How to Fix Oxidized Kitchen Utensils

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If you’ve ever accidentally placed your aluminum KitchenAid mixer attachments in the dishwasher, you know the frustration of oxidized utensils. Utensils that, when handled, leave nasty black and gray streaks all over your hands and even on food items (such as gray cream cheese!) Yuck! But, don’t throw out those oxidized utensils just yet, we have a fix that’s as easy as boiling water.

how-to-fix-oxidized-kitchen-utensils

At one time or another, I’ve reminded the kids to please DON’T put my KitchenAid mixer attachments in the dishwasher. The detergent wreaks havoc on them, causing them aluminum to oxidize and leave nasty black and gray streaks all over everything and anything they touch. Ever try to whip mashed potatoes in a mixer and have them turn out GREY? Yuck.

How to Fix Oxidized Kitchen Utensils

You’ll Need:
Pot big enough to submerge your oxidized utensils
water
white vinegar

Place several inches of water in the pot, enough to submerge the utensils that need to be cleaned. Add about 2- 3 cups of regular white vinegar and bring the mixture to a steady boil. Once boiling, add the oxidized utensils.

This is what an oxidized utensil looks like BEFORE: (This is not a mistake, this is not clean WHITE- this is majorly oxidized aluminum!)

how-to-fix-oxidized-kitchen-utensils

Go vacuum, read a magazine, fold a load of laundry, etc because they need to boil for about 20 minutes.

Remove the (HOT!!) utensils from the water, wipe off any remaining residue with a soft clean cloth or paper towels. Run the item under cool water, and run your fingers over it, if you get any gray/black streaks at all, put it back in the water and boil for another 5-10 minutes.

This is what the utensil will look like AFTER: – Note that it is nice and clean and all the crunchy gray has been removed.

how-to-fix-oxidized-kitchen-utensils

For Better Comparison, view this NEW Whisk (photo from Amazon)

how-to-fix-oxidized-kitchen-utensils

Here it is again- notice that in the AFTER photos there is no longer a nasty grey mess left behind on the fingers after handling the whip.

how-to-fix-oxidized-kitchen-utensils

Voila! Just like new again and you don’t have to toss them out.

About Liss 4017 Articles
Melissa Burnell, known to her friends and fans as "Liss," grew up in Southern Maine, now residing in sunny South Carolina. As a busy Wife, Mother of two sons, an avid photographer, and self-employed entrepreneur, Liss understands the value of both time and money.

32 Comments

  1. i have this problem, i am going to do this asap. so silly i didn’t think to do this before i use vinegar for everything!!!

    • Making meringue and had streaks not only in meringue, but on face, fingers all black everything I touched fingerprints. Will give this a go. Yes I put it in dishwaher

  2. I am glad this was posted but it makes me wonder why a company would make something that oxidizes in the dishwasher… everyone uses a dishwasher… i had a similar experience with an ice cream scoop..

    threw it out and bought stainless steel…

  3. I am so disappointed with Kitchenaid and this problem with attachments losing finish in dishwater. It stinks of cost cutting at the expense of the customer. You can buy the attachments that are dishwasher safe.

    I think I would rather buy new mixer from Breville and put Kitchenaid in the trash.

  4. I tried this today with mom’s Kitchenaid whisk attachment and our old ice cream scoop. The whisk came out wonderfully, but I think the ice cream scoop is a lost cause. On the side it says not to boil it, which I only remembered when pulling it out after 25 minutes.

    • If your ice scream scoop is like mine, there’s anti-freeze type stuff inside, and has a plastic-ish cap to keep it in there. Supposedly makes for easier scooping. I’m thinking the boiling may have allowed the escape of the afore-mentioned stuff when the two materials expanded at different rates.
      I bet the dishwashers water gets hot enough to cause leaking, too.

      You’d probably still have a fine scooper without the antifreeze in there, I sure have no evidence of mine having anything remaining –its well over 30 years old– (I think we should hear some liquid rattling around when it is shaken.) I usually heat mine up with hottest tap water before scooping, it helps a little; you can also just let the ice cream thaw for 10 min before serving.

      We probably should be hand washing anything made of aluminum, including the aluminum whisk to our kitchenaid! I’m fortunate to have a stainless steel whisk to my 1970s vintage Kitchenaid, which i often wash in the DW, and no problems. I may have to try the vinegar trick on my ice cream scoop, but sans boiling in case there is still antifreeze stuff in there.

      Now I’m going to go check If it says “do not boil” on it!

      Thanks for the info!

  5. I made a cake this morning but realized afterwards the the paddle had oxidized. I am worried that I will poison someone. Is it possible to poison someone if the oxidation was in the cake batter?

    Please advise.

    • I made a cake this morning but realized afterwards the the paddle had oxidized. I am worried that I will poison someone. Is it possible to poison someone if the oxidation was in the cake batter?

      Please advise.

      that is my question as well!! when i couldn’t find a response here or anywhere on line, i simply trashed the cake….don’t want to chance it! additionally, was it my imagination or did i actually detect a metal taste in the cake?

      too risky!

      • That is my question as well!! when I couldn’t find a response here or ANYWHERE on line, I simply trashed the cake….don’t want to chance it! Additionally, was it my imagination or did I actually detect a metal taste in the cake? Too risky!

        From Kitchenaid when we contacted them about the beaters: The Burnished Aluminum Beaters are not dishwasher safe, as per the use and care manual. Placing them in the dishwasher causes them to oxidize. You may wish to try using a citrus cleaner to try and remove the oxidization.

        If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our KitchenAid Customer Satisfaction Center at 800-541-6390. Our hours are 8am to 8pm Monday-Friday and 10am to 5pm(ET) on Saturday.
        If you’re seriously worried about it, call them and ask. It’s just a little bit of oxidation, it’s no big deal.

      • That is my question as well!! when I couldn’t find a response here or anywhere on line, i simply trashed the cake….don’t want to chance it! additionally, was it my imagination or did i actually detect a metal taste in the cake?

        too risky!

        i don’t think i’d eat a cake that got black stuff in it, just cos lt looks awful. however there is probably not much danger in consuming one or two servings. i think they say it’s the cumulative intake that poses a problem in the body (and keep in mind not definitively proven that aluminum causes alzheimer’s, but why chance it, right?) martha stewart avoids any contact of food to aluminum, to the point that she put parchment inside the foil she was cooking fish n veg in one time that i saw!

        i still say hand washing is worth the extra trouble, and when you think about it, how much bad stuff is washing over all the other dishes in dw along with the aluminum?

      • I lost 3 close friends to this. They survived Nam, but not oxidized metal. Tread carefully young grasshopper.

  6. Boiled my whisk attachment for 45 min. (Took out and wiped after 25, 35 and 45 min ) and I still have black stuff coming off. Any suggestions or do I toss and order a new one at this point?

  7. To the ppl wondering if the oxide is safe to eat: it is perfectly safe and makes up a huge amount of the dirt on earth. There has never been any science to show it’s of concern. It’s just messy and not pretty

  8. Unfortunately this didn’t work for me. Not sure why! Thanks for the post though; glad to see it’s helped a lot of people!

    • I just tried this and had to boil it for 45 minutes and it was still turning my fingers black. Then I pulled it out and washed it real good with soapy water and rinsed it and it worked! I had to really scrub it and the washcloth is now a lost cause, but cheaper than replacing the attachment! I just used it to bake a batch of cookies!

  9. Seem crazy to have an expensive mixer and its attachments are not dishwasher safe. Seriously?! I have a JC Penney hand mixer that I received as a wedding gift 34 years ago and it’s beaters are still as shiny as new and I wash them in the dishwasher. How can my 2 year old Kitchen Aide provide me with such cheap quality attachments?

  10. I simply use a brillo pad (like SOS). It takes a little work but the oxidation comes off. I simply follow with soap and water after first rinsing off the gook the brillo pad generates

  11. This didn’t work for me, left to boil over an hour ….gutted! But I have a back up plan, go to a local powder coating co. Ask them when they do there next batch, do my attachment. No matter what colour!

  12. Another thing you can do (this is what I did), take a piece of fine grade steel wool and rub the part that is oxidized. Takes off the nasty grey stuff and leaves it nice and shiny.

  13. this has been a lifesaver not only did this work but it has been over a year and I still have not had any more problem thank you so much

  14. I’m glad I found this! I’ve been needing to do it for my kitchen aid mixer whisk and also my meat tenderizer. Both leave that gray residue from being in dishwasher and have not found a solution for them yet. Now I know!

  15. I had no idea that you shouldn’t put mixer attachments in the dishwasher because the detergent causes them to oxidize. My wife wants to buy some new galvanized kitchenware. I’ll be sure to only handwash from now on.

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