The toaster oven is undoubtedly one of the most hardworking kitchen appliances you could ever have. As much as we love using it, we are very reluctant about cleaning it. However, the importance of washing your toaster oven is paramount since a dirty toaster oven can bring about a lot of harmful effects on your general wellbeing.
It may take you hours to clean your toaster oven when the first time you started cleaning it. But have you wondered, what took you so long? Cleaning a toaster oven should not be a lengthy task, so you must be doing something wrong indeed.
Do take note that toaster oven manufacturers may have some specific instructions when it comes to cleaning the equipment. Therefore, we would suggest you take out the user’s manual and take a look if you haven’t looked at it yet. You can even look up to the instructions on your manufacturer’s website.
If you can’t seem to find the user’s manual, here are some easy hacks of cleaning a toaster oven thoroughly, with ease. But first things first – make sure to unplug your toaster oven before you go on to clean it. After all, safety should be our main priority at all costs.
Here are three easy ways on how to clean your toaster oven.
- Dump the crumbs out: Once you have unplugged the toaster oven, open the door. Hold it securely over a dustbin and tilt the opened side of it towards the bin so it’s facing each other. Shake it a little and tap it on its backside once or twice to get the crumbs out of the grills lodged within.
- Remove the pans and racks: It is for your convenience that toaster ovens come with pans and racks on the inside. So, slide them out quickly. Remove the rack and securely place it on your sink and splash it with water and an all-purpose cleaner. Collect the crumbs from your pan and dump these into a rubbish bin. Clean the pan nicely in the same way you clean the rack.
- Sponge the parts: Make use of a sponge to get rid of any charring and grime that’s stuck on the rack and pan. Put them for drying once you have finished washing them.
- Wipe on the inside: When you have finished cleaning the rack and pan, the next thing that most of us forget is to clean the inside of the oven. Use a scrubber sponge and a nontoxic all-purpose cleaner to wipe the sides, top and bottom of the toaster oven. Never rub the heating elements, the ones that are generally placed at the back of the oven, with a wet sponge.
Also, remember to never spray directly on the inside of the toaster oven.
- Let it dry: While the rack and pan are left off for drying, keep your toaster oven’s door open to dry it on its inside. Allow air to go through so it doesn’t leave an unpleasant odor later on.
- Wipe the door: Get a mixture of vinegar and water ready to get rid of the stickiness that may be on the door of your oven. If you are confused about the mixtures, fret not! Just mix two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and two tablespoons of water, and that’s it, you are done. Dampen this liquid mixture on a cloth and wipe down the door. You will notice that the greasiness is gone.
- Clean on the outside: Cleaning the outside of your toaster oven is all about spraying an all-purpose cleaner or a glass cleaner to wipe it down with a dry cloth. If you have fancy steel or plastic exterior, what you can do is clean it with soapy water. It is best if you can use a microfiber cloth in order to dry the outside of your toaster oven.
Eliminating Serious Grime
- Get rid of the easy-to-clean grime at first: Wipe all the sides and bottom of the inside part. Again, do not wipe the heating elements with a wet sponge and do not spray the cleaner directly on the inside.
- Get rid of stubborn grime with baking soda: If you think that the all-purpose cleaner is not doing a good job at cleansing the grease and dirt, here’s what you can do: create a paste by mixing 2 – 3 tablespoons of baking soda with a tablespoon of ammonia. Take the paste onto the scrubber and budge your hands in a zigzag or circular motion, trying to clean thoroughly.
You can even use a tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar. This also works nicely on mesh and steel grates inside the toaster oven.
- Wipe the grease: Dampen a dishcloth and sprinkle some baking soda on the cloth. This method will make sure to get rid of any greasy surfaces that remain inside the toaster oven.
- Use nylon scrubber if necessary: If you notice that the food has charred into a brown to a black mess and there’s no way you can fix this issue. Let us tell you that you can certainly use a nylon scrubber to dip it in soapy water to remove it. However, make sure to not let the water drip inside the toaster oven.
- Clean the heating element properly: All this while we had been stressing on being careful so not to touch the heating element, but in any case, if you need to clean it, here’s how you can do it. Collect the crumbs and any unwanted materials on the heating element and use a dishcloth to get rid of It. Use a tablespoon of baking soda and a little bit of water to make a dry paste. Apply it on to the heating element and scrub it off in a tender manner using a toothbrush or the dishcloth.
Make sure to scrub clean all the leftover paste properly. Any leftover residue may lead to burning and charring.
Take Care of Your Toaster Oven
- Engage in light, frequent cleaning: Wipe any small and little greasy spills inside your toaster oven just as you notice them. Keep a sponge or a damp dishtowel solely for this purpose. This is to prevent the greasiness from building up and help you with a limited amount of cleaning all at once.
- Deep clean as necessary: It’s not like you need to adhere to a regular schedule when planning on how frequently you need to clean your toaster oven. The more often you make use of it, the more regularly you will need to clean it.
You know it’s time to clean your toaster oven when you see that your food has caked inside the oven or you smell an unpleasant, smoky kind of odor. On top of that, if you notice too much grease or crumbs in the oven’s drip pan, remove them immediately for a cleanup.
- Never store anything on the inside of the toaster oven: It may have turned into your habit of placing kitchen staples, bread, bagels and any other stuff on top of an oven to ensure convenience and conserve space. Despite that, when a toaster oven heats up, what happens is it causes the color of such bags to leave a print on the oven.
No matter what material your toaster oven might be made out of, some elements can even melt the whole plastic or bag. Therefore, it’s best not to store anything on top of your toaster oven.
To get rid of spots and discoloration, use a nail polish remover to wipe off the transferred colors on the toaster oven.
What Not To Put In A Toaster Oven:
- Pyrex and other glass dishes
This came off more like a shock. We all knew that Pyrex is very much oven-safe, but little did we know that it could cause a splinter and frost in the glass. It gets almost like shattered within the glass itself. So, even when the manufacturers claim that their products are 100% ovenproof, know that it might not be good enough for your toaster oven.
- Mason Jars
We all love those brownies in a jar recipe. But if you are deciding on putting a mason jar in a toaster oven, well then, that’s not really a very good idea. That’s because Mason jars are not well tempered for oven use. Although they make great stuff for storing salads and nuts, they should not be used inside a toaster oven.
- Coffee Mugs
Simply put, you should not put coffee mugs or coffee cups inside a toaster oven. The reason? It’s just not safe to place those ceramic mugs inside because most of the time they have a design imprinted on them, and it shouldn’t ruin the imprint.
- Aluminum Foil
Never let the foil touch the heating elements of your toaster oven because it can melt the surfaces of your oven. In the worst case scenario, it could also catch fire when it comes in direct touch with a heat source. Yes, it’s flammable!
Once broken down to easy doable steps, cleaning a toaster oven is a task as easy as a piece of cake. All you need are a few tools like a scrub, a damp cloth and a few paper towels and you are good to go! You don’t even have to go to the supermarket to buy a specialized cleaner – just a baking soda paste should suffice.
Just as you clean your juicer machine, blender and other appliances, always try to keep your toaster oven clean, too. It’s not only about safe consumption but also about building a healthier lifestyle.