Toaster Oven Life Expectancy & What Affects It

Woman in a Kitchen Using a Toaster Oven

While it would be nice if our toaster ovens lasted forever, this, unfortunately, is not the case. As with any appliance, they will eventually need replacing. 

Let’s look at how to get the most years out of your toaster oven and how to identify when it’s time for a new one.

How Long Do Toaster Ovens Last?

On average a toaster oven will last anywhere from five to eight years, though with proper care it can last even longer. This life expectancy is dependent on several factors. The same model of toaster oven owned by two different people can vary greatly in lifespan based on how well it is taken care of.

What Affects a Toaster Ovens Lifespan?

How long your toaster oven lasts will depend on three factors. The manufacturer or brand of the toaster oven will impact its life expectancy. Cleaning, storage, and general use of the toaster oven will also influence how long your appliance will last.


There are many different manufacturers making toaster ovens and some of these brands are more reputable than others. Each company will have its own guidelines for quality control–some of which are more strict.

Often people assume that an appliance that costs more will be of better quality but this is not always the case. You can purchase inexpensive toaster ovens that will last just as long as more expensive ones.

The main thing to consider when looking at a manufacturer or brand is the reputation of the company for quality products. The longer a company has been around, the easier it is to find information about their appliances as well as customer reviews about the products.

Also, consider where the manufacturer makes its appliances. Countries have different standards and regulations when it comes to the production of these items. One of my favorites are toaster ovens made in Germany.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Cleaning and maintaining your toaster oven will go a long way toward extending its life expectancy. Like any appliance or other product, if you take good care of it it will last longer and perform better.

Toaster ovens should be cleaned after each use. This ensures that food debris and oils do not build up in the appliance. If you use a crumb tray in the bottom of the toaster oven, this should be emptied and washed with soap and water each time–otherwise, the debris will start to burn with future use.

Your toaster oven rack should also be cleaned regularly, particularly if you put food directly on it in which case you should wash it after each use. The grease and oils from certain foods can accumulate on the rack causing build-up, so soap and water should be used for cleaning.

You will also want to wipe down the inside of the appliance regularly. Be sure to get into the corners where crumbs and other debris can accumulate. Keeping the inside of the toaster oven clean will help the appliance to function properly and extend its life span.

Lastly, ensure you are cleaning the outside of your toaster oven as well. Wipe down the top and sides as these can get dusty. The buttons, knobs, and display screen should also be cleaned since frequent touching can make these spots greasy.

For more detailed instructions read my guide on cleaning a toaster oven.

Proper Use and Storage

Your toaster oven will last longer if you use it properly and ensure it is stored in an adequate space when not in use. You should read the instruction manual that came with your toaster oven to familiarise yourself with how to use it. These instructions will often include directions for cleaning.

Treat your toaster oven with care when using it. Do not slam the door as this can damage the seal or the glass. Similarly, be gentle when placing the rack or tray inside so as not to dent the walls or jar the wires inside the appliance.

Be careful when removing food debris from the toaster oven–do not jam utensils into the appliance trying to get bits of food out or shake the appliance. Follow the manufacturer’s directions in terms of what cleaning products to use and some harsh chemicals can damage the appliance.

Leave adequate space around the toaster oven when using it to ensure proper airflow. Since the outside of the appliance can get hot, make sure it is not touching any flammable materials. When your toaster oven is not in use, it should be unplugged. Store it in an area where it will not get wet or damaged from excessive moisture.

When Should You Replace Your Toaster Oven

Eventually, your toaster oven will reach a point where it needs to be replaced, either because it no longer functions properly or because it presents a safety risk. Any time that your toaster oven is smoking, you should thoroughly inspect it before continuing to use it.

Always look at the cord when plugging in the toaster oven. If you notice that it has become damaged or frayed, this is an indication that you need a new appliance. Frayed electrical cords are a fire and safety hazard. 

Another sign that you need to replace your toaster oven is if the door doesn’t seal properly. The toaster oven door should close flush against the frame to ensure the heat stays inside the appliance. If the door is not closing properly you should consider getting a new toaster oven.

If there is damage to the glass on the door, this is also a safety risk. Chipped or cracked glass can shatter, particularly when being heated and cooled repeatedly. Any signs of damage to the glass mean it’s time for a new toaster oven.

You will also need to inspect the inside of the toaster oven for rust and corrosion. Over time, the appliance can start to wear and you may see orange or brown spots on the metal. Eventually, these spots will corrode and turn into holes. These are all indications that the appliance should be replaced.

Your Toaster Oven is Here to Stay!

To give your toaster oven the longest lifespan, start by purchasing an appliance from a reputable company that has high safety standards and quality assurance. Read the manual and follow instructions relating to the use and cleaning of the toaster oven. With proper care, your toaster oven should last you several years!

Larry Flynn

Hi everyone! My name is Larry Flynn and I've been working in the kitchen appliance industry for decades. From manufacturing to retail and everything in between. My latest hobby is running this website, where I share all the knowledge I gathered throughout the years in the industry. I also run a small toaster repair shop in downtown NY, and collect vintage toasters.

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