Here's how to clean your air fryer

Just because it doesn't use much oil, doesn't mean it stays clean.

Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser
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What You Need:

  • Your dirty air fryer
  • A cotton or microfiber cloth
  • All-purpose cleaning spray, like my favorite from Method
  • Hot water
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup dishwashing liquid
  • A towel for drying

Time Needed

25 minutes, plus a dishwasher cycle

Difficulty

Easy

If you’re an air fryer fan, you probably can’t remember how you lived without one. The gadget saves you time in the kitchen, helps you whip up tasty snacks and sides, and gives you some peace of mind about the amount of fat you’re consuming on a regular basis.

But if we’re being real, air fryers are also massive—and can be a massive pain to clean. How are you supposed to get a thin layer of oil and caked-on food off the fry basket, base, and inner pieces of an air fryer?

Dirty air fryer
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

A dirty air fryer is no fun to cook with.

It’s not as hard as it seems. While you’ll need to disassemble some of your air fryer to get it truly spotless, many of the pieces can actually go straight into your dishwasher. The rest can easily be wiped down with a microfiber towel and some all-purpose cleaning spray—and, if it comes to it, baking soda. Read on to see how to get your kitchen sidekick looking good as new.

What to do

1. Unplug your air fryer

Before you begin to clean, make sure your air fryer is unplugged, cooled, and ready to be safely handled. There are a lot of parts that get hot enough to potentially burn your skin, so use caution. It is best to clean your air fryer after every use, rather than wait until it’s too dirty to use safely.

2. Discard any main food debris from the basket

Emptying air fryer
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Empty the air fryer basket of all loose debris before cleaning.

If there are entire pieces of food or loose crumbs in the pan or basket, lightly shake these parts over a trash can to remove debris. Use a paper towel or dry sponge to get at stuck-on crumbs.

3. Clean the outside of the air fryer

Wiping down an air fryer
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Use a cotton or microfiber cloth to wipe down the outside of your air fryer.

Using a damp cotton or microfiber cloth, lightly wipe the surface of your air fryer. If streaking or oil smudges still appear, break out a gentle all-purpose spray to remove them.

4. To remove stuck-on food, use a baking soda paste

Combine ¼ cup baking soda with enough water to make a paste, and then apply to dirty spots with a gentle sponge or pad.

5. Run the fryer basket, grate, and pan through the dishwasher

Placing air fryer parts in dishwasher
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Most interior air fryer parts are dishwasher-safe—check the manufacturer's guidelines

Most air fryers have dishwasher-safe interior parts, meaning you can literally just run them in your next cycle instead of having to hand-wash all the oil off. Check the manufacturer information, just to be safe. If you don’t have a dishwasher or your air fryer isn’t made for them, you can soak the parts in water and dish soap and scrub them like you would you other dishes.

6. Clean the heating element

With the basket and pan removed, carefully turn your air fryer upside down to access the heating element. Use a nonabrasive sponge to wipe it down.

7. Dry all the parts, and then return them to the air fryer base

Use a towel to dry the basket, grate, pan, and heating element before plugging your air fryer back in.

8. Enjoy frying!

Clean air fryer
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

Keep your air fryer clean to stay safe and make the best-tasting foods possible.

Your air fryer is now ready for many more meals. To be safe and keep your air fryer in best working condition, clean all interior parts after every use. In the market for a new gadget? Check out our roundup of the best air fryers on the market.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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