How to Clean a Toaster: Quick and Easy Solutions

how to clean toaster

Toasters are one of the easiest shortcuts to baked bread. They are also great at keeping crumbs out of sight with a glass door or a stainless steel cover. For a tastier toast, you'll need a crumb-free surface. Don't worry, it won't take long.

Here's a detailed take on how to clean a toaster, get burnt stuff off quickly, and keep it shiny longer.

How to Clean a Toaster?

Cleaning a toaster is fairly simple. All you need is a good toothbrush and some white vinegar and your appliance will be sparkling clean in no time. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean a toaster:

Step 1: Turn Off the Toaster

Unplug the toaster and let it cool down. Do not try to clean a hot surface with a damp sponge. It can lead to electric shocks. Even if liquid splatters or spills inside, let the toaster come to room temperature, then clean it.

Step 2: Clean the Crumb Tray

Clean the Crumb Tray

Take out the crumb tray at the bottom and shake off the crumbs. Rinse with soapy water or let the dishwasher do it. You can also leave it to soak overnight if there are any food particles stuck on the surface.

If your toaster doesn't have a removable tray, just turn the toaster upside down over the garbage can. Gently shake it to get the loose crumbs out.

Step 3: Get the Cleaning Materials Ready

To clean the interior and exterior of the toaster, you'll need some white vinegar, a soft sponge, and a soft-bristled toothbrush or a pastry brush. You may need baking soda to get burnt bits or splatter stains out. 

Don't forget to keep a dry microfiber cloth nearby if you'll be running the toaster right after cleaning it.

Step 4: Scrub the Interior

With the crumb tray removed, you'll have easy access to the toaster's interior. Wet the toothbrush with vinegar and scrub the toaster bars gently. Rinse the stuck-on crumbs off the brush and scrub using the cleaning solution until the inside looks as good as new.

Step 5: Wipe the Exterior

Once the inside of the toaster is clean, take a sponge and lightly dampen it with vinegar. Wipe away the surface of the toaster, making sure to keep a gentle hand as hard scrubs can leave scratches. You may use baking soda to get coffee spills and stubborn stains out.

How to Get Burnt Stuff Out Of a Toaster?

As simple as it is to use a toaster, it's even easier to burn the food inside or melt plastic outside. Not to worry, with a few simple ingredients, you can get burnt stuff off the toaster. Here's how:

  1. Make a paste with baking soda and water.
  2. With a sponge or a soft-bristled toothbrush, scrub the area gently until the burnt crumbs are lifted off.
  3. Rinse with lukewarm water.

If you'd like to remove melted plastic and its discoloration from the toaster, sprinkle baking soda and dampen the sponge. Then, scrub away until the toaster is shiny.

How Often Should a Toaster Be Cleaned?

woman cleaning or toaster machine in the kitchen

A toaster should be cleaned once every week. This not only keeps the bread crumbs from building up, but it also ensures the vents don't get clogged up and all debris flyaways are wiped off.

The exterior of the toaster can be cleaned every other week or whenever you remember. Unless, of course, there has been a big spill. At that point, it’s better to clean it right away.

Toasters with a stainless steel finish need to be cleaned regularly, though. They can show spills, dirt, and fingerprints more often than other toasters.

How to Keep a Toaster From Getting Dirty?

Here are some easy tips you can follow to keep the toaster cleaner longer and extend its lifespan:

  • Take a damp cloth and wipe away any spills, splatters, and prints on the toaster finish every day.
  • Before taking out the garbage, shake off the crumb tray or the toaster itself in the trash. This way you won't have to spend extra time scrubbing away burnt crumbs.
  • Take out time once a month and thoroughly clean the toaster inside and out using a soft-bristled brush and a vinegar bath.
  • Get an oven liner and spread it on the crumb tray after trimming it to the right size.

What Not to Do When Cleaning a Toaster?

Cleaning a toaster may be as easy as swiping a wet rag outside and shaking the crumbs out. There are still a few things you need to keep in mind to prevent electric hazards:

  • Do not, by any means, submerge the toaster under water. Not only can it be a high risk for electrocution, but it can also damage the heating elements.
  • Do not keep a plastic container, a takeaway box, or a plastic bag near the toaster as the heat will melt it. Plus, it'll be harder to clean off.
  • Do not start cleaning a hot toaster or leave it plugged into the socket. Turn it off, remove the plug, and let it cool off before shaking off the crumbs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to clean a brand-new toaster?

No, it isn't necessary to clean a brand-new toaster. Just wipe down the surface and run it empty on the lowest heat setting. This will get rid of the 'artificial' or 'chemical' smell and make a tastier and safer toast.

Is it safe to wash a toaster?

Yes, it is safe to wash a toaster. That is, as long as you don't submerge the whole appliance under water. Because it is an electric appliance, a wet surface can be a huge risk for electrocution. Just take the crumb tray out, wash it with tap water, and leave it out to dry.

Should I use a hard-bristle toothbrush to clean a toaster?

You can use a hard bristle toothbrush to clean any burnt bread that is glued onto the toaster. Make sure not to do it often (especially not on the exterior) as that can ruin the base. For a daily or weekly clean, use a normal toothbrush to remove the caked-on crumbs.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to clean a toaster, you're just minutes away from enjoying baked bread instead of burnt-smelling bread. Not to mention, your appliance will last longer and shine brighter than the day you brought it home!

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