Toasters are kitchen appliances that we tend to take for granted. They’re often used on a daily basis, yet when we take the time to clean our kitchens, rarely do we think to do anything with our toasters and toaster ovens. As a result, they may accumulate years’ worth of bread and bagel crumbs before we think to clean them or simply choose to replace them.
What many people don’t realize, however, is that cleaning toasters and toaster ovens are easier (and quicker) than you might think! The whole process can take less than 10 minutes, and you probably have all the tools you need to tackle this project right now. By having a better understanding of why it’s important to clean your toaster regularly and how to properly clean it, you can check this item off your “to-do” list today!
Reasons To Clean Your Toaster Regularly
Toasters are often overlooked during kitchen cleaning because from the outside, these little appliances don’t tend to look very dirty. The majority of the crumbs end up inside the toaster itself, after all. Out of sight, out of mind…right?
Not so fast. As crumbs and other food debris build up inside your toaster over time, they can dry out and become a fire hazard. At the very least, you’ll probably begin to notice an unpleasant burning odor each time you use your toaster if it hasn’t been cleaned in a while. And if your toaster is really dirty, this could even affect the appliance’s ability to toast your food evenly. You might end up having to replace your toaster prematurely due to the additional wear.
Cleaning your toaster oven regularly is also a must and for similar reasons. Fire risks can be even higher with a toaster oven that hasn’t been maintained, especially when you use your toaster oven to cook foods with flammable greases or oils.
How To Clean A Traditional Toaster
If you haven’t cleaned your toaster in the last few months or if you can honestly say that you’ve never cleaned your toaster, make today the day! You really only need to set aside about 10 minutes of your time to end up with a clean toaster and added peace of mind.
Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you covered with this step-by-step walk-through.
Unplug and Choose a Location
The most important step in cleaning your toaster (or any plug-in appliance, for that matter) is to make sure it’s unplugged before you get started! Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of electrical shock. Furthermore, if you’ve used your toaster recently prior to cleaning it, you’ll want to make sure that it’s cooled off completely so you don’t end up burning yourself when you come into contact with it.
Before you get started in cleaning your toaster, you may also want to relocate it to somewhere that will minimize the chances of crumbs getting everywhere. Many people prefer to clean their toasters out over their sinks for this reason, but you can also set down some newspaper on your kitchen counters before you begin to catch crumbs and food debris.
Start With the Crumb Tray
Most modern toasters are outfitted with a time-saving feature known as a crumb tray. This tray is located at the bottom of your toaster and catches the majority of the crumbs as they fall from toasted bread, bagels, and other food items. Toasters that are equipped with crumb trays usually have a simple release button for the trays themselves.
Once you remove the tray, dump its contents down your sink or into the garbage. You’ll also want to rinse and hand-wash the crumb tray to remove any food residue or caked-on debris. Once you’re done washing it, set it aside so it can dry while you clean the rest of the toaster.
Give it a Good Shake
If your toaster doesn’t have a crumb tray, you’ll need to employ the “old-fashioned” cleaning method of turning your toaster upside down and gently shaking it to dislodge any crumbs. Even if your toaster does have a crumb tray, this step can be useful in getting those stray crumbs out as well.
You can also use a pastry brush (or another small, clean brush) to get into corners and remove any lingering crumbs for a more thorough clean.
Wipe and Polish
Once the since of your toaster is clean, you’ll want to tackle the outside. You can use a disinfecting wipe on many toasters (depending on the material), but if you want to play it safe, you can always wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth and some gentle dish detergent. This will help to get rid of any grease or other residues easily. Be sure to focus some special attention on the knobs of your toaster, as these tend to be the grimiest.
If you have a stainless steel toaster, you can restore its shine by using a polishing wipe designed specifically for use on stainless steel. If you don’t have any of these wipes available, you can achieve similar results using a bit of vinegar rubbed on with a clean, non-abrasive cloth.
Once you’ll all done, simply remember to replace your toaster’s crumb tray and you’ll be back in business!
How To Clean A Toaster Oven
Toaster ovens are just as important to clean on a regular basis, though they can require a bit more time and elbow grease to clean properly.
Unplug and Choose a Location
Just as with your traditional toaster, you’ll want to begin by making sure the appliance is unplugged and cooled off. Because toaster ovens tend to contain a lot of crumbs and other food particles, you’ll probably want to clean it out over your sink or over a garbage can to reduce the need for additional clean-up!
Wash Removable Parts
Begin by washing any removable parts on your toaster oven. This includes any trays or racks. Scrubbing with warm water and dish soap will usually do the trick, but a run through the dishwasher may be required for caked-on food debris. You might also consider soaking these parts for easier cleaning.
Once all removable parts are clean, be sure to set them aside so they have time to dry while you move onto the next steps.
Wipe Down the Interior
The interior of your toaster oven is probably the dirtiest part. You can make your own cleaner out of warm water, vinegar, and a small amount of dish soap. Apply some of this mixture to a sponge and then wipe down the interior of the toaster oven to remove additional grease and debris. A scouring pad can also be used on caked-on stains, but be careful not to damage any of the internal elements of the toaster oven.
Once the interior is clean, you can wipe down and polish the exterior of your toaster oven using the same steps. Replace any parts that you removed (assuming they’re completely dry first) and you’ll be ready to use your toaster oven once again.
How a Professional Cleaner Can Help
Cleaning small kitchen appliances probably isn’t your idea of a great time, but it’s necessary. The good news is that you can always hire a professional cleaning service to handle this and many other aspects of keeping your home clean.
Valet Maids, for example, offers a wide range of cleaning services to Dallas, Fort Worth, and the surrounding areas. Whether you’re looking for general house cleaning, a deep cleaning, or anything in between, you can trust Valet Maids to do a thorough job and free up your valuable time for other things. Contact us today to find out more about our professional cleaning services to schedule your first house cleaning!