A KitchenAid pasta roller is a versatile and useful kitchen tool, but it requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep working properly. Neglecting to clean the various parts can cause residue buildup that impacts performance and leads to eventual damage. Thoroughly disassembling, washing, and reassembling the roller once a month will keep it running like new. This involves removing the gears, thickness selector, and end cap and washing each part by hand with hot, soapy water. Nylon parts need to be soaked while metal parts can be scrubbed. Once everything is rinsed and dried fully, the pasta roller can be reassembled. Each part should fit snugly, and the handle should turn smoothly. After reassembling, test the roller to ensure it functions correctly before using it to roll fresh pasta.
Disassembling the Pasta Roller
The first step in thoroughly cleaning your KitchenAid pasta roller is to disassemble it so each part can be washed separately.
To begin, remove the thickness selector dial from the side of the housing. This is often just friction fit so can usually be pulled straight off by hand.
Next, remove the end cap on the opposite side of the housing. This cap is also often friction fit and can be pulled off. These nylon parts should be set aside for cleaning later.
The next step is to separate the handle from the gear shaft. Locate the handle nut that holds the handle on and unscrew it using an adjustable wrench. Once the nut is loose, the handle should lift directly off the gear shaft.
Finally, remove the two gears inside the housing. These are press fit onto the gear shaft and may require some wiggling back and forth to loosen. Firmly grasp the gears and pull them straight out of the housing. The gear shaft will now be exposed.
At this point, all the major parts of the roller are disassembled including the outer housing (the main body of the roller), gears, gear shaft, end cap and thickness dial. The housing does not require disassembly, but all the detached parts should be thoroughly washed separately to remove any built-up residue or debris. Thorough cleaning and drying of each part before reassembling will ensure the roller functions like new again.
Cleaning the Metal Parts
The metal parts of the pasta roller, including the gears, gear shaft and outer housing, can be effectively cleaned using hot water, dish soap and a soft brush.
Start by placing the gears and gear shaft in the sink or a large bowl. Fill with hot water and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Let the parts soak for 5-10 minutes to loosen any residue.
Remove the parts from the soapy water and scrub each one thoroughly using a soft bristle toothbrush or dish brush. Work the brush in a circular motion over all sides and in between the gear teeth to dislodge any buildup. Focus on the areas where pasta ingredients tend to accumulate, like between the gear teeth and the grooves on the gear shaft.
Once the parts are well scrubbed, rinse them under hot running water to remove any remaining soap and residue. Use a microfiber cloth or your fingers to feel for any spots that still have debris attached. If needed, rescrub those areas and rinse again.
Dry the gears and gear shaft thoroughly by rolling them in a towel or using compressed air. Moisture trapped inside these parts can lead to corrosion, so drying them completely is important.
Once the gears and shaft are clean and dry, focus on scrubbing the outside of the pasta roller’s housing. Fill the sink with hot, soapy water again and immerse the housing. Let it soak for a few minutes to soften any residue on the outside surfaces.
Remove the housing and scrub it using a soft brush with medium bristles. Focus on the crevices where gunk tends to build up, like along the ridges and around button holes. Rinse the housing thoroughly under running water, paying special attention to flush any debris from crevices.
Dry the housing using a towel or air compressed air. Inspect all surfaces to ensure no residue or debris remains. If any spots remain, rescrub and rinse those areas again before drying completely. Thoroughly cleaning the metal parts now will save work and frustration when reassembling the roller.
Cleaning Nylon Parts
The nylon parts of the pasta roller, including the end cap and thickness selector dial, require a gentler cleaning approach than the metal parts.
Fill a large bowl with warm water and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Swirl to combine the soap and water.
Place the end cap and thickness selector dial into the soapy water. The warmth of the water and the mild detergent will help loosen any residue that has built up.
Let the nylon parts soak in the warm, soapy water for 10 to 15 minutes. The soap will work its way into crevices and begin to break down any debris or food particles trapped there.
After soaking, remove the end cap and thickness selector from the water. Inspect them closely for any remaining residue or debris, focusing on areas like the ridges, button holes and crevices.
If needed, use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently scrub areas that still have buildup attached. Work the brush in a circular motion on ridges and into crevices to free any stuck-on food. Avoid using an abrasive scrubbing brush which could damage the nylon.
Once the parts are scrubbed as needed, rinse them thoroughly under cool water to remove all traces of soap. Agitate the parts under running water, especially button holes and crevices, to fully flush out any debris.
Place the end cap and thickness selector dial on a clean, dry towel and allow them to air dry completely. Nylon parts should never be dried with towels as this can cause fibers to become trapped and residue to remain.
Check both parts closely once dry for any areas that still have residue. If needed, repeat the soaking, scrubbing and rinsing steps to fully clean them. Thoroughly cleaning and drying the nylon parts is essential for proper functioning of the pasta roller once reassembled.
Reassembling the Pasta Roller
Now that all parts of the pasta roller have been thoroughly cleaned and dried, it’s time to reassemble the roller. Proper reassembly is key to ensuring the roller functions correctly.
Begin by sliding the end cap back onto the end of the outer housing. Align it properly and press firmly until it is fully seated.
Next, slide the thickness selector dial back onto the side of the housing. Firmly press it into place making sure it is flush against the housing. Try rotating the dial to ensure it moves freely.
Grab the gear shaft and slide one of the gears onto one end, teeth facing out. Slide the gear shaft all the way through the outer housing until the gear is flush against the inside of the housing.
Slide the second gear, teeth facing out, onto the opposite end of the gear shaft. Again, press firmly until the gear is fully seated against the housing. The shaft and gears should now be able to turn freely within the housing.
Pick up the handle and align the inner end with the protruding end of the gear shaft. Slide the handle down over the shaft until it is fully seated.
Thread the handle nut onto the shaft and tighten it firmly using an adjustable wrench. The nut should be tightened securely but not too tight as to restrict gear movement.
Test the handle to ensure it turns the gears smoothly and without catching. If it catches, slightly loosen the nut and retest before fully tightening again.
Once the handle turns the gears smoothly, test the roller fully by selecting various thicknesses and attempting to roll pasta dough through it. Apply firm pressure and ensure the gears continue turning easily.
If any parts feel loose or movement is restricted, disassemble that section and ensure all parts are fully seated properly before retesting the roller. Only fully reassemble the roller once all parts turn and function smoothly.
After a thorough cleaning and proper reassembly, your KitchenAid pasta roller should work as well as when you first purchased it. Regular monthly cleanings following the same process will extend the lifespan of the roller and ensure consistent, high-quality pasta for years to come.
1. How often should I clean my pasta roller?
At minimum, clean the roller once per month or after every 10-15 uses.
2. How can I get stubborn residue off my pasta roller?
Soaking parts in hot, soapy water for an extended time can help loosen stubborn residue before scrubbing.
3. What’s the best way to lubricate my pasta roller gears?
A small amount of food-grade mineral oil or olive oil on the gears can reduce friction and noise.
4. Can I use other cleaners beside dish soap?
For occasional cleanings, most mild detergents work. For thorough cleanings, dish soap is still recommended.