The toaster oven is one hardworking kitchen appliance. But unfortunately, not all of us take the time to clean it. I believe that you've realized the importance of cleaning a toaster oven because you're reading this post.
Let me share a secret. It took me some time to clean my toaster oven after buying one. But after cleaning it for the first time, I wondered why it took me so long to do so. Cleaning a toaster is so easy you shouldn't think twice about doing it.
Keep in mind, though, that oven toaster manufacturers have specific instructions when it comes to cleaning their units. As such, I suggest that you first read the user manual of your unit and follow the instructions provided. You can also look for and download the manual on the manufacturer’s website.
But if you can’t find the user’s manual of the toaster oven you have at home, fret not as I will share with you tips in cleaning this kitchen appliance.
First things first, though-- you should always unplug the toaster oven before cleaning it. You don’t want to get hurt while cleaning the oven, do you?
Now let’s look at how you can clean the three major parts of a toaster oven-- the tray, heating element, and the glass door.
How to clean the tray?
Because it is removable, the tray is most likely the first part of the oven that you would want to clean. It is very prone to food crumbs accumulation and greases. Without a doubt, the tray is one of, if not the dirtiest, parts of the toaster oven.
Many homemakers think the easiest way to clean the food tray is to toss it in the dishwasher. But a dishwasher can't really duplicate the cleaning you can get from manual washing.
In fact, manual washing is more effective in cleaning a greasy tray. In cleaning a greasy tray, you’d want to remove as much grease as possible. Use a paper towel and wipe away grease from it. Focus on the big clumps of fat that may have gathered in the corners.
Then soak the tray in hot water mixed with a small amount of dishwashing liquid for about an hour. This would allow the soap to remove the remaining grease.
Now, using a soft sponge, wipe away the remaining grease on a non-stick tray. The sponge should glide off easily on the tray. If you have a non-stick tray, use a scouring pad to remove the remaining grease.
Once you’ve gotten rid of all the oil, wash the tray under running water for one last all-over clean.
How to clean the glass door?
Here’s a bit of news--- you don’t need to buy a cleaning product to cut through the grease in a glass door burnt on gunk and grease. You can make your own cleaning solution for the glass door with good ole baking soda.
Yes, a simple combination of baking soda and water would be enough to clean a dirty glass door. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of water. Stir well.
To use this DIY cleaner, start by unplugging the toaster oven. Place paper towels in the area in front of the oven. Open the door then wipe off all the crumbs. Cover the oven door with paste and let it stand for 20 minutes.
Scrub the door using a non-abrasive scrubber. Wipe off residual dirt with a paper towel. Repeat the two steps if necessary.
How to clean the heating elements?
Extra caution is needed when cleaning the heating elements. I would recommend that you double check that the unit has been unplugged.
Get a damp cloth then use it in wiping the length of each heating element. There’s no need to use soap, or any form of cleaner on the elements as these could damage them. Let the elements dry first before you use the toaster oven again.
While you’re at it, clean the ceiling of the toaster oven, too. This part of the oven could be the hardest to clean because of its awkward position. It also doesn’t help that there is no non-stick coating in the ceiling of the toaster.
You can use the baking soda solution I mentioned earlier in cleaning the interior walls. Apply this to a soft damp cloth and wipe down spattered food in the interior walls.
Again, let the interior walls to dry thoroughly first before plugging the oven and using it.
As you can see, cleaning a toaster oven isn’t that hard at all. You need a few tools like a damp cloth, a scrub, and several paper towels. You don’t even have to buy a commercial cleaner for this job-- a simple baking soda paste should be enough to get the job done.
Similar to cleaning a food processor and an apple peeler, keeping a toaster oven clean will not only ensure that it will be in tip-top condition. You would also be assured that the foods you toast in the oven will be safe for consumption.