How to Clean a Toaster

Many owners wipe this useful kitchen appliance only from the outside, although it should be washed periodically inside. Like any other household appliance, a toaster gets clogged more with every use, and if it is not cleaned from crumbs, dust, and other impurities in a timely manner, it will simply break down.

Most often, the interior of the unit is contaminated with breadcrumbs, and it is from them that it must be disposed of first. With long-term storage of the bread remains, bacteria can begin to multiply, which will subsequently become a source of unpleasant odor. Moreover, crumbs left after making toasts can affect the heating unit, resulting in unevenly browned bread slices.

Washing a toaster inside is not as easy as many people think. If you can still wipe it on the outside with a wet rag, you are not supposed to do that on the inside – the interior getting in contact with water will result in toaster’s guaranteed malfunction. Therefore, you need to clean the inner bottom and walls of the unit using exclusively dry methods which I shall discuss in detail below.

Cleaning Your Toaster

In order to properly clean a toaster at home, the first thing to do is to carefully read the instructions. In most cases, manufacturers leave operational guidelines and care recommendations, including suitable cleaning agents.

According to this source, there are effective folk remedies for cleaning a toaster, namely coarse table salt, and baking soda. They are designed to remove complex contaminants, such as grease or soot. I will talk about these cleaning substances later, and now let’s figure out how to quickly clean a toaster from regular bread crumbs.

To remove the crumbs from the unit, you can use the following tools:

  • vacuum cleaner.
  • hairdryer.
  • special brush.
  • toothbrush.

The most effective way to clean a toaster is the vacuum cleaner and hairdryer. The first device literally sucks in bread crumbs, and the second, vice versa, blows them out with an air jet. These methods effectively eliminate bread crumbs from the inner walls of the appliance. 

It is more convenient to clean the tray manually. If this part can be removed from a toaster, as in Bosch models for ex., then you just need to pull it out, gently shake off from the crumbs and wipe it with a slightly damp cloth. A removable tray can also be treated with detergents.

However, after this procedure, it must be washed with soapy water, rinsed with clean and wiped dry. Only after this, the tray can be returned back to the device.

toaster oven
courtesy Pixabay

Some toaster models do not have crumb trays. In this case, cleaning them from crumbs is more difficult. To begin with, you can try to flip the appliance upside down and gently shake it over a table, covered with newspapers in advance.

This method will not help to get rid of all the impurities, but you can definitely remove most of the crumbs. The rest is easily cleaned with a special brush/toothbrush. You can also use a hairdryer or vacuum cleaner for this purpose.

If there is soot or grease in a toaster, an air jet alone is not enough. More effective methods will be required to remove these contaminants, and I shall consider them further.

Coarse salt. This folk remedy will help clean the appliance from soot. Load the toaster with salt crystals almost completely through the slots. After that, tightly seal the slots with paper and wrap the device in plastic wrap.

You can also use tape instead, but it can leave sticky marks on the device that are hard to remove. When the toaster is fully sealed, gently shake it a little. During this procedure, the salt will clean all the deposits inside the appliance. Remove the wrap, paper, and salt.

Remove salt crystals from the toaster with a vacuum cleaner. The inside of the device can be slightly wiped with a damp cloth but after that, the walls and bottom must be wiped dry. Try to eliminate all salt residues to avoid rust formation.

Baking soda. This component copes well with grease and does not harm metal parts, which means there will be no corrosion. The principle of using this powder is quite simple. The powder is mixed with water until a thick paste is obtained which is applied to all problematic areas and left for 10 minutes.

A toothbrush, damp wipe, and a dry wipe are then used. Before making some toasts, the appliance should dry at room temperature for a couple of hours. When internal parts are clean, you just have to wipe the exterior. At this stage, you can use water and detergents or try washing the appliance with steam.

Once the inside of the toaster is clean, it moves on to the final step. The exterior of the device also needs to be cleaned. Cleaning will depend on the material of the housing.

Never use abrasive substances, hard sponges or those made of melamine to clean the exterior of the toaster. All of them may leave scratch marks on the housing, which will eventually lead to poor look.

For safety reasons, it is worth reminding that a toaster should be washed strictly after unplugging it from the grid. You should also wait until the toaster is completely cooled down. Do not immerse this kitchen appliance in water and other liquids.

The plastic exterior is cleaned with a damp sponge with a small amount of detergent. Then take a clean wipe, moisten it in water, and wipe the housing with soapy water. If the exterior has complex grease stains on it, use a soda paste. After all the cleaning, the exterior is wiped dry.

If you just need to get rid of dust, it’s enough to use a soapy solution.

If the housing is aluminum or stainless steel, it will demand special accuracy from you. Apart from removing stains, you will also have to polish the exterior to keep it shiny. If there are fingerprints or other simple stains, they can be removed with acetic solution. After that, the toaster should be wiped dry with a soft cloth.

After all the cleaning procedures are done, the appliance should be left to dry for a while. It must not be connected to the power supply or used until completely dry.

Regular and correct cleaning actions have a direct effect on the performance and service life of your toaster. Not only does a clean device look neat, but it also serves you for a longer time and is not susceptible to burning. The recommendations given will help keep your toaster in good working order.