Probably one of the last things that you would ever remember to clean is your toaster oven. Why is this so? You may be using your toaster only in the morning and during these times you may often be too busy or too preoccupied to even clean anything before you head off to work. This leaves your toaster oven and almost all “breakfast” countertop appliances greasy, crumb-laden and covered with dirt.
Here are some tips on how to clean your toaster oven on a weekly basis as well as cleaning it right after you have used it for toast or simply heating any kind of food.
Thorough weekly cleaning
You will need dish soap, a cup of baking soda, water, scrubbing pads, soft clean cloth and a used toothbrush. You will need about 30 to 45 minutes cleaning time depending on how dirty your oven is.
- Unplug your toaster oven from the socket and remove any leftover food as well as removable accessories like trays, food covers, splatter shields and so on. These should be cleaned and then dried accordingly.
- With a soft cloth, wipe any crumb or soft grease from the outer portion of the toaster. Don’t forget to clean the back, the sides and even the power cord. Then open the toaster to clean the same way. Wet the cloth with warm water and then wipe all the interiors; warm water will remove any loose debris.
- Mix one part baking soda with one part water in a mixing bowl; the consistency of the mixture should be like toothpaste. If this mixture turns crumbly, add more water. Apply the mixture over the surfaces that are caked with grease. You may immediately scrub these areas or let it set for a while (about 5 to 10 minutes) if the grease and stains are too hard to remove.
- If the stain and the grease are found in the back part of your oven, use a toothbrush to reach. Do the same thing; allow the mixture to stay over the area for about 10 minutes before you scrub using the brush.
- Use a scouring pad and the toothbrush to scrub dirt, grime and stains. If you were not able to remove stains for the first time, dry the area with cloth and then place baking soda and water mixture over the area once more. Allow to set for a longer time.
- After you have scoured the interior from top to bottom, remove baking soda and dirt using a soft cloth.
- What about the heating element? Carefully wipe this with cloth and you may also wipe it with baking soda and water mixture but do not scour or scrub vigorously.
- What about the steel grate or mesh inside the oven? Baking soda works on these too. This area is often caked with grease so let the mixture stay on the grates for about 15 minutes before scrubbing.
- What about the smell? Baking soda is a deodorizer and will remove smell too.
- Allow the entire oven to dry for about an hour before plugging it and using it again.
After using the oven for toast or for heating food, allow the oven to cool down and then unplug it. Simply remove the pans that catch crumbs or burned food from underneath the oven and then dump all dirt into the trash. With a soft cloth wipe the tray clean and then replace it in the toaster oven.
If you have more time on your hands, use a small amount of dishwashing soap on the cloth and then wipe the interiors clean. After you are done, wipe with a damp cloth and then finish with a soft dry one. Do the same on the exterior of the toaster oven. Leave the oven toaster door open to dry. By the time you are back home, it would be clean and ready to use.
Daily cleaning is important to avoid caking grease and dirt. Dirt and grease is where bacteria build up and it could be very dangerous if you continue to use a dirty oven again and again. You must clean your oven daily if you use it daily and clean it weekly if you rarely use it too.