Saturday, October 10, 2015

Stuck Blender Blade?

*** 7/24/2016
Accompanying video now available at YouTube—"Stuck Blender Blade?

 
Does your blender blade seem stuck and not moving? Before you buy a new blender or blender blade, test for non-function, then try a home remedy of FIRST resort.

I'd had my Osterizer blender for, uh, awhile. It's one of my devices I refer to in my "Frequently Used Electrical Long-time Kitchen Items" article. A couple of weeks ago, I thought about using it to puree some canned beans for bean soup. As I hadn't used the appliance for a couple of years, I decided I should wash out the non-electrical parts.

When I removed the blade assembly and tried to gently rotate the blades around its disk, I winced when it didn't turn. I had a familiar, sinking feeling that the assembly froze up, same as its predecessor from maybe at least a decade or so. My recollection is that the replacement part cost half or more than half of a new blender—ten-ish or so dollars, at a bricks-and-mortar appliance repair place.

This time, I tried out a process that I distilled from some posts at "My blender blade is not turning?". The most helpful comments were by ceanothus, Andy, Jeffrey F, and Moondog. If your blender blade assembly sticks like I described, try my quick, no-cost home fix ("unsticking" procedure).


 Unsticking a Stuck Blender Blade Assembly

A: Confirm that the Blade Assembly Does Not Swivel
The first row of images shows the assembled and plugged-in blender, the top view with lid removed and blades viewable, and separated parts in the order they belong.
  1. Remove the blade assembly from the appliance, and gently try to swivel the blades on its disk. If nothing moves, follow this article's steps to safely "unfreeze" the mechanism.
  2. Plug the appliance in, then press Pulse to confirm that the blender's shaft rotates freely. This action helps confirm that the blade assembly is at fault.
  3. Re-assemble the appliance, and press Pulse just long enough to confirm that the motor hums but the blade doesn't move (perceived stuck), more confirmation that the blade assembly is at fault.
  4. Separate parts again.
B: Use Boiling Water for Loosening the Parts of the Blade Assembly
The second row of images shows a saucepan of boiling water, then the pan with the blade unit right side up, alongside a spoon for retrieval. This process dissolves residue that might be stuck in normally movable parts.
  1. Bring about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches or more water to a rolling boil. The water level should be high enough to submerge almost all of the blade assembly.
  2. Use a spoon or tongs to gently lower the blade assembly into the pan, disk side down.
  3. Boil the blade assembly for 3 to 5 minutes.
C: CAREFULLY Clean the Blade Assembly and Manually Swivel It
The third row of images shows the blade assembly after its removal from the pan.
  1. Use a spoon or tongs to remove the blade assembly from the pan of boiling water, placing it on a cloth (terrycloth ok).
  2. Using extra care to avoid hurting yourself with the hot and sharp blades or disk part, wipe the blade assembly dry. You should now be able to easily twist/swivel the blades from the disk part.
  3. Carefully wash the blade assembly by hand with soap and water, and wipe dry. Confirm that the assembly still turns freely.
D: Re-assemble the Blender
The last row of images shows the re-assembling of the blender parts. Suggestion: Before re-assembling, wash all other washable blender parts.
  1. Re-assemble the parts in the order as shown. (The second image shows the jar and rest of the parts turned upside down. Be sure that the gasket is between the jar and the blade assembly.)
  2. Plug the blender in, and press Pulse to confirm that the blade assembly spins.

Periodically (monthly to annually), check that the blade assembly still freely spins. If not, try the "unsticking" procedure.

Want to peruse Oster blender spare parts? Also visit eye-catching bundling at Oster and Walmart: blade assembly, sealing rings (gaskets), bottom cap (which contains the jar items and seats onto motor unit), lid and filler cap (that might not work on your blender). Priced at just over $10, these kits cost much less than buying piece parts separately. YMMV WRT other possible sources.

For non-Oster blender parts, do a Google search for "blender parts [product name of your blender]".

Mounting Mason Jars instead of Blender Jars
In poking around for info about the blade assembly, was unable to find any about the blades, metal base, and bearing collar (?). However, I ran across images of Mason jars near or on blenders. Visit articles that describe using these jars to make their smoothies with instead of using the standard blender jars.
Caution: Firmly place a hand on top of the unit during blending to prevent the jar from unscrewing from the base cap.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This worked perfectly. My blender blade was completely stuck so I boiled it for 5mins and now it turns freely again.

whilldtkwriter said...

Glad the solution worked out for you!

Cait said...

Thank you so much for this! We have a vintage Oster "commercial bar mixer" that we bought at the thrift store that is all metal and fantastic. The blade was stuck and we were lamenting that we would have to replace the blender with a new crummy plastic one. But this trick of boiling worked like a charm!

whilldtkwriter said...

I'm happy that boiling the blade assembly worked for you. Wish I'd thought of boiling the first stuck assembly I had instead of buying a replacement and tossing out the old one.

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