When it comes to layer cakes that stand tall and fluffy buttercream frostings, a stand mixer is a true kitchen essential. Most stand mixers cost more than $100 (but not this one from Aldi!), a big investment for home cooks. Follow these tips on how to clean a stand mixer to keep yours in its best working order for decades to come.
What to Clean After Each Use
Here are the everyday cleaning basics for a stand mixer’s bowl and attachments:
- After using your stand mixer, remove the attachment, place it in a bowl and fill with warm soapy water to soak while you finish preparing your recipe. (These are some of our favorites that call for a mixer!)
- Rinse the attachment and bowl and place in the dishwasher. Refer to manufacturer’s instructions for specialty attachments—some attachments are not dishwasher-safe. If you prefer to hand-wash, do so in hot, soapy water.
- Dry your bowl and attachments thoroughly before returning them to storage. This will protect the pieces from water spots and prevent mildew.
More than just the bowl and attachments get gunky when using a stand mixer. Make sure to use a damp dish towel or microfiber cloth (a simple purchase that will really up your cleaning game!) to wipe down the body and head of the stand mixer after each use. The nooks and crannies on the mixer’s body are likely to pick up flour and other fine particulate and a quick wipe down keeps build-up from occurring.
Never use spray cleaners or soaking-wet towels to clean your mixer. Even small amounts of water can damage the motor inside the mixer’s head.
What to Clean Occasionally
About once a month, use a cotton swab or clean toothbrush to clean the vents on the stand mixer. These vents allow airflow to the motor and they are important for the best performance of your mixer. If a dry swab or brush isn’t enough to sweep away the dust, you can dip either into warm water with a bit of baking soda before scrubbing. If the build-up is hardened, you can always use a toothpick.
Remember, these vents have direct access to the mixer’s motor so be sure that no water seeps into them. The cotton swab or toothbrush should be damp with the water-baking soda solution, not soaked.
Deep Cleaning Tips
Your mixer will benefit from a deep cleaning two or three times a year. Especially when it’s getting maximum use during holiday cookie season!
- Use a dry toothbrush or specialty kitchen brush to clean debris around knobs on the mixer head. Once the dirt has been brushed away, use a damp cloth to wipe around the knobs.
- Tip the mixer head backward and clean the underside with a damp cloth. If there is caked on food, use that dry toothbrush to scrape it away and wipe again with the damp cloth. While the mixer head is tipped back use a cotton swab to clean the round crevice for the beater shaft. If that area seems especially dirty use a mild dish soap or baking soda solution on a few swabs to get it clean.
- Lay the mixer on its side and clean the underside and around the bottom. Make sure to wipe any grime off of the foot pads so the mixer can keep a good grip on the countertop.
By following these care steps, your mixer will be in tip-top shape and ready to tackle these impressive baking projects.