Aug 16, 2023
How To Clean a Toaster Oven: Surprising Secrets
Plus, pro cleaners weigh in on the best ways to clean every part of a toaster oven using kitchen staples Toaster ovens are probably one of the more underrated appliances in our kitchen. They’re so
Plus, pro cleaners weigh in on the best ways to clean every part of a toaster oven using kitchen staples
Toaster ovens are probably one of the more underrated appliances in our kitchen. They’re so versatile, you can use them to toast bread, reheat pizza, make fresh pizza, roast vegetables and more — and they don’t command a large amount of space on our counters. Plus, they use less energy while heating up food that much faster than the regular oven. As useful as they can be, however, getting them clean can seem like a nightmare, thanks to their ability to harbor a fair share of crumbs and caked-on grime. The good news: Two cleaning pros share how to clean a toaster oven with just a few simple ingredients you have laying around the house. It will keep your appliance working great so you can keep enjoying delicious hot food!
This handy kitchen appliance has many elements, from trays and racks to walls and a glass door that can all end up with their fair share of debris and stains — and cracks and crevices that can be hard to reach. Experts agree that the best and most efficient way to ensure a thorough cleaning is to tackle each part one by one — after unplugging the device, of course!
Start by removing the crumb tray, which is located at the bottom of the toaster oven and is there to catch breadcrumbs, food drippings and other debris,” says Katie Dills, senior vice president of The Cleaning Authority. Dump out any crumbs. Then remove all the other racks inside and place them all with the crumb tray to soak in a sink or basin full of warm soapy water. “You can even let them sit overnight to combat tough stains,” adds Dills. The soap will soften any stuck-on food bits or grease so they can easily be scrubbed away with a sponge or rag.
While the racks are soaking, you can tackle the inside of the toaster oven, which easily gets coated with grease and burnt bits. To do: First, you’ll want to use a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe down the walls to remove any crumbs. “An old toothbrush will come in handy for brushing out crevices, corners and hard-to-reach spots to remove flecks of food or crumbs,” shares Kathy Cohoon, operations manager at Two Maids.
If you don’t have an old toothbrush around, a small vacuum or can of compressed air can help dislodge any crumbs stuck inside, as seen in the video below.
Next, dip a sponge into soapy water; wring it out well. Then begin wiping down the inside of the toaster oven. “It’s best to go top to bottom, wiping down the ceiling first, then walls, then the bottom of the oven to avoid getting previously cleaned spots dirty again,” adds Cohoon. “Make sure to avoid wiping any coils or wires during this process.”
Coils can be cleaned by wiping them down with a soft cloth dampened with plain water. Allow to fully air-dry.
Stuck-on stains on the interior walls? “Apply a paste made with baking soda and vinegar to the stain and let it sit for up to 10 minutes before wiping clean,” recommends Cohoon. The fizzy chemical reaction formed from the two ingredients will help break down the stains. Rinse your sponge with fresh soapy water as often as needed until the entire interior has been wiped down. Finish by drying the oven walls with a microfiber cloth.
“The glass door allows you to monitor the cooking process, but it can also become covered in grease and stains,” says Dills. And as we have all experienced at some point, when that glass door gets brown and greasy, you certainly can’t see inside to check on your food.
When dampened, melamine sponges (like Magic Eraser) are able to cut through grease buildup that can get caked inside a toaster oven door. Wiping down the glass with the magic eraser will help eliminate that hard-to-clean residue for almost instant results, says Dills.
“Depending on how often you use your toaster oven, you should aim to clean the appliance about once a week to once every two weeks — more, if you are using it daily,” explains Cohoon. “Maintenance is key!” After each use, allow the toaster oven to fully cool and give it a good wipe-down to take care of crumbs and avoid any grimy buildup, preventing you from having to tackle any tough, hard-to-remove messes later on.
For tips on getting your other kitchen appliances sparkling, click through these stories:
How to Clean an Oven Quickly and Painlessly
Why You Should Clean Your Dishwasher Right Now — and How to Do It
How to Clean a Toaster So It’s Free of Crumbs and Burned-on Food
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