Toaster ovens work much like electric ovens. They have heating elements that cook and bake your food, and often have racks and trays that catch a lot of food crumbs that fall into the toaster while in use. Cleaning these is essential, as accumulated food particles can pose a fire hazard. Here's a guide on cleaning your toaster oven:
What You'll Need
Much like a baking oven, you don't need a lot to clean a toaster oven. You can clean your toaster oven with a white vinegar water solution with a bit of dish soap to cut through the grease, and spot clean it with a baking soda paste.
- White vinegar
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
- Damp cloth or Sponge
- Scrub brush
- Clean towel or Dry cloth
How to Clean a Toaster Oven: A Step-by-Step Guide
Step 1: Create Your Toaster Oven Cleaner
Mix together white vinegar, dish soap, and warm water to create a vinegar-soapy water solution. Vinegar will dissolve and lift stains, while dish soap will break down the grease residue from heating food. This solution, when used in small amounts, is safe to use in your toaster oven, including the heating elements.
Step 2: Wipe Down the Toaster Oven
Take a cloth or sponge, and dip it into the cleaning solution. Wring out the excess water, and use it to clean your toaster oven, glass door, crumb tray, and heating elements. Be careful when cleaning the interior of the toaster oven as it may break with too much moisture. Keep your sponge damp, but not soaking wet.
Use the soft side of the sponge to clean toaster oven glass, but the abrasive side can be used in the interior walls, crumb tray, and other metallic surfaces. Use gentle pressure, and scrub in a circular motion to remove the grime.
Don't forget to clean the exterior of your toaster oven as well. Take the same cleaning solution, and wipe it all over the exterior of your toaster oven for a full clean. This will remove dust from the outside, and prevent them from getting into the toaster oven.
Step 3: Use a Damp Cloth to Rinse Toaster Oven Clean
Rinse your sponge or cloth, and dip it in clean water. Use the dampened tool to rinse your toaster oven, and avoid soaking the oven heating elements. This will help keep a clean toaster oven, and remove residue of vinegar and soapy water.
Step 4: Spot Clean Stains and Baked-on Grease
For deep-seated stains, spot clean them with a baking soda and water paste. Place the paste directly onto the stains, and leave them to soak for 10-15 minutes. Take a brush, and scrub out the grease splatters. You should notice the grease lifts out much easier, cleaning your toaster oven, as well as each heating element.
Step 5: Dry Completely
Wipe the baking soda residue away, and let the toaster oven dry completely. Check your toaster oven manual if you can operate the toaster oven while moist to heat up the oven to dry. Else, let your toaster oven air dry with the door open.
Keeping Your Toaster Oven Clean
Maintaining a clean toaster oven is easier said than done, especially as the toaster oven is in direct contact with food. Crumbs and other food debris are inevitable, so it is important to clean your toaster oven regularly to prevent these from accumulating.
Here are a couple of tips on keeping a clean toaster oven. Toaster ovens are relatively easier to clean than pop-up toasters, so cleaning tips are similar to those of large, baking ovens. Following these tips would prevent gunk from piling up around your oven.
- Clean toaster oven regularly. This will get rid of the crumbs and food particles before they burn and stick to the interior of your oven.
- Use only food-safe cleaners. Since your oven is used in food preparations, always use only food-safe cleaning solutions when cleaning an oven to prevent harmful chemicals leaching into your food.
- Keep toaster oven dry at all times. Most toaster ovens are made with metallic materials, which can rust when the door hinges, racks, and crumb trays are kept moist. Keeping the toaster oven dry is a great way to keep it from rusting.
- Always cool the toaster oven rack and tray before washing it. Hot metals can warp with a sudden change in temperature, so be sure to cool these removable parts before washing them in cold water.
- Wiping off liquid spills while warm will help remove as much grease as possible. If you spilled melted cheese, sauces, or condiments like mayonnaise into your toaster oven, wipe these away while the oven is still warm, but not hot, to easily remove the grease.
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