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)?

  • Do you have an air compressor? :) Dec 16, 2011 at 21:46
  • 1
    @thursdaysgeek afraid not :) even if I had, I would use to do some Peking duck!
    – Dan
    Dec 16, 2011 at 23:05
  • If an air compressor would work, a can of compressed air probably would too!
    – Cascabel
    Dec 17, 2011 at 0:55

5 Answers 5


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.

  • 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, 2011 at 8:48
  • 3
    +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, 2011 at 21:16
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    I would add that the bits of pasta dough will likely dry pretty quickly, and bacteria can't live in dry pasta dough (which is why hanging and drying pasta preserves it)
    – cad
    Jan 22, 2019 at 21:35

A couple of things that might help help on this one:

  1. If your machine has a few dried pasta crumbs on it, just leave it out to dry and knock / pick the dried dough out with a brush or a chopstick.

  2. Don't worry too much about any crumbs of dried egg dough making you sick.
    You are going to boil whatever noodles you make for at least 3 minutes, aren't you?

  3. If you washed your pasta machine with soap and water -like I did- just put it in a low oven (@150 degrees F.) for an hour, to gently dry the water out. Don't go any hotter, and don't try to do this with a plastic machine.

The 3 hand cranked machines that I have seen had screws holding on the covers at either end of the rollers. Open them up and brush a tiny bit of olive oil on the ends of the shafts and gears to keep them moving freely and to stop any rust.


I have a Kitchen Aide metal pasta maker! You cannot make pasta without some particles getting caught in the machine no matter how carefull you are! I have made Ravioli for 45 years and cannot understand why a machine was made that you cannot take apart and clean the inside! We have tried a paper clip, straighten and shoved between the rollers. Air is not the best either! I get so frustrated every year with this darn thing!


Why not try a vacuum cleaner, rub a bit of mild disinfectant on the nozzle keep a little way from the machine. It will certainly lift all the loose flour/semolina around the base of the machine

Set the rollers to their widest setting, hold the tube close to the rollers and as you crank the machine it should also remove all the gunk.

Inspect, and if you spot a few bits and pieces that haven’t been removed clean with a damp cloth

  • You clean a pasta maker with a vacuum? I've never heard of such a tactic before. Are both still in good condition?
    – Mast
    Nov 21, 2020 at 13:43

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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