toaster vs oven

How to Clean a Toaster – It Only Takes 10 Minutes

Even though most of us use it daily, the toaster probably isn’t in the forefront of our cleaning brains.

how to clean a toaster

Even though most of us use it daily, the toaster probably isn’t in the forefront of our cleaning brains. The toaster can sometimes be forgotten in the kitchen clean-up, yet it certainly deserves a regular cleaning. Crumbs build up in a toaster over time, so you should periodically deep clean your toaster so it works properly.

Pop-up toasters are simple machines, but they’re also mini escape rooms for bread crusts and stray poppyseeds, which inevitably get stuck inside and burn, making your everything bagel taste char-grilled. 

How Often to Clean a Toaster

If you use your pop-up toaster daily, weekly cleaning is best to remove crumbs and any food residue that could cause a burnt taste or a fire.

About once a month, deep clean your toaster. Do so by cleaning the crumb tray and then wiping down the interior and exterior with vinegar. This will keep your toaster from building up too many crumbs and other debris.

What You”ll Need

  •  Gentle liquid dishwashing soap
  •  Warm water
  •  Sponge
  •  Small pastry brush
  •  2 Soft microfiber cloths
  •  White Vinegar (for stainless steel)


Step 1: Unplug the toaster

Make sure your toaster is unplugged and completely cooled before you begin your cleaning process. Because cleaning your toaster can be a crumby business, work over the sink, trash can, or a newspaper-covered table.

Step2: Remove the crumb tray 

Most toasters have a removable tray on the bottom called the crumb tray. For the most part, you should be able to easily slide out the crumb tray.

The removal of these trays is super helpful for the cleaning process. If your toaster doesn’t have a removable tray, you can still opt for the old-fashioned method of turning your toaster upside down and gently shaking it.

how to clean a toaster
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Step3: Wash that crumb tray

Clean the crumb tray in warm, soapy water. Wipe the crumb tray clean over the sink using warm water and gentle liquid soap. Wash it like you would wash any other dishes. Get it completely clean, removing any stuck on crumbs or stains, and then set it aside to dry.

Step 4: Swipe away crumbs from the interior

With the crumb tray removed, use the pastry brush to reach any crumbs still clinging to the interior of the toaster. To get every last crumb out of the tricky, tough-to-reach corners, stick your pastry brush in through the top slots and give the inside of the appliance a good sweeping. The bristles help to easily break up any clumps and remove crumbs without scratching or damaging your appliance.

It’s usually a good idea to turn your toaster upside down and shake it again after removing interior crumbs. 

Step 5: Wipe the exterior of the toaster

Dip a sponge or dishcloth in the soapy water to wipe down the exterior of the toaster. Wring out most of the water so the sponge is just damp. Pay extra attention to dials or levers on the controls, as well as handles. You may be able to remove dials so they can be washed in the soapy solution.

For really tough stuck-on stains, use a bit of bicarbonate of soda/baking soda to scrub off gently. Use a non-scratching sponge or wiping cloth on the toaster to prevent scratches.

Step 6: Polish up the exterior

If your toaster is stainless steel, use a clean cloth and a bit of vinegar to shine it up. Use a commercial stainless steel cleaner or dampen a clean cloth with a bit of distilled white vinegar and wipe down the exterior to remove smudges and leave a streak-free shine.

Step 7: Reassemble the toaster

Push the crumb tray—now completely dry—back into place, and wipe down the counter of any remaining crumbs. Now that you’ve undone the source of your crumb collection, future kitchen cleanup will be a breeze.

Recommended Products:
Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges
how to clean a toaster
OXO Silicone Pastry Brush
how to clean dishwasher
Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda
VibraWipe Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
Lucy's White Vinegar
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