When you shop through links on our site, we may receive compensation. This educational content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice or consultation.

How to Clean Your Toaster in 15 Minutes

Can we propose these toaster cleaning hacks? Five easy steps for a clean toaster.

You might have heard that it’s important to clean your toaster regularly. After all, we use these kitchen appliances pretty much every day.

If you’re wondering how to clean a toaster quickly and efficiently, you’ve come to the right place. We can help you eliminate crumbs, food residue, and other nasties that might be lurking in your toaster.

Keep reading for our five-step method on how to clean the inside and outside of a toaster properly. Soon enough, it’ll look brand new!

Key Takeaways

  • Clean your toaster regularly to prevent fire hazards and improve toast taste.
  • Unplug the toaster before cleaning and never submerge it in water.
  • Use a brush and distilled white vinegar to clean the inside, and warm soapy water for the outside.
  • Let the toaster air-dry overnight before using it again.

How Often to Clean a Toaster

We only need to tell you one thing to convince you to clean your toaster regularly: if you don’t, it’s a fire hazard.

Leaving food residue in your toaster can cause a build-up, which becomes a fire hazard the next time you use your toaster. This is especially true for toaster ovens where you use flammable greases or oils.

Another reason to clean your toaster regularly is to eliminate that awful burning smell and taste you notice each time you toast some bread.

How often is regular? We say clean your toaster every week if you have a large family that uses it often. If you live alone, clean your toaster a couple of times a month.

Can You Wash a Toaster With Water?

You shouldn’t submerge the whole toaster in water, nor should you spray it all over. As you’ll know, water and electronics don’t mix. You could electrocute yourself and also damage your toaster.

However, you can use water during the cleaning process as long as you have unplugged the toaster. You must also be very careful when using water. Always apply it to a cloth or brush first and only use a little at a time. Don’t soak your toaster.

There are removable parts of your toaster, such as the crumb tray, which you can submerge in water. Just make sure to thoroughly dry them before returning them to the toaster.

How to Clean the Inside of a Toaster

Let’s get into the best method for cleaning the interior of your toaster. We’ll walk through toasters that have a removable crumb tray and those without. So no matter what type of toaster you have, these tips should help.

  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Cloths
  • Toothbrush or pastry brush

With a Crumb Tray

If your toaster has a crumb tray, it’s a bit easier to get a thorough clean.

  1. Unplug: Always start by unplugging your toaster. Never clean your toaster while it’s still plugged in.
  2. Wipe: Using a toothbrush or pastry brush, gently wipe the inside of the toaster to remove caked-on crumbs and residue. Repeat in every toast slot.
  3. Clean: Dip your toothbrush or pastry brush into distilled white vinegar and shake off the excess. Dip it into each toast slot to deep clean the interior. Start at the top and work your way down.
  4. Clean crumb tray: Remove the crumb tray now. It will be full of bread crumbs and the debris you just loosened with your brush. Wash it like any other dish, with warm water and soap.
  5. Dry: Dry the crumb tray well with a cloth. Let the toaster air dry thoroughly overnight. You don’t want to use it while it’s still slightly damp inside.

Without a Crumb Tray

Cleaning a toaster without a crumb tray is more or less the same, except you’re dumping the crumbs into the trash rather than cleaning the tray.

  1. Unplug: Unplug your toaster to ensure that you’re super safe.
  2. Wipe: Use a toothbrush or pastry brush to clean the inside of each toast slot. This will loosen debris and crumbs. They will fall to the bottom of the toaster. We’ll empty that later. Use a toothbrush or pastry brush to gently wipe the inside of the toaster and remove caked-on crumbs and residue. Repeat in every toast slot.
  3. Clean: Repeat step two with a dampened brush. Simply dip your brush in distilled white vinegar, then shake it to remove the excess. Clean each toast slot from top to bottom.
  4. Empty toaster: To remove crumbs, hold your toaster upside down over a trash can and give it a gentle shake. Repeat for about 20 seconds to remove as many crumbs as possible.
  5. Dry: Let the toaster air dry thoroughly overnight.

How to Clean the Outside of a Toaster

You want your toaster to look nice on your countertop, so cleaning the exterior is essential. Unplug your toaster before beginning.

  • Time: 15 minutes (plus waiting time)
  • Difficulty: Easy

What You’ll Need

  • Cloth
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • Bowl or sink
  • Water

1. Prepare Solution

Mix warm water with a few drops of dish soap in a small bowl or kitchen sink.

2. Clean Exterior

Dampen your cloth in the solution and wring it out well. Rub your toaster in gentle motions to remove all the residue and dirt. You might need to apply elbow grease on tough stains and marks.

3. Clean Stains

If you have stained areas, pour a little baking soda into a bowl. Dampen your toothbrush in water, then dip it into the baking soda. Rub it onto the stained areas of the toaster, scrubbing in gentle motions to apply the baking soda.

Leave it for up to 30 minutes, then wipe off with a cloth. The baking soda paste should have loosened stains, making them easy to remove.

4. Clean Hard to Reach Spots

Using your toothbrush, dip it into your soapy water solution and get around the rest of the toaster. Focus on hard-to-reach spaces and small gaps, like around the dials and the toaster handles.

5. Dry

Use a dry cloth to wipe the exterior, removing all moisture residue.

How to Clean a Toaster With Cheese In It

The above steps might not be strong enough to remove cheese from inside your toaster. If your toaster grill has made an enemy of a cheese slice, here’s how to clean it.

  1. Unplug: Unplug your toaster before you follow these cleaning steps.
  2. Wait: If the cheese is soft and warm, wait around one hour, so it becomes hard. That will be easier to clean.
  3. Scrape off: Use a wooden spatula or spoon to scrape the cheese off and out from the toaster.
  4. Clean grill: Dip a toothbrush or pastry brush in distilled white vinegar and scrub the grill clean, ensuring that you don’t soak the inside of the toaster.
  5. Dry: Leave the toaster overnight to air dry before you use it again.

How to Clean Stainless Steel Toaster

When you choose a stainless steel toaster, such as one of the Philips models, you’re going for something built to last. However, stainless steel tends to show more fingerprints and marks than other materials. So you need to issue some different and specialized cleaning hacks to get the steel shining.

One option is to use a commercial stainless steel cleaner on it. Combine this with a microfiber cloth, and your steel will be sparkling.

If you want to use a home remedy, distilled white vinegar is great for shining up stainless steel and leaving a streak-free finish.

How to Clean a Toaster Oven Inside

We’ve walked you through how to clean a toaster, but what about a toaster oven? These two appliances require slightly different cleaning approaches. We’ll show you how to clean a toaster oven by removing and cleaning the inner components.

  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

What You’ll Need

1. Unplug

Turn your toaster oven off and unplug it from the outlet. Safety first!

2. Clean Removable Parts

Remove the tray, grill, and crumb tray. Usually, you can clean these in the dishwasher, but if yours are really dirty and covered in burnt food, you might want to soak these parts overnight in soapy water. Then clean as you would normally wash your dishes.

3. Remove Crumbs

Shake the toaster oven over your garbage to remove crumbs. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove even more crumbs and residue.

4. Clean Interior and Exterior

It’s time to clean the interior of the toaster oven. There are various hacks to try, but one that toaster oven users love is using Bar Keeper’s Friend. This is especially useful if you haven’t cleaned your toaster oven in a while (or ever)!

Follow the manufacturer’s advice on how to apply it. Gently scrub it using a microfiber cloth. You can use Bar Keeper’s Friend on the interior and exterior of the toaster oven, including the glass door.

Eco-Friendly Alternative

If you don’t want to use Bar Keeper’s Friend or other commercial products, you can create a paste using baking soda and water. Use that to deep clean your toaster oven. It just might not be strong enough if your toaster oven is filthy.

5. Rinse

Dampen a microfiber cloth with warm water and wipe down your toaster oven’s entire interior and exterior, removing all cleaning solution residue and dirt.

6. Dry and Reassemble

Using a separate cloth, wipe the interior, exterior, and removable parts until they’re dry. Reassemble the toaster oven. Keep the door open and let it air dry further overnight.

Can I Put a Toaster In a Dishwasher?

No, you can’t put a toaster in the dishwasher because it’s an electric appliance. You will destroy the wires and coils if you wash it in the dishwasher. Don’t submerge the toaster in the sink, either.


Can You Submerge a Toaster In Water to Clean It?

No. Because it is electrical, you will ruin the toaster if you submerge it in water. Plus, the interior will still be wet when you plug it back in. This puts you at risk of an electric shock.

How Do You Get Burn Marks Off a Toaster?

The best way to remove burn marks is by using something slightly abrasive. You can try scraping them off with an old credit card.

Another option is to make a coarse paste with baking soda and water. Scrub it into the burn marks until you see the mark disappear.

Your final option is to use Bar Keeper’s Friend since it’s slightly abrasive.

Can You Use Magic Eraser on a Toaster Oven?

You can use Magic Eraser to clean the door of your toaster oven. It’s incredible at removing filth from the glass door. As for cleaning the interior, Magic Eraser doesn’t such a good job, so we recommend using something else, such as Bar Keeper’s Friend or baking soda.

What is the Lifespan of a Toaster?

The lifespan of a toaster depends on how frequently it gets used, its make, model, and the quality. You should expect to get five to eight years of use from an average toaster.

Should You Unplug a Toaster After Use?

You should unplug a toaster after use because appliances can malfunction and cause fires and electric shocks.

What Should You Not Put in a Toaster?

There are several things you should not put in a toaster, including buttered bread, aluminum foil, cutlery, paper, and cheese.

Time for Toast

Cleaning your toaster only takes around 15 minutes, and it’s a super easy cleaning job. Cleaning your toaster regularly can improve your toast’s taste and decrease the risk of a fire.

All you need to do is remove crumbs, clean the inside of the toaster with a brush and dry it out. You can use warm soapy water and a cloth to clean the exterior. Simple!

Always unplug your toaster while cleaning and leave it to air-dry overnight before using it again.

Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?
Thank You For Your Feedback!
Thank You For Your Feedback!
What Did You Like?
What Went Wrong?
Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism, and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!