Retractable cord mechanisms, after a while, can get a bit dodgy, especially with things like mixers where there may have been years of accumulated batter, frosting, bread dough, or what have you that got splattered on the cord and subsequently sucked back up into the retractor reel. They typically have an inertial ratchet that lets you pull out, but sticks on retract, unless you pull the cord all the way out to reset.
Before starting, cardinal rule is:
Always unplug before working on electrical stuff. If it's already acting up, you don't need to discover a short or a bit of bare insulation by shocking yourself or starting a fire.
With it unplugged:
- Pull the cord out as far as it would normally go. Depending on the exterior, give it a wipedown with a cleaning towel and a surface cleaner like simple green or windex. See if it's looking like it's coughing crumbs out of the cord hole as you pull.
- Let it retract all the way, then pull all the way back out. After you have a bit of cord out, pull it a short ways at higher speed, then let it retract back in, solid quick pull, slow retract. You're trying to get the ratchet to re-engage if it's gotten stuck or gummed up.
- If you can't get any response the above, you may have to consider whether you want to take it apart. Use a search engine to look for 'My mixer make/model service manual', or 'How to replace cord for my make/model mixer'. Likely as not, someone can go through replacement, which will give you the steps to open it up and just see if it needs cleaning. And, if something has just broken, you'll be in a position to replace it.
- A final thought - if it's working fine, and it's just an issue of the retracting cord pulling at the mixer as you work, you can also use a temporary cord-hold. You don't want to do anything that could pinch or cut the cord, but something like a medium sized binder clip, perhaps with a fold of tower inside , can be clipped onto the cord right where it emerges from the mixer, after you have enough cord out. The binder clips are cheap, pretty strong. and not likely to pop off without a deliberate re-opening when you're done.