Cleaning Your Toaster or Toaster Oven: Everything You Need to Know

In-depth instructions for cleaning your toaster or toaster oven, inside and out. We cover every part from the crumb tray through to buttons and cables.

Toasters and toaster ovens are a staple in most kitchens, but with daily use, they tend to accumulate crumbs and debris. Not to mention greasy stains and burnt-on marks. Regularly cleaning your toaster or toaster oven not only helps to keep it functioning properly but also reduces the risk of fire hazards. In this article, we'll share some tips on how to clean yours effectively.

What you'll need

Before we get started, here are the supplies you'll need to clean your toaster:

  • A soft-bristled brush or toothbrush
  • A clean, dry cloth
  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Optional: All-purpose cleaner, glass cleaner, or stainless steel cleaner (depending on the type of toaster you have)

Safety precautions for cleaning a toaster or toaster oven

Before you begin cleaning your toaster, it's essential to take some safety precautions. Firstly, make sure the toaster is unplugged and has cooled down before you start cleaning. Secondly, never submerge your toaster in water or any other liquid. This can damage the toaster's electrical components and create a serious safety hazard.


How to clean a toaster

Let’s break down how to clean a toaster into two parts: the inside and the outside. We’ll cover the inside first.

How to clean crumbs out of a toaster

Step 1. Unplug toaster

Never clean a toaster that’s plugged in or hot from recent use. Only clean your toaster when unplugged and cool.

Step 2. Find crumb tray

Start by locating the crumb tray, which is usually located at the bottom of the toaster. If your toaster doesn't have a removable crumb tray, turn it upside down and gently shake out any crumbs.

Step 3. Remove crumb tray

Remove the crumb tray carefully and empty any crumbs into the trash. If you can't get rid of all the crumbs, use a vacuum cleaner attachment to suck them out.

Step 4. Jiggle upside down

Regardless of the earlier steps you’ve taken, it’s always good to give your toaster a jiggle upside down over your sink or trashcan. This helps dislodge any crumbs that were caught.

Step 5. Brush out

Using a soft-bristled brush or a toothbrush, gently sweep any remaining crumbs or debris from inside the toaster. Be careful not to scratch the heating elements.

Step 6. Replace tray

Lastly, replace the crumb tray and plug the toaster back in.

Regularly cleaning the crumbs out of your toaster not only helps to keep it clean but also prevents the build-up of crumbs that can lead to a fire hazard. It's a quick and simple task that should be done regularly to keep your toaster in good condition.

How to clean the outside of a toaster

Whether your toaster is stainless steel, plastic, or painted metal, you can use the same methods to clean it. Cleaning the outside of a toaster is relatively simple. This is how to do it.

Step 1: Unplug the toaster

Before you start cleaning, make sure the toaster is unplugged from the electrical outlet to avoid any risk of electric shock.

Step 2: Wipe down the surface

Using a dry cloth or paper towel, wipe down the outside of the toaster to remove any loose crumbs or debris.

Step 3: Mix a cleaning solution

Fill a bowl with warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. Mix the solution until it becomes soapy.

Step 4: Clean the exterior

Dip a sponge or soft cloth into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the exterior of the toaster. Pay special attention to any areas that may be particularly dirty or greasy. Avoid getting the heating elements wet.

If you have particularly tough stains, first try using vinegar on a damp cloth. You can use undiluted vinegar as vinegar will not damage the finish of your toaster.

If this doesn’t work, you can try a paste of 1 part water to 1 part baking soda. Beware that this approach may damage the outside of your toaster, particularly if your toaster body is plastic or stainless steel. Only do this if the stain is so bad you’re willing to sacrifice your toaster’s finish.

Step 5: Clean hard-to-reach areas

Use a toothbrush or small cleaning brush to clean any hard-to-reach areas, such as the knobs or edges of the toaster.

Step 6: Rinse and dry

Rinse the sponge or cloth with clean water and wipe down the exterior of the toaster to remove any soap residue. Use a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to dry the toaster thoroughly.

Step 7: Polish (optional)

If your toaster is made of stainless steel, you may want to use a stainless steel cleaner to give it a shiny finish. If the toaster has a glass door, you can use a glass cleaner to remove any streaks or smudges. If you prefer an all-purpose cleaner, make sure it is safe for use on the type of surface your toaster is made of, and follow the instructions on the label.

Step 8: Plug the toaster back in

After you have cleaned and dried the exterior of the toaster, plug it back into the electrical outlet before using it again.

Following these instructions will help you clean the outside of your toaster effectively and safely. Remember to always unplug the toaster before cleaning, and never use abrasive cleaners or steel wool on the surface, as this can scratch or damage it.

How to clean a toaster oven

First, we’ll cover how to clean the inside, then we’ll explain the best way to clean the outside.

Cleaning the inside of a toaster oven

Cleaning the inside of a toaster oven is an important task to maintain prevent burning smells and any potential fire hazards.

Step 1: Turn off and unplug the toaster oven

It's essential to let it cool down completely before cleaning.

Step 2: Remove the crumb tray

This is typically located at the bottom of the toaster oven, and empty any crumbs or debris into the trash.

Step 3: Brush out debris

Use a soft-bristled brush, such as a pastry brush, to gently sweep any remaining crumbs or debris from the toaster oven's interior. Be sure to avoid the heating elements and other electrical components. If your toaster is portable enough, hold it with the door side down and shake it over your sink or trashcan. You can also try vacuuming out hard-to-dislodge crumbs.

Step 4: Wipe surfaces

If there are any stubborn stains, use a sponge or cloth dipped in a solution of warm water and mild dish soap to gently scrub the interior. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers that can scratch the surface or damage the interior lining.

Step 5: Remove soap residue

Once you've finished cleaning, rinse the sponge or cloth thoroughly and wring it out to remove any excess water. Wipe down the interior again to remove any soap residue.

Step 6: Air dry

Allow the toaster oven to air dry completely before using it again.

By following these steps, you can easily clean the inside of your toaster oven, ensuring that it remains in good condition for longer. It's essential to clean the toaster oven regularly to prevent the build-up of crumbs and debris that can become a potential fire hazard.

Cleaning the outside of a toaster oven

Step 1: Unplug the toaster oven and let it cool downIt is important to unplug the toaster oven to avoid any potential electrical hazards. Let it cool down completely before cleaning to avoid burns.

Step 2: Remove any detachable partsRemove any removable parts of the toaster oven, such as crumb trays, racks, or baking pans, and clean them separately.

Step 3: Wipe the exterior with a soft clothUse a soft cloth or sponge dipped in a solution of warm water and mild dish soap to clean the outside of the toaster oven. Be sure to avoid getting water inside the appliance.

Step 4: Clean stainless steel exteriorsFor stainless steel exteriors, use a stainless steel cleaner and a soft cloth to remove any fingerprints or smudges. If you don’t have any stainless steel cleaner, try undiluted vinegar on a sponge.

Step 5: Clean stubborn stainsFor stubborn stains or burnt-on food, make a paste of 1 part baking soda and 1 part water. Apply it to the affected area. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it away with a soft cloth or sponge. Be careful using baking soda on stainless steel or plastic toaster oven bodies as the finish is likely to be damaged.

Step 6: Wipe the exterior with a damp clothWipe the exterior of the toaster oven with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining soap residue.

Step 7: Dry the bodyDry the exterior of the toaster oven thoroughly with a clean, dry cloth to prevent water spots or streaks.

How to clean toaster or toaster oven buttons

To clean toaster buttons, use a damp cloth and mild detergent to wipe away any dirt or grime. Be sure not to get water inside the toaster and to dry the buttons thoroughly to prevent any damage. Regularly cleaning your toaster buttons will help to keep them functioning properly and prevent any issues with your appliance.

How to clean a toaster or toaster oven power cable

To clean the toaster power cable, wipe it down with a damp cloth. Avoid getting any water inside the toaster or on the plug head. For melted-on cheese or tough grime, shake some baking soda on a wet sponge, then rub along the cable. When you’re done, wipe the cable with a damp cloth to remove any baking soda and excess moisture.

Tips for keeping your toaster or toaster oven clean

To keep your toaster clean and working well, try these tips:

  • Wipe the toaster down regularly with a dry cloth
  • Clean the crumb tray after every use
  • Avoid toasting foods with high sugar content, as they can stick to the heating elements
  • Don't use abrasive or harsh cleaners on the toaster
  • Store your toaster in a clean, dry place

When to replace your toaster (instead of cleaning it)

If your toaster is not working correctly, it may be time to replace it. Signs that your toaster needs replacing include uneven toasting, burning smells, and visible damage.

Clean your toaster or toaster oven regularly

Cleaning a toaster is a simple task that can be done with a few basic supplies. Regular cleaning will keep your toaster or toaster oven looking great and working well, ensuring that you can enjoy delicious toast (or toasted sandwiches) for years to come.

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