Your Guide to Cleaning a Toaster Oven

Cleaning a Toaster Oven

These cute little kitchen appliances can be used for far more options than just making a toast. It offers you the convenience of a regular stove oven, as it is able to roast, bake, and cook different kinds of food, from a small batch of vegetables to an entire chicken.

However, just like regular stove ovens, toaster ovens demand maintenance and cleaning, and no matter how unpleasant it sounds, cleaning a toaster oven is not a daunting task. Keeping it clean is a question of safety since the food buildup inside the countertop appliance can be a potential fire hazard.

Grease and various other foods can ignite at high temperatures, and you certainly don’t want that. This is the main reason why you should clean your toaster oven regularly, but also, if not cleaned your toaster oven can stop working on the whole or not as good as before.

How Often Should You Clean a Toaster Oven?

Deep clean should be planned once a week if you frequently use your oven. However, you should inspect if there is some food left near or on the heating element after each use. Never remove food from the heating element until it has completely cooled off. Also, never use metal utensils inside the oven as you can damage it.

The visual inspection can be rather helpful to determine whether the deep clean is needed, and a simple habit like this can keep the leftover grease from baking, far away from the toaster oven. Light cleaning can be performed after every meal preparation, as there are no drawbacks to it.

Cleaning a Toaster Oven: Step-by-Step

It is not enough to just clean out crumbs and grease from your toaster oven, as it needs detailed cleaning every once in a while. For this, you will need dish soap, rags, and a small cleaning brush, best thing for this is an old toothbrush. 

Dirty Inside of a Toaster Oven
Inside of a toaster oven ready to be cleaned.

As I said, it is not hard to clean the toaster oven, however, there a few steps you will need to follow and extra caution to take when cleaning some parts of the oven, such as heating elements and glass. If you don’t do it properly, you can cause a huge problem, so beware and follow these steps.  

1. Unplug the Toaster Oven

Never immerse your toaster oven into the water and don’t spray cleaning solution into the oven. You will need to unplug your toaster oven and find a convenient place where cleaning can be performed without any setbacks such as near the sink or garbage can at a comfortable height, such as the countertop, away from other appliances.

2. Remove Trays and Racks

Take out the oven’s removable trays and racks and put them in a sink that you have previously filled with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. However, if some crumbs and stains won’t remove, leave the elements in the sink overnight. If the sink doesn’t suffice, use the bathtub or a plastic storage bin.

3. Inside Cleaning

Use a dry rag to wipe away all the crumbs out of a toaster oven. Afterward, take a pastry brush or a small cleaning brush to loosen and dislodge any crumbs stuck in corners or seams.

Now, create a homemade cleaning solution by combining vinegar, warm water, and a bit of dish soap. You will do so by using 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Use a soaked damp rag and wipe down the non-stick interior of the oven. Try not to use an abrasive scrubber as it will damage the non-stick coating. Furthermore, try not to get any of the liquid on the heating elements.

4. Scrubbing Trays and Racks

After the trays and racks have been soaked in the sink for a while, it is time to scrub the crumbs away from the trays and racks. Thanks to the soaking that dirt will easily be dislodged by a small cleaning brush. If some of the crumbs are rather stubborn, repeat the soaking process and scrub again.

5. Return the Trays and Racks

Make sure that trays and racks are thoroughly cleaned and most important, dry, before you return them into your toaster oven.

6. Outside Cleaning

Once you have finished the inside clean of your precious little kitchen miracle, now it is time to clean the outside of your toaster oven. Damp the rag into the all-purpose cleaner or a warm water and dish soap solution and clean the oven. Afterward, repeat the same but with a dry rag.

How to Remove Baked-on Grease Out of a Toaster oven?

Of course, maintenance is crucial when it comes to the creation of deposits of grease from baking different kinds of foods. Nevertheless, if you have neglected it and haven’t cleaned it regularly, it is not a hopeless situation.

Baking soda and water paste will help you, spread it on the area where grease deposits have been created and leave it overnight. After a night passed, wipe off what has left with a rag, and if the problem persists, spray clean with a vinegar-water solution. The grease should loosen up after this and become easy to remove.

How to Clean Glass Door on a Toaster Oven?

The glass on your toaster oven can be a bit problematic as it is a disaster waiting to happen if not cleaned properly. Accumulated grease on glass is a problem on its own, but it can be solved with a baking soda and water paste, with a bit of vinegar.

Spray the mixture on the glass and watch as the grease buildup disperse from the glass. However, it will take some time for this to happen as you leave the paste sitting there for a few hours, and maybe overnight if needed.

How to Clean Heating Elements?

The oven’s heating elements are their most important parts and you will need to be extra cautious when cleaning the toaster oven heating elements. Don’t spill any cleaners on the elements and don’t use too much force when scrubbing.

Use only a damp rag and with gentle movements wipe away the grease. Moreover, baked-on food can be cleaned away with a soft brush and a baking soda paste. Rinse it off completely and let it dry.

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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