Written by Grove Collaborative

Clean Team: How to clean a toaster oven.

Last Updated: February 9, 2021

Toaster oven crumbs and grease can lead to smoke and even fire. It’s time to get yours clear and clean with our quick step by step guide to toaster oven cleaning.

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Ready to tackle the dirtiest spots in your home? Grove Collaborative has you covered with Clean Team. Each week, we’ll do a deep dive into how to clean a different place or item in your home. No spot is too small — and we’ll tell you how to conquer them all, naturally.

How to clean a toaster oven - A step-by-step guide to make it shiny and beautiful

Ah, the toaster oven. It’s easy to see why this simple, affordable appliance has found its way into kitchens of all shapes and sizes. Toaster ovens are game for almost anything, from crisping up leftover pizza to cooking meats and vegetables. Whatever the task, a toaster oven has got you covered with quick and easy baking.

But, like many other kitchen appliances, a toaster oven can seem intimidating to clean. The idea of using liquid cleaner on something with electrical elements is understandably terrifying.

Fear not! The reality is cleaning a toaster oven is pretty simple, once you know a few tricks and tips. With our guide, your toaster oven will be back to doing what it does best, minus all the grease and burnt crumbs.

How often should you clean your toaster oven?

For average use, you should clean your toaster oven about once a week. Like all kitchen appliances, a little bit of daily maintenance can go a long way in keeping your toaster oven clean over the long term. For the toaster oven especially, daily maintenance is worthwhile, as rogue food bits can quickly turn into stubborn grime — or even a potential fire hazard.

During daily use, before you turn it on, peek inside and check for any crumbs or other food bits, and use a dry kitchen cloth to remove and dispose of such scraps before they become a problem.

What you should clean your toaster oven with

Grove Tip

Be gentle!

Toaster ovens are sometimes lined or made with non-stick coating. Abrasive cleaners and heavy scrubbing or scouring can damage the coating or the oven’s other components. To maintain the non-stick coating, avoid abrasive sponges, scouring pads, and intense cleaners while cleaning the inside.

How to clean your toaster oven in 8 easy steps

With ample free counter and sink space, it’s time to clean our favorite miniature oven!

Step 1: Unplug your toaster oven to make sure it’s off

Any time you are cleaning anything electrical, always unplug it from the outlet to avoid potential electrical shock, fire, or appliance damage. Also, be sure your unplugged electrical prong stays dry — keep it separate from the main cleaning action.

Step 2: Remove all trays and racks and soak them in soapy water

Most toaster ovens have one metal wire rack and one bottom metal sheet. Both slide out easily, and both appreciate a good soaking. Fill either your sink or a large container with a mixture of lukewarm water and a couple of squirts of dish soap. Then, submerge all racks and trays in the soapy mixture. These can soak while you continue the rest of the cleaning.

Step 3: Remove all crumbs and residue from the inside of your toaster oven

Use a dry cloth or sponge to wipe out any crumbs or residues from inside your toaster oven. Be careful not to jostle or lean on the heating elements.

Step 4: Clean the interior of your toaster oven — be careful with the heating elements!

Apply an all-purpose cleaner to a microfiber cloth or kitchen towel, or make a homemade cleaning paste with three tablespoons of water and a half-cup of baking soda, and scoop up a bit with your cloth. Wipe the interior of the toaster oven, paying particular attention to grease and grime.

Try to avoid getting cleaner on the heating elements of your toaster oven. If you accidently do get them wet, gently dry them with a dry cloth or rag. Repeat if necessary until the grime is gone.

Step 5: Clean the exterior of your toaster oven with a soapy sponge

Apply a bit of lukewarm water and dish soap to a sponge. Wring it until it’s damp, and wipe the exterior of your toaster oven with it, avoiding any electrical ports or cables.

Step 6: Remove all trays and racks from their soak

Since they have been soaking, a quick scrub with a sponge should clear off any grease left on the toaster oven trays and racks. If not, use a scouring pad or steel wool to remove tough spots.

Step 7: Allow the toaster oven, trays, and racks to dry

A combination of air drying and hand drying will do the trick. Make sure the toaster oven and the racks are dry before you put them back in.

Step 8: Plug your toaster oven in, and enjoy!

Once the toaster oven is clean and thoroughly dry, plug it back in. Admire your cleaning success, and feel confident that your next toaster oven bake will be grime-free!

Shop toaster oven-cleaning supplies

Looking for more cleaning how-tos and other sustainable swaps you can make at home? Grove has you covered. From timely topics such as our handwashing and hand sanitizer breakdown to evergreen primers like our simple ways to reduce your plastic use at home, our handy guides are here to answer your most pressing questions. And let us know how if you have any cleaning questions (or share your own tips using #grovehome) by following Grove Collaborative on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you're ready to take on germs, shop Grove Collaborative's cleaning essentials for the cleaning tools to tackle the job.

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