Cleaning your kitchen appliances is no fun, especially after making an entire mess trying to prepare a delicious meal for your whole family, so check it out here for easy solutions on how to keep your kitchen tidy and clean at all times.
Let’s take the toaster, for example. This useful tool that turns any regular sandwich into a feast and goes perfectly with butter and gem is quite often forgotten when it comes to cleaning. You might think all it gathers are bread crumbles and, therefore, all you need to do is give it a good shake and it’s ready to go.
Unfortunately, toasters can gather a lot of dust, debris, ick, grease, and bugs because it doesn’t come with a door that allows you to close it and preserve it. This means that the best way to make sure your bread is 100% clean and ready to be eaten every time you take it out of the toaster, you’ll have to clean the appliance after each use.
And, if you’re looking to do so without too much trouble, here is what we recommend.
What you’ll need
Before starting any cleaning operation, make sure you have all the tools and accessories necessary to perform the job well.
To perfectly clean your toaster and make it shiny again, you will need a small pastry brush or any other type of small painting brush, warm soapy water (dish detergent can help too), a dry dish towel, a damp dish towel or microfiber cloth, and vinegar if your toaster is made of stainless steel.
The first step you need to consider when cleaning your toaster is your safety, and this means unplugging the device. Never try to clean any kitchen appliance when it’s powered, not even if you turn it off, and this is also true for electric ovens and fridges.
The kitchen appliance should also be cool, so you might want to wait a couple of hours after you used and unplugged it before starting any cleaning.
Unplug the toaster and perform your regular upside-down shake on top of the sink to remove all crumbles and residues of burnt bread. You may even try shaking it a little harder, and you’ll be surprised to find the number of crumbles that get stuck inside every time you use the toaster.
Step 1: Wash any removable parts
If the product comes with a removable tray at the bottom or a bottom that opens, open it and use a small brush to remove crumbs and any other forms of residues that might have built up in time. After you scrubbed off all residues, put the tray in the soapy water and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, until the water gets cold.
The procedure will help quickly dissolve any traces of dirt and grease without having to scrub too hard. After cleaning the tray, use a regular dish sponge to remove any dirt and stains left, then place the tray on the dish towel and let it dry completely.
If the toaster doesn’t come with any detachable parts, it is best not to submerge it in water or use water to clean it, especially if it’s made of metal. It can easily rust, and the electric parts inside it can break.
Step 2: Brush out crumbs from the interior
The best way to remove any traces of dirt, debris, grease, and crumbs from inside the toaster is to use a small pastry brush. Place it inside each hole of the toaster and try to reach any crumbs or grease clinging to the interior of the device.
If possible, work from both the bottom and the top of the appliance to make sure you clean even the hardest-to-reach spots.
Step 3: Clean the exterior of the toaster
Cleaning the exterior of this kitchen appliance is the hardest because you don’t want to leave any stains or cause rusting and corrosion. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to the type of material used for the toaster’s case and clean it using the right agents.
Stainless steel toasters are better off cleaned using a solution of water and vinegar that will disinfect and remove even the most stubborn stains and grease spots, without leaving any marks.
If your toaster comes with a plastic cover, you can use any type of cleaning agent you want, as long as it’s not too acid to burn the plastic.
Dip a sponge or dishcloth into your cleaning solution (use water and vinegar or regular soap or detergent) to wipe down the exterior of the toaster. Get rid of all the excess water or detergent while still keeping the sponge damp.
Pay extra attention to the knobs, levers, and dials on the controls, as well as the handles and any other small pieces as these are the first ones to get dirty and greasy. If your dials can be removed, do so and dip them into soapy water for thorough cleaning.
After the exterior is clean, you can wipe down with a sponge dipped in clean water to remove soap residues or detergents. Use a dry cloth to absorb all extra water and let the toaster dry well on a regular dish towel.
Step 4: Reassemble the toaster
Proceed to reassemble the toaster by attaching the tray and any other pieces you might have removed during the cleaning process. Make sure all parts are completely dry, including the toaster, before plugging it in again.
We recommend letting the toaster dry over the night and make sure there aren’t any wet compartments or parts left before using it in the morning. Don’t forget to also reset the dials according to your favorite bread crispiness settings to avoid any unwanted surprises the next time you’re using it.
Cleaning a dirty and greasy toaster is no fun, especially if you’re in a hurry. If you want to prevent spending the entire afternoon or at least a couple of hours attending to your small kitchen appliance, you should learn to properly look after it.
As we previously mentioned, we recommend cleaning the toaster after each use. However, you should only do so after unplugging it and letting it cool for a few minutes. In other words, reread Step 1 to avoid any accidental burns.
If you’re using the toaster regularly, make a habit out of emptying and cleaning the tray from crumbs at least twice a week.
As for the product’s settings, always check them to prevent it from burning your bread. Also, don’t let the toaster overheat if you don’t want to deal with sticky and crumbly bread afterward.
If, however, the bread gets stuck, switch off the appliance and remove the plug. Proceed to remove all bread that’s stuck and then replug it in.
Finally, make sure to never leave any bread in the toaster for more than necessary, or else it will start to burn or stick and, therefore, will be more difficult to clean.
When should you buy a new toaster?
Some kitchen appliances are designed to last you a lifetime, while others might only get you through one season before burning or overcooking your bread.
Sometimes, the simplest designs are the ones that last the most, so we don’t necessarily recommend spending a small fortune on the latest toaster model, especially if your old one still works fine. However, you might want to consider replacing it if it burns your bread or you notice any flaw to the electrical part.
Picking a new toaster could be tricky, too, as the newer models come with various functions that allow for increased customization.
Some models come with a digital display of the temperature and a timer so that you know exactly how much until your bread is ready just the way you like it. These features will prevent burning and overcooking the bread, which, indirectly, will make the cleaning process faster and easier.
To sum up, to keep your toaster clean and functioning perfectly every day, you need to clean all the crumbs and bread residues before they get stuck. Doing so at least once-twice a week will prevent overburning and making your kitchen appliance look dirty, sticky, and greasy.