From reheating any of last night's leftovers and cooking frozen foods to toasting pastries and even baking, a toaster oven is really a handy kitchen appliance that can do it all as it combines the functions of both an oven and a toaster. However, the versatility of this countertop appliance that lets your food enjoy the best of both worlds can also lead to a bit of a mess.
With all the food that goes in and the different settings available on toaster ovens, it's inevitable that the inside of your appliance can get a little messy with grease splatters, baked on grease and other food disasters that can leave you with a dirty oven.
It's important to deep clean your toaster oven every once in a while, but the cleaning process needed to clean a toaster oven isn't as simple as exerting some elbow grease with a scrub brush or a scrubbing pad and some dish soap. Doing this could simply damage the non-stick coating of your toaster oven rather than remove any stubborn stains.
How to Clean a Toaster Oven with Baking Soda
Your first instinct to finding baked on grease stuck on toaster ovens might be to whip out all the harsh chemicals you typically use to clean around your home, but you may not have to. Baking soda is a very popular and common ingredient that is praised for being a multi-functional and efficient household cleaning solution.
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, can also be used as a gentle yet effective way to clean your toaster ovens. Here's how to clean a toaster oven with baking soda:
Step 1: Make a Baking Soda Paste
The first step to cleaning toaster ovens with baking soda is to make a baking soda paste. This baking soda mixture can be easily made by combining both baking soda and water. The amount that you make will entirely depend on the size of your toaster oven and the amount of baked on grease stuck onto it.
Step 2: Spread the Baking Soda Mixture in the Toaster Oven
Once your paste has been prepared, make sure that your toaster oven is unplugged and completely cool. This includes the heating elements, crumb tray, baking racks and other interior materials that your toaster oven may have.
When everything has been sorted, it's time to begin cleaning. Grab the mixture and spread it all over the toaster oven and make sure to layer on an extra thick layer of baking soda over any food residue and baked on grease to make sure that the baking soda works its magic.
Make sure that you don't get any of the paste on the heating elements of the toaster oven. In case that you do, gently wipe them dry with a dry microfiber cloth or a paper towel.
During this step, it's also best to remove crumbs that may still be lingering inside your toaster oven.
Step 3: Let the Baking Soda Sit
After layering on the paste on the food residue stuck on your toaster oven, simply let this sit so that the baking soda can break down all the grease stains. The amount of time you leave it on will depend on the severity of these stains, with light ones only needing just a few minutes and heavier and more stubborn stains needing to sit overnight.
Step 4: Wipe Away the Baking Soda
When you've made sure that all the grease and grime have been softened by the baking soda, it's time to wipe it all away. You can use a damp rag or a damp sponge to gently wipe away the baking soda, and the food residue should come off easily.
Step 5: Make a Vinegar and Water Solution
This is an optional step for those of you who still find some stains clinging to the interior of your toaster oven. What you can do is grab a spray bottle and combine white vinegar and water to make a vinegar and water solution.
You can then use this spray bottle to spray any remaining problem areas. The baking soda and vinegar will react with each other and create a fizzing reaction that will help further loosen any leftover grease.
Step 6: One Final Wipe
Once all the baked on grease and stains have been removed, grab a damp cloth or a damp sponge and give the inside of your toaster oven one final wipe down to make sure that all the baking soda and vinegar residue have been removed.
Keeping a Clean Kitchen
A clean kitchen starts with making sure that all your appliances, tools and surfaces are clean.
Using baking soda to clean a toaster oven is not only more simple and accessible as it is something that we all can find in our kitchens, but it's also much safer than opting to use harsh chemicals that can have detrimental consequences to our health, especially when not cleaned and wiped off completely.
It's also much more gentle on the non-stick interior of a toaster oven, while also requiring less effort compared to using a kitchen sponge and dish soap to scrub away furiously for hours.