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How to Clean a Toaster

Keeping the Toaster Clean Reduces Fire Risk

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How to Clean a Toaster

How to Clean a Toaster

Photo © Mifflin
Toaster care and maintenance is very important if you want to reduce the risk of fire when operating this convenient counter appliance. Crumbs and pieces of toasts, bagels or whatever you toast in it tend to accumulate within the toaster and these must be cleaned out regularly.

Every electric toaster has a slide out tray that should be cleaned regularly to remove crumbs and debris from inside the toaster. It is usually located at the bottom, sometimes but not always, on the same side as the controls.

How often you clean the toaster depends on use of course, but you should clean it at least once a week, or more often if use is more than average. Follow these steps and keep your toaster free of debris that can catch on fire during the toasting operation.

Steps to Clean Your Toaster
  • Unplug toaster before cleaning.
  • Pull out crumb tray, empty crumbs and debris and handwash this small tray. It should be thoroughly dry before reinserting, after the rest of the toaster has been cleaned.
  • Shake the toaster carefully over the trash bin, then turn it over and shake from the other end. Crumbs collect in the toaster and by inverting it, you'll remove more debris.
  • With a small brush, carefully clear crumbs from the metal side grills in the toaster, with care not to damage or bend these or touch the elements. It's usually impossible to completely clear crumbs from these areas since you must avoid damaging the interior, so just brush where you can.
  • Carefully shake the toaster over the trash bin again, to clear any crumbs that are now loose.
  • Wipe and dry the exterior of the toaster with either a damp cloth with warm soapy water or vinegar, including the area around the top openings.
  • Wipe the appliance cord by running a damp cloth along the length of it and dry.
  • Inspect the condition of the cord, ensuring it is safe and there are no exposed wires. Read more about appliance cord safety.
  • Reinsert the crumb tray.
  • Plug it in and it's ready to use.
  • Watch this video for more detail: How to Clean a Toaster Video
The Toaster featured is a Bravetti 2-Slice Toaster. Read review

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When it comes to appliances, safety is a must. An electrical cord with a damaged area or melted (rubber) section that exposes wires, can also be a fire risk. If the appliance is not UL listed for use in your area, it may not be safe to operate. And if the manufacturer has issued a recall on your particular toaster, finding out what to do in the event of a recall is the smart way to go.

If you are conducting regular toaster maintenance and you detect some hazards with this appliance but no recall has been issued for this product, being proactive and notifying the manufacturing may prevent an injury in the future to your family or someone else. Find out what to do if you detect a problem with your appliance. My tips on how to use appliances safely will also help you understand how to better manage your appliances. As a consumer, it's up to you to use products safely and to use them for their intended use only.

Read More About Toasters:

How to Buy a Toaster
Difference Between a Toaster and Toaster Oven
How a Toaster Bagel Setting Works
Go to Main Small Appliances Page
Go to Small Appliance Care & Mtce Page

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