clean, soft cloth. DO NOT use oven cleaners or abrasive materials, as they will damage the kettle.

Cleaning the Inside of Your Kettle

The best popcorn machine cleaner for the interior of the kettle is Gold Medal’s Heat’n Kleen solution. At the end of every day, mix 2 tablespoons of Heat’n Kleen solution in a gallon of water. You won’t need to use the entire gallon. Pour enough solution into the kettle to fill it 1/2 inch deep.

Turn kettle heat on. When the solution begins to boil, turn kettle heat off. Allow the kettle to cool for at least one hour, then dump the solution into a bucket and wipe the inside of the kettle with a clean cloth. Make sure all solution goes into the bucket; do not spill any in the interior of the machine.

For an extra dirty kettle, the process may be repeated; or, after turning kettle heat off, allow the solution to sit in the kettle overnight. The next morning, finish your cleaning steps.

With the unit off and unplugged, wipe the kettle lead cord with a clean, slightly damp cloth. DO NOT get moisture into the kettle lead cord; severe damage will result.

Steps for Daily Unit Cleaning

Of course, cleaning a popcorn machine is more than just keeping the kettle sanitized. For an attractive, professional appearance, the whole unit should be cleaned regularly.

With the machine off, unplug it and allow it to cool before attempting to clean.

Before each use, clean and sanitize all pans and accessories. For the glass and cabinet, wipe excess grease away with a clean, slightly damp cloth. A popcorn machine cleaner specifically designed for stainless steel, such as Gold Medal Watchdog Stainless Steel Cleaner and Polish, should be used on any stainless steel parts. Do not use oven cleaners or abrasive materials – they will damage your machine.

Use a glass cleaner such as Gold Medal Watchdog Glass Cleaner on glass or plastic panels. Never use cleaners containing ammonia, as they will damage plastic doors.

Don’t Forget Your Filters, Crispers, and Blowers

If your popcorn machine contains filters, follow your equipment manual for regular cleaning and maintenance. Some types of filters are washable, while other kinds are replaceable-only.

Similarly, depending on the size and model of your machine, you may need to perform additional cleaning tasks or have certain parts of the equipment inspected and cleaned by qualified service personnel at regular intervals.

Consult your product manual or contact your Gold Medal representative for more information.