How to Clean a Toaster Oven Properly

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Toaster ovens are the jack of all trades when it comes to kitchen appliances. You can heat, broil, defrost, bake, toast, and roast all kinds of food. But when was the last time you cleaned your toaster oven? Sometimes, appliances are so convenient we forget they require some care, too.

However, if you’re considering cleaning a toaster oven right now, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s guide you through all the know-how of cleaning this helpful kitchen appliance.

How to Clean the Inside of a Toaster Oven?

The inside of your toaster oven receives the most splatters and grease. It’s also where most of the food waste accumulates and dries. These dried food materials can easily ignite at high temperatures. For this reason, removing them is necessary as a safety precaution.

Take a look at the steps to thoroughly clean your toaster oven’s interior.

Step 1: Grab Cleaning Supplies

Here are all the things you’ll need for all the cleaning guides below:

  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Clean rags
  • Dish soap
  • Cleaning brush (like an old toothbrush)
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Cleaning gloves
  • Magic eraser

Learn more How to Clean Bread Machine

Step 2: Prepare Your Toaster Oven for Cleaning

Many risks come along with electrical cooking appliances, including toaster ovens. So, before getting your hands in that oven for cleaning, there are a few things that you need to do for your safety.

  1. The first thing is to unplug the toaster oven from your wall outlet to prevent any electrical accidents.
  2. Next, ensure the toaster is cool before getting your hands on it.
  3. Place your oven at a height you’re comfortable with.
  4. Your tabletop or countertop are good choices, but make sure to place something underneath the oven—like a clean cloth or rag—so that it won’t leave any tracks.
  5. Lastly, never soak or immerse the whole appliance in water to avoid damaging the electronic components inside.

Step 3: How to Clean Toaster Oven Tray, Pan, and Rack

Once you’ve set up your unit, you can start cleaning its interior. This is how to clean a toaster oven rack, pan, and tray:

  1. Open the oven and remove all the trays, pans, and racks.
  2. Mix a generous amount of dish soap and hot water in a container big enough for the trays.
  3. The hot water should be enough to soak the racks and trays.
  4. You can also use your sink if you don’t have a big enough container.
  5. Place the racks and trays in the soapy hot water for 20 minutes, long enough for the baked-on grime to soften and come off.
  6. After soaking, remove them from the container and manually scrub any remaining grime using a non-abrasive sponge.
  7. Once you’ve removed all the muck and grime, wipe the racks and tray with a dry cloth and allow them to dry.

Step 4: How to Clean the Oven’s Interior

While waiting for the trays and racks to dry, you can start cleaning the inside of the unit. Here’s how to clean the interior of your toaster oven:

  1. Open the oven and use a clean, dry cloth to remove all the food crumbs and caked materials.
  2. Use a small brush to remove the dirt in spots that are hard to reach.
  3. After removing most of the crumbs, mix warm water, vinegar, and dish soap.
  4. Fill a small bowl with warm water, then add five tablespoons of vinegar and a few drops of dish soap.
  5. Mix everything thoroughly until you get a foamy concoction.
  6. Get a small, clean rag and dip it into the mixture.
  7. Use the rag to wipe all corners inside your toaster oven.
  8. Avoid wiping the oven’s heating components to prevent damaging them.
  9. Once you’re done, use a dry piece of cloth to wipe the area dry and let it sit for a few minutes.

Step 5: How to Clean the Heating Components of Toaster Ovens

You should take extra care when cleaning the heating components of your toaster oven. Remember to double-check that you unplugged the appliance before tackling this part. It’s also vital that you never use any cleaning agents when dealing with your oven’s heater.
Now, carefully read these steps to clean the heating element of your oven:

  1. Get a damp cloth and a toothbrush.
  2. Wipe the area with your wet cloth, and use the toothbrush for tough buildups.
  3. Wipe and brush softly so as not to cause any damage to the heating components.
  4. Make sure no residues are left, then dry the area using another clean fabric.

How to Clean the Exterior of a Toaster Oven

Of course, if we’re talking about properly cleaning cooking equipment, it’s not enough to clean the inside. Food and liquid splatters can also find their way to the outside of your toaster oven, so you should also clean it.

Step 1: Cleaning the Glass Door

The thing about glass is that it quickly accumulates grease. So, if it’s been a long time since you last cleaned your toaster oven, a layer of greasy muck might already be coating the glass door. For this cleaning process, you’ll need to prepare baking soda, warm water, and, if available, a magic eraser.

Follow these instructions on how to clean a toaster oven glass door:

  1. Put a few tablespoons of baking soda and half a cup of water in a bowl.
  2. Mix them thoroughly with a spoon until you get a watery paste.
  3. Slather the mixture on both sides of your oven’s glass door.
  4. Once you’ve covered all the door glass surfaces, leave the paste on for a few hours.
  5. Afterwards, get a damp cloth and wipe the now-dry baking soda paste.
  6. If you see any stains that remain on the glass, get your gloves and a magic eraser.
  7. Wet your magic eraser with water and gently scrub the tough stains until they’re gone.
  8. Finally, get a dry towel or rag and wipe the glass surface until it’s clean.

Step 2: Cleaning the Toaster Oven’s Body

Now that your toaster oven’s interior and door glass is clean, how about the outside? Don’t worry; we’ve got you. Here are the steps to cleaning the exterior of your toaster oven:

  1. First, take a small container and fill it with lukewarm water.
  2. Next, mix a few drops of dish soap into the lukewarm water.
  3. Stir until you get a bubbly mixture.
  4. Get your non-abrasive sponge and dip it into the solution.
  5. Gently wipe the exterior of your toaster oven while avoiding all the electrical parts.
  6. Lastly, pat dry with a clean towel.

After you’re done cleaning and drying your trays, racks, and the interior and exterior of the unit, you can now put all of them back together. Plug the appliance back in and enjoy cooking in a clean toaster oven!

Why Should You Clean Your Toaster Oven Regularly?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking and heating equipment are the primary causes of home fires in the U.S. With that in mind, cleaning your toaster oven properly is more than just for the sake of cleaning. Most importantly, it’s a step towards a safe cooking environment for yourself and your family.

How Frequently Should You Clean Your Toaster Oven?

How often you clean your toaster oven depends on how frequently you use it. If you use it daily, you should clean it thoroughly once a week. Clean every spill and drop inside and outside the oven as soon as you see them to prevent grime buildup. Light cleaning can also go a long way to maintaining your unit.

In addition, you should check the appliance every time you use it. Make it a habit to remove any food crumbs and debris inside the oven before turning it on.

Finally, placing an oven liner underneath the oven’s interior would be helpful to help catch food drips and splatters. So, the next time you clean, you won’t be scratching your head over how to clean your toaster oven pan, rack, and tray!


Toaster ovens are versatile kitchen appliances that you can use in various ways. Because of that, they also catch the most dirt and muck while you’re cooking. Filthy cooking appliances make an unsightly kitchen. More importantly, a toaster oven caked in food is a fire accident waiting to happen.

That’s why knowing how to clean a toaster oven using baking soda, dish soap, vinegar, and other materials easily found in our homes is an excellent cleaning advantage. With the help of this cleaning guide, you should have little to no problem cleaning that baked-in grime and stains inside and outside your oven. Happy cooking!

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