How to clean a toaster

Most of us like to keep on top of cleaning our kitchens to ensure they are as safe and hygienic as possible. However, there are definitely things in that kitchen that we often don’t think about cleaning as much. One of these things will probably be the toaster. But it comes into contact with things you eat, it’s full of crumbs and it can even present as a fire risk – so it should absolutely be on everyone’s cleaning list.

At Repair Aid, we tend to repair and install bigger appliances around the home than toasters – but we’re nevertheless here to impart some helpful advice on how to properly clean your toaster in three steps.

Step 1: Cleaning the tray

Before beginning the clean, you’ll want to switch off the toaster, unplug it and leave it for a little while to cool down. Once that’s done, we’ll want to tackle the tray at the bottom of the toaster first. This is the part of the toaster that collects crumbs and burnt bits of long since eaten toast. But the worrying thing about these bits is that they can become a fire risk as they are constantly exposed to the heating elements whenever your toaster is on. As such, you’ll want to empty the tray – if not clean it – with regularity.

To do this, just slide the tray out and tip the contents into the bin. Take a cloth or a damp paper towel and clean out any remaining crumbs, then dry and place the tray back in its place. To get rid of all the crumbs in the toaster which didn’t make their way to the tray, take the toaster and shake out any remaining crumbs over a bin. If your toaster doesn’t have a tray, this will be the only way to get rid of the crumbs. Just be sure to be gentle when giving it a few taps.

Step 2: Cleaning the inside

To get rid of any other excess debris within the toaster, simply take a small brush that can easily fit into one of the toaster’s slot – such as a toothbrush or a basting/pastry brush – and move it around the inside to dislodge any leftovers that are resistant to gravity. Once you’ve done this, turn the toaster upside down over the bin again to get rid of those crumbs.

Remember: avoid sticking your fingers into the toaster and do not use anything metal. Just because it has been unplugged, doesn’t mean there isn’t a residual electric current that is waiting to shock you.

Step 3: Cleaning the outside

Now that you’ve dealt with the inside, it’s time to make your toaster look great on the outside. How you clean it really does depend on the materials used in the exterior. A number of toasters are stainless steel and, in this instance, you’ll just want to use a soft cloth. You can, of course, use a cleaner specifically for stainless steel but keep in mind to be careful as not all parts will be stainless steel.

For a toaster made of a material or materials other than stainless steel, simply take a damp, soft cloth to wipe it down. To stop residual water staining the underlying surface, give it a quick wipe with a dry, soft cloth.

Two slice toaster

Extra tips

And that’s all there is to it! But there are a few other things worth keeping in mind when cleaning a toaster. Firstly, don’t be sticking it in the dishwasher. It’s very dangerous to do so and we do not recommend it as water can get into the toaster’s heating elements and it may cause it short circuit when you next turn it on. In other words, save time elsewhere.

There’s also a question around whether you should clean a new toaster. Many will absolutely clean it but this isn’t strictly necessary. If in doubt, check what the manufacturer says about your particular model. Whatever the case, it can be a good idea to do a ‘dry run’ with your new toaster by simply putting it on at a low heat with nothing inside.

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Author: Repair Aid®

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