A stand mixer is a fantastic kitchen appliance that can save you time and effort when baking or cooking. Whether you use it to make fluffy whipped cream, knead dough for fresh bread, or mix ingredients for cookies, your stand mixer is a valuable kitchen companion.
To keep it running smoothly and hygienically, you need to know how to clean and maintain it. But if you are not sure how to clean and maintain your stand mixer do not worry!
In this guide, we’ll break down the steps to clean and care for your stand mixer, ensuring its longevity and continued excellent performance.
- Safety First
Before you start cleaning your stand mixer, remember these safety tips:
- Always unplug your stand mixer before cleaning.
- Wait until it cools down if you’ve been using it recently to avoid burns.
- Keep your hands and clothing away from moving parts, like the beaters or dough hook.
- Tools and Materials
Gather the following items before you begin:
- Mild dish soap or a stand mixer-specific cleaner
- Warm water
- Soft cloths or sponge
- Toothbrush or small brush
- Towel or drying rack
- Food-grade mineral oil (for certain maintenance steps)
- Vinegar (for limescale removal if needed)
- Cleaning the Exterior
Cleaning the outside of your stand mixer is essential to keep it looking pristine. Here’s how:
- Unplug the mixer: Safety first! Make sure your stand mixer is disconnected from the power source.
Wipe with a damp cloth: Use a soft, damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the exterior, removing any food splatters, stains, or sticky residues. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.
Dry thoroughly: After wiping, dry the mixer with a clean towel to prevent water spots and to keep it looking shiny.
- Clean buttons and knobs: If your stand mixer has buttons or knobs, clean them with a damp cloth. Be careful not to get water into the electrical components.
- Cleaning the Mixing Bowl and Attachments
The mixing bowl and attachments are the parts of your stand mixer that come into direct contact with your food. Proper cleaning is crucial for food safety.
Remove the bowl: Take out the mixing bowl from the mixer base.
Scrape off excess batter or dough: Use a spatula or scraper to remove any leftover batter or dough.
Wash with warm, soapy water: Fill the bowl with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap. Use a sponge or cloth to clean the interior and exterior of the bowl thoroughly.
Rinse: Rinse the bowl with warm water until all the soap residue is gone.
Dry completely: Towel-dry the bowl or allow it to air dry on a drying rack.
Attachments (beaters, whisk, dough hook, etc.):
- Remove the attachments: Take off any attachments from the mixer head.
- Hand wash or dishwasher: Depending on your stand mixer’s instructions, you can either hand wash the attachments with warm, soapy water or place them in the dishwasher. If using a dishwasher, put them in the top rack.
- Check for food residue: After cleaning, inspect the attachments for any hidden food particles, especially in crevices. Use a toothbrush or a small brush to clean these areas.
- Rinse and dry: Rinse the attachments thoroughly with warm water and towel-dry them. Ensure they are completely dry before reattaching them to the mixer.
- Cleaning the Mixer Head and Motor Housing
The mixer head and motor housing require some special care to ensure they stay clean and functional.
- Wipe the mixer head: Using a damp cloth, carefully wipe down the mixer head, being cautious not to get any water into the motor housing. Pay attention to any crevices or seams where food debris might accumulate.
- Clean around the attachment hub: If there’s any dried-on food or residue around the attachment hub, use a toothbrush or a small brush to gently scrub it away.
- Dust the motor housing: Occasionally, dust can settle on the motor housing. Use a soft brush or a can of compressed air to remove any dust or debris.
- Maintaining the Moving Parts
Your stand mixer has some moving parts that require periodic maintenance to ensure smooth operation.
- Lubricate moving parts: Consult your stand mixer’s manual to identify any moving parts that require lubrication. If needed, apply food-grade mineral oil to these parts as recommended in the manual.
- Inspect the power cord: Check the power cord for any fraying or damage. If you notice any issues, have it repaired or replaced by a qualified technician.
- Tighten loose screws: Periodically, check for loose screws or bolts on your stand mixer and tighten them as necessary.
- Storage Tips
Proper storage can extend the life of your stand mixer and keep it clean between uses.
- Cover it: When not in use, cover your stand mixer with a clean cloth or a mixer cover to protect it from dust and airborne particles.
- Store attachments properly: Store the attachments in a designated drawer or container to keep them organized and prevent damage.
- Keep it dry: Make sure your stand mixer is completely dry before storing it to prevent mold or mildew growth.
- Store in a cool, dry place: Avoid extreme temperatures and humidity when storing your stand mixer.
- Troubleshooting Common Issues
If you encounter problems with your stand mixer, here are some common issues and their solutions:
- Mixer doesn’t turn on: Ensure it’s properly plugged in and the outlet has power. Check the circuit breaker and the power cord for damage.
- Mixer is noisy: Loose attachments or accessories can cause noise. Make sure everything is securely in place.
- Mixer shakes excessively: Uneven loads can cause shaking. Adjust the speed and ensure the bowl and attachments are properly balanced.
- Attachment is stuck: Gently wiggle and twist the attachment to release it. Avoid using excessive force to prevent damage.
Mistakes to Avoid While Cleaning Your Stand Mixer
Cleaning your stand mixer is essential for its longevity and ensuring safe food preparation. However, there are some common mistakes that people make while cleaning their stand mixers that can lead to damage or ineffective cleaning.
To keep your stand mixer in excellent condition, avoid these common cleaning mistakes:
- Neglecting Regular Cleaning
Mistake: Allowing food residue to build up over time without regular cleaning.
Why it’s a problem: Neglecting regular cleaning can lead to stubborn, dried-on food particles that are much harder to remove. It can also affect the taste and quality of your future recipes.
Solution: After each use, take a few minutes to wipe down your stand mixer and attachments. It’s much easier to clean when food is fresh, and you’ll prevent the need for heavy scrubbing later.
- Using Abrasive or Harsh Cleaners
Mistake: Using abrasive scrubbers, harsh chemicals, or scouring pads to clean your stand mixer.
Why it’s a problem: Abrasive materials can scratch the finish of your stand mixer, making it look worn and damaged. Harsh chemicals can also compromise the integrity of the materials and may come into contact with your food.
Solution: Stick to mild dish soap and warm water or a stand mixer-specific cleaner. Use soft cloths or sponges for cleaning to avoid scratching the surface.
- Submerging the Motor Housing
Mistake: Allowing water to seep into the motor housing by submerging the entire stand mixer.
Why it’s a problem: Water inside the motor housing can damage the electrical components and pose a safety hazard.
Solution: Never immerse the entire stand mixer in water. Instead, focus on wiping down the exterior and cleaning the mixing bowl and attachments separately.
- Neglecting Hidden Crevices
Mistake: Not thoroughly cleaning all the nooks and crannies of your stand mixer.
Why it’s a problem: Food particles and residue can accumulate in hidden areas, leading to hygiene issues and affecting the mixer’s performance.
Solution: Use a toothbrush or a small brush to reach tight spaces, seams, and crevices where food might hide. Pay attention to areas around the attachment hub and control knobs.
- Using a Dishwasher When Not Recommended
Mistake: Placing attachments or components in the dishwasher without checking the manufacturer’s instructions.
Why it’s a problem: Some stand mixer attachments and parts may not be dishwasher safe. Putting them in the dishwasher can cause damage, warping, or discoloration.
Solution: Always consult your stand mixer’s manual to determine which parts are dishwasher safe. Hand wash those that are not dishwasher safe.
- Forgetting to Dry Thoroughly
Mistake: Storing your stand mixer or its components before they are completely dry.
Why it’s a problem: Moisture left on the mixer or its attachments can lead to mold and mildew growth, affecting food safety and hygiene.
Solution: Ensure that all parts, especially the mixing bowl and attachments, are thoroughly dried before storing them. Use a clean, dry towel or allow them to air dry on a rack.
- Using Excessive Force
Mistake: Applying excessive force when attaching or detaching accessories.
Why it’s a problem: Forcing attachments on or off can lead to damage or breakage.
Solution: Attach and detach accessories gently, following the manufacturer’s instructions. If something seems stuck, try gently wiggling or twisting it to release it rather than applying force.
- Ignoring Maintenance Steps
Mistake: Neglecting routine maintenance, such as lubricating moving parts or tightening loose screws.
Why it’s a problem: Over time, stand mixers may develop issues or wear out if maintenance is ignored.
Solution: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for routine maintenance. Lubricate moving parts when necessary and periodically check for loose screws or bolts.
In Conclusion, your stand mixer is a valuable kitchen tool, and proper cleaning and maintenance are essential for both its performance and longevity.
By following the steps and avoiding mistakes in this guide, you can ensure that your stand mixer remains in top-notch condition, ready to assist you in preparing delicious meals and treats for years to come.
Remember, a well-maintained stand mixer is a happy one!