Written by Grove Collaborative

How to clean an air fryer in a few simple steps.

Last Updated: September 30, 2021

Tired of dealing with stuck-on food or unpleasant smells coming from your air fryer? Learn how to clean an air fryer in just a few minutes — the simple way.

If you’re a fan of fried — well, everything — an air fryer is a game-changer. It allows you to enjoy your deep fried favorites, from mozzarella sticks to pork chops, with less fat and fewer calories (yum)!

Even though an air fryer requires very little oil, you’re still frying, so you won’t escape greasy messes after each use, although they’ll be minor compared to what you see with traditional frying.

So, when and how should you clean the inside of an air fryer? Read on as we walk you step-by-step through cleaning your favorite kitchen appliance.

How to clean an air fryer before first use

New to air frying? Go ahead and tear open the box and behold, but before you use your fryer, give it a good scrubbing — it’s been through a lot!

Take apart all of the fryer’s removable components, wash the air fryer basket tray and pan with mild dish soap, and dry them thoroughly. Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe all of the surfaces inside and outside of the machine.

Some manufacturers recommend running the appliance empty for 10 minutes to let it off-gas. This might cause a slight chemical smell (like most new appliances have), so keep the window open or the vent turned on. Don’t worry — you should only notice the smell once.

Now you’re cookin’!

Why do we always recommend microfiber cloths in our cleaning guides? Because they’re ahhhhmazing! Check out our guide to microfiber cleaning cloths, and find out why they get things cleaner — and how they save you money!

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Do you have to clean an air fryer after every use?

Well, you don’t have to, but you probably should.

Clean at least the basic components of your air fryer each time you use it to keep it from getting all gunked up with crumbs, burnt cheese, and the like. Otherwise, it’ll eventually heat up slower, use more energy, and force you to spend a lot more elbow grease when you finally get around to cleaning it.

How do you clean the inside of an air fryer?

Grove Tip

What not to do when cleaning an air fryer

Steer clear of abrasive sponges, steel wool, and scraping tools, or you’ll scratch the fryer’s non-stick coating. Get yourself a set of these Full Circle pan scrapers, which are safe for practically every cooking surface.

Shop scrappers, brushes, and sponges from Grove

4 easy steps to cleaning the inside of an air fryer

1. Let it cool down, and clean removable parts

Unplug your air fryer and let it cool down for at least 30 minutes.

Take out all the removable parts, and wash the pan, basket, and tray with warm, soapy water. If the parts are dishwasher safe, pop them in and use your favorite dishwasher detergent.

2. Remove stubborn, baked-on food particles

To remove baked-on grease or charred food particles, soak the removable parts in water for 10 to 15 minutes.

If it still is stuck on there, make a cleaning paste with water and baking soda, and use a soft-bristle brush to scrub clean.

3. Clean the interior and exterior

Use a damp microfiber cloth (or, in a pinch, a non-abrasive sponge with a small amount of mild dish soap) to wipe down the interior and exterior of your air fryer.

Dry with a soft, clean towel.

4. Reassemble the air fryer

When the parts are completely dry, put them back in the main unit — and get back to cooking up those tasty treats served to crispy perfection!

Grove Tip

Watch: How to clean an air fryer like a pro!

Wanna see just how easy it is to clean an air fryer? Check out this video for even more pro tips!

How to deep clean an air fryer with vinegar

If you’re like us and you’re a big-time believer in the magical cleaning powers of vinegar, the great news is that you can use it to deep-clean your air fryer — and in just a couple of minutes!

If your air fryer starts to smell a little funky, mix 3 parts water with 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle, spritz it around inside the unit, and wipe it clean and odor-free with a microfiber cloth.

If you don’t want to DIY your vinegar concoction, try Aunt Fannie’s biodegradable vinegar cleaning wipes — easy peasy!

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