Whether you enjoy sugary pop-tarts or buttery toast, your toaster builds up carbon from the heat coils inside the toaster and crumbs with every use, which creates a fire hazard. Prevent your toaster from becoming a fireball or harboring bacteria by cleaning it once a week.
Unplug your toaster or toaster oven. You don’t want an electrical shock while cleaning crumbs out of your toaster. If you’ve recently used your toaster, let it fully cool before you attempt to clean it.
Inspect the cord. Take a look at your toaster or toaster oven’s cord. Are there any breaks, cracks or signs of wear? If so, it’s time to replace your toaster. A damaged cord is a fire hazard.
Remove the hidden drawer underneath. Most toasters have a crumb drawer, but if you use an older toaster, it probably doesn’t have a removable crumb tray. If so, just skip this step. Using hot, soapy water thoroughly clean the drawer. Then, to be sure you’ve killed any bacteria in the tray, dip your sponge in vinegar. Give the tray a scrub with the vinegar-soaked sponge, and then let it air dry. Be sure to let it fully dry before you place it back in the toaster – you don’t want any liquid inside the heating mechanism of the toaster.
For classic toasters. Turn it upside down over a large trashcan. Gently shake it and then tap the bottom of the toaster to loosen any excess crumbs. Remember to be gentle – You don’t want to dislodge anything inside of the toaster.
Using an old toothbrush, gently rub the inner coils in your classic toaster to loosen any stuck crumbs. Then, repeat step number three.
For toaster ovens. Follow the same steps you’d use in cleaning a regular manual clean oven. For a step-by-step, read: Clean Your Manual Clean Oven.
Now that the inside is clean, it’s time to focus on the outside of your toaster oven. Using hot, soapy water and your sponge, wipe the sides, top and even bottom of your toaster. If your toaster is made of stainless steel, we recommend you use vinegar instead of soapy water to prevent streaks. Be careful not to get water inside of your toaster. Safety Note: Never soak your toaster in water – it could cause you to electrocute yourself when you plug the toaster back in!