How to Clean a Pasta Maker
Homemade pasta is an absolute treat which is why many people invest in pasta machines or makers all the time. Everything about making homemade pasta is great – it is safer, healthier and brings satisfaction like no other. However, there is just one drawback – like cooking any other dish, it too creates quite a mess, and the pasta maker being affected the most.
The bright side nonetheless, is that the pasta maker can be easily cleaned and taken care of using just a few things. So, stick around to learn how to clean a pasta machine.
The Manual Pasta Maker
- Disengaging the removable pieces
Majority of the manual pasta makers come with parts that can be separated from the main machine without much difficulty. The C-clamp and the appendages needed to produce various types of pasta are prime examples of such parts. Now, these you will have to remove before you go any farther. When these will be gone, it will be much easier to clean the actual dirty parts of the machine – the rollers.
Cleaning pasta machine does not require for it to be actually taken apart piece by piece. So, no need to get your tools out and learn how to take apart a pasta machine until and unless the machine needs some kind of fixing. Even so, it will be better to call a mechanic for help if you are not exactly a certified expert, lest you end up making more of a damage than necessary.
- Cleaning with polymer clay
Get a hold of some white polymer clay and roll it out in between the rollers at least 3 to 4 times. Mimic what you do when you actually work the pasta dough through it. Remember to maneuver the polymer clay up and down while it is being rolled through the rollers. This will make sure that the clay reaches all the parts, efficiently cleaning the pasta machine.
The reason why this is a foolproof method is that every time the clay is rolled, the flour, crumbs and the stuck-on dough bits get glued to the polymer clay. When it has been pulled out, the dirt and debris comes out with the clay.
Other than making pasta, many people tend to use it for clay-work. Any colored clay previously used may leave some residue behind on the rollers. So, when white clay moves through the rollers, just like before, the colored clay comes out with it.
You may have to repeat this quite a few times to get all of it out. Not only will the rollers get cleaned, but when you use the machine later, there will not be a mix-up of the colored clays with one another.
- Getting into the nooks and crannies
Once the rollers have been cleaned, move onto the other parts of the machine that get equally dirty – the nooks and crannies. These tiny spaces are infiltrated with the dust-like flour and dough scraps. Since these spaces are compact and mostly hidden, you will need to utilize a different cleaning method.
More often than not, a tiny brush with suitable bristles accompanies the pasta maker when you buy it. This brush is specifically made to clean the machine, especially the nooks and crannies we are talking about. With their size, they have the capability to make these spaces spotlessly clean. In the rare instance that you cannot work with the brush, canned compressed air can get the job done.
Make sure you spend a healthy amount of time cleaning the section where the rollers are fixed to the machine. These places tend to get just as dirty and need extra care.
If you are the owner of a wooden pasta maker, no need to go any further than this step because machines like these do not demand more care than this – the clay and the brush. Those with metal and steel machines can move forward with the rest of the steps.
- Getting back to the rollers
Once again, we will move back to the rollers but this time with a clean damp towel. So, lightly wet the cloth with water and run it along the surface of the rollers. While you are at it, rotate the hand crank such that it is spinning just as you are moving the cloth to and fro. Use light motions because you probably will not need to rub vigorously.
Do not forget to wipe the bottom part of the rollers, working the cloth to and fro on that section as well. These areas tend to get neglected but are just as important since they get just as dirty.
A few great alternatives to the damp cloth is wet wipes and baby wipes. They will be equally useful in getting the work done and might even be easier to work with in comparison to a cloth.
- Cleaning the outside
When the rollers are clean, it will be time to clean the exterior of the pasta maker. This time too, we will be using a damp towel or cloth. It will be infinitely better if the cloth does not have excess water which will leave water stains on the machine. This final wipe will get rid of any dough or flour stuck on the outside of the machine along with stains or fingerprints. It may help to concentrate more on the problem areas in order to clean them.
- Drying the machine
With the machine wiped and cleaned, immediately dry it using a towel that is both clean and soft. We also recommend using a lint-free one which will not leave behind any of the fine fiber on the machine. Wiping well with the towel will not only dry it but also take away any remaining dirt, stains, and streaks.
It is of utmost importance that you properly dry the pasta machine. Residual moisture on the outside of the machine can lead to rust formation, especially if it has been made with stainless steel.
That was all you needed to know about how to clean a pasta maker. It is a fairly simple process, unlike other machines we use around the household like coffee machines or the oven. The best trick to keep the pasta machine in pristine condition is to actually clean it as soon as possible. Leaving it around for longer periods or days will only accumulate dust and harden the dough bits, making it harder to remove.
Also, we strictly advise you to not soak the machine in water – it may help clean the reachable parts but the water can easily seep into the crevices and nooks that you cannot be reached thus infecting the pasta machine with a terrible outbreak of rust. This applies to both manual and electric machines.
For those with electric pasta makers, it will be wise to follow the cleaning methods suggested in the manual. And no matter what the instructions may be, some rules apply everywhere – disconnecting the machine from the socket while cleaning, putting dishwater-safe pieces in the dishwater but never the actual machine (it may lead to electrocution).
Although, some parts can be hand-washed like those that are metallic, but remember to dry each and every piece properly.