How to clean a pasta maker? - The best way
Pasta makers greatly simplify the preparation process, allowing you to feel like a culinary genius with just a few steps. Once the pasta is made, cleaning the machine is of the utmost importance.
How do you clean a pasta maker?
You can’t put a pasta machine in the dishwasher or wash it by hand along with the rest of your dishes. Every time you use your pasta maker you should disassemble all removable parts and polish them with a dry cloth or cleaning brush. No need for water or soap.
This may seem like a lot of work, but once you start, it’s not difficult. This article will walk you through all the steps to disassemble and clean your pasta maker.
What is a pasta maker?
Although it’s easy to pick up a box or bag of pasta from any supermarket, there’s something very satisfying and exhilarating about making your own pasta from scratch.
The dough is simple and only requires a few basic ingredients. However, turning the dough into thin sheets that can be cut into different widths, shapes, and sizes requires more skill.
Pasta makers allow you to roll your dough into perfectly thin, even sheets, ready to be cut any way you like. Some machines even cut the dough for you.
Pasta sheeters, cutters and extruders
Pasta making machines are available in various formats, from simple rollers to combined cutters and extruders.
A pasta roller is designed to roll the dough evenly, and often allows for a variety of thickness options.
Similarly, a cutter is designed to cut pasta sheets into different widths for different varieties of pasta. Some machines are sold separately and others combine these two tasks into one.
Pasta extruders are add-on appliances or handheld devices that cut pasta sheets into a wider variety of shapes than a basic cutter provides.
The right extruders can help you create every type of pasta you can imagine, from penne to rigatoni, and even the basics like spaghetti and macaroni.
Manual pasta makers
Manual pasta makers are usually designed primarily for rolling out dough. Although some can be upgraded with accessories, most produce simple blades.
The machine is attached to a surface, such as a table or counter, and the dough is manually inserted using a crank.
Manual pasta makers typically require 2 people to operate effectively. One person turns the crank and feeds the dough into the roller and the other holds the rolled dough to carefully produce a long sheet of pasta.
electric pasta makers
Electric pasta makers, as the name suggests, are powered by electricity. Since they are self-feeding, they can make pasta much more quickly.
Most machines also have a variety of add-ons and upgrades that can be attached to produce a greater variety of pasta types.
As with most things, the more complex the machinery, the more care you have to take to keep it from breaking down. Also, the more moving parts you have, the more complicated the cleaning process can be.
How to disassemble a pasta maker
Each make and model of pasta maker differs slightly, so it’s always a good idea to keep the instructions that came with the machine.
Traditional and manual pasta makers may require screwdrivers to disassemble all the parts. Newer models, especially electric machines, will likely have a variety of removable parts.
If your pasta maker is electric, be sure to unplug it before attempting to clean it!
Disassemble as many removable parts as you can and clean each one separately. Even the most basic machines will require you to separate the rollers from the scraper plates.
More complex machines will have more parts to separate, but this will depend on each unique model.
How to clean a pasta maker
Once you have separated all the parts of your pasta machine and have removed the dough remains as best as possible, it is time to clean the machine.
In almost all situations, the best way to clean a pasta maker and all its accessories is simply to use a dry or slightly damp cloth to wipe down all surfaces. You don’t need to use a lot of soap or water, and in fact, you should try not to.
Never try to run a cloth through the pasta machine. Only clean the surfaces carefully once you have completely removed them. Moisture near any of the moving parts can cause rust and ruin your machine.
Even if you’ve made egg pasta, you don’t need to use soap. Bacteria cannot live on metal machine components unless you leave physical particles behind.
Using a dry cloth to remove all the flour is a perfectly sufficient way to clean your machine.
Can pasta makers go in the dishwasher?
No, pasta makers should never be put in the dishwasher, regardless of whether they are manual or electric.
Depending on the type of machine you have, some accessories may claim to be dishwasher safe, but in our opinion, carefully hand washing all parts of a pasta maker is the best way to extend its life.
It’s also important that you never fully submerge a pasta maker, even a manual one.
All pasta machines have small moving parts that would be impossible to dry quickly and can rust or retain soap that will contaminate future batches of pasta.
So how do you wash the pasta maker? Keep reading!
Pasta Machine Cleaning Brush
There are cleaning brushes that you can use to clean your pasta maker instead of a cloth. The brushes can reach the smallest corners where a cloth cannot reach.
These wooden cleaning brushes for grinders and pasta makers have two different styles of brushes made with natural hog bristles.
They are specially designed to remove fine particles without scratching or marring sharp blades. They also have wooden handles to protect your fingers from those same sharp blades.
How to Clean the KitchenAid Pasta Roller
The KitchenAid Stand Mixer is one of the most popular kitchen appliances in North America.
The sheer number of accessories this machine can be equipped with is impressive to say the least. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a set of rollers and cutters.
Since the roller and cutter parts don’t come apart like most other pasta makers, KitchenAid recommends letting the parts dry for at least 1 hour before attempting to remove any leftover dough bits and flour.
Once the dough has set, it should come off easily by simply tapping the rolling pins or using a toothpick to remove any remaining particles.
Polish the chunks with a dry cloth as best you can. Do not use water on these accessories, but consider lubricating them after approximately 50 uses.
How to clean pasta machine accessories
If the manufacturer explicitly states that the removable parts are dishwasher safe, you can put them in it.
However, even if they are made of stainless steel, the high temperatures of the dishwasher will deteriorate the finish of the accessories much more quickly than a simple hand wash with soap and a cloth.
As with the pasta machine itself, it’s incredibly important that you don’t allow any moisture to get on the accessories, which can cause them to rust.
Simply clean the accessories in the same way as the rest of the machine. Allowing the fixture to dry for an hour or more before attempting to clean it helps tremendously.
You only have to use a toothpick or a skewer to remove the visible pieces and give the accessories a good blow to remove the remains of flour. You can also blow compressed air through the holes if you think it needs more force.
How to remove rust from a pasta machine
If your pasta machine has been exposed to water and has started to rust, you may be able to salvage it.
The first step is to lubricate your machine. Add a few drops of mineral oil to the roller, using a brush to distribute the oil.
Next, make a batch of scrap dough to run through the machine. You just have to use flour and water and pass it as many times as necessary to remove as much rust as possible.
If you still see discoloration in the build, you will need to take the parts apart and try to scrub the rust off with very soft steel wool. This will work better on stainless steel than chrome, which dulls much more easily.
Add a small amount of rubbing alcohol or white vinegar to a cloth and rub away any rust dust. Vinegar and alcohol evaporate much more quickly and thoroughly than water.
If the rust is more than superficial or cosmetic and these steps haven’t fixed the problem, you may need to start looking for some replacement parts.
Dough stuck in the pasta machine
When you disassemble the machine and get ready to clean it, it helps to have some wooden skewers and toothpicks on hand, as well as a few pieces of dough.
If there is any piece of dough stuck in your machine, you will want to remove it before attempting to wash the piece.
Easily accessible pieces of dough are usually collected by rolling a piece of waste dough over the stuck pieces.
You’ll need to make sure your piece of dough isn’t too dry to pick up the scraps, but also not sticky or wet, which will only add to the mess.
If there appears to be a large amount of dough stuck inside the machine, you can run a large enough piece of scrap dough through the pasta maker to catch any broken pieces.
Adjust the thickness so that the scrap mass has enough pressure to pick up what is stuck. You may have to do it multiple times.
If there is dough stuck inside the machine or in any of the accessories, use the wooden skewer or toothpick to remove it. Using a little flour can help dry out the stuck paste and make it easier to get out of the machine.
Mineral oil for pasta machines
If you notice that the paste is slightly discolored as you run it through your machine, it may need a good lubrication. Another sign that it’s time to give your pasta maker a little more TLC is if you hear squeaky noises as the wheels turn.
Lubricating your pasta maker is something that should be done once or twice a year, depending on usage, but certainly not every time you use it.
It’s not difficult or expensive, but it can keep your machine running smoothly and make it easier to clean once you’re done with it.
To lubricate a pasta maker, you’ll need some food-grade mineral oil, like the kind you can use to condition wooden cutting boards, metal blades, and even cast-iron cookware.
Start with a clean, dry machine and disassemble all the parts. The only part of the machine that needs to be lubricated are the cutting rollers. Add just a few drops of oil to each end of the rollers. You can use a brush to distribute the oil evenly.
Now you can put your pasta maker back together and it will not only run smoother, but it will be easier to clean once you have finished rolling and/or cutting all the pasta.
Can I make pasta without a pasta maker?
You can make pasta without a pasta maker.
Pasta machines are wonderfully efficient at rolling dough evenly and thinly, but with a good rolling pin, some patience, and a careful touch, you can achieve the same results without a machine.
To cut the pasta, you can simply use a sharp knife. Depending on the type of pasta you are making, you may find it helpful to use a straight edge.
When kneading dough by hand, it is very important to let the dough rest. The gluten has to relax or it will continually break down, causing frustration and potentially causing you to overwork the dough.
Why doesn’t my pasta maker cut well?
If your pasta maker doesn’t cut the dough well, there are several possible culprits.
These are the possible reasons:
- The dough or pasta sheets may be too wet
- Machine blades may be misaligned or dull
- The sheets or dough may be too thick to cut or the thickness of the machine may need to be adjusted
- Blades may have a buildup of oil and/or moisture and need to be cleaned
- There may be dough stuck between the rollers
This is not an exhaustive list of possibilities, but they are the most common reasons why your pasta machine may not cut correctly.
Can you use a rolling pin for the cookie dough?
Pasta rollers can be used for a wide variety of foods that start out as a dough, as long as that dough isn’t too sticky. This is as true for cookies as it is for pastries or craft dough.
Most pasta rollers offer a variety of thicknesses, but they may not work for all types of cookies; It will depend on what you are going to bake.
Rolling the cookie dough through a pastry roller will work better for smooth dough, rather than cookies that include crunchy bits like nuts or chocolate chunks.
If you want there to be extras in your cookies, you can press them into the dough once rolled and cut.