Commercial mixers are built to withstand heavy volumes, but like any piece of commercial foodservice equipment, the longevity of your investment will depend on how it’s used and maintained.
Keeping your mixer clean when not in use can greatly impact its longevity. The following are some general dos and don’ts to ensure you continue to get the most out of your commercial mixer.
The most frequent issue that wears down standard planetary mixers is overloading them. This can cause undue stress on the motor and damage essential attachments like the dough hook, wire whip, or flat beater. A good indication of whether your mixer is overloaded is if it sounds louder than usual. If you notice this, turn it off and reduce the batch amount.
Before operating your mixer, you should also determine the absorption ratio (the weight of water divided by the weight of flour). The mixture will expand in the bowl, so you’ll want to account for that prior to operating, leaving extra space for the product to mix consistently.
- Know your mixer capacity
- Follow the absorption ratio
- Ensure staff is properly trained on operating and cleaning the mixer
- Ensure bowl clamps are locked securely in place
- Turn off mixer before changing speeds
- Overload the mixer
- Fill the bowl to the brim
- Shift gears while the mixer is running
- Use attachments on the hub while mixing
- Properly dilute detergent and sanitizer for the supplier’s instructions
- Clean agitators, bowl, bowl guard, and rear splash after each use
- Clean the exterior at least once a day
- Use a cleaning checklist to ensure nothing gets missed
- Review the owner’s manual thoroughly for additional cleaning steps unique to that mixer
- Use a water hose or pressure wash
- Use steel wool, scrubber pads, or other abrasive materials that could scratch or damage your equipment
- Use bleach or bleach-based cleaner
Overall, commercial mixers are easy to maintain and care for. They’re not all that different from regular cleaning and maintaining of other traditional commercial foodservice equipment. One additional step that can vastly enhance the life expectancy of your mixer is periodically lubricating some of the components that come in frequent contact during operation, such as the rails and bowl lift, and the bowl clamps.
Often, the rails get coated with dry, doughy, or moist ingredients, and regular lubrication helps ease of cleaning and overall functionality. If raising or lowering the bowl begins to become difficult, lubricating the bowl rails will enhance the smoothness of operation. It is one of the best ways to preserve and extend the life expectancy of your investment.
- Clean the mixer before applying any oil
- Use food-grade oils with routine tasks like removing attachments
- Lubricate the planetary shaft after every cleaning
- Lubricate the bowl rails at least once a month
Chase joined Central Restaurant Products in February 2016 as a Content Specialist, bringing to the role years of various foodservice experience, including front-of-house service (slingin’ chicken wings and libations with a smile on his face) and back-of-house food prep using heavy-duty commercial cooking equipment to prepare for peak dining hours at his university’s dining hall.
He puts this experience to use writing for Central’s Resource Center, website, and print catalog. ServSafe certified, he enjoys educating on food safety in the commercial setting, researching new dining room and tabletop trends, and sharing innovative solutions to enhance operational efficiencies. He also enjoys (in no specific order) long hikes with his dog, bingeing 90s sitcoms, red wine, and live music.