Do you smell burning every time you use your toaster? Does your push-down lever grind on something when you push it down? Do the grills not hold the slice of bread as tightly as you’d want?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, don’t worry your toaster most-likely isn’t showing signs of aging. It’s just very messy!
When a toaster isn’t clean on the inside it can take longer to make great toast. When it’s dirty on the outside, it looks bad in front of your guests and it makes it more difficult to operate. Here are some easy techniques to clean your toaster so the whole family can enjoy using it again.
The tray of crumbs
The toaster is one of those kitchen appliances that we use so often we just expect it to work all the time. However, it needs to be shown the proper care and understanding it deserves so that it will. Firstly, unplug the toaster, you do not want any mishaps when cleaning your appliance.
Now take out the crumb tray which is located at the bottom. There should be a pull-out handle which you can use to do this. If you have quite a lot of build-up over the months or years, you’ll need to do more than just shake it over the sink.
Using hot water and lemon juice, scrub the tray using a coarse cloth or bristle brush. If the crumbs are stuck onto the tray, leave it to soak in the hot water and lemon juice for an hour. If the crumbs still don’t come off, you need to use some iron wool and a little elbow grease. Careful not to bend the tray as it’s usually quite thin.
Shake it all about
The toaster is a very compact appliance. There’s just no way to get at every crevice unless you call in an expert. One of the easiest things you can do to start is to hold the toaster upside down and shake it all about.
Don’t be too violent with it as it does have some thin moving parts. It’s best to do this in the sink or outside. You will need to stay at it for a few minutes because pieces of debris will be trapped inside and need a little persistence to dislodge.
Cleaning the exterior
It’s not difficult to learn how to clean a toaster, you just need to approach it in a unique way. Toasters are a lot more open in their design compared to microwaves or blenders. They have more openings that allow debris and dirt into the internal mechanisms.
Cleaning the exterior will prevent this from happening. Using one-part vinegar and one-part lukewarm water, use a synthetic cloth to wipe away the grease and grime on the outside of the toaster.
Now, using q-tips that have been soaked in the same solution, get into all those nooks and crannies. We often use the lever with our dirty hands and this can lead to oil and bits of ingredients forming a layer of grunge.
With the acuteness of the q-tips, you should be able to collect all of this from the various openings. You may find it easier to use a toothbrush if you don’t have the dexterity to use the q-tips.
Cleaning the grills
The grills are the moving parts inside that hold the slices of bread in place. These are notoriously difficult to clean. The bottom part is the easiest because it’s a straight-forward angle. However, the sides and the fixing points may require professional cleaners.
Using a pastry brush dipped in a vinegar solution, you can wipe and prod any crumbs and burnt bits off the grills. You should use one hand to shine a torch inside the toaster and the other hand to use the brush.
The metal that is on top of the toaster is the easiest part to get at and clean. Using a melamine sponge, use a vinegar and lemon solution and gently wipe away the stains.
You may not want to use iron wool as it will leave scratch marks which won’t look great for the toaster’s aesthetics. Use a toothbrush to scoop the crumbs in the opening between the interior and exterior. It’s common for crumbs to accumulate here and drop into the grill.
Cleaning your toaster isn’t going to be labor-intensive but it requires patience and persistence. The heat from the grill sticks crumbs to the inside and hardens them over time. But, using lemon and or vinegar solutions and the help from an expert, will make this chore a piece of cake.