A Detailed Guide On How To Clean Your Air Fryer

Decades ago, no one ever thought a great invention like an air fryer would make our cooking effortless. This kitchen appliance is designed to use super hot air to make delicious fried food that is crispy but with less oil. This way, you get a meal low in harmful fat and calories. Are you a proud owner of one of the best air fryers?

black color square air fryer oven

While you are engrossed with making a sumptuous meal, you may not notice food particles and oil splatters building up over time. If you don’t take care of these on time, you will be dealing with odour and smoke whenever you try air frying. Luckily for you, this guide provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to clean your air fryer.

Necessary Things You Need to Know About Cleaning Your Air Fryer

Cleaning your air fryer is not like your typical metal utensils cleaning. You need to take your time to clean every nook and cranny of the machine to prevent oil or food particles buildup and the unpleasant odours that damage the machine. 

Before you dive straight into decluttering your air fryer, it is best to keep the following factors at the back of your mind:

  1. The essential rule to keeping your air fryer sparkling and durable is not to leave crumbs and food residue over time. It is understandable if you are tired and that means resting for some minutes, but you need to clean your air fryer as soon as possible.
  2.  If the food is sticky, it is best to clean while the air fryer is still warm.
  3. Do not use an abrasive sponge, brush, or metal equipment to remove food particles.
  4. Clean the food drawer and basket with warm soapy water.
  5. Use a toothpick and a wooden stick to remove sticky food particles and residue.
  6. Remove the food basket and drawer entirely so that you can see hidden food crumbs and oil in the main unit.

hand holding the handle air fryer’s basket for washing.

What to wash after each use and what to wash occasionally

Even though there is a huge emphasis on keeping your air fryer clean regularly, there are some parts you need to clean often and occasionally

Every time you use this kitchen gadget, wash the removable parts (tray, basket, and pan). If it seems stressful to wash with your hands, you can use the dishwasher, but ensure it is dishwasher safe and it’s recommended in the user’s manual.

You may not consider it necessary to clean your air fryer exterior often. However, cleaning the exterior after a few uses may strengthen its durability for an extended period. 

How to clean the exterior of your air fryer

Are you ready to clean the exterior of your air fryer? Well, this is what you’re going to need:

  • Dish detergent
  • A damp cloth/microfiber cloth or soft sponge
  • Soft scrub brush
  • Clean and dry cloth

Women’s hand wipe the air fryer basket

Steps to clean the exterior of your air fryer

  1. Before cleaning the exterior of your air fryer, you need to ensure you unplug it from the electric socket and allow it to cool down. This is not the time to be in a rush because cleaning a warm air fryer may burn you or damage the appliance itself.
  2. After unplugging your fryer, allow it to cool down for 30 minutes. Then, soak or damp a microfiber cloth in warm soapy water. To avoid excess water dripping over the fryer, squeeze it out of the cloth before wiping the exterior of your machine. 
  3. If you see sticky food residue or specks of dirt, try not to use harsh cleaning agents or disinfectants as they may end up inside the air fryer. Also, it could cause the non-stick coating and outer material of the appliance to peel off. Instead, add extra warm water to the affected area, and use a toothpick to scrape it off gently.
  4. For an air fryer with a glass window, it will be best to use a glass cleaner spray to remove any smear marks. Complete the cleaning by using the damp cloth to wipe away the soap and specks of dirt with another clean damp cloth.

How to clean your basket-style air fryer step-by-step

The basket-style air fryer accumulates specks of dirt and grease based on how often and how you clean it. It is not just enough to casually wipe down the interior of your air fryer when there might be thin layers of grease hidden in its different parts.

Nonetheless, there are simpler cleaning tips to use. This is what you’re going to need for this task:

  • Soft-bristled bottle brush or toothbrush
  • Microfibre wipes/paper towel/soft cloth
  • Dish soap/degreasing detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon
  • Vinegar
  • Clean and dry cloth

A bottle of white vinegar next to a jar of baking soda

Steps to clean your basket-style air fryer

  1. Pour some dish soap directly on the air fryer basket, and use your hand to spread it, ensuring that the whole basket is evenly coated
  2. Once the basket is soaked in the soap, gently sprinkle the baking soda evenly inside of the air fryer and use your hand to spread it across other parts.
  3. Use a soft bristle brush to blend the soap and baking soda paste, touching every opening and any big clumps on caked grease. The soap specifically helps soften the grease while the baking soda’s abrasive properties remove the grease off the basket. 
  4. Here comes the time to add vinegar to the mixture. Vinegar is used for many cleaning purposes, like for your washing machine, oven, or even the shower. Add about ¾ cup of vinegar into it, making the baking soda bubble up. 
  5. Then boil half a lemon fruit in a kettle, and add the hot water to the pan containing vinegar and baking soda
  6. Stir the mixture together with a wooden stick, and leave the air fryer pan and basket overnight. The addition of dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, and hot lemon juice helps to break down the hard gunk and grease, and the heat from the boiling lemon water softens and melts it off the basket side. 
  7. Remove the basket and pan from the air fryer and rinse with hot or warm running water. Use a non-abrasive sponge to remove any extra grease on the basket. Dry with a clean, dry cloth.

How to clean an oven-style air fryer

If you have an oven-style air fryer, then there’s no need to worry. Have a look at all the materials that you’re going to need: 

  • Degreasing dish soap
  • Soft-bristled brush or old toothbrush
  • A soft cloth or paper towel

toothbrushes and eucalyptus leaf on green background

Steps to clean an oven-style air fryer

  1. After turning off and unplugging the air fryer, allow it to cool completely for up to 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the racks carefully and hand wash them in warm soapy water using a soft-bristled brush to wipe grease and baked-on grease. You can also use the dishwasher to clean the racks. Rinse and dry them with a clean, soft cloth.
  3. Remove any remnant oil from the tray. Then, place the tray in the dishwasher to clean it or hand wash it with warm soapy water.
  4. Rinse it well and dry with a paper towel or soft cloth.
  5. Wipe the bottom of the air fryer interior and the exterior with a damp cloth or paper towel.
  6. Reassemble the trays once it is cleaned and dry.

How to deep clean your air fryer

Splattering is a typical part of air frying food. Sometimes, you may not notice food bits and residue blocking the heating element. Thankfully, there are simple measures you can use to clean your air fryer thoroughly. This is what you need to gather:

  • Degreasing soap
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • ½ cup of water to make a paste
  • A soft cloth or paper towels

Steps to deep clean your air fryer

  1. Remove the racks or the basket first.
  2. Squeeze some soap on the racks to soften the gunk and globs.
  3. Leave the basket or racks upside down so any bits of gunk will fall onto the bottom of the interior and not in the heating element, mesh or fan at the top.
  4. Use a soft brush to scrub and remove burned-on bits from the mesh covering the heating element, and wipe with a damp clean cloth or paper towel.
  5.  Then, turn the air fryer upside down to clean the heating element easily.
  6. Apply the baking soda paste and use a soft, damp cloth to scrub away any sludge gently
  7. Soak another clean cloth with water, wring it tightly and wipe away the baking soda paste and soap.
  8. Flip the air fryer again and rearrange the clean basket or trays.

a black deep fryer or oil free fryer

Cleaning your air fryer regularly and occasionally is the best way to maintain it and keep it functioning for an extended period. Besides, it will prevent the growth of harmful germs and offensive odour in your appliance. Follow this guide and you can rest assured that your appliance is always at its finest. Happy cleaning and cooking!

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