This Is How Long Your Kitchen Appliances Should Really Last, According to Experts

published Aug 8, 2023
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varied kitchen appliance on counter, blender, coffee maker, yellow toaster, hand mixer, emulsifier
Credit: Shutterstock by New Africa

I consider myself a small-appliance and gadget queen. I’m always on the hunt for anything that helps with my latest recipe obsessions or cuts down meal prep time. On any given weekend, you can find me seeking out a specific food processor, blender, waffle maker, or toaster/air fryer combo — you get the idea. Some of these gadgets are staples in my daily routine (I can’t live without my Ninja blender or KitchenAid stand mixer), while some, like my slow cooker, only emerge from the depths of my cabinets when I’m in the mood for a good soup or chili — meaning the care and cleaning of these appliances all vary greatly. 

While I try to clean all my gadgets and appliances after each use, sometimes my lazy spray with Dawn Powerwash just doesn’t cut it. I know I need to put more effort into taking better care of my beloved appliances to get as much mileage out of them as possible, but sometimes it’s hard to tell when they’re on their last legs and should be tossed, rather than cleaned. So I asked appliance experts for their best tips and advice on when to deep-clean kitchen appliances, and how to spot the signs that it’s time to replace them.  

How long do blenders last?

With proper care, blenders can (and should) last for several years. Muffetta Krueger, cleaning expert and founder of Muffetta’s Domestic Assistants, says you should deep-clean your blender after every use by disassembling the components and washing them thoroughly. “If the motor starts to malfunction, the blades become dull, or there are signs of wear and tear despite regular maintenance, it might be time to replace it,” recommends Krurger. “On average, consider replacing your blender every five to seven years, depending on its usage.”

How long do food processors last?

My food processor is one of the hardest workers in my kitchen. I use it for making marinades, soups, and hummus — it’s so versatile and useful. This is why Krueger concurs that deep-cleaning is essential after each use — especially for parts that come into direct contact with food, such as the blades. “If you notice a decrease in its performance, strange noises, or cracks in the bowl or lid, it’s a clear indication that it’s time to invest in a new one,” says Krueger. Note that food processors usually have a lifespan of seven to 10 years.

How long do kitchen mixers last?

Although stand mixers and hand mixers can be quite durable, Krueger suggests cleaning them after each use and periodically inspecting the attachments for wear. When the motor becomes weak, makes unusual noises, or struggles to mix ingredients, it’s usually more cost-effective to replace it — typically after eight to 12 years of use.

How long do coffee makers last?

Coffee makers require regular cleaning to prevent mold and mineral buildup. You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintenance, but if you notice a decline in the quality of your coffee or persistent issues with brewing, Krueger says that’s when you should consider replacing the coffee maker. Most will last three to five years, depending on its complexity.

How long do microwaves last?

Chi Ip, owner of Tidy Here Cleaning Service in Boston, recommends deep-cleaning your microwave once every three months to get rid of grime, grease, and stain buildup. “Compared to other smaller kitchen appliances, microwaves can last a very long time, up to 10 years,” says Ip. “But we recommend replacing them every five to six years to keep up with upgrades.”

How long do toasters last?

Toasters are relatively low-maintenance. Empty the crumb tray regularly and clean the exterior with a damp cloth. “A good-quality toaster can last up to 10 years or more,” says Krueger. “If your toaster starts unevenly toasting bread, shows signs of electrical problems, or has a loose connection, it’s best to consider replacing it.”

How long do waffle irons last?

Krueger says to regularly clean your waffle iron to prevent batter sticking and buildup. “With proper care, a waffle iron can last five to seven years. If the nonstick coating starts to deteriorate, the heating element malfunctions, or it produces undercooked waffles, it’s time to replace it.”

How long do dishwashers last?

For dishwashers, Ip suggests cleaning them once every month and deep-cleaning them once every three months for optimal performance. “They usually last up to 10 to 15 years,” says Ip. “If your dishwasher is leaking, not draining properly, there is rust, or the dishes come out cold and spotty, it’s recommended to get a new one.”