Food processors tend to be among the loudest appliances in any kitchen and are far noisier than dishwashers and washing machines. So, is the solution to invest in a much more expensive food processor, or is there something you can do to reduce the noise level?
Food processors are so loud because they house a brushed motor operating at over 20,000 RPM to limit expenses and increase efficiency. You can reduce the noise coming from your food processor by moving it away from the wall, placing a towel or rubber mat underneath it, or by using a soundproof case.
High-quality food processors and blenders can be costly – and you might already be satisfied with the quality of your current model. Since there are no completely silent models on the market, let’s see what you can do to make yours quieter.
How Loud Is A Food Processor?
First, should you be worried about the level of noise produced by your food processor? Every time you switch it on, you might find the noise uncomfortable, but generally, it is safe for you to operate your appliance.
Indeed, a standard food processor creates a noise of around 80 – 90 dBA (decibels), which is not dissimilar from a hairdryer or a blender. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), you should limit your exposure to noises of 85dBA and above to 8 hours a day – and you should consider wearing a hearing processor.
So, if you work in a cafe where you need to operate blenders and food processors for many hours a day, you should be concerned about your hearing health. However, if you only run these appliances at home and for a few minutes at a time, you don’t need to worry.
What Makes a Food Processor So Loud?
Today, we drive high-speed cars, and new technology has allowed us to enjoy almost noiseless electric vehicles and appliances. So, why are blenders and food processors still so loud? Several reasons contribute to the noise level they produce, including how they are made and how they are used.
Here’s why your food processor always seems to be the loudest appliance in the house.
Food Processors Run at High RPM
Depending on the speed at which your appliances operate, they will have a higher or lower RPM. The revolutions per minute of the motor determine the power of your food processor and its efficiency.
This kind of power is undoubtedly necessary when trying to turn vegetables into a beverage or grind down the ice to make the perfect margarita. However, the cost of such power is an increased noise level.
For example, some low-power food processors operate at speeds around 1700 RPM. More powerful models and blenders can reach an operating RPM of over 30,000. In comparison, cars operate at an average RPM of around 1200-1500, and dishwashers tend to stay at about 1000 RPM.
They Contain an Element of Safety
It is unlikely for manufacturers to increase a food processor’s noise level to make it more noticeable, but because these appliances are complete with sharp, rotating blades, they can be dangerous for children to get into. Fortunately, the devices are loud enough to alert you if your kids are playing with them.
They House Brushed Motors
Several modern appliances, including dishwashers and other silent devices, use brushless motors. Brushless motors – also known as induction motors – tend to be more expensive than brushed motors, but they are more suitable for those devices that have to run for extended periods.
Oppositely, brushed motors are usually small, potent, and inexpensive. They are often used in appliances that require high levels of torque and power but don’t need to be used for hours at a time. At the same time, brushed motors are noisy, even when you are running your food processor without a load.
Lastly, food processor motors don’t have an integrated cooling system. So, the motor requires air cooling. In turn, this causes them to be exposed to the exterior and without any barrier that could stop the noise.
Vibrations Can Make the Noise Louder
Aside from the noise produced by the processor itself, you also need to look out for the vibrations that it can send through the counter and cabinets. As these vibrations travel through materials, appliances, and walls, the noise can feel a lot louder – especially if it creates an echo in empty spaces behind the cabinets or underneath the counter.
There Might Be Something Wrong With the Blender
You might find yourself in a different situation if you have noticed that the noise of your blender or food processor has suddenly become much louder than usual. In this case, you will need to check if there is something wrong with the device.
Food processors can be expensive, and, in most instances, you will be able to troubleshoot the issue and repair the broken part. Some signs that your device is no longer working correctly is a loud, squealing, or grinding sound.
Processing Some Foods Cause More Noise Than Others
As we have seen, brushed motors are generally noisier than brushless ones. However, some foods will add a considerable number of decibels to the base noise of your device. For example, if you wish to grind ice, you can expect your food processor to give out a much louder noise than blending bananas.
How To Decrease Your Food Processor’s Noise Level
There could be many reasons for wishing for a quieter food processor. You might have babies or pets in your household. Or, you might live in a place where you can’t afford to use a loud food processor at any time of the day.
In any case, buying a new, quieter food processor is not the only solution – especially as there are no completely silent models on the market yet! And, of course, you will pay a high price for a food processor that produces only a few decibels less than your current one.
Luckily, there are some valid options to reduce your food processor’s noise level – without spending much!
Stop the Vibrations With a Soft Towel
As we have seen above, one of the aspects that could increase the noise level of your food processor is the vibrations that the devices send through the nearby environment. However, you can quickly stop this effect by placing a soft towel underneath the food processor.
This technique won’t stop the food processor from being noisy, but it can help you dampen the vibrations, reduce echo, and prevent the vibration from traveling through nearby rooms and living spaces.
Use a Rubber Mat Under the Food Processor
If you don’t have a tea towel, you might use a rubber or silicone mat under the food processor. This technique is based on the same principle seen above, but you can also invest in a permanent base for your blender. So, there is no need to fetch a towel every time you wish to prepare a smoothie!
Move Your Blender Away From the Wall
This might seem like an unconventional solution, but it can help you reduce the noise that comes from your food processor. Usually, we tend to place the food processor close to a wall, near a power socket, and away from your main cooking area. However, this is potentially the worst place for your food processor!
Indeed, if the device is too close to the wall or cabinetry, its vibrations can travel through it. In turn, this won’t only worsen the echo, but it will make the noise more audible in nearby rooms and living spaces.
Use the Blender in a Soundproof Area
As we have seen, there are no food processors that are completely silent. Therefore, upgrading to a better one is not always the right solution. At the same time, if you have tried some of the answers in this list but the processor is still loud, you might need to consider changing your habits.
For example, you might start using the food processor in another area of the house. Or, you could consider using it at nighttime and complete all of your meal prep and blending outside of the most sensitive hours.
Another alternative is to use it in a soundproof area of the home. For example, this could be closer to an exterior wall of the house that has been soundproofed.
Invest in a Sound Enclosure
Have you ever wondered why, in cafes, you won’t hear food processors and blenders as loud as the one you have at home? In noisy environments, staff members have to use sound enclosures – or plastic boxes – fitted on top of the food processor or blender and create a shield between the operator and the machine.
Sound enclosures are also a great way to keep your current food processor while also reducing the noise it creates. In the video below, you can get an idea of how noise enclosures work and how much they can reduce the noise level of your appliance:
Most food processor brands also sell noise enclosures as part of their accessories range. These might require a small investment, which is still only a fraction of what it would cost you to replace your current food processor.
If you have opted for a sound enclosure or box, you have two main options:
- Buying the enclosure. When purchasing the soundproof box, you can opt for a branded option, or you can buy a general one. In this case, you should check the dimensions of your food processor to ensure that the issue is large enough.
- Building the enclosure. If you wish to save some money, you can opt to create your soundproof box. In this case, you will need plastic or wood, as well as soundproofing lining. Make sure to create a large enough box to house your device and create a front opening to operate the processor.
While the second option allows you to save some money and test your DIY skills, it is essential to have some experience with these materials.
Switch to a Low Power Food Processor
The more powerful a processor is, the louder it will be. While it is an excellent option for processing all kinds of ingredients and creating the most complicated dishes, powerful food processors can be extremely loud.
If you have moved into a place where such loud noises are not acceptable, or you have welcomed a new baby or pet into your household, you might consider downgrading. Smaller, less powerful food processors might still help you cope with daily tasks, and they are perfect for creating sauces, smoothies, and juices.
At the same time, they are much quieter than more powerful ones, which means that you won’t have to worry about the hour!
Swap Your Food Processor for a High-Quality One
Another alternative that you might consider is replacing your food processor. If your device is old or a surviving but outdated model, you should consider investing in a new one. Newer models are created to be more energy-efficient and not as loud.
Some also claim to have created an extremely quiet food processor or blender. While it might be true that they are not as loud as others, you are likely to be paying the price for such a luxury. Indeed, a silent food processor can cost as much as $1000!
If you wish your food processor wasn’t so loud, purely because it’s inconvenient, you might consider buying earmuffs or noise-canceling headphones. If your current food processor might be high-quality, robust, efficient, and perfectly functioning – there is no need to change it!
With a pair of high-quality headphones, you can enjoy cooking without having to put up with the noise or invest in a new model!