How to Clean an Air Fryer

An air fryer is a fantastic cooking appliance that you can use to cook a variety of food. This device utilises hot air and convection to cook the food evenly and give items like chips a crispy coating. In addition, it uses far less oil than traditional deep-frying, which makes the food you cook healthier.

But how do you maintain your air fryer so that it functions properly? Cleaning is primarily the solution to this. An air fryer requires regular cleaning to remove leftover food, stains, and grease.

This will prevent parts from getting clogged, remove any odours, and make sure your food tastes fantastic. In this article, we look at how to clean an air fryer, including step-by-step guides for both a basic and deep clean.

How to Clean an Air Fryer – A Step-by-Step Guide

Cleaning your air fryer is as important as knowing how to use it properly. The different air fryer components can quickly get baked-on grease and food stuck in gaps. Firstly, this can cause nasty odours, and mouldy food residue could affect the quality and taste of your cooking.

Secondly, too much food debris inside the air frying compartment could reduce the airflow and effectiveness of the cooking process. Thirdly, do you want to use a dirty and greasy air fryer with stuck-on food and baked-on grease? Probably not!

Therefore, you should regularly perform two types of cleaning. The first is basic cleaning. This should be done after each time you use your air fryer. The second is deep cleaning which must be completed approximately once per month.

Air Fryer Basic Clean Guide

The first type is a quick but thorough clean that should be completed each time you use the air fryer. It would help if you did this while washing your pots to make the process easier and use less water.

Required Equipment

  • Damp cloth
  • Dish soap
  • Scrub brush
  • Warm Water

The Basic Process

  1. Unplug the air fryer
  2. Remove the basket and drawer
  3. Soak in warm, soapy water
  4. Scrub the parts to remove grease and food
  5. Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth
  6. Dry the parts thoroughly

The Process Explained

First, you must unplug the air fryer from the wall socket. Under no circumstance should you attempt to clean it whilst it is still plugged. It is an electrical appliance, and you could cause electrocution when cleaning it with water.

With the appliance unplugged, you should next remove the food drawer and the fryer basket. Turn the air fryer upside down so that any food debris can fall out. If you have a dishwasher, and these parts are dishwasher safe, place them in the dishwasher and clean them with the rest of your pots.

If you do not have a dishwasher, soak the air fryer basket and drawer in warm soapy water. Once soaked, hand wash and scrub using a dish brush to remove any baked-on grease and food. You should soak them for 5 to 10 minutes and scrub them immediately after.

Whilst the parts are soaking. You can also wipe the exterior casing with a damp cloth. Also, give the heating element a quick wipe, too, as grease can build up here too. When the different parts have been cleaned, you must dry them thoroughly with a microfibre cloth. Make sure to dry the heating element carefully and make sure no water is left inside. You can finally replace the parts, and the job is done!

Air Fryer Deep Clean Guide

The second type of clean is the deeper clean. This should be done periodically – once per month, depending on how often you use the air fryer. Also, you can use this cleaning method if you notice any particularly stubborn patches of grease and grime that have built up on the components.

Required Equipment

  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Paper towels
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Dish soap

The Basic Process

  1. Unplug the air fryer
  2. Remove the basket and drawer
  3. Soak in warm, soapy water
  4. Create a baking soda paste with water and baking soda
  5. Scrub the paste onto the parts and wipe away with a cloth
  6. Wipe the exterior with a cloth
  7. Dry the parts thoroughly

The Process Explained

frying basket soaked in soapy water

First, make sure that the air fryer is not plugged in. As mentioned above, this could damage the appliance and even cause electrocution.

Once it is unplugged, remove the air fryer basket and the bottom food drawer. You can then turn the air fryer upside down to dislodge any food that may be stuck in the element or the main body.

As with the basic cleaning, soak the parts in soapy water for 5-10 minutes. Wipe them with a non-abrasive sponge or soft-bristled brush. This should hopefully remove most of the baked-on grease and food debris. You could also place them in the dishwasher first if the parts are dishwasher safe, too. While the parts are soaking, use your cloth and dish soap to wipe the fryer’s exterior, including the display screen and heating element.

Once you have given them a basic clean, it is time to create a baking soda paste. This is done by adding 1-2 teaspoons of water to baking soda and mixing it. Baking soda is a fantastic cleaning agent and can be used with most air fryers without damaging the non-stick coating. When the paste is made, use your soft brush to work it into the air fryer basket and drawer. This will effectively remove any stubborn residue.

Once you have removed all grease and dirt, you should wipe the air fryer basket and drawer to remove the paste and any loose debris. Finally, the parts must be dried thoroughly. You can use paper towels to dry the different parts. However, make sure that no paper gets stuck to the air fryer basket or element.

How Often Should You Clean Your Air Fryer?

A common question we see is how often you should clean your air fryer. There are two answers to this, but you should also consider how often you use it:

  • A basic clean after each use
  • A deeper clean once per month

Each time you use your air fryer, you should perform a basic clean. As you can see from the above guide, this is a quick process. You can clean the fryer at the same time that you wash your pots after a meal, for example. This simple cleaning process should take no longer than 5-10 minutes. If you do this after each use, food and grease should never build up. Also, this will make the deeper cleans easier and quicker.

Aside from the basic clean, you should also periodically complete a deeper clean. The advised frequency of this cleaning is once per month. However, it would help if you considered how often you use the air fryer. For example, if you only use it one or two times per month, you may not need to perform a deeper clean once per month. Use your common sense and clean according to your usage patterns.

Air Fryer Cleaning Tips

To finish, we have provided a list of simple tips to help when cleaning your air fryer. These tips should help prevent damage to your air fryer and deal with tricky situations like unknown smells. One of the first things we also suggest is that you read the instruction manual completely.

The user manual will provide important operational information about the air fryer. The user manual may also provide useful cleaning tips and specific tips relating to the components of the air fryer, like the heating element.

Don’t Use Metal Cleaning Utensils or Abrasive Tools

This is a great tip that can apply to most cooking appliances. However, it is especially important for air fryers. An air fryer often has a non-stick coating on the interior parts that contact with food particles. This non-stick coating prevents grease, oil, and food from sticking and being difficult to remove.

As a result, if you use metal cleaning utensils or abrasive cloths, you risk removing the non-stick coating. Metal cleaning utensils could also damage the casing and leave scratches on your air fryer.

Never Submerge the Main Unit in the Water

In most instances, you can remove the food tray and frying basket and clean them in water. They have no electrical parts. Therefore no damage should be caused. However, under no circumstance should you submerge the main unit in water.

The main body of an air fryer is where the element and fan are housed. These are electrical components. As a result, if you place them in water, you will damage them and will most likely break the air fryer completely.

Make Sure Everything Is Dried Completely

Building on the above point, you must make sure that the different components are dried after you have cleaned them. This is an electrical appliance. Therefore, any excess water and moisture could cause damage to the internal mechanism.

Ensure you put plenty of elbow grease into the drying process and use a clean cloth to dry the air fryer basket and the bottom compartment. Only once the removable parts are completely dry should you then consider using the air fryer again.

Depending on the air fryer parts and the design of the frying basket, you may want to leave the parts to dry on your kitchen top. Place them on top of some paper towels and allow them to dry naturally. After 15-20 minutes, you can then dry them with a cloth or more paper towels.

Deal With Lingering Odours Using Lemon Juice

Regardless of how thoroughly you clean your air fryer, you may occasionally get a lingering odour. These odours should hopefully be neutralized during the deeper cleaning. However, if they persist, you can utilize a simple trick with lemons.

First, remove the food basket and drawer and soak them in warm water for 30 minutes. If this hasn’t removed the smell, dry the components. Next, use half a lemon and rub it over the drawer and basket. Leave them to sit for a further 30 minutes and then soak them again in water. This should hopefully eliminate any odours.

Get the Dirt Away

Cleaning air fryers is a vital part of their maintenance. If you want to improve the longevity of your air fryer and make sure that your food is still edible, make sure to keep on top of the cleaning process!

As with any cooking appliance, air fryers can quickly become clogged with grease and food debris. Use the above guides to clean your air fryer after each use, and occasionally give it a deep clean and soak to remove any odours.

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