Toasters are the workhorse of the kitchen, they are one of the most useful appliances making appearances throughout the day and most of the time making food every day.
From your pieces of toast and butter in the morning to a toasted cheese bagel at lunchtime, and even a sweet pop tart as a snack later on, the toaster never stops.
However, sometimes we forget that toasters do actually need cleaning.
If you don’t clean a toaster, not only will the food you toast come out worse, but it could become a major fire hazard.
In this article, we will go through a step-by-step guide on how to clean your toaster thoroughly and properly so you don’t have burnt-tasting toast or potentially cause a fire in your own home.
How Often Should You Clean A Toaster?
If you are using your toaster daily, we recommend that you clean your toaster weekly.
By doing this, you can remove any food reissue or crumbs that could make your food items taste burnt after they have been toasted, or worse, cause a fire.
If you have a toaster oven then you may need to clean it more frequently depending on what you are cooking in there.
Because toaster ovens can be used to cook all types of food, you should clean it after every use, however, if you are just using your toaster oven to toast bread then weekly would be fine just like the toaster.
How To Clean A Toaster
Cleaning a toaster sounds easy enough but if you don’t follow the proper methods you could make the problem even worse and potentially harm yourself.
We’ve put together this step-by-step guide on how to clean your toaster thoroughly and properly.
Unplug And Let The Toaster Cool
This is the most important step. Before you even begin to clean your toaster, make sure that the toaster is unplugged and that it has been left to cool down.
Only food can be inserted into a toaster when it is plugged in, if you insert anything else into your toaster you could find yourself getting a nasty shock or starting a fire.
It is also important that your toaster is completely cool before you begin to clean to avoid burning yourself or your cleaning equipment which could damage the toaster.
Shake The Crumbs Lose
Take the toaster and hold it over a sink with a garbage disposal or a trash can, turn the toaster upside down so the entrance is facing the sink or trash can, and shake all of the crumbs out.
If the toaster has a tray in the bottom for crumbs take that out and shake it over the trash can or sink too.
Some toasters have bottoms that can open to allow you to dispose of crumbs easily.
If you shake the crumbs into a small dish or Tupperware container, you can use these crumbs in your garden as birdfeed.
Making A Cleaning Solution
Now it’s time to make your cleaning solution to clean the removable parts of your toaster.
In your sink or your dishpan, mix a solution of dishwashing liquid and warm water.
Then take the removable tray of your toaster if it has one and submerge only that into the soapy water, then wash it thoroughly with a sponge or a cloth before rinsing it well with clean water.
When you have washed the removable tray, dry it with an absorbent cloth and leave it to dry.
When choosing what dishwashing liquid to use in your solution, it is a good idea to choose a liquid that also acts as a degreaser for better cleaning results.
Any build-up that is in your toaster tray will be cut through more quickly and will take less effort to clean.
Brush Away Crumbs From The Interior
Even after shaking all of the crumbs you can out of the toaster, and washing away the crumbs that have been collected by the crumb drawer, there will still be crumbs left inside your toaster.
We recommend using a pastry brush to try and dislodge any crumbs that you can see lingering around the interior of your toaster.
Do not use your fingers for this, putting your fingers inside of a toaster even when unplugged and cool could cause injury and be dangerous.
Putting your fingers inside a toaster could also damage the internal components of the toaster.
Cleaning The Exterior Of The Toaster
Grab some soapy water, it could be the water that you have used easier for the crumb tray and dip a soft sponge or a dishcloth into the soapy water.
Then you wring out the sponge or dishcloth so that most of the liquid is out of the sponge or dishcloth and they are just damp.
If you can remove the dials off of the toaster then this is a good idea, you can place these into the soapy water and clean them like you would the crumb tray.
If you can’t remove the dials then pay extra attention when cleaning them as you don’t want to get them too wet.
Wipe the whole exterior of the toaster with the damp sponge or dishcloth carefully.
When you have cleaned the exterior, dip a clean sponge or dishcloth into clean water and wring that out too, you can then wipe any soapy residue that may be left on the exterior of the toaster.
You can then proceed to dry the toaster with a soft cloth.
If your toaster is made from stainless steel you can use commercial stainless steel cleaner to give it an extra shine, or you could use a damp cloth with a bit of distilled white wine vinegar as a homemade stainless steel cleaner.
Reassemble The Toaster
When you have finished all of these steps, you can place the crumb tray and the dials back, and plug the toaster back in.
Enjoy your toasting!
It is very important to clean your toaster weekly to make sure that your food is not tasting burnt and making sure that your toaster isn’t a fire risk.
To thoroughly clean your toaster just make sure to follow these steps and your toaster will be clean in no time.
Always be cautious when cleaning electrical appliances.