Fix and Troubleshoot Your Kitchen Mixer

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Kitchen mixers are trusty machines that have been mixing our doughs and dips for years, and can add a pop of color to your kitchen at the same time! But they are just that, machines, and every machine needs a tune-up. Thankfully manufacturers and handy people on the internet have compiled many different ways to fix and troubleshoot your kitchen mixer. Here are some easy fixes we’ve compiled for the most common issues these mixers run into.


Troubleshooting A Misaligned Kitchen Mixer

Is your mixer leaving ingredients at the bottom of the bowl, not mixing everything, or scraping the bottom of the bowl? Your mixer may be misaligned. For many Kitchen mixers, the ideal amount of space between your beater and bowl is 1/16th of an inch. Double-check the ideal space amount in the User Guide. If you don’t have the Guide on hand, it can commonly be found on the manufacturer’s website or by Googling the make and model.

Testing the 1/16th of an inch space can be found by doing a dime test.

To perform the dime spacing test

Place a dime in your bowl, use the flat beater, and turn the speed on low.

  • If the dime does not move then the beater is too high.
  • If the dime is moving continuously around the bowl then it is probably too low and scraping the bowl.
  • Finally, if the dime slowly travels around the bowl the beaters are in the correct position.

Note that the dime test only only works with stainless steel bowls, not glass or ceramic bowls.

To adjust the height of your mixer you will first need to unplug it and find the silver screw. Do not touch the black screws for this test. If you have a tilt-head mixer, the screw is in the hinge between the mixer’s stand and the head and can be seen when you tilt the head back. For a bowl lift mixer, the screw is located on the inside of the stand and is visible. If you need to lower the beater, turn the screw a quarter turn to the right. But if you need to lift the beater, turn the screw a quarter turn to the left.

It is recommended only adjusting the height a quarter turn at a time and performing the dime test after each adjustment to gauge if the mixers have been properly reset or if they need more adjusting. To maintain your mixer perform this test on a regular basis.

Two green stand mixers with a metal bowl in a kitchen
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If Your Mixer Shuts Off

Some Mixers have a thermal protection board, if they overheat they will automatically shut off. Avoid this by making sure you do not mix for too long and making sure the motor is not hot to the touch. If your Mixer does shut off, wait 30 minutes or until it is completely cool. That being said, if you mix steamy ingredients such as mashed potatoes and it shuts off, condensation may have built up on the circuit board. For this issue you only need to wait 3 minutes before you turn it back on.


Has Your Mixing Bowl Rusted?

Stainless Steal bowls are rust-resistant not rust-proof, so unfortunately they require some upkeep and best practices to prolong their life. Frequent and thorough washing is a key step in preventing rust. Also ensure your detergent is mild and does not contain Halogen Salts, Triclosan, or bleach as these can cause rust. Another best practice to maintain your bowl is to avoid scratches and dents as these can cause build up that is hard to wash. Avoid scratches by not using metal utensils in the bowl.

To remove rust:

  1. Mix some baking soda with vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar) until you reach the consistency of a paste.
  2. Spread the paste over the surface of the stainless steel
  3. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes (up to a few hours if you have very stubborn rust).
  4. Scrub the paste over the stainless steel surface with a  scratch-free scrubbing pad using a circular motion.
  5. Rinse the bowl thoroughly with warm water, then perform a regular soap and water wash followed by a hand drying.

This more in-depth cleaning process can be used as needed (when stains or rust appear) or on a weekly/monthly basis as a preventative action.


Kitchen Mixer Leaking Oil

Some kitchen mixers come supplied with a lifetime supply of solid oil already in them and others suggest replacing the grease for good maintenance. Check the User Manual to find out the best practice for your machine.

Mixers use a solid oil, but you may occasionally find drops of it in the mixing bowl, the beater shaft, or the lock lever. This happens when its warmer than average, underused, or used multiple times without cooling. To prevent this, allow the kitchen mixer to cool between uses. If you have not used the mixer in a while turn it on to speed 10 for 2 minutes and wipe off any excess oil that appears. Remember to store your mixer with the head down to prevent oil leakage.

If your mixer needs a grease replacement, you can purchase grease from many small appliance parts shops. Be sure to use food-safe grease. However, be warned – there is a lot of grease in there! So do the dirty work away from food and nice shelving.

Here’s a useful video on how to fix an oil leak and replace the grease in your kitchen mixer:


Is Your Mixer Toast?

As part of eco-friendly efforts to help the planet we wholeheartedly encourage repairing and maintaining your small appliances to increase their lifespan. So please try to repair your mixers and other small cooking appliances before recycling them. If you need additional help to figure out a repair, check for a local repair shop or for an upcoming Repair Cafe happening in your community. Repair Cafes are community gatherings where visitors can get their broken household items fixed free of charge by volunteer fixing experts.

Is your kitchen mixer totally toast? Bring it to an ElectroRecycle depot! Did you know that ElectroRecycle partners with 250+ depots throughout B.C? Search for a collection site near you on our website.

ElectroRecycle also participates in a number of pop-up collection events throughout the year. If you don’t see a collection site near you, check our Events Page to see if there is an event scheduled near you!

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