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What You Need:
- Warm soapy water
- Soft sponge
- Paper towels
- Dry microfiber towel
Prep Time Needed:
Total Time Needed:
Your toaster oven is probably one of the most-used appliances on your counter—after all, a high-quality toaster oven can cook just about anything—but is it getting the TLC it deserves? Nothing ruins the aesthetic of a freshly cleaned kitchen like a stained, dirty appliance. Ick!
The good news is that cleaning a toaster oven is a simple, 10-minute task that will extend the life of your machine and keep it working flawlessly. All you have to do is follow these six steps!
Step 1: Unplug your toaster oven
Get ready to clean your toaster oven by unplugging it from the outlet. You'll want to make sure it's completely cooled before cleaning—while you wait, prepare a cleaning solution by adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 2 cups of soapy water.
Step 2: Take it apart
Brush off any crumbs clinging to the toasting rack, then remove this piece. You'll also want to pull out the crumb tray that rests underneath the toasting rack—most crumb tray handles are located directly below the door. Clean both the rack and the tray with your cleaning solution, then prop them up to dry.
Step 3: Shake it out
After cleaning the removable parts, carefully tilt your toaster oven forward over the kitchen sink or trash can. Use dry paper towels to brush out any remaining debris, and grab a toothbrush (or other small kitchen brush) to clean out hard-to-reach corners.
Step 4: Clean the interior
Place your toaster oven upright again. Using a soft sponge soaked with your soap and vinegar solution, gently clean the bottom, sides and ceiling of the inner cavity, staying away from the heating elements. Use the toothbrush and cleaning solution to gently scrub any stubborn buildup.
Don't use harsh sponges or Brillo Pads, and don't clean the heating element with water, as this can damage the appliance. Clean the inside of the glass door with soap and water.
Step 5: Shine the exterior
Wipe down the outside of your toaster with Windex or vinegar to achieve a just-like-new shine.
Step 6: Dry it off
Dry your toaster oven inside and out with a microfiber towel. You'll want to pat dry the area around the heating element to avoid damaging it. Finally, stand back and see the difference a clean appliance can make to your kitchen landscape!
Why it's important to clean your toaster oven
Cleaning your toaster oven isn't just a matter of appearances. A clean toaster oven is a safe toaster oven!
Regularly cleaning this appliance will keep grease and residue from building up, preventing any fire hazards. Crumbs and grease can also affect the efficiency of your toaster oven, and cleaning it can prolong the life of the machine.
How often should you clean your toaster oven?
Ideally, you should quickly wipe down your toaster oven after each use to prevent buildup. Further, cleaning your toaster oven and emptying its crumb tray on a weekly bases will prevent grease and crumbs from caking onto the surfaces.
The longer you wait to clean it after use, the more difficult it may be to remove the residue. To more easily maintain the appliance, some people cover the crumb tray with a single layer of foil and replace the protective layer weekly.
When to replace your toaster oven
Regularly cleaning your toaster oven can definitely extend its life, and most appliances will serve you well for around six to eight years.. However, all good things come to an end, so keep an eye out for signs that your machine needs to be replaced.
If your toaster oven isn't as efficient as it once was and is taking longer to cook the same foods, it may need to be put to bed. You should also invest in a new toaster oven if you spot any signs of rusting or frayed wires, as these can spark a fire.
Now that you have a freshly cleaned toaster oven, treat yourself to a crispy pizza or try out this toaster-oven brunch. Either way, your family will thank you!