Do you know how to clean your toaster oven appropriately? You feel that your toaster oven is clean, but actually, there are shiny grease streaks and food buildup in it. At this time, you need to clean your oven to clear up all the dirt and help you
How Do I Clean My Toaster Oven?
A toaster oven works at its peak performance when it is clean. My easy steps below will show you how to clean a toaster oven:
- Unplug And Detach Your Toaster Oven Elements: Unplugging the toaster oven is the first step for your safety, and those removable racks and trays need to clean outside the oven.
- Remove Grease And Stain In Those Racks And Trays: Grease and stain on your racks and trays can be removed in different kinds of cleaning solutions. You should choose a suitable solution for those materials.
- Clean The Interior With Your Cleaning Solutions: Baking soda and white vinegar are ideal to clean the interior of your toaster oven.
- Clean The Exterior And Window Glass: The exterior of your oven also needs to be clean to wipe away all the dust and grease clinging to it.
- Air Dry: Air dry your toaster oven and those racks and trays after you cleaned them to get ready for the next use.
It won’t take you much effort or a bunch of budgets to clean a toaster oven. You can totally use ingredients from your kitchen instead of spending money on commercial cleaning products when the result is the same.
My information below shows how to clean a toaster oven properly. Moreover, some tips will give you a trick on your cleaning time.
So let’s start!
What Types Of Your Toaster Oven?
Firstly, you have to identify what kind of toaster oven you own. It is because different kinds of toaster ovens need their proper ways to clean. Some materials in the oven are easy to clean such as ceramic, stainless steel, but some materials need a soft, gentle clean so as not to affect the finish coat.
Another thing is that some elements in your oven do not allow normal cleaning; in that case, you need to contact your manufacturer for more instructions about which elements can or cannot clean and do they need special treatment or not.
Here are some types of home-based toaster oven that may appear in your house:
Standard Countertop Toaster Oven
A small size oven that you can put on the corner of your kitchen. This kind of toaster oven is simple to use and can meet most of the family’s demand for a typical toaster oven. There are many sizes of toaster ovens for different sizes of families, from 8 cubic feet to 10 cubic feet in the interior of the oven.
Convection Toaster Oven
Another choice for your household appliance. The convection toaster oven has a convection fan within the oven which flows the heat all around the interior of the oven. This helps the food cook efficiently and reduces the energy in use. Convection toaster oven utilizes the way you use the standard oven, which is not much discrepancy in size.
Why Do You Need To Clean Your Toaster Oven?
Some people may argue that their toaster oven does not directly interact with their food when there are racks or fans and the hot temperature from the oven can get rid of bacteria while you are using it.
Grease and residue could be leftover after you cook. If you allow food buildup in your toaster oven, you run a risk of fire.
It is better if you clean your oven after each time you use it. However, it is still at a high temperature after use and you have to wait till it cools down, then you may forget. You can take a small note to remind yourselves to clean it regularly. This is not a matter of cleanliness but safety when food buildup leftover from the previous use may cause harm to the next use. And somehow it may affect the taste.
This is an undeniable signal that your oven needs to be clean. The smell can come from oil grease grips in the interior of the oven or burning crumbs stick on the racks and trays.
A bad smell does not directly harm the toaster oven but it may affect the taste of your food. It makes your food not taste as you’re expecting.
Oil drips out from food, especially from roasted meat sticks, or dropped food will catch fire when it falls into the heating bars. The grease will burn to a black stain under the high temperature of the oven and stick heavily on the racks or crumb tray. At the time, it was hard to remove.
Crumbs on the crumb tray will burn and release the smell of smoke when you do not clean it regularly.
Can You Clean The Toaster Oven With Cleaning Soap?
The commercial natural cleaner is a convenient product with no harsh chemicals that makes it easier the way you clear up your oven. However, some cleaning soaps contain harmful chemical compounds to the material of your toaster oven.
Even if the natural cleaners are extracted from natural ingredients, you must read the instructions of the cleaner for what type of surfaces it can apply.
Aluminum in the oven interior is a delicate material that you should know whether the clearer is allowed to use in this material or not. Do not use commercial cleaning soap unless your manufacturer recommends it.
Things That You Need To Prepare
Here are some useful things you need for your cleaning:
A multipurpose product not only for cooking but also an awesome cleaner and odor deodorant.
You diluted white vinegar with water in the ratio of 50:50, if you do not have white vinegar, you can use lemon juice instead.
This is used to wipe out all the removable crumbs and finally wipe dry for your oven. A microfiber is recommended because the tiny fiber can carry all the dust in one sweep.
The best is a soft sponge to score stubborn residue without ruining the non-stick cover of your appliance. You should not use the scouring pad or brillo because it will scratch the non-stick surface of the oven.
Things that you might also need: Paper, toothbrush, mild soap, vacuum clean
The Effective Way To Clean Your Countertop Toaster Oven
After you have defined that you are owing a countertop toaster oven, and get all the essential tools. Now let’s start to clean your oven by following my six steps below:
Watch this video to know more:
Step 1: Unplugged Your Oven & Let It Cool Down
For your safety, please unplug your oven before starting to clean it. Therefore, you should wait until it cools down to prevent you from burning. Put your toaster oven in a dry and easy to clean place. It can be near the sink but do not put your unit into water.
Step 2: Take Out The Racks And Trays
Racks and pans are two removable elements in your oven. In the bottom of your oven, there is a crumb tray to keep food dropping or grease when there is no boiling pan. It is usually laid under the heating element.
Carefully sweep all the crumbs from the bottom tray with a cloth, microfiber, or vacuum clean before you take it out.
Step 3: Clean The Racks And Tray
Sparkle the baking soda all over the surface and spray white vinegar onto it. It takes time for those two to activate. Use a sponge to scrub all the stains.
If your sponge has two sides, please use the yellow/soft side to scrub it. The green/hard side can abrasive the non-stick cover. Some hard stains can not be removed immediately so that you need to immerse them in hot water with soft, mild soap for a night.
Step 4: Clean The Interior
In this step, you add baking soda and water to make a paste-like mixture. Use a paper towel to place it on every surface of the oven. Based on the situation of your oven, I suggest that you should let it from a few hours to overnight for that mixture to activate.
After that, you scour it with a useless toothbrush in a circular motion with some vinegar. Try not to let water drop in your oven. Redry it with a paper towel.
Step 5: Clean The Exterior And The Oven Window
It is different from the interior in that the exterior is less likely to have grease and residue but there is dust clinging around the oven. Therefore, your fingerprint will leave whenever you open or close the oven window.
You can easily clean the exterior of the oven with a paper towel or a wet towel. If the window of your toaster oven is made from glass, you should consider the recommendation of the manufacturer for a glass cleaning. You can also make a homemade glass cleaning solution by mixing vinegar and water in the ratio of 1:2.
Step 6: Air Dry And Put Those Racks And Tray Back To The Oven
To this step, you are already done with all the things. Just wait for those elements to completely dry and put them back to their place. Plugging it and waiting for your next use.
Two Ways To Clean Your Convection Toaster Oven
What happens if you own a convection toaster oven? Here I got two ways for your cleaning time:
By Traditional Way:
Cleaning a convection toaster oven is similar to cleaning a countertop toaster oven and those steps above can be applied to this type of oven.
Step 1: Unplug And Take Out The Removable Elements
Remember to unplug your oven and wait till it completely cools down. Put your oven in a plain place that is easier for your cleaning, take out all the racks and trays. You can use a soft cloth or microfiber to sweep out the crumbs.
Step 2: Clean The Interior And Exterior Of The Oven
Use the mix of baking soda and water to remove all the grease in the interior. Clean it again with the compound of vinegar and water and dry with a paper towel or rag cloth. Reapply this to the exterior.
You should be careful with the convection fan in the interior of the oven, and don’t leave any water or cleaning solution into it.
Step 3: Clean The Racks And Trays
Use the combo of baking soda and white vinegar to clean those stuff. You sprinkle the baking soda on the whole surface of your racks and trays, then spray the mix of white vinegar and water onto them. Take time for it to remove stains. You use a soft sponge or an old toothbrush to scratch the hard stains.
Clean them again with water.
Step 4: Air Dry And Put All The Elements Back
After cleaning, leave all the elements and your convection toaster oven air dry. Put all the racks and trays back to their place and plug your oven for the next use.
By Using Self-cleaning Function
However, some high technical ovens may have the function of self-cleaning and you can use it to scrape your oven. There are few steps to run the self-cleaning function of your convection toaster oven:
Step 1: Take Out The Removable Elements
Take out the oven racks and use a dry rag cloth, microfiber to wipe out all the removable crumbs in your oven.
Step 2: Turn On The Self-cleaning Function
Run the self-cleaning functions on your convection toaster oven and set the desired time you want it to clean. Make sure that the oven window closes properly so that the fumes or heat will not break free.
Step 3: Clean The Racks
During the running time of the self-cleaning function, you can clean the racks with mild soap or use baking soda and white vinegar. Then let it air dry.
Step 4: Clean The Remaining Ash
After the cycle has finished, let your oven cool down for 1 or 2 hours. Then you should start to wash all the remaining ash left on the bottom of your oven.
Step 5: Put The Elements Back In Their Place
Put the racks back to the oven and continue to use them.
Some Tricks To Remove Spot And Stain On Your Bottom Tray
Stain or spot on the bottom tray sticks very hard when you leave it for a long time. Most of the bottom tray is made from aluminum. This material conducts heat quite well and is easily scratched. If your bottom tray is scratched, it will rust away. At this time you need to buy a new tray. So how to prevent your bottom tray from being scratched. Here are some ways that you could apply:
Use A Plastic Knife:
A metal knife may abrade to the finish coat of your bottom tray but a plastic knife may not. Gently shave the burnt crumbs off the tray.
Heat The Tray:
Heating the tray on a stove and using a rag cloth to rub the stain. You should cover your hands with thick gloves to not burn your hands.
What About Heating Elements?
Heating elements have a significant role in the toaster oven so if there is any trouble with those elements, your toaster oven will need professional treatment. If food drops on the heating element, it is flammable. So to prevent that unwanted situation happens, you should:
- Pay attention to whether there are anything drops on the heating elements
- Use a drying rag cloth or microfiber to clean the heating elements when it totally cools down. It is because the sooner you take cleaning, the easier for you to clear it up
- Some traditional ovens allow users to clear quartz heating elements with a soft, damp sponge when it is totally cool, and make sure that you unplug the oven before it. Some newer ovens warn that you can not touch them with anything.
- Ask for more instructions from manufacturers if you have any idea about cleaning the heating elements.
Some Tips For You
Here are some tips that will let you feel easier in your cleaning time:
- Use a baking sheet and pans when you cook. Those are great accessories for your toaster oven when it helps your cleaning time become easier. One thing you should be assured of is that your oven has enough space for food when using the baking sheet or pans.
- Instead of using a spraying bottle to clear up your toaster oven, you should spray the liquid onto a sponge or rag cloth and wipe it on the surface.
- Baking soda can neutralize the bad smell of your toaster oven so that you don’t need to use any deodorizer.
Did you get the information you need from the sections above? The frequently asked questions below will provide you with some useful information:
Cleaning A Toaster Oven Is Easier Than It Sound!
Cooking with a clean toaster oven will make your food more delicious than ever. With the help of my guide above, I hope you find the best way to clean your toaster oven and keep it clean.
All the information above is the experience in cleaning a toaster oven that I want to share with you. I hope it is helpful for you and please feel free to share your thoughts about it via the comment section.
Weber, M.J, (1978). Fact about Toasters and Toaster Ovens. Oregon State University.