How to Clean Bread Toaster
It doesn’t matter how much you love a toasted English muffin, everything bagel, or slice of bread. The amount of crumbs, seasonings, and bread bits that end up in the bottom of your toaster is appalling.
While you may not be able to prevent this crumb collection from happening, you can certainly prevent it from becoming out of control.
This guide will show you everything you need to know about how to have a clean bread toaster.
Why You Need to Clean Bread Toaster
Did you know that a clean bread toaster can actually be good for your health? VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are harmful air pollutants. The burning bits in your toaster significantly raise the levels of VOCs in your home. By cleaning your toaster regularly, you reduce the number of burning bits and reduce the VOCs in your home.
Those burning bits can also affect the flavor and taste of your toast. Think of it as an undesired smoked flavor. If your toast has a slightly char-grilled flavor, you are overdue for a cleaning.
All it takes is one well-placed crumb for the spring mechanism in your toaster to get stuck. Now your bread is stuck down instead of popping up when ready. You’ll either have overly toasted and burnt bread, or you’re stuck fighting to free your toast. A clean bread toaster functions as expected for perfectly toasted toast.
Finally, there’s the safety factor. Most of the time, the crumbs and fallen off bits tumble to the bottom of the toaster. But sometimes, there’s that larger bit of bread that gets stuck in the grate. These are a fire hazard.
How Frequently to Clean Bread Toaster
How often you clean your toaster will depend on how often you use it. If you use your toaster daily, then you’ll likely need weekly cleanings. It also depends on what types of things you’re toasting.
Messy pieces of bread, like English muffins or everything bagels, tend to drop more crumbs than a slice of white bread. This means you’ll have more buildup in a shorter amount of time and will need to clean more often.
How to Clean Your Bread Toaster Step by Step
1. Tools You’ll Need for Cleaning Your Bread Toaster
Before you start cleaning, it’s helpful to gather the supplies you’ll need. That way, you don’t have to stop mid-cleaning to hunt down tools. You’ll need a trash can to dump the discarded crumbs into. You’ll also need a sponge or dishcloth, microfiber cloth, pastry brush or toothbrush, and sink or dishpan.
You’ll also need cleaning supplies. These include warm water, dishwashing soap, baking soda, and distilled vinegar. These will cut through the stuck-on grease and grime.
2. Precautions Before Cleaning
Before you start cleaning, you should unplug your toaster and let it cool. If you leave the toaster plugged in, you put yourself at risk of an electrical shock or even fire. Allowing the toaster cool ensures you won’t accidentally burn yourself during the cleaning process. The heating coils inside of your toaster get very hot while in use. This heat can transmit to the body of the toaster. You also don’t want to be cleaning hot coils, as this is a fire hazard.
3. Empty and Clean the Crumb Tray
Did you know that your toaster has a removable crumb tray? If you didn’t, it’s ok; most people don’t. Take a look at the sides of your toaster. There should be a small lip or handle looking edge toward the bottom. It’s typically on the side or back towards the bottom. When you pull it, a metal tray will slide outward.
A high-quality toaster like the Buydeem four-slice vintage toaster lets you easily remove the crumb tray. By taking it out completely, you create an open slot for more crumbs to come out. Some lower quality toasters don’t allow for complete removal of the crumb tray, which makes cleaning more difficult.
Once removed, dump the crumbs into the trash and wash the tray in your sink with some warm soapy water. Allow it to dry before putting it back in your toaster.
4. Empty the Toaster
While the crumb tray is drying, you’ll focus on cleaning the actual toaster. Take the body of the toaster and hold it over your garbage can. Turn the toaster upside down and gently shake out the crumbs. You’ll find that as you rotate it, you’ll hear the crumbs pinging around. Do this gently until the bulk of the crumbs and bits have fallen out.
5. Cleaning the Toaster Insides
Now that all of the loose stuff has come out, it’s time to seriously clean the insides of the toaster. The heating coils manage to capture and hold an impressive number of crumbs. Work with either a pastry brush or a soft bristle toothbrush to gently knock the crumbs free.
If you can, try working from both the top and bottom of the toaster. It may also help to lay the toaster on its side. You’ll want to work your way across the entire heating element with the brush.
A compressed air can, like the kind that is used to clean keyboards, can help you achieve a perfectly clean bread toaster. But this isn’t required and really only necessary if you’re determined to clear every single crumb from your toaster. Keep in mind that while this would be nice, you’ll have crumbs in the toaster the first time you use it after cleaning, so it’s a bit futile to try and remove every crumb.
Never try to wash the inside of your toaster. There are electrical components inside your toaster, that if gotten wet, could cause a shortage. This could not only cause your toaster to stop working but is potentially dangerous.
6. Cleaning the Exterior
If you have a stainless steel toaster, then the fingerprint struggle is real for you. Even if you don’t have stainless steel, the gunk is still there; you just can’t see it as well. About once a month, you’ll want to wipe down the outside of your toaster to remove gunk buildup.
Try mixing together equal parts of baking soda and dish soap. This will remove the dirt and restore your toaster’s shine. For the top of your toaster, use a rag with some white vinegar. This will clean the toaster while also not causing harm if it drips into the heating mechanism.
Never use steel wool or another extremely abrasive cleaner on your toaster. This will cause deep scratches and dull the toaster’s shine. These scratches can then become the ideal place for bacteria and germs to gather.
Plastic or Enamel Toasters
Don’t use baking soda on a plastic or enamel toaster! Baking soda is a bit abrasive, and it could create micro-scratches, which will dull the look of your toaster. Instead, you can stick with warm soapy water.
Precautions Before Using the Toaster Again
Once you have a clean bread toaster, dry all of the components. Make sure the toaster is completely dry before you use it again. You should also clean up by putting all of your tools away neatly.
Isn’t it time you upgraded your toaster to one that can toast four slices of bread at a time and be easy to clean? Check out the Buydeem toaster and other small kitchen appliances.