how to clean a toaster

A Guide on How to Clean a Toaster in Five Easy DIY Steps

Any household appliance can cause a problem if it is not used properly. A regular or glass toaster is no exception. It does not occur to some homeowners that along with all the other kitchen appliances, a toaster also needs to be regularly cleaned and the condition of the inside checked periodically.

This is important because the breadcrumbs not only accumulate inside but may also catch fire. They can contribute to the reproduction of harmful microorganisms inside the device and the fact that the spiral will be heated unevenly can lead to its burnout. Additionally, during the operation of this device, soot is formed inside which emits an unpleasant smell, affecting the toasts.

Quick Tips on How to Clean a Toaster

  • Cleaning the crumb tray
  • Remove the soot
  • How to remove grease
  • Water use and cleaning frequency
  • Things to remember 
  • How to extend the life of the device

Cleaning the Crumb Tray

How do you clean the toaster from crumbs from the inside? Almost all modern toaster models are equipped with a tray at the bottom that can be pulled out. That’s where the crumbs from bread slices fall into. Therefore, the things to do are:

  • Unplug the device
  • Pull out the tray
  • Shake the crumbs off it
  • Rinse it with water using a foam sponge with a little dishwashing liquid
  • Wipe it dry with a towel

In order to prevent acidification and corrosion of metal parts and components in the double or four slice toaster, the tray should only be placed back in its original place after it has dried completely.

No tray in your toaster? No worries, turn the toaster upside down and shake the crumbs onto an unfolded paper/film. However, this does not guarantee a complete cleaning of the inside of the toaster since crumbs can stick to the walls of the toaster.

Maximum cleaning, no matter if the tray is retractable or not, can be provided by an air jet from a home compressor or hairdryer. Some creative owners use a vacuum cleaner to suck them out. Dust can also be removed in the same way from inside the toaster.

For additional cleaning of the gut of the toaster, it is best to use a special long-handled and soft brush. You can do just as well with a thin brush or a regular toothbrush.

Removing Soot

The Salt method

Inside, a toaster can be cleaned from soot by using proven products like salt and baking soda.

This is how it’s done with salt:

  • Pour coarse salt into the toaster’s gut almost to the top
  • Cover the slots of the toaster tightly with plastic wrap or paper so that the salt crystals would not pour out
  • The wrap must cover the holes firmly

The toaster is then shaken gently for a few minutes; salt crystals clean the impurities from the walls. Salt also disinfects the inner surfaces. Too vigorous shaking can damage the electronics and damage the device, so do it gently.

  • Then remove the wrap
  • Pour out the salt
  • It’s a good idea is to vacuum the inside of the device
  • You can also use your brush (toothbrush) to clean the interior
  • Wipe the interior with a slightly moistened cloth
  • Dry the toaster

It is essential to remove all the salt completely, otherwise, in conjunction with water vapors, it will turn into an aggressive environment and cause corrosion of the metal components.

Soda method

If the first method hasn’t quite helped, you can use this one, based on baking soda. Being a weak abrasive, it does not harm metal surfaces. Another useful feature is its ability to remove grease stains.

  • Make a thick paste using baking soda and water
  • Apply the mixture to the stains
  • After a few minutes, clean the area using a brush
  • After treatment, remove the soda mixture with a cloth
  • Wipe the surface gently with a slightly moistened sponge
  • Wipe it dry and leave it for several hours without plugging in

How to Remove Grease?

Grease stains are most often found on the exterior. The cleaning process ends with removing them.

How and what can be used to clean a toaster depends on the material of the body. For example, a foam sponge, dishwashing agent, and cloth will be sufficient for plastic. As metal brushes and sponges, melamine sponge and powders, containing abrasive particles, can scratch the surface, they should not be used for cleaning the stains.

If the stains are small and unstable, they can be removed by a cloth soaked in vinegar or soapy water. In order to wipe off more resistant stains, use the same paste as it is harmless for metal surfaces. It should be applied to a soiled area, wipe it with a sponge after and rub dry with a cloth.

Water Use and Cleaning Frequency

Sometimes inexperienced homeowners have right doubts: is it possible to wash the toaster inside with water? This can only be done when cleaning the exterior, keeping the water from seeping in and then drying it thoroughly.

The water is strictly forbidden! You can neither immerse the device in it nor wash it under a water jet. If liquid gets on the electronic parts of the toaster, it will cause a short circuit and permanently damage the device.

The second question is: how often should you clean your toaster? It is recommended to clean the interior thoroughly once or twice a month. However, the crumbs should be removed from the tray at least once a week.

The exterior should be wiped daily. This can be easily done if you clean the kitchen every day. To prevent dirt from accumulating, you should wipe the exterior with a cloth moistened in vinegar or water.

Things to remember: As with any household tools and appliances, a toaster has its own peculiarities in handling when cleaning it.

  • Don’t forget to unplug the toaster from the mains before you start working
  • Make sure your hands are not wet or moist
  • Clean the toaster only when it has cooled down completely
  • Do not use sharp metal objects during this procedure to avoid damaging the components
  • When buying a toaster, be aware that various types of dirt – greasy splashes and fingerprints are more visible on some exteriors than others. This applies to stainless steel housings in particular. To maintain the gloss and avoid stains, such a toaster will have to be cleaned more often than the one with a plastic exterior

How to Extend the Life of the Device?

How long and trouble-free the toaster will work depends directly on competent or, conversely, ignorant handling of it, as well as on how accurately the rules and frequency of its cleaning are followed. A clean toaster has not only an attractive look but serves you a long time without any troubles.

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