A piece of sticky dough here and a smear of greasy butter there can instantly cover your beloved stand mixer with grime. While it’s fun to get busy in the kitchen with this workhorse, mixing with a dirty appliance is a big no-no. And so, here’s how you clean a stand mixer to keep it ready for your baking sessions.
How to Clean the Body and Attachments
After mixing (and while my oven is busy baking), I unplug the appliance and remove the bowl and the stand mixer attachments that I’ve used. I let them soak for a bit in the sink, so they are easy to wash. Meanwhile, I proceed to clean and wipe the body.
It is best to clean a stand mixer after every use to prevent food particles from hardening. Also, it prevents you from grabbing something sharp for scraping and putting scratches on your mixing appliance. Here are the daily cleaning steps you can do:
- Wipe the body with a damp microfiber cloth. Wipe all loose food particles that you spot around the mixer head and base. Make sure the cleaning cloth is not dripping wet. Never use spray cleaners either.
- Use a cotton swab to clean the bowl-clamping plate. Food can accumulate around this area of the base. Wipe and clean its perimeter to avoid build-up.
- Check the underside of the mixer and its electrical cord. Carefully lay the appliance to its side to wipe the footpads. Use a damp cleaning cloth to wipe the electrical cord as well.
- Handwash the stand mixer attachments and bowl. Some electric mixer brands have removable parts that are not dishwasher-safe. There are also optional attachments that should not be in contact with water at all. So, check and follow what your manual says. But generally, use warm, soapy water for handwashing, then rinse and wipe dry thoroughly to prevent water spots and mildew.
Cover your clean mixer with a towel if you are storing it on the benchtop. You can also use a store-bought cover that matches your appliance model. Also, applying stainless-steel cleaner to your stainless mixer bowl should protect it from blemishes.
It’s easier to clean a stand mixer when you wipe it down after every use. When you do this, make sure not to add any dish soap to your damp cotton cloth to avoid damaging the motor. Also, avoid any abrasive tools or cleaners that can permanently damage the matte or polished finish.
How to Deep-Clean a Stand Mixer
The cleaning process does not stop from spic and span body and attachments. Occasionally, the appliance needs deep cleaning and some TLC to tackle those stains and hard-to-reach areas. Ideally, you can deep-clean a stand mixer once a month or longer if you do not use it as often. Just make sure to check your manual first before getting down to the cleaning business:
- Stuck-on food. Hardened food particles often get stuck in the ventilation shaft, ridges of the motor head, speed control knob and attachment hub. Check the beater shaft as well. You can use an old and dry toothbrush or toothpick to clean. After which, wipe the area clean with a damp cloth.
- Stubborn stains. Dip a damp cloth to a small amount of baking soda, then start dabbing on stained spots. Leave it for about 10 minutes before wiping the area clean. Use a damp cloth to remove all baking soda residue.
- Rusty bowl or beaters. Combine vinegar and baking soda to make a paste-like mixture. Apply and rub the paste onto the stained or rusty spot. Leave it for about 10 minutes before rinsing. Some stains are harder to clean, though, especially when they’ve been there for a while. Let the paste sit for several hours, but make sure not to vigorously scrub the area as it might cause even more damage.
- Oxidised attachments. Accidentally washing uncoated aluminium parts in the dishwasher causes oxidation or blackening. Place the mixer attachment into a pot. Then pour two cups of vinegar and some warm water to submerge it. Let it boil for 20 minutes. Remove it afterwards and wash and dry as usual. Repeat the process if needed.
When using a toothbrush to deep-clean a stand mixer, look for one with firm bristles. Also, store all removable parts in a cabinet or drawer. You can also wrap them in a kitchen towel, then keep them inside the bowl.
Kitchen stand mixers are an investment, so make it a habit to clean them properly. To keep them in good working condition, make sure to use their dough hook, flat beater and wire whip the right way, too. Check out this article to learn how.