How to Clean A Toaster – Ways To Make It Look New

The toaster is one of the kitchen appliances everyone has in their kitchen. Yet, it’s one of the few appliances that rarely get cleaned with the likes of microwaves, oven, refrigerator, and so on. In this article, we are going to look at how to clean a toaster and get great results.

How To Clean A Toaster
Photo Credits: John Bell,

Here’s a typical story… On a beautiful sunny morning, you wake up and alas! You have 30 minutes to prepare for work otherwise you will be late.

Then hurriedly take a bath, dress up, and have just a few minutes but you still want to eat a homemade meal. What do you do? 

Well, the toaster comes in handy; you put some bread in it and eat as you go. Does this sound familiar?

A lot of people don’t see the need to regularly clean their toasters. Maybe they assume it never gets grimy or perhaps they assume it has some features that help it clean itself. 

Others just shake loose crumbs from it into the garbage can. But this alone does not completely clean the toaster or get rid of debris/food residue and caked-on lumps stuck within the toaster.

It’s usually covered with fingerprints, smudgy surfaces on the outside, and lots of dirt, debris, breadcrumbs on the inside from frequent use.

This is a perfect environment for bacteria/microorganism growth as well as mold infestation

As if that’s not enough, accumulation of this dirt and crumbs affects the overall function of this appliance leading to burnt bread, emanating foul smell, and fire (it’s an electrical appliance after all).

Because of these, cleaning the toaster should form part of your regular kitchen cleaning routine.

The method you use to remove dirt from the toaster and how frequently you do this could vary depending on the product and how many times you use it.

If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.

What You Will Need

Here’s a list of things you’ll need to get a good result:

Dish soap


White vinegar

Baking soda

Toothbrush or pantry brush

Soft sponge


Microfiber cloth

Knife or a long spoon


Garbage can


How to Remove Dirt from A Toaster

The first thing to do when you want to remove a stain from the toaster is to unplug it from the wall socket.

This is to prevent electrocution (if the appliance is hot, allow it to cool off before you start), and ensure proper cleaning. 

Thereafter, check for the detachable crumb tray and remove it from the appliance. It’s normally at the bottom of the appliance. Not to worry if yours doesn’t come with a detachable food tray; you will still clean it.

Transfer your toaster to a wider surface like on your countertop for easy cleaning. 

Now let’s get started, it won’t take much of your time…

Video: How to Clean a Toaster

This video will show you the step by step method of cleaning a toaster

Crumb Tray

When you remove the detachable crumb tray from your toaster, turn it topsy-turvy on a newspaper, or directly into a garbage can to remove leftover breadcrumbs, debris or dust.

Soak it in dish soap and warm water mixture (in equal parts) for few minutes to remove all caked-on lumps.

Wash thoroughly with a soft sponge and soap.

Rinse with clean water.

Wipe with a dishcloth or microfiber cloth and allow it to dry properly.

For toasters without detachable crumb tray, turn the toaster bottom-up and shake very well but gently (this also removes leftover crumbs and debris from your toaster).

Also, note you can disinfect with bleach and water mixture after washing and wipe with a dishcloth or microfiber cloth and allow to dry properly.Cuisinart CPT-440P1 Touch to Toast Leverless toaster, 4-Slice, Brushed Stainless Steel

Other Parts of a Toaster

Shake your toaster and overturn to remove crumbs, leftover debris, and dust into a newspaper or into your garbage can.

Use a new toothbrush or pantry brush to gently scrub the interiors of the device.

Gently scrub the wired part but avoid the heated element.

Turn the toaster topsy-turvy again and shake gently to remove remaining crumbs or dirt inside.

Wet the brush with white vinegar. Be careful not to soak it as it will drop to the bottom of your toaster. It might not get dried on time or dry properly. Gently scrub the interiors again. This helps to remove stubborn stains and grease from the interiors.

Now gently clean the exteriors of the appliance with a dishcloth dampened with dish soap, water, and vinegar solution to remove stains and fingerprints and wipe dry. Care must be taken to avoid scratching the surface.

For better results and to remove any foul smell from the interior of your toaster, you can make a paste using white vinegar and baking soda. Gently scrub the interiors with the brush. 

Wet a microfiber cloth with a mixture of bleach and water.

Wrap it around a knife or a long spoon and use it to gently scrub the inside of the toaster to disinfect the interior surfaces and remove any other left-over grime. Allow it to dry.

Replace the detachable crumb tray back to the toaster and plug in the socket. 

You can also heat up the toaster by switching it on for about 1 minute to get rid of any bacteria or microorganisms left within it.

Clean your workspace(countertop) with soap and sponge and wipe dry using a clean cloth. Dispose of used newspaper in the garbage can.

That’s it! Your toaster is shining and clean and ready for use.

Cuisinart CPT-122 2-Slice Compact Plastic Toaster (White)

How Long Before You Clean the Toaster?

It all depends on how frequently you use it. However, it’s advisable you deep clean the interiors and exteriors of your toaster at least once every month if you don’t frequently use it. If you use it frequently, deep clean at least twice every month.

Then shake off loose crumbs from the interiors and crumb tray once on a weekly basis to prevent the accumulation of dirt and as well clean the exteriors.

We usually recommend you clean as you go. That is, shaking off the crumbs from the toaster and crumb tray after each use or at the end of each day and clean the exteriors with soap and water.

This way, you save yourself a whole lot of work and equally help your toaster function optimally.

Safety Precautions

Just in case you missed it, here are safety precautions to observe when you want to remove dirt from the toaster:

Ensure you unplug your toaster first before cleaning.

When cleaning the interiors with any liquid (soap or water), don’t pour the liquid inside or rinse with water. Rather, use a wet cloth or brush to prevent it from getting to the bottom of the device.

After washing the detachable crumb tray, allow it to dry properly before putting it back in the toaster.

Don’t use a rough sponge or harsh cleaning agent to scrub the interiors or exteriors of your toaster. This is because some are made from stainless steel, others from plastic. They could get scratched. 

Don’t shake or hit the toaster and crumb tray too hard while trying to remove caked-on crumbs and left-over debris (because they are fragile).  

When cleaning the interior of the appliance, don’t clean the heating element so it won’t affect its functions.

Adjust the dial of the appliance after cleaning to the temperature of your choice (you might have touched it unconsciously).

Now, you don’t have any excuse not to remove dirt from the toaster and keep it sparkling.

If you’re still confused about how to go about it, check the manual of your product for the best ways to clean it or consult the manufacturer for expert advice.

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Then drop your questions, comments, and likes below. We’d love to hear from you, so we can continue this conversation.

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