Feeling accomplished: just replaced the gear grease in my KitchenAid stand mixer!

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by Apocalypso, Sep 2, 2017.

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Have you ever serviced your KitchenAid mixer?

  1. Yes: did it myself or had a friend/family member do for me

    1 vote(s)
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  2. Yes: had it done professionally

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. No

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  1. Apocalypso

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    A couple of weeks ago I used my KA with the dough hook for a bread recipe that called for about 13 minutes of kneading. She even mentioned to make sure your mixer was cold, not used for other things, when you started. I put a fan behind it as well and didn't think it overheated. But afterwards I had some trickles of oil, thankfully not into the bowl but down the neck of the mixer, toward the hinge, and onto the counter. It seems the grease was breaking down. I've had it at least a dozen years, so that's not too surprising.

    So I looked up on YouTube and found instructions for both cleaning my mixer and replacing the gear grease. I ended up ordering the grease, as Kitchenaid replacement part, via Amazon. I got the larger 6 oz size in case I need to get in there and do it again, plus one comment on the smaller size said the amount wasn't enough.

    This was the video I followed:

    It wasn't too bad to do, the trickiest part for me was removing a pin with a hammer and punch, but it came out when I stopped being so timid about it.

    I also found this woman's detailed video on cleaning helpful.

    I did clean all the parts as I took it apart, including the screws. I soaked everything in a basin of soapy water with some Arm and Hammer laundry detergent dissolved in as well. I used a soft scrubbie in some parts, and an old toothbrush in others. I did use baking soda as an abrasive on areas that won't show like the inside of the back cap that had some gunk stuck in it. I didn't use any cleaners, just lots of paper towels, to clean around the gears.

    Mine is the tilt head 4.5 qt, I guess the Classic Plus, though it doesn't say that anywhere on it. I must confess I got it refurbished through KitchenAid on Amazon at least a dozen years ago when I could not afford a brand new one. It's basic white, and though I may have at times wished for a fun color one, I also saw detailed videos on painting your KA mixer, and though I'd probably love one painted bright copper, I don't think I'll bother. Maybe someday!

    I was relieved when I got it back together and it still runs! :) I had used it yesterday to make a cake (beaten egg whites), the filling (whipped cream) and the pasta roller has had its workouts this week with the homemade Asian dumplings and a quick fettuccini. At least now I'm not too worried about it running out of grease!

    I'm off to share some of the above homemade goodies with my sweetie. Happy weekend, bakers!

    Ann
     
    Apocalypso, Sep 2, 2017
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  2. Apocalypso

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    Thats interesting your KA has lasted this long.

    All of the KA's I've used in bakeries have had something go wrong with them the first week, usually just plain busted where you can use it anymore.

    The last KA stand mixer I used had the lift handle on the side, that lifted the bowl up and down. After three uses, the handle stripped. Couldn't use it anymore, because you had no way to lift the bowl up.

    I'm shocked and amazed yours had lasted.
    Lucky you!
    :D
     
    ChesterV, Sep 2, 2017
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  3. Apocalypso

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Duly impressed! I've had my KA, aka Big Bertha, for going on 20 yrs. It never occurred to me to do maintenance. Now I'm inspired. Thank you for this post. It's very informative.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 2, 2017
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  4. Apocalypso

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I've had my KA nearly 20 yrs. I bake 3-4 times a week. Never had a problem.

    My sister has had her KA over 30 yrs.

    If you had a piece break after 3 uses, that's the aberration. It would have been under warranty and replaced/repaired.

    KA have been in every commercial kitchen I've been in as the small mixers. KA have also been in every baking & cooking school I attended. Even the Culinary Institute of America and the cooking in Italy had KA mixers. The CIA not only runs a major pastry arts program, but they run a restaurant on the campus as well.

    The instructors have KA's in their home kitchens as well.

    If KA broke down like you claim, bakeries and culinary schools wouldn't be business.

    If KA's had a 100% defect rate in the first week as you claim is your experience, they would have gone out of business a long time.

    There's no product line without some issues. But the picture you paint of KA is inaccurate.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 2, 2017
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  5. Apocalypso

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    I'm only stating what happened.

    I even had one bakery I worked at that wouldn't even bother ordering KitchenAid anything, it was Vulcan or nothing.

    I had a friend who bought one of those KA's and she never used it because she couldn't get it to lift up and down. The lift arm worked on it, but it took two people to move it. She refused to return or sell it and get something else, so it just sat there on the shelf, collecting dust. I even offered to have it looked at by a fix-it shop, and she refused.

    Another one I used at a bakery had something wrong with the speed lever on it. It would kick hard into the fastest speed for a second or two, before kicking into the speed you set the lever at. It was funny to watch, because it would spit out all the flour or sugar, or whatever was in the bowl, all over the person standing there.
    And yeah, nobody told me about it and I got covered in sugar one day.

    There's a lot of companies who make faulty products as a standard. I was in retail for many years when I got out of school, and I saw a lot of complaints on faulty items that companies knowingly produced. Unfortunately the companies refuse to fix any problems unless it kills someone, or they get sued for it.

    I'm not saying KitchenAid is doing that, but out of all the KitchenAid stand mixers I've ever used in my life, only one ever worked without a problem, and it wasn't even in a bakery.
     
    ChesterV, Sep 3, 2017
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  6. Apocalypso

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to high jack this thread because it has excellent information. So I'm going to bow out of this narrative.

    @Apocalypso, my sincere apologies for the digression.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 3, 2017
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  7. Apocalypso

    Apocalypso Well-Known Member

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    Wow, it's disappointing to hear that you had so many problems with KA mixers, Chester. Mine's been used, but by no means consistently. I go on baking binges at the holidays, occasionally knock out bread or dinner rolls, but nothing too heavy duty. I use it more that I have the pasta attachments (past 2 years.) I would have hoped that KA would have made repairs under warranty.

    The one thing that drives me batty is that the pasta roller has some dried bits inside it that I haven't been able to get out, despite fishing in there with wooden sticks and shaking vigorously. And you can't wash them. It doesn't usually affect things, but the rattling and the idea of it bugs me. I have always wiped and brushed down the outside like they recommend, so i can only guess that some dough got inside when I was still learning how to make pasta and had dough that was a bit of a mess.

    I always try to see what types of mixers are used on cooking videos and even as set dressing on TV shows. Was trying to figure out what type of mixer was in the ex-husbands' house on "Grace and Frankie" earlier this summer! Chester, would love to hear which brands you like that are scaled for smaller-batch baking rather than high-volume commercial machines.
     
    Apocalypso, Sep 3, 2017
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