How to Clean Your Electric Kitchen Hand Mixer

For those of us who bake, kitchen hand mixers are an important, labor saving tool. These hand held kitchen appliances use a motor to propel a set of beaters which evenly mix, fold, beat, blend, or whip food ingredients.

The hand mixer has really seen some changes since it was first invented in 1870. That early model was operated with a crank; today’s versions are electric and much easier on the hands, with some even models powerful enough to mix a batch of cookie dough or brownie mix.

Choosing a hand mixer

Not all hand mixers all the same, and the quickest way to ruin any mixer is by using the wrong mixer for the job. Those inexpensive $10 hand mixers do have their place, and are fine for whipping cream, puddings, cake batter and perhaps even whipped potatoes. However, they can’t be used to make cookies or batter breads; the strain on the appliance will bend the beaters and ruin the balance of the motor.

For the scratch cook who frequently prepares heavy batters or dough, a higher quality of hand mixer will be needed. These professional styles of hand mixers have stronger, quieter motors with beaters that are slightly different in style than the flat type of beaters seen on budget models. Professional styled hand mixers start in the $75 range and can go up as high as $120.

Taking care of your hand mixer

Choosing the right hand mixer for the job is perhaps the most important step in keeping this appliance working properly. Properly cleaning it is also important.

Cooks know the best way to clean those beaters is not by running them through the dishwasher, where they can get bent or rust over time. The best method is simply to agitate them in a bowl or cup of warm soapy water. Leave the beaters attached to the mixer, whirl through the soapy water until clean, then rinse and air dry. Pretty easy!

As far as the appliance itself, it should never be immersed in water, but should be wiped down with a warm, soapy rag and carefully dried. For stubborn, dried on batter, applied the dampened (but not sodden) rag to the area for a couple of minutes to loosen the batter before scrubbing. For batter that is caught in the vents, speed controls, or near the beater attachments, use a dry toothbrush to gently whisk away the dried food.

The final step is wiping the electrical cord and coiling it properly. Avoid the temptation to wrap the cord over and under the hand mixer; this repetitive winding can actually break the cord where it attaches to the appliance. The best way to store the cord is to loosely coil it, and place it next to the hand mixer in the drawer.

With proper use, careful cleaning, and proper storage, you will be pleased to discover that a quality hand mixer can last for many years.

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