They are convenient and affordable. Toaster ovens are a tidy countertop appliance that can crisp up leftover pizza, bake a beautiful egg breakfast and serve up single-serve casseroles, among other savory dishes and snacks.
Toaster oven cleaning hacks range from homemade solutions for light cleaning to a serious scouring with commercial cleaners for truly grimy and greasy parts. When scorch marks mar the exterior or interior of the toaster oven, they can be removed with gentle cleaners that won't harm the enamel or stainless steel finish of the countertop appliance.
Toaster Oven Cleaning Hacks
The best way to clean toaster oven surfaces is to remove the pan and clean each interior area with a damp cloth or sponge, using a bit of mild dishwashing liquid. First, slide out the pan and remove any moving parts or grills. Then, clean each part individually. Wipe down the interior, moving from the ceiling to the floor and around the sides to remove any globs of grease, clingy crumbs and other food debris for the cavity of the toaster oven.
As for burns, a commercial oven cleaner can take out scorch marks on the interior or exterior of the toaster oven. Spray the chemical cleaner on the scorch marks and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour. Wipe the layer of cleaner off, applying some pressure to get the burned grit off of the surface of the toaster oven.
But remember: before you begin to clean the toaster oven with damp sponges, household liquid cleaners or commercial detergents, unplug the appliance to make sure it doesn't malfunction during cleaning.
Baking Soda to Clean a Toaster Oven
A reliable, affordable and effective homemade cleaner uses vinegar and baking soda. After removing the toaster oven pan, grill and other parts, sprinkle the surfaces, as well as the inside of the appliance, with baking soda. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with vinegar and scrub down all of the parts, as well as the interior.
After cleaning, rinse the appliance down well and wipe it down with a clean dry cloth to remove any detergent or moisture from the interior or exterior surfaces of the toaster oven. Place all of the clean parts of the appliance back into place and plug it in. Allow it to heat up normally at a medium heat to further sanitize the interior of the toaster oven.
Self Cleaning Toaster Oven
The little countertop workhorses don't often come equipped with a self-cleaning option as most standard ovens do. But they also don't really need it if the appliance's interior is given a good scouring and regular cleaning.
A self-cleaning toaster oven can make the whole cleaning process easy. However, even a self-cleaning toaster oven requires a bit of attention. After putting the toaster oven on the self-clean mode, the interior should be wiped down gently.
Remove any big clumps of food debris or piles of crumbs and give the inside of toaster oven a good scouring with baking soda and vinegar or a spritz of commercial cleaner. This should remove superficial scorch marks, as well as grease and oily buildup on the inside and outside of the toaster oven.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.