Here's exactly what to do if you encounter this issue.
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KitchenAid Stand Mixer, how we love thee. (Especially in Honey, the 2021 KitchenAid color of the year.) We rely on this workhorse of a kitchen tool for everything from whipping up a batch of soft pretzels and pasta to chocolate mousse and applesauce. But if you've been using your KitchenAid for a while, you may notice a pesky little situation arise from time to time: Oil leaking from your KitchenAid. (If you don't have a KitchenAid yet, you can buy one on from $379.99 here.)

Per KitchenAid, you might occasionally notice a few drops of oil in the bottom of the mixing bowl, oil dropping off the beater shaft, or oil leaking out of the lock lever or speed control slots on a mixer that has been turned on its side during shipping or storage. "The reason for this is that the mixer is packed with enough solid grease to last the lifetime of the mixer. When the mixer is used, the grease is distributed around the gears to lubricate them," the post on KitchenAid's website continues to explain. "Over time some oil can separate out of the solid grease and will naturally settle to the lowest point in the motor-head which is just over the beater shaft if the mixer is upright or the Speed Control or lock lever slots if the mixer is on its side," the post continues, noting that this situation is more likely to occur in warm weather and if you're not using your KitchenAid regularly.

KitchenAid_Stand Mixer_Honey_Lifestyle_2
Credit: KitchenAid

So what's a home cooking enthusiast to do? KitchenAid recommends the following guidelines to get you out of — or prevent — this mess:

  • Turn the mixer on without any ingredients in the bowl periodically to help prevent this.
  • If you have not used your mixer for awhile, you can turn it to speed 10 and let the unit run for two minutes, prior to use. At the end of two minutes, turn off the mixer and wipe any excess oil from around the planetary action.
  • Some oil could splatter and get on clothing during this process, so if you have a pouring shield, it may be helpful to have it attached to the bowl to try to reduce the likelihood of this happening.

KitchenAid also notes that overusing a mixer, and not allowing it to cool completely between uses, can also result in oil leaking from your KitchenAid. If none of these suggestions help, you can also contact KitchenAid for additional assistance. You can read the full post here.

Those soft, salty pretzels should come along nicely once you successfully troubleshoot this issue. We guess we'll have to make them a few times a month now, you know, to keep our KitchenAid in regular use and prevent oil leaking.