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I am experimenting with a home pasta maker, and after all the fun comes the cleaning up. My worries come from tiny bits of dry dough I find when I clean the machine. There always seem to be more every time I shake it, and they of course contain raw egg . On the instructions, it clearly says not to wash it with water.

What's the best practice in this case (besides disassembling the thing)?

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Do you have an air compressor? :) –  thursdaysgeek Dec 16 '11 at 21:46
    
@thursdaysgeek afraid not :) even if I had, I would use to do some Peking duck! –  Dan Dec 16 '11 at 23:05
    
If an air compressor would work, a can of compressed air probably would too! –  Jefromi Dec 17 '11 at 0:55
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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The machine should not be accumulating bits of dough ... it should be designed so that any stray crumbs of dough naturally fall out of it. This is true of mine (Kitchen Aid Pasta Roller attachement) an I merely use a stiff dry brush to clean off the bits of dough which stick to the outside.

If the pasta maker is metal, you definitely do not want to use water, as the instructions say. You will never be able to dry it properly and it will rust.

If it's an inexpensive pasta maker, I would suggest trying a different brand. If it's an expensive one, I would contact the manufacturer. Otherwise, canned compressed air as the two commentors above suggest is worth a try.

FWIW, I wouldn't worry about the egg in the pasta dough becoming toxic. However, I would worry about the dirty pasta maker attracting bugs.

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I heard somewhere that raw egg has salmonella, and if left unchecked at room temperature they just multiply... wouldn't that be a concern? –  Dan Dec 18 '11 at 8:48
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+1 to the brush. I had a similar problem when I first started making homemade pasta. The solution I found was to follow better technique making my pasta (allowing the dough to rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature wrapped in plastic before rolling). Also rolling smaller batches so the dough doesn't get caught up at the end of the rollers may help. –  AaronN Dec 19 '11 at 21:16
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Perhaps being more careful would help but I doubt that you could prevent some pieces of dough from getting into the machine. I usually end up taking it apart which is much easier than getting it back together. But with a little patience I have always succeeded. I am not so much worried about getting any contamination as the dough is at the bottom and pretty far from the rollers. It might be dangerous but my whole life I have eaten pasta as it dried. Never got sick yet so while I am not saying it is safe, I think I can say that it is rare that you will get toxic dough very easily. If anyone knows of a maker that cleans easily please speak up.

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