There are a few nooks and crannies you don't want to forget.

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It goes without saying that stand mixers are a workhorse appliance in the kitchen. Whether it’s mashing creamy potatoes, kneading homemade bread, grinding meats, and mixing cookie dough, the stand mixer is truly an indispensable tool for avid bakers. But for all its benefits and advantages, the average stand mixer can get pretty filthy, especially with sticky dough, greasy butter, and melted chocolate and cheese. 

To keep your stand mixer in working order, from now through holiday seasons to come, it’s important that you take proper care of it. Which means removing those pesky food particles collected in every nook, cranny, crevice, and separate attachment—not just the mixing bowl and wire whip. If you regularly make bread and Christmas cookies from scratch, you’ll definitely need to clean your mixer more often. Regardless of the brand and design of the mixer, here’s how you can keep yours sparkling and in prime condition after every use, courtesy of cleaning coach Leslie Reichert. But before you follow these steps, make sure you unplug the machine first.

How to Clean the Body:

  • The body of the mixer is where most of the loose food particles can be found, like flour, powdered sugar, and any other ingredients commonly placed into the mixing bowl. After unplugging the mixer, Reichert advised wiping the mixer head with a damp microfiber cloth. You want the cloth to be damp, not dripping with water so as not to damage the motor of the appliance. For hard-to-remove stains or marks, dab some baking soda on the cloth and wipe.
  • Next, grab a dry toothbrush or toothpick to loosen hardened material along the ridges of the mixer head and in the vent holes in the back. Then wipe each area down until clean. You can also use a toothbrush or toothpick to remove stubborn, stuck-on food on the speed control knob and screws. Again, wipe each knob and screw down with a damp cloth.
  • Then you’ll want to tilt the mixer’s head back to clean the underside. The toothbrush will come in handy for those difficult to reach surface areas, such as the beater shaft. Follow this up by wiping the shaft and underside down with a moist cloth.
  • At the base of the stand, you’ll find the clamping plate. Sometimes ingredients will drip down into the base, so make sure you wipe with a cloth and use a toothpick to clean around the perimeter of the plate.
  • Finally, gently lay the mixer on its side and swab the underside of the stand. This includes cleaning the non-slip foot pads with a toothbrush and checking the electrical cord for any food debris.

How to Clean the Attachments:

  • Cleaning the attachments, like the bowl, flat beater, wire whip, and dough hook, can be done while you’re waiting on the cookies to bake or when you’re frosting the cake. According to Reichert, simply rinse the bowl and the attachments and load them into the dishwasher. If you prefer to wash things by hand, you can wash them separately in hot, sudsy water. Rinse with cool water and dry completely.

By cleaning the body and attachments, your stand mixer will be in tip-top shape when you have to bake on the fly.

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Stand mixers are an expensive investment, and it’s up to you to ensure this appliance lives up to its price tag. With every splash of batter and flour, make it a habit to clean up after you’re done baking. This way, it’ll be in pristine condition the next time you’re invited to a cookie swap.