Is your toaster oven embarrassing? I ended up getting a Breville Smart Oven last (which I talked about here) mainly because the grime on my old one was so thick I couldn’t get it off, even with a little bit of elbow grease.
I searched for help and only found tutorials where people were cleaning toaster ovens that were basically already CLEAN. My oven is used daily to roast chickens and bake bacon. These are two things that generate a lot of grease on the inside.
If you clean your toaster oven, it will work better and last longer. Here are four steps for a clean toaster oven.
1. Clean Removable Racks and Base
Remove the racks and trays that CAN be removed, including the base. The base is often the greasiest part, but unlike in your oven it’s usually something that slides out.
This gives you the opportunity to shake out any crumbs or baked on cheese (in my case), that has melted onto the heating element. Toaster ovens are usually light enough that you can turn them on their side if there are lodged crumbs so you can shake these out.
To clean the racks put them in the sink with some really hot water and dawn dish soap. Let them soak until the water is cool enough where you can get your hands wet. Use a wire brush to scrub the racks. For me this took several sinks full of hot water and lots of elbow grease.
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For the tray on the bottom, I spread paste made from baking soda and water and let it sit for several hours before using the wire brush. I’m going to be honest, I did this multiple times. The bottom tray got cleaner, but I couldn’t get it clean. I ordered a new replacement tray for $22🙄. I tried using boiling water and dawn, but this didn’t do anything. A traditional oven cleaner might have worked, but those are loaded with bad smelling chemicals, so I avoided this option.
2. Clean Toaster Oven Glass
Before you start it’s a good idea to place a “trash” towel under the toaster oven to catch all of the grimy bits that come loose during the process.
Depending on how dirty the glass is, you might be able to clean it with hot water and dish soap. Mine was way beyond this. I spread on the same paste of baking soda and water and let it sit. Then I came back with a wire brush and an SOS pad.
Once you get the grime off, you can clean the glass on the door with a sponge, soap and water.
3. Clean the Inside Walls of the Oven
Be sure the oven is unplugged before you begin. I used the brush to spread the baking soda and water paste inside the oven. If your oven is really dirty, let this paste sit before wiping it off.
Don’t apply this paste to the heating elements. These should only be wiped down carefully with warm soapy rags or paper towels. I normally hate to use paper towels when I clean because I feel like it’s so wasteful BUT when there’s grease involved I do it anyway. I used LOTS of wet paper towels to wipe out the inside of the oven.
A plumber once told me that the cause of my plumbing issue was a giant block of grease in the line. This took multiple roto rooter trips to finally break up. He told me that we rinse grease down the drain, but if that grease cools it hardens and can build up. I try to put as little grease down the drain as possible. If I do let something greasy go down the drain I like to run really hot water for a few minutes to make sure it doesn’t build up.
4. Wipe Down the Outisde of the Oven
This is the easy step. You can wipe down the outside with soap and water easily. Then you just add back in the racks and you’re ready to go.
How to Clean A Really Dirty Toaster Oven?
I would consider my toaster oven to fit in this category. It was REALLY dirty. The most important thing to do is scrub. This is probably not what you want to hear. It took me longer to clean my toaster oven than my regular oven. BUT I also use this oven 10x more than my regular oven because it’s so fast and efficient.
Of course it helps to use the right cleaning supplies, but these aren’t magic.
- Dawn dishwashing liquid
- baking soda
- Hot water
- Wire Brush
- Sos Pads
- Papwer towels
How Do You Get Baked-On Grease Out Of A Toaster Oven?
The best way to get baked on grease out is to use a baking soda and water paste. Brush it on and let it sit for several hours. Then use a wire brush and an SOS pad to scrub. It will probably require quite a bit of scrubbing. Finally, clean the grease out with paper towel soaked in hot water. Unforunately, this process uses many paper towels. You can use a sponge if you prefer, but be sure to run hot water down your drain to rinse out the grease, which can build up.
How To Clean A Stainless Steel Toaster Oven?
If the exterior of your oven is stainless steel, you should use a stainless steel cleaner to wipe it down. My favorite one is Weiman. This is best applied with a micro fiber towel to avoid streaking. Stainless steel cleaner is meant for cleaning and shining the outside of your toaster oven only.
Lessons Learned About Cleaning a Toaster Oven
The lesson I learned after cleaning my toaster oven is that I need to clean it more often. It’s more difficult to clean if you let it go too long. This is especially true if you cook lots of greasy foods like drumsticks and bacon in your toaster oven. I use this oven more than anything else in my kitchen and I want to keep it looking clean. Will I be able to do it?