Your dependable hand mixer is a great tool to have in the kitchen. It makes quick work of from-scratch cakes and cupcakes and comes in handy for some more surprising recipes, too. It’s likely inexpensive, easy to use and can accomplish many mixing tasks. But have you paid attention to the batter splatter creeping up and around the device? Here’s how to clean a hand mixer (and keep it mixing for years to come).
The Secret Way to Clean Every Inch of Your Hand Mixer
We’ve all been there. Whatever you’ve been mixing somehow winds up in the crevice where the beaters are inserted. Be sure to clean it out. If the batter dries up there, or it can ultimately interfere with the proper functioning of the mixer. This brush for cleaning baby bottles works well, but a toothbrush with firm bristles or toothpick can also be used to get out the gunk. Compared to a sponge, a small brush can make easy work of cleaning the tiny nooks and crannies of your beaters, too.
Reminder: When you’re done using your hand mixer, the first thing you should do is unplug it from the wall. This way, there’s no risk of electrocution or hurting fingers that might inadvertently get caught in the beaters. Check out the best hand mixer according to our Test Kitchen.
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Orange Pumpkin Chiffon Dessert
When pumpkin season rolls around, I like to find new ways to enjoy it in almost all my cooking. This creamy dessert feels so festive this time of year—;it gives you classic pumpkin pie flavor with just a kiss of orange. —Donna Roberts, Manhattan, KansasGo to Recipe Check out the best hand mixer according to our Test Kitchen.
Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Whenever I serve this easy mash, the bowl is always scraped clean. Before holiday feasts, I make it early and keep it warm in a slow cooker so I can focus on last-minute details. —Jill Thomas, Washington, IndianaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Mocha Baked Alaskas
Make these baked Alaskas ahead of time—you can torch the completed desserts and freeze them up to 24 hours before serving. —Kerry Dingwall, Ponte Vedra, FloridaGo to Recipe
Ricotta Gnocchi with Spinach & Gorgonzola
When my family comes for a visit, they always ask me to make this unique dish for dinner. Homemade cheesy gnocchi is topped with a rich sauce made with butternut squash, spinach and Gorgonzola.— Brud Holland, Watkins Glen, New YorkGo to Recipe
Can’t-Eat-Just-One Cinnamon Rolls
My cinnamon rolls have been known to vanish quickly. Once I dropped off a dozen rolls for my brothers, and they emptied the pan in 10 minutes. —Regina Farmwald, West Farmington, OhioGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Cheesy Sausage Stromboli
I’ve had a hundred requests for this recipe over the years. Perfect for brunch or as an evening snack, this sausage-filled bread is not tricky to make—and I never have to worry about storing leftovers! —Vada McRoberts, Silver Lake, KansasGo to Recipe
Pineapple Carrot Cake
This moist cake with cream cheese frosting is the best I’ve ever eaten. It’s so simple, too, because it uses two jars of baby food instead of fresh carrots that need to be grated. —Jeanette McKenna, Vero Beach, FloridaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Midwestern Meat Pies
When I moved to the Midwest in 1966, I discovered many ethnic foods that I had never heard of before. One of my friends introduced me to this runza recipe, and it quickly became a popular dish with my family. —Dolly Croghan, Mead, NebraskaGo to Recipe
Chocolate S’mores Tart
I created this tart for my kids, who love having s’mores on the fire pit. It’s truly indulgent. We simply can’t get enough of the billowy marshmallow topping. —Dina Crowell, Fredericksburg, VirginiaGo to Recipe
Cheddar-Veggie Appetizer Torte
A line forms quickly behind this quichelike torte at family gatherings. The wedges are easy to eat as finger food, and it’s delicious hot or cold. — Barbara Estabrook, Rhinelander, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
I said I’d bring dessert to a holiday party and tried this recipe. I’m sure you’ll agree it tastes as luscious as it looks! —Dawn Lowenstein, Hatboro, PennsylvaniaGo to Recipe
Easy Batter Rolls
The first thing my guests ask when they come for dinner is if I’m serving these dinner rolls. The buns are so light, airy and delicious—and help make the meal. —Thomasina Brunner, Gloversville, New YorkGo to Recipe
Frosty Watermelon Ice
Here’s a fun twist on watermelon. It’s so refreshing on a summer day, and you don’t have to worry about seeds while you’re enjoying it. —Kaaren Jurack, Manassas, VirginiaGo to Recipe
Majestic Pecan Cake
This recipe truly lives up to its name. The pecan-dotted cake is stacked in three layers, and made-from-scratch frosting is the crowning touch.—Karen R. Jones, Claypool, IndianaGo to Recipe
Bacon & Sun-Dried Tomato Phyllo Tarts
Frozen mini phyllo tart shells are so convenient and easy to use. Just add a savory filling featuring sun-dried tomatoes and bacon, then pop them in the oven.—Patricia Quinn, Omaha, NebraskaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Peanut Butter Caramel Bars
When my husband and our three sons sit down to dinner, they ask, “What’s for dessert?” I have a happy group of guys when I report that these rich bars are on the menu. They’re chockfull of yummy ingredients. —Lee Ann Karnowski, Stevens Point, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Homemade English Muffin Bread
Most of my cooking and baking is from scratch, and I think it’s worth the time and effort. Everyone enjoys homemade goodies like this delicious bread. —Elsie Trippett, Jackson, MichiganGo to Recipe
Best-Ever Sugar Cookies
What makes these cookies the best ever? A delicious cream cheese dough flavored with vanilla, almond and a hint of nutmeg that’s wonderfully easy to work with. The adorable decorations don’t hurt, either! —Christy Hinrichs, Parkville, MissouriGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Tired of the same old side dish, I whipped up this new family favorite. We can’t get enough of these loaded mashed potatoes at our house. Often, I’ll prepare this casserole ahead and refrigerate it. Then I bake it just before serving. —Dawn Reuter, Oxford, WisconsinGo to Recipe
Red Velvet Crepe Cakes
It’s well worth the time to make this beautiful and delicious cake. Each moist layer is separated by a rich and creamy filling. Treat your family on special occasions with this cake. —Crystal Heaton, Alton, UtahGo to Recipe
Pepperoni-Sausage Stuffed Pizza
For 30 years, friends have been telling me to open a pizzeria using this recipe. It even freezes well. —Elizabeth Wolff, Carmel, IndianaGo to Recipe
Sweet Potato-Cranberry Doughnuts
I grew up near Idaho, which is famous for spudnuts, a doughnut made from mashed potatoes. I reworked a recipe using sweet potatoes and cranberries to come up with this variation. I like to serve them for dessert. —Joni Hilton, Rocklin, CaliforniaGo to Recipe
Hot Almond N Cream Drink
Just a few sips of this drink, with its rich almond flavor, will warm you up in a hurry. I’m the food service manager for a Christian camp and it’s a favorite each year at our Christmas party. —Kaye Kirsch, Bailey, ColoradoGo to Recipe
Upside-Down Banana Monkey Bread
Everyone digs in to monkey bread thanks to its pull-apart shape. We add banana slices and pecans to top this already scrumptious showpiece for a brunch or family gathering. —Donna Marie Ryan, Topsfield, MassachusettsGo to Recipe
Cherry Tomato & Basil Focaccia
When I had 80 pounds of tomatoes, I got creative incorporating them into meals. Sometimes I slice this loaf into squares to make sandwiches with fresh mozzarella cheese and deli meats. —Katie Ferrier, Houston, TexasGo to Recipe
You don’t have to be an expert in French cooking to whip up these sandwich cookies. The crisp, chewy macarons require attention to detail, but they’re not hard to make—and they’re simply a delight, both for personal snacking and giving as gifts!
—Taste of Home Test KitchenGo to Recipe
Quick and Easy Bread Bowls
Impress all your friends by serving cream soups or dips with this bread bowl recipes. It’s one of the most popular recipes on my blog, yammiesnoshery.com. —Rachel Heidenreich, Marshall, MichiganGo to Recipe
Meringue Shells with Lemon Curd
We love a dazzling dessert of meringue shells filled with sunny lemon curd. It’s sweet and tart, crunchy and fluffy. Top this lemon curd dessert with whipped cream and berries. —Kris Brill, Milwaukee, WisconsinGo to Recipe
When I needed a party appetizer and couldn’t find a recipe I liked, I created my own. This savory spread boasts the flavors of a classic Italian muffuletta sandwich. —Helen Flamm, Dayton, OhioGo to Recipe
Come-Home-to-Mama Chocolate Cake
You’ll spend less than a half hour whipping up this cure-all cake that starts with a mix. Sour cream and chocolate pudding make it rich and moist, and chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate make it decadent comfort food at its finest. —Taste of Home Test KitchenGo to Recipe
While build-up like this may only need to be addressed when the appliance is desperate for a deep clean, there are a few other steps to hand mixer cleaning checklist.
What to Clean After Each Use
It’s best to clean the beaters sooner rather than later so the batter doesn’t have a chance to adhere to them. If you plan on running the dishwasher soon, you can put them there, but it’s easier to soak them in warm, soapy water and wipe them off. Regardless, you should always eject and clean them; leaving dirty beaters in your mixer puts you at risk for permanently stuck blades.
What to Clean Occasionally
Have some batter-spatter? Just wipe down the outside of the mixer with a damp sponge or cloth, scrubbing gently to remove any stuck-on bits. Make sure the sponge isn’t too wet—you don’t want to send water into the motor, as this can cause the hand mixer to malfunction.
Note: Never submerge your mixer in water. This can ruin the motor for good.
You should also wipe down the cord since batter sometimes flies up and out of the mixing bowl. This step shouldn’t be skipped! It only takes a minute, and we’re believers in the one-minute rule.
It doesn’t take long to properly clean your hand mixer. Plus, when you consistently follow these steps, your mixer will have a long and useful life during which you can even make ice cream. (Seriously!)