The toaster oven is capable of so much and yet gets little attention. The handy kitchen counter appliance needs a good scouring on a regular basis to keep it working at its optimal best. Stubborn grease clings to the many moving parts and surfaces of the countertop appliance that is specifically designed to heat up countless convenient meals.
Routine Toaster Oven Pan Cleaning
The small pan that fits snugly beneath the grill of the toaster oven is designed to catch all the crumbs, spills and drips from the meals that slide in and out of the appliance. If bits of food, oily splotches and globs of cheese are allowed to build up on the surface of the toaster oven pan, then you could be creating a fire hazard.
Keeping the small pan free of debris on a regular basis prevents a time-consuming and laborious scrubbing when the toaster oven has become so dirty it creates a problem in its operation. To clean baked on grease, remove the pan and scrub it thoroughly as soon as the spill occurs.
After each use, remove the pan fully and wipe down the pan with a damp cloth or sponge with a drop of mild liquid dish soap. Also swipe the damp, soapy sponge around the bottom of the toaster oven to remove any errant crumbs or oily drips. Thoroughly remove any soapy residue with a damp, clean cloth and allow the pan to dry before using the toaster oven.
Toaster Oven Cleaning Hacks
If you don't have time to clean the toaster oven after each use, and who really does, then you can use quick cleaning hacks to keep the appliance in tip-top shape.
Toaster oven cleaning hacks include:
- Sprinkle baking soda over the surface of the grease-covered pan and dunk the toaster oven pan in a shallow bath of white distilled vinegar. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour before rinsing and drying the pan.
- To clean the toaster oven tray that is clogged with grease, use a putty knife or butter knife to scrape through the greasy layer. Once you have most of it removed, take a wet toothbrush dipped in baking soda to the corners of the pan and then clean as usual.
Cleaning the Entire Toaster Oven
At least once a month, it's a good idea to give the entire toaster oven a little attention. The front panel, sides and ceiling of the interior of the oven can also become caked with bits of food and splatters of grease. The best way to clean a toaster oven thoroughly is to remove all moveable parts and slowly work from the top to the bottom.
Mix 1 teaspoon of dish soap with 1 cup of warm water and 1 cup of vinegar. Use a gentle dish sponge with a scrubbing side to apply the mix to the surface of the toaster oven's interior. Scrub the ceiling, sides and floor of the inside of the appliance to remove all grease and crumbs.
Use the gentle side of the sponge on the glass oven door so that it doesn't get scratches from the rough side of the sponge. Wipe down the entire interior surface with a damp, clean cloth and make sure every part is dry before using 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.