How to Clean a Toaster

The toaster can sometimes be forgotten in the kitchen clean-up; yet it certainly deserves a regular clean to ensure that it sparkles but doesn't spark!


  1. Image titled Clean a Toaster Step 1
    Unplug the toaster and move to a workspace where you have room to move. Lay down a layer of newspaper to work over. This will protect your kitchen workspace and also makes it easier to collect up the crumbs.
  2. Image titled Clean a Toaster Step 2
    Clean the interior first. Dampen a clean toothbrush and use it to clean out the particles on the inside of the toaster. Finish off by emptying the crumb tray over a piece of newspaper or over the garbage disposal unit. Wipe the crumb tray clean over the sink using warm water and gentle liquid soap. If your toaster lacks a crumb tray, turn it upside down and gently shake over the newspaper a few times.
    • To give the interior a thorough clean, add some large salt crystals through the toast slots. Cover the toast slots with greaseproof paper and fasten with elastic or tape. Shake the toaster up and down a few times to disperse the salt. The salt cleans the toaster by helping to dislodge carbonised deposits as you shake. As an added bonus, discourages pests that might crawl inside the toaster slots. The only thing that you must be careful of with this method is to ensure that you empty all of the salt out or it may cause corrosion from the moisture of cooking toast products. This is why the salt granules must be large.
  3. Image titled Clean a Toaster Step 3
    Clean the exterior of the toaster. Wipe down with a damp cloth soaked in vinegar. For really tough stuck-on stains, use a bit of bicarbonate of soda/baking soda to scrub off gently. Use a non-scratching sponge or wiping cloth on the toaster to prevent scratches.
  4. Image titled Clean a Toaster Step 4


  • A clean, used toothbrush can be a handy tool to help clean out the gunk in the toaster slots.
  • Some toaster exteriors show up dirt, fingerprints and splatters more than others. Consider this when purchasing your toaster; for instance, stainless steel tends to need more regular polishing to keep its shine and to remove fingerprints than an opaque plastic toaster.
  • The exterior of a toaster should be wiped down regularly. The interior should be cleaned no less than monthly to ensure optimum performance. The crumb tray should also be emptied regularly.
  • A clean toaster works better than a clogged one. You will probably also notice the absence of burning toast crumbs after a good clean!


  • Only clean a cool toaster. Cleaning a hot toaster is asking to be burnt.
  • Only plug into the wall with dry hands.
  • Do not immerse the toaster in water under any circumstances. Definitely do not immerse a toaster in water that is still plugged into the electrical socket.
  • Never stick a knife in a toaster. If the toaster is plugged in, you are risking electrocution. Even if it is not plugged in, you may damage the elements.

Things You'll Need

  • Toaster
  • Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • Sponge/gentle wiping cloth
  • Newspaper
  • Space to work in

Article Info

Categories: Care and Use of Cooking Equipment