If stand mixers had logbooks, the record would be long and full of edible delights — fancy bread, birthday cakes, Christmas morning's cinnamon rolls. And although it might not get pulled from its countertop corner or cabinet daily, the flour and batter spills that come along with each use will show in time.
A splash of vanilla, a poof of flour, a smidgen of egg white here and there — these are a recipe for a messy mixer for even the cleanest cook. Despite best efforts, some small or hidden areas of a stand mixer still need a deep-clean.
The shaft in particular will clue you in as to whether your mixer is due for extra love. This area gets the dirtiest, but easily looks like new again after scrubbing under and around each portion with a small brush. Pay attention to other areas, too, like the knobs and levers where fine flour or bits of batter may gather.
Finally, storing a stand mixer on the countertop may allow dust and other oils from cooking to collect on the surface and in fine grooves and crevices. One area to watch is the ventilation ports behind the motor head — dust alone can cause problems here.
Follow the first few steps for basic cleaning, or keep going to get every nook and cranny sparkling and to make your beloved stand mixer showroom-ready.
Always unplug the appliance before cleaning.
How To Clean a Stand Mixer
What You Need
Microfiber or cotton cloth
Small scrub brush
Toothpick or pipe cleaner
- Unplug the appliance. Always unplug the appliance before cleaning.
- Hand-wash attachments. Wash beaters, hooks, and pouring shield in warm, soapy water. Always dry attachments completely before storing or use.
- Clean mixing bowl. Wash mixing bowl in hot, soapy water or add it to a dishwasher load. If your mixer has a permanent home on the countertop, take the extra time to apply stainless steel cleaner to the bowl to remove water spots or blemishes.
- Remove spills, splatters, and food residue. After each use, wipe down the stand with a damp cloth or mild cleaner. Be careful not to leak liquids into ventilation ports or openings around knobs and levers. Pay special attention to areas near the motor head, including speed control knob and locking lever — ingredients collect here when used regularly.
Clean tough areas with baking soda. Using a small brush and a water-baking soda mixture, scrub grime or food residue, paying attention to particularly stubborn areas like the speed control strip or bowl clamp plate.
- Wipe inside attachment hub. Unscrew the attachment hub plate and wipe interior.
- Get under the motor head. To clean areas under the motor head (including the beater shaft), tilt the motor head back and lock into place.
- Clean the beater shaft thoroughly. The shaft and clip surrounding the shaft both gather a lot of fine ingredients and need to be cleaned well. Use a paper towel or small brush to remove flour and other ingredients.
Pay attention to build-up. The rim on the back of the motor head casing collects dust and grime that may go unnoticed. The lipped area underneath the motor head is a prime spot for splatters and food residue, as is the rim of the bowl clamping plate and any exposed screws. Use a Q-tip or small brush to remove grime and residue.
- Remove crumbs and dust from the ventilation shaft. Use a toothpick, specialty brush, or vacuum to remove crumbs and dust from ventilation shaft. This area should always be clear to provide the best performance of your mixer.
- Dust and clean underneath. Lay mixer on its side to wipe down the underside of appliance. Use a small brush or paper towel and mild cleanser to clean appliance foot pads.
- To find brushes similar to those shown here, check out OXO's Deep Clean brush set and water bottle cleaning set.
- Use caution when using any liquid to clean the surface area. Water or cleaning products entering around levers or the ventilation ports can affect the motor. Use a damp cloth instead.
(Image credits: Erika Tracy)