by H. McGurgan
Electric mixers are perhaps the most used of all small kitchen appliances. From mixing cake batters to kneading homemade bread to mashing potatoes, electric mixers make the cook's job much faster and easier. Knowing how to clean electric mixers is particularly important, whether you own a stand mixer or a hand mixer. When dried food collects in crevices or mixer attachments, it can interfere with the proper functioning of your appliance and cause your mixer to stop working.
Remove mixing blades, kneading paddles and other attachments. Wash the attachments in hot, soapy water. Rinse with clean water. Washing these items before food has a chance to harden makes it much easier to clean them.
Remove the mixing bowl. For stand mixers, rinse out the mixing bowl and place it on the top rack of your dishwasher, or wash the mixing bowl by hand.
Clean the surface of the electric mixer. After unplugging the mixer, use a damp washcloth or sponge dipped in soapy water to wipe down the body of the mixer. Make sure to wring out the washcloth or sponge thoroughly before wiping the mixer to avoid getting water into the mixer's motor.
Turn over the mixer and clean underneath the base and below the mixing arm. Scrub the attachment ports, making sure to look for food trapped just inside the ports. Clean around the mixer's buttons. If tiny bits of food have accumulated there, use a toothpick to remove them.
Dry the attachments immediately after washing if you are washing them by hand. Place attachments in a drawer or cabinet to avoid losing any crucial components. Put the hand mixer or the stand mixer and bowl in a safe place until you are ready to use them again.
A toothbrush is an invaluable tool in cleaning hard-to-reach places on your attachments or mixer. Choose a toothbrush with firm bristles to remove caked-on food.
Don't submerge the mixer in water. Only the removable attachments, bowl and blender attachments can be safely washed. If you place the mixer in water, the motor may be ruined.
Unplug the electric mixer as soon as you are finished using it, even if you aren't ready to wash it. Mixers can be a temptation for young children, who can hurt their fingers if they touch moving attachments.