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July 28, 2021

How to Clean a Toaster - Toaster Oven Cleaning

The crispy bite of a warm toast at breakfast or the midnight snack we allow ourselves is something is difficult to resist. Whether you have a pop-up slice toaster, a hard-working toaster oven or a combination of the two, a clean appliance will always give the best taste to your toast.

How often should you clean the toaster?

If you use a pop-up toaster daily, you should clean it weekly to remove crumbs and food residues that may cause a burnt taste and even a fire. When you only use the toaster to make a nice crispy toast in the morning, weekly cleaning should be enough.

Many of us use the toaster ovens for more than making toast, in which case often cleaning is much needed. If you heat foods or broil other foods with the toaster oven, you should clean it after every single use to stay safe and healthy.

What you need

Apart from patience and attention to detail, you will need to have some tools/equipment before cleaning the toaster:

  • Sink/dishpan
  • Pastry brush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Sponge or dishcloth
  • Trash can

As for the materials you need, here’s what you should have within reach:

  • Warm water
  • Baking soda
  • Dishwashing liquid and degreaser
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Melamine sponge

The steps to take to clean the toaster

When it comes to cleaning, you need to be detail-oriented and not skip steps to get the best results. Here’s the best way to clean a toaster:

1.      Unplug the toaster

It would help if you always began cleaning the toaster by unplugging it first. If you insert anything other than food into the toaster while it’s plugged, you can cause an electrical shock or a fire. After you unplug the toaster, please wait until it cools completely before you start cleaning it.

2.      Shake crumbs lose

Hold the toaster over a sink with a garbage disposal or trash can. If your toaster has a removable tray in the bottom or a bottom that opens, you need to open it and remove crumbs with a pastry brush. Ensure that you don't make a mess and see that the crumbs get into the trash can. Turn your toaster upside down and shake out the crumbs from the toast slots.


3.      Make a Cleaning Solution

Pour some water and dishwashing liquid into a dishpan or sink. You only need to submerge the tray in the cleaning solution for a toaster with a removable crumb tray. Use a sponge or dishcloth to wash it thoroughly. Use clear water to rinse it and an absorbent cloth to dry it.

For best cleaning results, we recommend you use a dishwashing liquid with a degreaser. It will dissolve the build-up faster than regular dishwashing liquid.

4.      Remove the crumbs from the interior

Once the crumb tray is removed, you need to use the pastry brush to get crumbs stuck to the interior of the toaster. Stay safe, and don't place the fingers inside the slots; you might harm yourself and the interior elements of the toaster. Ideally, you want to work from the top and bottom of your toaster.

5.      Clean the toaster’s exterior

Damp a dishcloth/sponge in soapy water to clean the toaster's exterior. Don’t rush and pay attention to levers on the controls, the dials, and the handles. Some models allow dial removal for better cleaning.

Once you’re happy with the cleaning results, use a sponge dipped in clear water to wipe down and get rid of all soapy residues. Get a microfiber cloth to dry the toaster.

Do you have a stainless steel toaster?

If you have a toaster made of stainless steel, you’re done with cleaning after you make it shine. Get a commercial stainless steel cleaner or dampen a cloth with some distilled white vinegar. Carefully wipe down the exterior to get rid of all the smudges and make your toaster streak-free.

6.      Put it back together

Now that everything is clean and polished, you have to put the crumb tray back on, reset the dials to your favourite setting, and plug in your toaster.

Is cleaning a toaster oven difficult?

Most of us use the toaster oven to reheat and cook foods, along with toasting bread. Therefore, the cleaning process is a bit more complex than the toaster cleaning.

1.      Unplug the toaster oven

Always unplug appliances and let them completely cool before proceeding with the cleaning.

2.      Remove and clean every component

Many ovens come with a cooking tray and a rack that are effortless to remove for cleaning. You can wash them in warm soapy water or wash them in the dishwasher. If there's stuck-on food, you should let the components soak overnight in soapy water.

3.      Shake and remove crumbs

Like the toaster, you need to open the bottom and shake firmly the toaster oven to eliminate crumbs and food particles. For stuck crumbs, a pastry brush will do the trick.

4.      Make a cleaning solution

Make a cleaning solution of 2 cups of hot water, several drops of dishwashing liquid, and 1/2cup distilled white vinegar.

Side note

Avoid the commercial oven cleaners to clean the interior of the toaster oven. Since most interiors are made of aluminium, the regular oven cleaner will damage the aluminium.

5.      Clean the interior

Dip the sponge into the cleaning solution, but wring it out so that it’s damp. Wipe down the oven's walls, floor, and ceiling and don't forget to rinse out the sponge often. Make a paste of baking soda and some drops of water to remove the build-up food. Scrub lightly with a melamine sponge or a plastic scrubber.

Needless to say, don’t clean the heating elements.

6.      Clean the glass

Many toaster ovens have a glass window in the door. Spray distilled white vinegar on the glass and allow it to work for several minutes. Use a soft cloth to wipe it away. Turn to a melamine sponge to remove old baked-on food/grease and use a soft cloth for the final wiping.

7.      Clean the outside

Use the same cleaning solution to wipe down the outside of the toaster oven. For best results, use a soft sponge for the finishing touches. Spray some vinegar if the exterior is made of stainless steel.

If possible, remove the dials and wash them in warm soapy water. Rinse and dry them thoroughly before putting them back on.

8.      Put the toaster oven back together

Once everything is clean, put the components back together and plug in the oven so that it’s ready for a crispy bite.

Do you have to clean a new toaster before use?

If your toaster is brand new, it’s safe to clean it before placing your food in it. It’s an effortless process that doesn’t take as long as a used toaster.

Damp a cloth in some warm water and dishwashing soap. Use the cloth to wipe the entire toaster down. There shouldn't be any crumbs inside so that you can skip that part. You can give it a nice shine with a microfiber before plugging it in.

Before you go away

Pay attention to details and try to stay on top of cleaning by weekly cleaning your toaster. Nothing ruins a nice crispy toast like the taste of burnt food.

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