how to clean a toaster

Toasters are an everyday home appliance that is a staple in most households. As with all kitchen devices, toasters need regular cleaning to ensure they continue to function well. If not maintained properly, the leftover bread crumbs or baked goods may cause your toaster to smoke every time you use it, thus posing a fire hazard.

Dirty toasters can also form a good breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Keeping your toaster clean is not just visually appealing but healthy as well.

Here are some helpful tips on how to clean a toaster.

Simple Process

Regularly cleaning your toaster helps you to have an easy time doing it. For a regularly cleaned toaster, all you need is mild liquid dish soap, water and a non-scouring washing pad.

Before you start cleaning your toaster, make sure to unplug it. Also, ensure that it is completely cooled down.

Disassemble the toaster to give it a good wipe-down. Brush off the crumbs and place the crumb tray in the dishwasher if you can. However, if you want to give your toaster a deep wash, here is a proper guide. 

How to Deep Clean a Toaster

Deep cleaning your toaster is not an everyday activity. You can opt to do this once a month, but it will depend on how often you use your toaster and for what kind of food. Before you get started, there are a couple of supplies you need.


  • Baking Soda
  • Degreasing liquid dishwashing soap        
  • White Vinegar       
  • Non-scouring sponge     
  • Pantry or paintbrush       
  • Microfibre cloth     
  • Wooden spoon      
  • Spatula

Step 1: Unplug Your Toaster

To start, unplug your toaster from the electrical outlet. Make sure it is cooled down and cold to the touch.

Step 2: Shake Out the Crumbs

Gently flip your toaster upside down. Give the toaster a gentle but firm shake. This is to get rid of the loose crumbs. You should do this over a garbage can, sink or outdoors to avoid a mess.

Step 3: Prepare a Soak

Fill the kitchen sink or any large container with water and add a couple of drops of the degreasing dishwashing soap and white vinegar.

Step 4: Remove the Crumb Tray

With dry hands, carefully pull the removable tray from the bottom of the toaster. However, if your toaster does not have a tray, you can skip this step.

Step 5: Cleaning the Tray

If you have a tray, shake off any leftover bread crumbs from its surface. Then put it in the water to soak.

Step 6: Brush Out Your Toaster

Using a large flat paintbrush or pastry brush, carefully brush out any remaining crumbs or food residue inside the toaster. Make sure to work from the top and work your way to the bottom.

Step 7: Cleaning the Outside

Wipe down the outer surface of your toaster with a damp cloth and a little bit of dishwasher soap if it is particularly greasy. Never submerge your toaster, as it is an electrical appliance. It should never have contact with water.

Step 8: Replace the Tray

Using a dry microfibre cloth, wipe down the tray and insert it back into the toaster. Let the now-clean toaster air dry before storage.

Cleaning Melted Cheese From a Toaster

melted cheese

While it is not advisable to have cheese in the pop-up toasters, some people choose to make their grilled cheese sandwiches in their toaster. If you do this, then melted cheese inside your toaster is inevitable. Here is a simple step-by-step cleaning guide to help you get rid of this sticky mess.

Step 1: Unplug the Toaster

Unplug the toaster and allow it to cool completely. Allowing it to cool allows for the cheese to harden.

Step 2: Scrape Off the Cheese

Now that the cheese is solidified, use a non-scratching spatula or wooden spoon to scrape off the cheese and any caked-on crumbs.

Step 3: Get Rid of Any Leftovers

Once all the cheese is scraped off, use a toothbrush or bottle brush to gently brush away any cheese residue that might have been left behind. Remove the crumb tray and wash it to eliminate all the crumbs.

Cleaning the Exterior of the Toaster

Cleaning the inside of a toaster is perhaps the most daunting task. The exterior of the toaster, on the other hand, is easy because it is more accessible.

A little dishwashing soap and a wet cloth will do the trick most of the time. However, if you have stains, you may need extra help. Here is a simple guide to help you clean the outside of your toaster.

Step 1: Make Your Cleaning Formula

Mix a few drops of liquid soap and white vinegar to form a cleaning solution. Using this formula, wet microfibre cloth or sponge.

Step 2: Wipe Down the Exterior

Use a damp cloth to wipe down the outside of the toaster. You might need some extra elbow grease if you have stubborn stains.

Step 2: Rinse the Exterior

Wipe down your toaster to remove any soap suds with a clean cloth. You might want to do a couple of passes to get rid of all the soap.

Step 3: Tackle Any Stains

Once the toaster is clean, check for any stains. In the case of stubborn stains that need extra attention, use a toothbrush or sponge to apply a baking soda paste (made from baking soda and water) to the stain. Scrub the toaster and pay extra attention to the brown stains with the toothbrush until they are gone.

Step 4: Finishing Off

Wipe away the baking soda and your toaster with a clean, damp soft cloth.

Sparkingly Spotless Again

So that’s it! Regular cleaning and proper use of your toaster will save you a lot of time and elbow grease in the long run. However, even if you regularly clean your toaster, it deserves a proper deep clean every once in a while. Cleaning other types of toasters, like a toaster oven, might be different from your common pop-up ones.

Knowing how to clean a toaster is an important skill because if you don’t do it correctly, it could become a fire hazard.

How often do you clean your toaster, and do you have any useful tricks?

Additional Resources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *