Care for Tilt-Head Models

Care for Tilt-Head Models

Here are some tips to help keep your tilt-head KitchenAid mixer in dependable working order.

Keep it Clean

After each use, unplug the mixer. Then clean it thoroughly using only a soft damp (not wet) cloth and very light pressure. If there’s anything sticky that won’t wipe off easily, you can use a little dish soap on a damp sponge, but take care to keep water out of the mixer, especially around the lever slots. Clean everywhere, including the back of the mixer around the power cord. Pay special attention to the underside of the “head”, the planetary, and the beater shaft. You can use a microfiber cloth or a soft dish towel to dry everything off and keep it shiny.

Every few uses, carefully flip the machine over (use a soft towel to protect the head) and wipe the underside of the base clean (again with a damp cloth). This keeps dust, flour, etc from accumulating there, which attracts moisture that in turn cause rust and corrosion. Also, check and tighten (if necessary) the set screw on the hinge pin; if it loosens up the head will start to wobble.

While the machine is upside down, inspect the feet and wipe off any accumulated crud. If the feet are dry, cracked, or hard, replace them. (They pull off, and you can get replacements directly from KitchenAid or on Amazon.) This will make the mixer less likely to “walk” around the counter (or off the edge).

Routine Grease Service

If you use the machine more than once a week, and/or use it for heavy loads such as bread dough or for extended high-speed operation, or if you make if you use the mixer to make money, I recommend that you have the gears cleaned, regreased, and checked annually. This will keep the moving parts in good operating condition, and will give you a chance to catch any problems before they get really bad (and expensive to fix).

For typical light-to-moderate household use, I recommend that you do this every two to three years. You can find a list of parts and materials for the job here:

No matter what schedule you follow, if at any time you see oil leaking down the beater shaft, or out around the trim band, it’s time to service the machine.

Store the Accessories Separately

It may be tempting to leave a frequently used accessory on the beater shaft even when the mixer isn’t in use. If you do this, the standard accessories (flat beater, dough hook, or wire whisk) will get galvanically welded to the beater shaft and you’ll have an extremely difficult time removing them. (This won’t happen with the stainless accessories, but it is still possible for rust to form on the beater shaft and create problems. So if you have stainless accessories, store them separately as well.)

You can store the accessories in the mixer bowl, or in any convenient location that isn’t the beater shaft.

Take care of your mixer, it’ll take care of you.

These machines last so long that we often get attached to them; and for many folks they become treasured family heirlooms. Regular care and maintenance is the key to a long and happy mixer life.