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How to Clean a Waffle Maker: Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to clean a waffle maker so you can enjoy great tasting waffles.

Waking up in the morning to a steaming Belgian waffle dripping with butter and syrup is amazing. It’s a delicious start to a relaxing day. Cleaning a waffle maker, even if it’s not a commercial waffle maker, is intimidating.

You need to scrub the crevices, clean up sticky grease, and make sure that it’s dry. So today we’re discussing how to clean a waffle maker so you can enjoy fresh-tasting waffles every morning.

Key Takeaways

  • Clean waffle maker after use, with removable plates being soaked, rinsed, and dried before reassembling.
  • For waffle irons without removable plates, use a damp microfiber cloth and gentle cleaning solution to clean the plates and exterior.
  • To remove burnt sugar, use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda as a paste to clean the waffle iron.
  • Avoid using non-stick spray, metal utensils, or soap on the non-stick coating to protect it and extend its lifespan.

When Should You Clean Your Waffle Maker?

The best time to clean your waffle maker is after you have finished cooking your waffles. It helps the cleaning process if the waffle iron is still slightly warm but not so warm that it will burn you. Ideally, unplug your waffle maker after you’ve finished cooking the last waffle so it will be cool enough to clean after you’ve finished eating.

How to Clean a Waffle With Removable Plates

Before cleaning your waffle iron, it’s a good idea to turn off the waffle iron after you’ve finished cooking the last waffle. This will give the iron time to cool while you eat.

  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Beginner

What You’ll Need

  • Soft brush or soft sponge
  • Drying rack (optional)
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Drying towel

1. Remove Plates

Unplug your electric waffle iron and allow the machine to cool before you begin working with it. This will prevent you from being burned during the cleaning process.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to properly remove your waffle iron plates. They should easily snap out.

2. Soak Plates

Fill your sink with warm water and immerse the plates. Gently clean the plates with an extremely soft brush or a soft sponge to prevent accidentally scratching the surface. Make sure to gently scrub between the grids to remove any stuck food particles.


Do not add soap to your sink as the soap will cause the nonstick surface to deteriorate.

3. Rinse Plates

Rinse the grid plates under warm, running water. Make sure the water flows between the grids to rinse away all the food particles on the iron.

4. Dry Plates

Put the plates on a drying rack to drip dry. You can also use a drying towel to dry the plates. Make sure they’re completely dry before putting them back on the machine.

5. Clean Outside

Use a clean and damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the outside of your waffle iron. Use a dry towel to make sure it’s completely dry before storing it.

How to Clean a Waffle Iron Without Removable Plates

You will need to clean your waffle iron after each use. This removes any food particles that might allow bacteria to grow on it. It also removes the leftover oil that will turn rancid and ruin the taste of future waffles.

  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Beginner

What You’ll Need

1. Unplug Iron

Unplug your iron and allow it to cool. This will prevent the risk of being accidentally burned.

2. Remove Food Particles

Use a dry paper towel to wipe away all the crumbs left on your iron. You may find some food that’s stuck on your iron. Soak a dish towel in hot water and then wring it out so it’s not dripping wet.

Lay the towel on your waffle iron and close the machine. Leave it on the iron for a few minutes to give the hot moisture a chance to loosen the food. Wipe the iron clean with a paper towel.

If you find that you still have batter on the plates, use a rubber spatula. The spatula can easily get between the grids and the rubber won’t scratch the nonstick surface.

3. Remove Excess Oil

Use a clean paper towel to soak up the excess oil. Fold the towel into a square and use the edges and corners to get into the crevices. You can also wrap the paper towel around a chopstick to easily clean the grid lines.

4. Make Cleaning Solution

Make a cleaning solution by adding 2 cups of warm water to a bowl and adding a few drops of dish soap. Then soak a microfiber cloth in the soapy water and wring it out so it’s not dripping.

5. Clean Waffle Iron Plates

Gently clean the waffle iron plates making sure to get into the crevices. Then rinse the cloth in clean water and use it to remove the soapy residue from your waffle iron.

6. Clean Outside of Waffle Iron

Wipe down the outside of your waffle maker using soapy water and your cloth. Again, rinse your cloth in clean water before rinsing the outside of the iron.

7. Dry

Dry the inside and outside of your waffle maker with a soft, dry dish towel. Make sure it’s completely dry before storing it.

How to Clean Burnt Sugar From Waffle Iron

Despite our best intentions, sometimes food, sugar, and syrup become burnt onto the waffle iron. Here’s how to clean a waffle maker with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

  • Time: 2 ½ hours
  • Difficulty: Beginner

What You’ll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Dishtowel
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Toothpicks
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda

1. Clean Waffle Maker

Make sure your waffle maker is cooled, before cleaning it and remove any crumbs before proceeding.

2. Make Paste

Make a paste by combining 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 1 part baking soda in a small bowl. It’s all right if the paste fizzes as you mix the two ingredients.

3. Apply to Iron

Use the spoon to liberally smear the grid surfaces with the paste. If the outside of your iron is greasy or sticky, you can also apply the paste there as well.

Let the paste sit on the iron for 2 hours. It may turn brown as it soaks up any oil on your iron.

4. Remove Paste

Dampen a microfiber cloth under running water. Wring it to remove excess water before wiping away the paste and gunk from your waffle iron.

5. Dry

Dry the waffle iron with a clean and dry dish towel. Make sure it’s completely dry before storing it.

Hacks For Cleaning a Waffle Maker

Sometimes you have excess grease on your waffle iron or baked-on food that just won’t come off. Here are a couple of other tips to help you clean your waffle iron.

  • Clean your waffle maker by making a batter of just flour and water. Make a batter of 1 cup of flour with 1 ¼ cups of water. Heat your waffle maker up and then pour the batter onto the iron. Close the lid and let the batter cook. While it cooks, it will soak up excess grease and grime from your iron. After it’s cooked, remove the waffle and let it cool before throwing it away. Use a paper towel to wipe your iron clean.
  • Another tip is to dampen a paper towel with vinegar and then wipe your waffle maker with the vinegar-soaked paper towel. Wrap the paper towel around a chopstick to get between the grid lines. Then use a cotton swab soaked in vinegar for the crevices. Wipe your iron with a dry paper towel when you have finished cleaning it.
  • You can also pour cooking oil on the baked-on batter. Allow the oil to sit on the batter for 5 minutes. The caked-on batter should remove easily when you wipe it off with a paper towel.

How to Protect a Non-Stick Coating

You can protect the non-stick coating of your iron using these tips.

  • Don’t use metal or sharp utensils on your iron because it may scratch the finish causing your waffles to stick.
  • Don’t clean your non-stick coating with soap because it may cause the coating to disintegrate over time.
  • Don’t wash the plates in the dishwasher.

Can I Use Non-Stick Spray On My Waffle Maker?

No, it’s best not to use a non-stick spray on your waffle maker. The spray will create an oily residue that will build up and become sticky over time.

How to Wash a Waffle Maker

It doesn’t matter what type of waffle maker you have, whether it’s a mini waffle maker by Dash, a Cuisinart, Carnival King, Oster, or a Calphalon waffle iron. The machine will need to be washed. The best way is to wipe the appliance off with a folded paper towel making sure to get into the crevices and grooves.

If needed you can dampen a microfiber cloth with vinegar or warm water to remove crusted food particles. Rinse the waffle iron before drying it. Make sure the waffle maker is completely dry before storing it.

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About the Author

Sara Dennis

Sara Dennis is a coffee-loving freelance writer, homeschool blogger, and mom of six kids. In her free time, Sara loves reading books and researching more efficient and effective ways to keep a clean house, homeschool her children, and blog better while making a home for her large family.