While you will not find this in your bread machine manual, it is a good idea to periodically oil your bread pans kneading shaft(s). This helps keep it moving freely, it helps kill any rust that may have formed and it will even help make the machine run quieter.
Think about it. This post spins and spins and spins and then they are subjected to the humidity in the machine, and the temperature when the unit bakes the bread. This takes a toll on those shafts and any lube put there by the manufacturer.
I don’t know why bread machine manufacturers don’t tell you to do this in the owner’s manual, but it has kept my 30+ machines running smoothly and quietly for years. This is a simple thing to do. We recommend that you do this at least once every six months or more often if you do a lot of baking. If you only use your machine for making dough, you can do it once per year.
You must and I repeat must use 3-in-1 oil or sewing machine oil. Do not use cooking oil, mineral oil or WD-40 type products. The cooking oil gets gummy, the mineral oil can cause rust and it can damage the rubber seals, WD-40 and other such products are lacquer based and become hard when exposed to heat. They are also poisonous. So, please use the 3-in-1 or sewing machine oil and don’t go over board with it and only apply it where indicated.
WARNING: Read the container of 3-in-1 oil or sewing machine oil before using. Heed all warnings. These oils are generally poisonous and should only be used on the outside of the pan where indicated in the diagram. Always wash you hands after handling the oil and I recommend that you use a napkin or paper towel if you have to handle the areas of the pan that you oil in the future.
Oiling Your Pan
To oil your pan you will need to turn the pan over. There you will see the kneading shaft, wing nut doohickey (go to love these technical terms) and the doohickey-retaining clip. You want to put a drop or two of oil between the shaft and the retaining ring (see image below). Then turn the wing nut doohickey a few times to work the oil in. Repeat once more. If your machine has two kneading blades like the Zojirushi V-20, Breadman TR-810 or some of the West Bend machines do, you will need to do both shafts.
That is all there is too it, doing this once every six months or so will extend the life of your machine and the pan.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Never, never, never get the outside bottom of the pan wet, this will cause rust to form and the shafts will seize up and the pan will become scrap.
Cleaning the Interior of Your Machine
Crumbs and Flour Dust
Generally cleaning the inside of your machine is easy. I use a cheap paint brush and turn my machine on its side and then slowly brush the crumbs in to a pile and then sweep them out of the machine.
Use a damp towel with a mild detergent to clean the spill. If needed dab a small amount of warm soapy water on to the spill and let it sit for a minute or two and then wipe up.
WARNING: Do not get the spot too wet. It is better to just dampen the area then the wipe and repeat. You do not want water standing in the bottom of your machine and you certainly don’t want it to seep through cracks and crevices in to the inner workings of your machine.
Sooner or later you are going to end up with a loaf of bread that gets overly rambunctious and ends up stuck to the lid of your machine. If this happens remove the pan and leave your machine open and let the stuck on dough dry. It will then come off quite easily. For any that doesn’t come off simply dampen a paper towel and stick in over the doughy area and allow the dough to soften and then wipe it away.
WARNING: Never use anything abrasive to clean the inside of your machine. This can scratch it which not only makes it less attractive it will make clean up next time harder because there will be many more little pits and scratches for the stuff to get in to and to stick to.