What’s That Gross Gunk Coming out of My KitchenAid Stand Mixer?

updated Feb 12, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Eek! Ack! Oh no! Is your KitchenAid stand mixer leaking brown stuff? Is it dripping from the beater shaft? Leaking from the lock lever or around the speed controls? Or do you find a few drops of said brown stuff at the bottom of your mixer’s bowl? That’s oil. And while it doesn’t necessarily mean your mixer is dying, it’s also not awesome. Here’s what to do if your mixer starts leaking oil — and how to prevent it from happening.

Why Is My Stand Mixer Leaking Oil?

As KitchenAid explains, each stand mixer comes with enough grease in it to last the lifetime of the mixer (and they can last for years and years and years!). When you use your stand mixer, this grease distributes around and lubricates the mixer’s gears. The grease has oil in it, and that oil can separate, and begin to ooze out. This can happen for a few reasons, according to KitchenAid.

  • You don’t use your mixer enough.
  • You live in a very warm climate.
  • Your mixer was stored on its side during shipping or storage, which can cause oil to leak out of the lock lever or around the speed controls.
  • You’re overusing your stand mixer.
  • You don’t let your stand mixer cool in between uses.
Credit: Thomas Hoerup

How to Prevent Your Stand Mixer from Leaking Oil

Don’t panic! There are some easy ways to prevent your mixer from beginning to leak oil.

  • Use your stand mixer often. If you haven’t turned on your stand mixer in a while, you should turn it on now and just let it run with nothing in the bowl for a few minutes.
  • Know the limits of your stand mixer! If you want a stand mixer for sticky breads or pizza dough, you should probably opt for a more-powerful bowl-lift model instead of, say, the KitchenAid Artisan or Mini stand mixers.
  • Let your mixer cool down in between uses.

What to Do If Your Stand Mixer Is Already Leaking Oil

Well, the bad news is that you can’t totally stop oil from leaking once it starts to happen. The best thing you can do is contact KitchenAid’s customer service and inquire about a KitchenAid service center near you. However, if you’re super handy, you could also try to fix your mixer yourself, although this is not something I’ve personally tried and can therefore recommend (but if you have I’d love to hear about how it went in the comments!).

The good news is that oil leaking from your mixer isn’t particularly bad for it, unless it starts losing a large amount or sounding abnormal when in use. KitchenAid even notes that “the grease is food-grade and is approved for incidental contact with food prepared in the mixer, although it may discolor light-colored frostings or mashed potatoes.” Which sounds kinda gross but, hey, at least it’s not harmful, right? So as long as your stand mixer is only leaking a little bit of oil, you’re fine. Just keep an eye on things.

Have you ever had this happen to your stand mixer? Tell us in the comments below!