Your basket-type air fryer comes with a nifty drawer that slides in your food ingredients, then slides it out cooked to perfection using little to no oil—a dream of convenience! Spending too much time cleaning instead of cooking and enjoying food defeats the quality of life we were aiming for when we bought it in the first place.
We’ll look at time-saving tips on how to clean an air fryer basket quickly and more. As a bonus, money saving on cleaning tools as well. Chances are, these are already in your sink or cupboard!
What Happens If We Don’t Regularly Clean Our Air Fryer?
- Food may cook or heat less efficiently, thus making the appliance consume more power.
- Extended cooking times.
- Smoking or burning smells that may transfer from one completely different meal to the next.
- Harmful bacteria may breed and cause health problems for you and your family as caked-on food and grease idly sit inside the fryer’s cooking area.
- Lastly, accumulating burnt food and encrusted grime may require more effort to clean down the line.
How to Clean an Air Fryer Safely?
Before you continue cleaning, ensure to unplug the air fryer cooker to avoid accidentally turning it on. Give your air fryer enough time to cool before directly touching its inner surfaces.
For pre-cleaning, we must cool the appliance to a comfortably warm temperature.
This way, grease or stuck food particles on the basket and drawer pan can be easily wiped off with a paper towel.
Pro-tip: take the drawer out of the air fryer base for a quick cool.
Water and Soap
First up would be our standard water + soap combo. Now you might be thinking—how about a dishwasher?
The easiest is gently and securely placing the air fryer pan and basket in the dishwasher and forgetting about it. However, hand washing is undoubtedly the go-to option for those nasty caked-on food residues and grease.
Soak the air fryer’s drawer pan and basket in hot soapy water for 10 to 15 minutes. When the solution’s temperature is manageable enough to the touch, gently scrub both using a non-abrasive brush. Drain off the soaked-in water and soap, then thoroughly rinse.
Do another round of soap-down on both the basket and drawer. Instead of using an abrasive scrub (that could damage non-stick-coated surfaces), use a microfiber towel that’s warmly soaked in dishwashing soap to gently wipe-off grease and grime.
Top this cleaning session off with a simple rinse and dry, wiping it first with a dry microfiber cloth.
As its name suggests, baking soda makes our baked goods puff up (leavening agent). It’s not only in the cooking arena, though, where the commonplace baking soda can also rise to the occasion (pun intended)!
As a cleaning tool, baking soda absorbs odors and acts as a gentle abrasive (in its paste form) to loosen any gunk. With the right amount of water (three parts baking soda to one part water), you can make a baking soda paste to scrub away cooked-on food particles.
However, baking soda is most effective when it supplements water and soap, cleaning our air fryer. After the second soap coating on the basket and drawer pan, evenly dust them with baking soda and let it sit for two to three minutes.
You should also have a similar pasty mixture to scrub away stubborn food residue with. Again, be careful not to damage any non-stick surfaces by only using soft-bristled brushes.
With gentle pressure, wipe the paste residue off with a fresh and damp microfiber towel. Wipe both dry after a final rinse.
Commonly known as a food condiment and preservative, vinegar is used for cleaning and has potent disinfecting and deodorizing properties. Using it as a standalone cleaning solution, you can apply vinegar to remove lingering odors.
Put a cup of white vinegar in a microwave-safe dish and run the fryer for 3 to 5 minutes at about 100 degrees (water’s boiling point). Rinse and wipe dry. As a side note, I also use this to clean my electric kettle to eliminate water stains!
Baking Soda and Vinegar
Putting together these two cleaning ingredients gives us a chemical reaction that produces incredible cleaning results. For just a bit of nerdiness, the acid in vinegar breaks down the baking soda, releasing gas (carbon dioxide) that gently lifts dirt from the clean surface.
Recall the cleaning steps with baking soda (supplemented with water and soap). Here we toss vinegar in the mix to kick its cleaning power up by a few notches! After the soap and baking soda treatment on the basket and drawer pan, pour a cup of vinegar and watch tiny bubbles fizzle and pop. From here, you can work on scrubbing with this mixture.
Add hot water to the drawer pan and basket and let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Soaking with baking soda and vinegar for a longer period (or overnight) to deep clean also works if you have time to spare.
Drain the used solution of water, soap, baking soda, and vinegar, then rinse thoroughly. With a new microfiber cloth, wipe off any sitting cleaning residue we made with a bit of pressure. Gently wipe dry the drawer pan and basket after a final rinse.
How to Clean the Other Parts of an Air Fryer?
The other components of our air fryer that need some love and attention would be our air fryer drawer compartment slot and heating element. The drawer is the volume of space inside the fryer where the drawer (and the basket) is slotted in. We’ll clean the three inner surface areas (left, right and center) surrounding each side and the floor where the drawer rests.
Using our trusty microfiber towel damp with warm water and dishwashing soap, gently scrub each of the three sides and the floor (where the drawer pan sits). Wipe away all soap residues clean with a fresh non-abrasive towel.
Lastly, after cooling your air fryer completely, carefully turn the air fryer on its side (or completely upside down). Using a damp microfiber cloth (ensure to wring out any excess water here), carefully wipe the heating element to remove any splattered oils and food particles.
This guide shows how to use household cleaning products to clean an air fryer. While non-abrasive and less environmentally harmful, the cleaning tools we suggest are no less effective and time-saving.
Using what’s already on your sink and cupboard should get you going with the outlined easy-to-follow steps. So roll up your sleeves, put those rubber mittens on, and show them how to quickly clean an air fryer basket!