Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Bosch Mixer: A Story

With my forray into the blogging world and reading blogs, I’ve come across rave reviews for the Bosch Mixer. It seems that all moms who feed their families healthy food and bake their own bread use the Bosch Mixer! Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but I’d never heard of it before reading blogs about healthy cooking and then kept reading about it. I’ve been interested in a KitchenAid mixer for quite some time, so I set out to compare the two and decided whether or not to add the Bosch Mixer to my wish list.

After reading reviews on amazon and elsewhere, I realized that although many people love their KitchenAid mixers, there were a few commonly reported problems. KitchenAid mixers are often reported to leak oil; I even posted a poll on a private message board that I belong to and several moms there agreed that their KitchenAid leaked oil! I found many reviews here reporting problems with KitchenAid mixers. Along with leaking oil, some mixers just flat out stopped working, often times when people were trying to mix larger loaves of bread in them.

I couldn’t find nearly as many reviews of the Bosch Mixer, but the reviews I read all included the words “I love my Bosch Mixer.” After looking at this comparison chart, I was pretty convinced. Bosch has an 800 watt motor vs KitchenAid’s 575 watts. It has a three year motor warranty and 1 year on parts, vs KitchenAids 1 year warranty. The Bosch actually weighs less and is smaller (a big plus for my tiny kitchen), but is better at mixing bread dough in large batches. I was about to cross the KitchenAid off of my wish list and write in “Bosch Mixer.” ...but wait! What was it made of? The blender looked suspiciously like polycarbonate plastic (which would contain the toxin BPA). I had more research to do.

Whenever I typed “Bosch Mixer” in Google’s search engine, Pleasant Hill Grain always came up advertising themselves as “The Bosch Mixer Store: low prices, free shipping, and 25 years Bosch experience.” Alright, these people know their Bosch Mixers, I’ll ask them my questions. Pleasant Hill Grain’s website stated that the Bosch Mixer bowl was made of “super-tough Makrilon” and the blender attachment was made of “Lexan polycarbonate”. Lexan is a brand name polycarbonate, and definitely contains BPA. The bowl I wasn’t quite clear on. I Googled “Makrilon” and it came up as Makrolon, also a brand name polycarbonate, again, containing BPA. I couldn’t find information on any other websites selling Bosch Mixers that said what the mixer bowl and blender pitcher were made of.

I emailed Pleasant Hill Grain asking them what type of plastic the mixing bowl was made of. The first reply I received simply stated:

“Christy, I know the bowl is made of Makrilon plastic. Thank you, Dee”.

I replied thanking them for the email, but again asking for information about whether or not the Bosch mixer and blender contain BPA. I received this reply:

“...Bosch is made in Slovenia and according to what we know, it is against German manufacturing law to make anything with BPA. I feel pretty safe saying that the Bosch mixer and blender does not have BPA.... Tom”

I wasn’t thrilled with this reply; “prettty safe” didn’t sound very factual to me. After some searching, I discovered that was the Bosch distributor for the US. I contacted them with my questions. I simply wanted to know what type of plastic the mixing bowl and blender pitcher are made of and if they contain BPA.

My first response from Kitchen Resource stated that the blender is made of polycarbonate and that it was the only part of the Bosch Universal Mixer that was made of polycarbonate. They also included some information saying that the major concerns with polycarbonate are heating it, or bottles which contain liquids for longer amounts of time which may allow time for leaching.

I replied to Kitchen Resource, letting them know that Pleasant Hill Grain had assured me there was no BPA in the mixer or blender, and that they may want to clarify this information with them, as it was false. Their website stated that the bowl was Makrilon, which would contain BPA, so I asked for clarity on what type of plastic the bowl was made of.

My contact at Kitchen Resource replied stating that the mixer bowl was polypropylene and that he had asked for confirmation from the factory and would let me know for sure.

After three weeks I heard back:

“...The Bosch mixing bowl is PP (polypropylene). The Bosch blender jar is polycarbonate. At one time, Bosch used a polycarbonate from Bayer, trade named Makrolon, as the material to make their blender jars. I do not know what their source is for that plastic at this time. I have been assured (undocumented) that, because Germany is verrrry environmentally conscious, Bosch does not uses materials that can leach BP-A. There is some indication that some polycarbonate plastics are better than others. Those from China might be more suspect than those from Europe, for example. However, I do not have enough data to reach a firm conclusion about that.”

So far Pleasant Hill Grain, the 25 year Bosch authority, was wrong on two accounts 1) the Bosch Blender DOES contain BPA and 2) the mixer bowl is not made of Makrilon, nor was it ever.

I contacted the folks at because they’ve done this type of consumer research with companies and plastics information. I forwarded them a few emails and their reply confirmed my thoughts:

“There are many things made of polycarbonate whose manufacturers will say "does not leach" BPA. Polycarbonate is, by its nature, composed of chains of BPA. There are many different ways to test whether or not a given plastic will leach BPA, and the results are influenced by many variables that are not regulated or independently monitored - test sensitivity, what the plastic is subjected to, and so on. We prefer (and recommend) products that do not contain BPA, as these are not subject to the (often secret) testing methodologies of companies.”

In the meantime Pleasant Hill Grain changed the information on their website after I had let them know I was in contact with their distributor and finding conflicting information. They did not reply to me or correct the erroneous emails they previously sent. I happened to find out that they had changed the information upon visiting their website again.

Whew, so what is the point of this long story? I am not interested in mud slinging, just in consumer advocacy. I’m concerned that it took me over a months worth of time, numerous email conversations, and being given false information several times just to find out the truth. Pleasant Hill Grain didn’t know the answer to my question, nor did they respond when it was revealed to them. I did finally figure out that the Bosch mixer is made of safe plastic, the blender is not. I absolutely will not purchase or use the blender until Bosch changes their plastic formulation to get rid of the BPA. Will I purchase or use the Bosch Mixer without the blender? I don’t know. I do find it unsettleing that companies aren’t sure what is in their products, especially when it comes to toxic chemicals. Does anyone else see a problem with this?


  1. Christy, What food processors can you recommend that contain all safe plastic? I'm trying to pick one out for baby food prep for our arrival in November. Thanks!

    1. I believe Bosch offers a stainless steel bowl. That should handle any problems. JIM

  2. Hillary- check under "food prep" for the product category and they have some different options listed there. I don't have a food processor, we use our Oster glass blender and like it (but the lid is NOT safe plastic). Congratulations on your coming little one. :)

  3. Thanks for the tip. So you aren't concerned about the oster blender? Which one do you have? The beehive? Thanks.

  4. Yes, I have the beehive blender, and the lid does concern me, but doesn't contact the food much. Looks like there's a Hamilton Beach big mouth food processor that ZRecs says is safe...

  5. Oh, another tip for blending small amounts on the Oster is that you can use a glass canning jar and screw that on the blade assembly instead of the jar- then the lid wouldn't be in use at all. I haven't actually tried it but have seen it mentioned several times.

  6. I have a KitchenAid Mixer, the standard basic one, and have never had any problems with it. The bowl is stainless steel...I say just go with that :) My MIL has a 20 year old Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer that also has a stainless steal bowl and her mixer is great and still kickin'.

  7. Okay thanks everyone for the help!! I have the kitchen aid mixer and love it, but I need a blender or food processor, but I think I've found some options now that will work! thanks again!

  8. Hi, I stumbled across your blog b/c I was googling how to organize the kindergarten materials for "Our Father's World". I have a Bosch mixer, I make my own whole grain breads, etc. and it is great! I make 6 loaves at a time. I had a kitchenaide pro before and the kitchenaide did not work well for whole grains. Just thought I would chime in on how well it works!

  9. Bosch does sell a stainless steel bowl option.

  10. Thanks for the tip, the stainless steel bowl is pricey, but I might consider it. My main issue is with the blender being unsafe plastic.

  11. I have a viking stand mixer that is WAY better than the kitchen aid. It has a 1000 watt motor. I make my own bread and at 4 loaves a time, I need a good mixer. I believe that you can buy all the attachments for viking that the bosch offers as well. It was about the same price as the bosch. I bought mine at Dillards. It has been well worth the cost. I had never heard of it until I went looking around for a Bosch and couldn't find one in a store. I wanted to be able to feel touch smell lol...

    I really like your blog.

  12. To those of you looking for BPA free blenders, the VitaMix is an excellent choice....for a variety of blending, grinding jobs. Pricy, but worth every pretty penny. Check out their website for info and demos of all of its capabilities. For less expensive routes, Costco a couple of times a year has Vitamix in there for a week of demos and sales. Another route is through local expo shows. You can get great deals this way.

  13. Christy,
    What did you ever decide regarding a mixer?

  14. I did get the Bosch mixer without the blender - I reviewed it on my blog recently. As for a blender, I have a glass Oster that works ok, the Vitamix does look interesting though. I think the newest version is BPA free, but older versions aren't? I'm not sure though.

  15. Hi Christy,

    Thank you so much for all of the information you have gathered about BPA. I have spent the last 3 days going back and forth between the Bosch, Kitchen Aid and Viking. I was ready to hit the proceed to checkout on the Bosch, after upgrading to the stainless steel bowl so I could be certain there was no BPA when I got a look at the middle part of the mixer that the dough hooks attach to, it looks like plastic too, is it? Is it BPA free too?

    Crazy to think we have to question EVERYTHING" these days! Now I am on the hunt for a BPA free drip coffee maker and grinder.......

    Thanks again!

  16. I know, its frustrating isn't it?! I do not have a stainless steel bowl (the bowl is polypropylene and I was ok with that...) but you're right, the center piece is PP plastic. You can check out my review of the Bosch Mixer here...

    I'm not a coffee drinker, but what about one of those glass presses?

  17. Thank you so much for posting your research! I just googled bosch blender bpa and found your blog. I recently purchased my bosch for making 100% whole wheat bread, freshly ground, and was considering purchasing the blender. I think I will go with the glass blender I was looking at insead. Your post really helped me decide. I was also looking for a food processor for baby food so thanks for the link to zrecguide! Thank you!!! You are awesome!

  18. Bosch is working on making a BPA free blender, I'll post when I find out more about this! :)

  19. Any update on the BPA free blender?

  20. I think they do have one available now, but you'd have to verify that with them directly and be sure that wherever you purchase it is selling you the newest version. :)


    Site says the blender is 100% BPA free now. Great post, btw.

  22. Christy, I wanted to ask you about your Bosch mixer, in particular, the noise. I just got mine a few weeks ago, and it is very loud; to the point that it is hard to maintain conversation in the kitchen. There is also a little bit of black dust forming on the back on the mixer. I contacted Bosch about it, and they sent me a new one. The same story. I am now waiting for the third unit, but have a feeling it might be the same, as a couple of people suggested that it might be a batch issue. I have hard time figuring out if the noise level I have is to be expected or if my machines are louder than should be. Thanks!

  23. Christy, Thanks for the information! I was trying to find out if the bowl on the Bosch compact mixer is BPA-free. Do you know if the hook, and whisks are stainless steel? I had bought several mixers that their attachment were chrome coated metal, and they all have the same problems - the metal peeled off and those flakes were mixed in with the food.