Kitchen Tips & Tricks: How to Clean a Toaster

how to clean a toaster

Last Updated on June 5, 2021

Though many of us use our toasters every morning for breakfast and sometimes for snacks throughout the day, we often forget how important it is to keep this common device clean. From sweeping out the crumb tray to getting rid of unwanted stains, there are plenty of ways you can keep your toaster looking fresh for longer.

A clean toaster also means that you can avoid nasty smells when cooking, often a result of burned crumbs and other leftover residues.

Here’s your guide on how to clean a toaster the right way so you can enjoy fresh toast every morning without fail.

Prepping to Clean Your Toaster

Before you start cleaning your toaster, it’s worth taking some time to get to know your device. Pop-up toasters and toaster oven designs are very different, so that they might require different types of cleaning.

Read Instructions

Take some time to read through the instructions provided for your toasters and toaster ovens to ensure that you’re not going to expose yourself to any fire hazard or dangerous mistakes. Reading the instructions will also help you determine whether certain deep clean substances like bleach might damage your new toaster.

Prepare What You Need

Once you’ve read the instruction, prepare your tools for the cleaning process. You’ll need a dishpan or sink, dishcloth or sponge, and a pastry brush. We also recommend having a microfibre or soft cloth handy. For the cleaning solutions, get some warm water, dishwashing liquid, distilled white vinegar, and baking soda. You might also need a melamine sponge.

How to Clean Your Toaster

Step 1: Unplug the Toaster

When you clean your toaster, it’s important to be as safe as possible. You don’t want to put your fingers inside of a toaster when it’s still warm or when the exterior is hot. Unplug the toaster and make sure that it’s fully cooled before you begin cleaning. This could be a couple of hours after you have last used it.

Step 2: Clean Out Crumbs

Move the toaster over the top of your trash can or sink, and remove the tray you use for catching bread crumbs and other debris. Shake the toaster very gently to remove any crumbs sticking on the inside. This is also when you can use your pastry brush to remove crumbs from within the toaster gently. Turn the toaster upside down to dislodge the crumbs from the bread slots.

Step 3: Wash the Crumb Tray

When you’ve removed as many of the remaining crumbs as possible, make a solution of warm water and dish soap. This cleaning solution is where you can submerge your removable crumb tray. Use a damp sponge or washcloth to rinse it fully. Ideally, you’ll want a dishwashing liquid with a degreaser included so you can get rid of any grease left behind by melted cheese, brown stains, and all the crumbs associated with toasting bread.

Do not put your fingers into the toaster at any point, as you can damage both your fingers and the toaster mechanisms.

Step 4: Clean the Toaster Exterior

To clean the exterior of your toaster, use your sponge or dishcloth dipped in soapy water to wipe down the outside. Wring out as much of the water as possible, so the sponge is only a little damp. Pay close attention to the controls and dials for a few minutes. When everything looks clean, use a clean cloth to wipe the appliance dry.

Toaster Cleaning Tips

Use Vinegar

One of the most helpful tips to try when you clean your toaster is using a few drops of distilled white vinegar with some warm soapy water to wipe away smudges and brown stains. A little white vinegar and baking soda can also help remove any tough stains that have burned onto your toaster over time. This cleaning solution will be much gentler on your toaster oven than a standard oven cleaner, and it’s still a great way to clean a toaster with aluminium elements.

Use a Damp Cloth for Wiping

Making sure you wring most of the water into the sink so you have a damp cloth rather than a soaking wet one. With your clean damp sponge or cloth, gently wipe the toaster oven. When your toaster is dry, reassemble all the components and reset the dials to your preferred setting.

Use a Liner

If you want to reduce the frequency with which you need to clean your toaster in the future, you could consider placing some oven liner in the crumb tray to help with removing all the crumbs.

Avoid Plastic Materials

It’s also best to avoid placing plastic materials like plastic bags near your toaster just in case they melt and burn.

Practice Safety

As mentioned above, cleaning a toaster oven is a little different to cleaning a toaster. You won’t be able to gently brush the insides of the slots to get rid of crumbs or turn your toaster oven upside down. You should still unplug the oven before you begin cleaning. Additionally, make sure you wait for your device to cool completely, so you don’t burn yourself.

Check for Dishwasher-Safe Parts

Most toaster ovens come with dishwasher-safe parts, which are great for regular cleaning. One example is the cooking tray and rack, which you can remove and place in the dishwasher. Make sure you check the instructions first.

Deal with Stains Immediately

If you notice any burnt-on stains during regular cleaning, use a mixture of baking soda and water to scrub the marks away gently. Dip a sponge or soft brush in the mixture to help with scrubbing. Do not use any steel wool or abrasive scrapers, as this will damage your toaster oven.

Don’t attempt to clean the heating elements with a brush or sponge, and avoid getting them wet as much as you can, as this could affect your ability to toast the product properly in the future. Rinse all the elements of your toaster you’ve cleaned with a fresh cloth and allow it to dry.

Remember to Clean the Exterior

Before you begin to make toast again, take a few extra moments to make your toaster look perfect on the outside too. You can use vinegar as your cleaning solution again to get rid of any grease or baked-on food that’s lingering on the outside of the device. For the remaining parts of the oven, you can also use the same cleaning solution you used for its interior.

Don’t forget to carefully clean the controls, and make sure that everything is stain free before you dry your toaster oven off. Wait until the device is totally dry before using it again.

Keep Your Toaster Sparkling Clean

It’s important to know how to clean a toaster to avoid bad smells and uneven toasting. Now you know how to do it properly. There is no reason your toaster should be anything less than sparkling.

Let us know if you have any toaster cleaning tips and tricks!

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