A toaster oven is a convenient tabletop appliance that allows you to toast, bake, and roast foods quickly without needing to heat up the larger oven or have multiple appliances for similar tasks. Due to its small size, figuring out how to clean a toaster oven is quick and easy.
How to Clean a Dirty Toaster Oven
Cleaning the toaster oven isn't a daunting task. Give it a good cleaning before its first use and then clean regularly -- at least weekly, or as needed -- when you do the rest of your kitchen cleaning list. Before you begin, make sure you read your owner's manual to ensure any cleaners and methods you use will not damage the toaster oven.
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
- Cleaning cloths
- Sponges (non-abrasive)
- Soft-bristled toothbrush
- Coffee filters
- Antibacterial wipes
Step 1: Unplug and Remove All Parts
Start by unplugging your toaster oven for safety reasons. Do not attempt to do any cleaning if the oven is plugged in and on. Then remove the tray, racks, and any other moveable parts.
Step 2: Soak and Clean Toaster Oven Tray and Racks
Fill a sink with soapy water. Place the tray and racks into the soapy water to soak. After 20 minutes, finish washing the tray and racks and lay them out to dry. While you're waiting for the items to soak, you can work on cleaning the rest of the toaster oven.
Step 3: Brush Crumbs Out of Toaster Oven
Use a dry cleaning cloth to brush and wipe all the crumbs out of the oven. Sometimes it helps to gently tap the sides and top of the oven to remove small bits that get caught in nooks and crannies. Wipe the crumbs out and dispose of them.
Step 4: Clean the Inside of the Toaster Oven
Cleaning the inside of the toaster oven is easy:
- Mix together 1/2 cup warm water, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of dish soap.
- Dampen a cloth in the mixture and wipe down the inside of the toaster oven.
- Take care not to damage the heating element of the toaster oven. Lift it up (or remove, following manufacturer instructions) to wipe below it.
- Treat burnt-on food with a baking soda and water paste. Let it sit and then return to it, using a soft-bristled toothbrush or sponge to remove the burnt food.
Step 5: Wipe Down the Glass Door
Avoid using commercial window cleaning products on the glass door. Instead, mix up a homemade window cleaner using one part vinegar to two parts water and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Wipe down the glass using coffee filters for a streak-free shine.
Step 6: Clean the Outside of the Toaster Oven
Once the inside of the toaster oven is clean, wipe down the outside. Start with washcloth dampened with water and a bit of dish soap. Then wipe off the soapy water with a damp cloth. Dry the water and wipe off the handle, knob, buttons, and any high-touch areas with an antibacterial cloth to kill any remaining germs. Allow to air dry completely before putting the toaster oven parts back together.
Should I Use Oven Cleaner in a Toaster Oven?
Using a commercial retail oven cleaner in a toaster oven could cause damage to the oven. You should read your owner's manual and follow all instructions for cleaning your specific model, whether you are cleaning a Breville toaster oven or an Oster toaster oven. When in doubt, using baking soda and other natural cleaners are best for cleaning your toaster oven.
Maintenance and Cleaning Tips for Your Toaster Oven
Keeping your toaster oven clean is easy when you follow a few tips:
- Brush crumbs out of the toaster oven with each use to prevent them from becoming burnt-on messes.
- Wipe down the inside and outside of the toaster oven at least once a week.
- Do not use chemical cleaners unless the manufacturer recommends them.
- Avoid using scouring pads or hard-bristled brushes when cleaning or you risk scratching the finish on your toaster oven.