The history of KitchenAid goes all the way back to the early 1900s and they produced some of the first stand mixers ever made. KitchenAid is renowned for its quality and engineering; even today, their mixers last an incredibly long time.
Of course, it’s different for everybody. I’ve heard plenty of stories of family KitchenAid stand mixers being passed down from generation to generation, some of them lasting 60 years or more. This is especially true for mixers in the early days but some people would argue that they don’t make them like they used to. There’s probably some truth to that but I also know that people are still holding onto their mixers for many years.
KitchenAid will tell you that the lifespan of their mixers is about 15 years. Under the right conditions, though, a mixer could last 30 years or more. It depends on how often it’s getting used and how well it’s being taken care of.
How to Maximize the Lifespan of Your Mixer
I’ve seen people retire their mixers after just six years but I’ve also seen people use the same stand mixer for what feels as if it is forever. Care and maintenance play a huge role in your mixer’s lifespan so it’s important you’re doing everything that you can do if you want yours to last. The more people in the home who use the mixer, the more important it is that you are taking care of it.
Five things that come to mind include:
1. Use it Frequently While it’s Under Warranty
If you can, I’d recommend using your mixer more frequently in the first 30 days or so. Use it in different ways and use it for things that don’t necessarily require a mixer. You want to find out if there are any defects while the machine is still under warranty and you’d want to do that as soon as possible. Granted, KitchenAid mixer warranties are a lot longer than 30 days but I think it’s still better to know sooner rather than later.
2. Prevent Overheating
Your mixer should shut itself off when it’s overheating but if you can avoid this altogether, that’s usually better.
I suppose that overheating could be due to an internal issue but most of the time, it’s happening because of how you are working the machine. KitchenAid stand mixers are definitely tough but under the right conditions, they can tire themselves out. For example, your mixer could overheat if you are trying to mix a thick mixture at high speeds so make sure that you are adjusting your speeds. Other ways to avoid overheating include:
- Reducing mixing time whenever possible
- Allowing the mixture to rest between uses
- Keeping your mixer clean inside and out
3. Allow the Mixer to Warm up After Periods of Non-Use
If you go a long time without using your mixer, you should make sure to let it warm up before you start mixing actual food. This is because the lubricant inside the machine more or less solidifies in cool temperatures but once you warm it up, you get the lubricant flowing through the machine so that it’s ready to use. So, run your machine for a couple of minutes, adjust the speeds, and you should be good to go.
4. Make Sure That the Beater Is at the Right Height
The KitchenAid stand mixer also has adjustable beaters so make sure that yours is at the right height. You don’t want the beater to scrape the sides of the bowl or hit itself on the bottom of the bowl as it’s mixing. Not only could this damage your beater or move your bowl but it could also make your mixer overheat.
5. Re-Grease Your Mixer Once a Year
Inside of your KitchenAid mixer, there are globs of grease that lubricate the gears of your machine when you are using it. Over time, though, this grease gets dirty and less effective. If you want your machine to last as long as possible, you’ll need to re-grease it about once a year. I’ve done this a few times and it usually takes about an hour.
Proper Care and Maintenance for Your Mixer
KitchenAid mixers don’t require a ton of maintenance but there are a few things that you can do. Remember not to ignore funny sounds or strange behavior coming from your mixer as these would typically indicate a problem. The quicker you address the problems, the better off you usually are.
Commonly, people will see their stand mixers leaking oil and while this doesn’t always mean that there is a huge problem, you might not be able to get the oil to stop leaking until you take it to a service facility. If grease is leaking, this means that the grease is too warm so this often happens in warmer houses. However, it could also happen when you overuse your mixer or don’t allow it to cool between uses.
As far as maintaining your mixer and its attachments throughout the years, remember all of the following.
Keep Your Mixer Clean
When we are talking about cleaning your mixer, we are mainly talking about wiping away any food and cleaning out small areas that can get clogged from the food. The spring and pin that hold your attachments in place, for example, commonly get clogged with food but since this piece is exposed, you can clean it out manually. If you’ve been struggling with your attachments, you can even put some grease in there to lube it up.
Otherwise, make sure that the whole machine is clean. You can use soap and water to get the food off. Taking care of the exterior ensures that your machine looks good for as long as possible.
Clean Your Attachments Properly
If you want to keep your attachments looking nice, make sure that you are washing them properly. I know that most attachments are made out of aluminum but sometimes this aluminum is exposed and sometimes it’s not. When your attachments have a solid white coating on the outside, you can generally assume that they are dishwasher-safe. However, if your attachments are exposed aluminum, you should not put them in the dishwasher. This causes oxidation, which can leave a nasty film.
Re-Greasing Your Mixer
As I mentioned up above, you should re-grease your stand mixer about once a year. This keeps the grease fresh and ensures that the moving parts are properly lubricated. This will require you to buy some new grease but you can usually find it for under $10 on the Internet. To briefly go over the process, it happens this way:
- You’ll remove the back cover of your mixer, followed by the metal band that wraps around the machine. You’ll remove the mixing assembly and the top casing to reveal the inner machinery.
- You’ll see all of the dirty, black grease and you’ll remove it.
- You’ll clean the parts.
- You’ll apply the new grease (you will use a lot) and reassemble the machine.
You’ll want to get food-grade grease and have a few supplies handy including a screwdriver, thin gloves, and some sort of scooping utensil.
Some people will question whether or not this is necessary. KitchenAid says that the machine is packed with enough grease to last the lifetime of the mixer but if you want to be safe, it definitely does not hurt to replace the dirty grease with fresh grease. It will also give you a chance to inspect the inside of your machine and make sure that there are no defects or broken pieces. If there are, you’d be able to replace them, potentially preventing a future breakdown.
What to Do If Your Mixer Breaks
When your mixer breaks, you basically have two options. You can send it to the manufacturer or try to repair it yourself.
I’ve self-repaired machines before but I would also recommend getting professional help if you don’t feel confident. Some KitchenAid factories will send you shipping kits that you can use to ship your stand mixers to the factory to have it repaired. There are also many online resources that walk you through a number of different repairs so that you don’t have to go through this process. It all depends on what you want to do and whether or not your machine is under warranty.
If your machine is super old, you might see about getting it refurbished from a professional. Sometimes repairs and refurbishments are cheaper than buying a brand-new machine.
How Long Are the Warranties?
Warranties for the KitchenAid stand mixer typically last for two full years from the date of purchase but sometimes warranties for mixers go as high as five years.
The warranty covers the repairs you need but KitchenAid won’t cover damages that were caused by an accident or misuse. Otherwise, they will cover the entire cost. They also cover the cost of replacement parts and labor costs.
You’ll want to be careful operating on your mixer before your warranty is up. If you choose to self-repair or operate on your mixer in any way, it could void your warranty.