These convenient little appliances save us so much time and effort whenever we need to bake something. Instead of waiting for the regular oven to heat up, we can quickly throw in a small frozen pizza snack or even use a toaster oven for baking smaller, separate goods. You might even have a small toaster oven that serves you dutifully and keeps you well-fed on warm foods.
However, people often do not want to clean up after themselves. We just want to get to our meal and relax, and that’s okay. The problem with this is that cleaning the toaster oven can then be daunting because you might not know where to begin. Do you find yourself wondering how to clean a toaster oven?
Fear not, because today we will break down this simple process into a few steps that are easy to follow and understand. First, here’s some general information that should help you out in the long run.
When to Clean Your Toaster Oven
Before you get to your deep clean, it might be handy to know when and how often you should clean your toaster oven. This is the first step to getting it clean, and all it requires is a thorough inspection after every use of your toaster oven.
First, you’ll want to look for any food particles or crumbs that have fallen near or even onto the heating element. Wait until the heating element is completely cool before removing any pieces. Also, be sure never to use any metal when working with the insides of a toaster oven.
You must check for and clean up any food particles after every use, as this makes future cleanings less of a hassle and prevents food from catching on fire because it is too close or in contact with the element. This will also help avoid any baked grease from building up on the interior.
If you use your toaster oven daily, then you should do a deep clean every week at the very least. You can easily incorporate it into your weekly kitchen cleaning schedule to ensure you don’t forget about it.
How to Clean Your Toaster Oven
Unfortunately, wiping out the crumbs won’t be enough to keep it clean forever, so you’ll still need to do some regular deep cleaning to make sure your toaster oven is in top shape and that there aren’t any problems with either the quality of food or the heating. To make sure you cover everything, you’ll want some dish soap, a small cleaning brush (a toothbrush works well), and some rags.
The first step is to unplug the toaster oven and make sure it is cool before you start cleaning it. You’ll be working with an electrical appliance here, and it can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. Once it has cooled, you can take it somewhere where it is more convenient to clean and get rid of small bits. Remember never to submerge your toaster oven in water or let any cleaning solution get directly inside, as you could short circuit the unit.
Next, you’ll want to remove all the trays and racks inside and let them soak in warm, soapy water. You’ll want to try to get everything in one go, as this will make the process a lot shorter and easier to deal with. You may want to use the bathtub or a larger sink for this part of the process.
While the trays and racks are soaking, use this opportunity to take a dry rag and wipe the inside of the toaster oven to remove any loose crumbs. Once you have removed the majority of the loose particles, you can go over them once again with the small cleaning brush to remove any of the more stubborn or stuck crumbs that you can often find in seams, cracks, holes, or corners.
Next, you can switch to a damp and soapy rag for the non-stick portions of the interior. You’ll want to avoid using any abrasive scrubber for this job, as you risk damaging the non-stick coating. You’ll also want to avoid getting the heating element wet. You can potentially get away with using a more robust, more abrasive brush or pad for the non-stick metallic portions of the interior, but be sure to consult the manual to see what is and isn’t non-stick.
Returning to the trays and racks that have been soaking, you can now remove them and get rid of any dirt or grime that is still stuck to the trays. It should be much easier to get rid of residue now that it was left to soak, as all the more stubborn grime should have come loose. If you haven’t cleaned your trays and racks in quite a while, it may be better to leave them soaking longer or even overnight and then continue to scrub them the next day.
After the racks are scrubbed and clean of any dirt and grime, you can begin drying them and putting them back inside the toaster oven. Ensure they are dry before putting them back in, as you don’t want any residual water or soap to end up where it shouldn’t be.
Finally, you can take a rag and dampen it with warm, soapy water, or you can use an all-purpose cleaner to give the outside of the toaster oven a quick clean, again avoiding getting any water or liquid in the interior. Then you can buff dry the outside with a dry rag.
Cleaning your toaster oven is a simple task on its own. What makes it more tedious or annoying is a lack of a rigid and fixed cleaning schedule. That’s when grease, dirt, and grime can build up and become more stubborn and difficult to remove. If you stick to a weekly schedule, cleaning your toaster oven will become second nature.