How to Clean a Toaster

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The toaster can sometimes be forgotten in the kitchen clean-up, yet it certainly deserves a regular cleaning. Crumbs build up in a toaster over time, so you should periodically deep clean your toaster so it works properly. To clean a toaster, remove the crumb tray from the bottom and clean that first. Then, clean the interior and exterior. When you’re done, your toaster will be fresh, clean, and ready to use.


EditCleaning the Crumb Tray

  1. Unplug the toaster and move to a workspace. It’s vital to unplug the toaster before cleaning it to avoid electric shock.[1] After unplugging your toaster, bring to a large flat surface, like a table or counter. Lay down a layer of newspaper to work over to make it easier to collect crumbs.

  2. Remove the crumb tray. Most toaster have a removable tray on the bottom called the crumb tray. For the most part, you should be able to easily slide out the crumb tray. If you can’t figure out how to remove the crumb tray, consult your instructions manual.[2]
  3. Shake out the crumb tray. Turn the crumb tray upside down. Give it a good shake to remove any loose crumbs, dirt, dust, or debris.[3]
    • You can shake the crumb tray onto the newspaper you laid down. However, it may be easier to shake it over the garbage to dispose of crumbs right away.
  4. Clean the crumb tray in warm, soapy water. Wipe the crumb tray clean over the sink using warm water and gentle liquid soap. Wash it like you would wash any other dishes. Get it completely clean, removing any stuck on crumbs or stains, and then set it aside to dry.[4]
  5. Clean a non-removable crumb tray. If your toaster lacks a removable crumb tray, turn it upside down. Gently shake it over the newspaper or your garbage a few times. This should clear out most loose crumbs.[5]

EditCleaning the Rest of the Toaster

  1. Swipe away crumbs from the interior. Use a pastry brush or clean toothbrush to clean out the wires on the interior of your toaster. Use this to wipe away any crumbs stuck inside the wires. Flick away the crumbs in the same direction the wires run.[6]

    • It’s usually a good idea to turn your toaster upside down and shake it again after removing interior crumbs.
  2. Wipe down the interior slots. Dampen your toothbrush slightly with vinegar. Place the toothbrush back into the toaster. Use it to rub down the wire bars to get them clean, removing any stuck on crumbs, dirt, and debris.[7]
    • Only get your toothbrush damp with vinegar. A sopping wet toothbrush may cause puddles of messy water to form on the bottom of your toaster.
  3. Clean the exterior of the toaster. Get a cloth damp with vinegar. Use this to wipe down the sides of the toaster.[8] For really tough stuck-on stains, use a bit of bicarbonate of soda/baking soda to scrub off gently. Use a non-scratching sponge or wiping cloth on the toaster to prevent scratches.

EditMaintaining a Clean Toaster

  1. Deep clean your toaster once a month. About once a month, deep clean your toaster. Do so by cleaning the crumb tray and then wiping down the interior and exterior with vinegar. This will keep your toaster from building up too many crumbs and other debris.[9]

  2. Empty out the crumbs once a week. Once a week, remove the crumb tray and shake it out over the garbage. If you don’t have a removable crumb tray, turn the toaster upside down and shake it out over the garbage.[10]
  3. Wipe down the exterior each day. Every day, when you’re doing routine cleaning in the kitchen, do not neglect your toaster. Wipe the toaster down with a wet rag or a rag dampened with vinegar. This will keep too much dirt and dust from building up on the toaster’s exterior.[11]



  • Some toaster exteriors show up dirt, fingerprints and splatters more than others. Consider this when purchasing your toaster; for instance, stainless steel tends to need more regular polishing to keep its shine and to remove fingerprints than an opaque plastic toaster.


  • Only clean a cool toaster. Cleaning a hot toaster is asking to be burnt.
  • Only plug into the wall with dry hands.
  • Do not immerse the toaster in water under any circumstances.
  • Never stick a knife in a toaster. If the toaster is plugged in, you are risking electrocution.

EditThings You’ll Need

  • Toaster
  • Vinegar and bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • Sponge/gentle wiping cloth
  • Newspaper
  • Space to work in

EditRelated wikiHows

  • Put out a Toaster Fire
  • Easily Clean a Garlic Press
  • Clean An Oscillating Round Fan
  • Wash Dishes
  • Clean and Maintain a Dishwasher

EditSources and Citations

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