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.
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
Pot big enough to submerge your oxidized utensils
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!)
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.
For Better Comparison, view this NEW Whisk (photo from Amazon)
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.
Voila! Just like new again and you don’t have to toss them out.
What Kind of Pot Should You Use to Fix Oxidized Utensils?
It is best to use non-reactive cookware when opting to fix oxidized utensils at home. The most common types of non-reactive cookware include glass, glazed ceramic, or stainless steel. In addition, most non-stick pans, such as Teflon, are considered non-reactive.
Enamelware pans are reactive metal pans coated with non-reactive enamel. This coating results in a pan that heats evenly, without the issue of reacting with acidic food ingredients.
Aluminum, copper, iron, and non-stainless steel are types of reactive cookware. Pots and pans made from these materials can discolor or give acidic foods an off-taste. Therefore, it is best to avoid cooking foods that are high in acids, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, or vinegar, in reactive cookware.
For the purposes of cleaning oxidized kitchen utensils, I highly recommend using non-reactive cookware to achieve the best results.
Is the Grayish Residue Harmful
Burnished aluminum may oxidize when washed in the dishwasher or soaked in the sink. Despite the grayish color, this residue is not harmful but may discolor food items mixed with it.
What to Do:
1 Soak the burnished utensil in hot sudsy water.
2 Use a nylon scrubber to remove any residue build-up. It is important to not use a wire brush as the wire bristles can scratch the beater and may damage the nonstick coating.
3 Dish soap, bleach or powdered cleaning agents not designed to remove oxidization will only make the problem worse by causing food to discolor from contact with those areas.
4 It is recommended that you rinse and dry thoroughly before storing. The beater will not be as shiny as it originally was, but this should not deter from its function.
46 thoughts on “How to Fix Oxidized Kitchen Utensils”
thanks. the dough hook on my mixer had oxydized. your suggestion fixed it.
cheers, john m, golden co.
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
thank you for sharing this!! i have several things i need to do this to! trying this today!
i’m going to try this on our ice cream scoop, i did get gray fingers and gray ice cream eww.
Going to try this, but does anyone know how long it lasts?
Just don’t put it back in the dishwasher!
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…
Me too! A very pricey one, at that!
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.
With as happy as I have been with MY 6 quart, I would probably much rather have a Breville as well!
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!
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?
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?
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.
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.
While considerably unappetizing, it is highly unlikely that the grey tarnish residue left behind in the batter would be harmful if consumed infrequently.
I’ve been boiling my whisk attachment for over an hour; still giving off black stuff.
Yikes! Snowed in and only have Apple cider vinegar. Will that work?
Distilled white vinegar has a higher acidity than Apple Cider Vinegar. While ACV can be used in a pinch, you may find that it will take a few extra minutes of boiling to achieve the same results.
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?
If you’ve tried cleaning a whisk attachment or other uncoated utensil and a significant amount of black stuff is still coming off after 20 minutes of boiling, increase the amount of vinegar to the pot.
In a 1 1/2 quart saucepan use 1 1/2 cups water and 3 1/2 cups white vinegar. Ensure the affected area is covered by liquid.
What a lifesaver this was! Thank you so much for posting this!!
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
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!
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?
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
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
Nothing that touch’s food should knowingly have the ability to oxidize and contaminate food. This should be considered a health and safety issue and Kitchen aid should be forced to replace any impacted tools at their cost.
Have never put any of my Kitchen Aid attachments in the dishwasher. However my husband did place the stock pot of my fairly new Emeril Lagosi pans in the dishwasher and the exterior is now gray instead of black! Any suggestions how to take care of this problem. Obviously I can not boil the pot. You would be saving me much stress as each time I go to use that pot I am angry all over again and tell my husband “see this is why none of the pots and pans go in the dishwasher”!!!!
Emeril Lagosi pans are made of durable hard anodized aluminum and nonstick coating are supposedly dishwasher safe. However, they have a history of issues with their product, peeling, flaking and discoloring.
I just used canola spray on my oxidized whisk and rinsed off with dish soap. That took care of the problem and was much quicker.
Question… what kind of pan do you boil the whisk in…. stainless? And what happens to the pan after boiling the aluminum in vinegar?
This is a great post! Thank you so much for sharing how to fix oxidized utensils. I thought I had ruined mine by running it through the dishwasher, but I’ve been able to salvage them. Fabulous Fix!
I can’t believe all the people who trashed their expensive attachments. yes you can do this and then NEVER put them into the dishwasher again OR………………………..You can learn to use your dishwasher to your advantage without damaging anything.
Load your dishwasher as usual. If you have aluminum stuff to wash (including the pans from inside breadmakers etc) don’t use dishwashing detergent. Rinse the food off your items under hot running water. Load your dishwasher as usual.
Fill your detergent dispenser with washing or baking soda, give it a squirt of liquid dish detergent (any kind). Disable the “High temp was” so that your water will only be as hot as it comes out of your tap, and set your dishwasher to “air dry”.
By disengaging the extra heat, and using only the detergent that you would use for hand washing in the sink, you can wash ANYTHING including plastic items that are not dishwasher safe. PLUS, you use less electricity because you are air drying. Win/Win.
Horribly disappointed in kitchenAid. I bought a replacement full stainless steel whisk on Amazon for $20. I will never recommend my former loved Kitchenaid again.
Followed the directions but the utensils were still black after the first 20 minutes. Threw them back in the boiling water for 10 more minutes. Still black. Took a Brillo pad to them, then washed with soap and water and there were no black on the paper towels. I’m glad this worked as I cannot find replacement utensils with KitchenAid nor could I find any on Amazon. It meant trashing my ancient mixer but it seems the problem is solved. Thanks for the suggestion. You saved me the cost of a new mixer!
This totally worked for my mixing paddle blade and dough hook for my Kruppet mixer.
I ordered stainless steel paddles for my Kitchenaid years ago but would’ve used this trick if I’d known. Thanks!
What happens if you just wipe white vinegar to the piece, in my case a small RADA pairing knife? Boiling a pan full of water with the vinegar seems like overkill.