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Cleaning Your Pasta Machine – Do You Actually Have To Take It Apart?
A pasta machine is used to make pasta, hence the name. It is also used for conditioning polymer clay, since running clay through it several times make the clay soft and malleable, and at the same time expel air from the clay. So far so good, no problem around that bit. When it comes to cleaning the machine on the other hand, problems may arise.
There are not so many ways to do that, except to take the thing apart. Doing that may cause disaster, if you don't know how to to it right. Luckily internet is full of tutorials on how to take a pasta machine apart, so if you prepare thoroughly and have steady, small hands, the right tools and lots of patience, you will probably be able to get a clean machine in no...or maybe some time.
But, do you really have to take it apart?
In this tutorial I will show you another way, which is quite a lot faster, less frustrating, and has kept my pasta machine clean, without bumped plates or stripes caused by dried clay under the plates, for a couple of years now.
So if you are frustrated about having to take your machine apart, try this instead.
What you need:
- Baby wipes
- Paper towels
- A bamboo rod
Use a baby wipe and run it through the machine on the thinnest setting. Do this a couple of times. If clay comes loose, wipe it of with a paper towel.
Now, run the baby wipe through from underneath instead. This will start making the clay loosen. Wipe with a clean paper towel when you see the bits of clay on the roller.
Repeat these two steps 2-3 times.
Put your pasta machine on the side with the handle up. With it standing like this, you can see the rollers and the front plates. Move the handle in one direction and wipe off loose clay that gathers along the plate edge. Move the handle the other direction and do the same, until the loose clay subsides.
Keep the machine standing on the side, but turn it so that you can see the back plate. Use the bamboo rod, with a baby wipe on the end, to carefully remove the clay that may stuck along the plate edge. Do not force the bamboo rod between the plate and the roller. That will only bend your plate, and it is not necessary. Just move it softy up and down.
Now, do step 3 again, to remove the clay coming loose from step 4.
Turn the pasta machine back in its normal position, and run a paper towel through both from top and bottom to remove the last loose pieces and dry the rollers and plates.
And that is pretty much it.
I do this every time I have used my machine, and it has kept it fine, without any stripes from leftover dry clay. It still runs smooth and silent on the contrary to my previous one, that I did take a part. It squeaked terribly afterwords, and the noise became so bad, that I ditched it and bought a new one.
One final advice: Be careful with your fingers while you do the cleaning. The machine have very sharp edges.
Try it out, maybe taking pasta machines apart may be history for you, as it has been for me.
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