You can cook a great variety of delicious meals in a toaster oven. From simple bread to full dishes such as casseroles.
Toaster ovens are typically small enough to take up very little space in your kitchen. Due to its convenient size, it doesn’t heat your kitchen in the summer.
Despite all the great benefits of a toaster oven, they need regular maintenance and cleaning like other kitchen devices.
Left over food and baked-on grease can be tough to remove and they can impact the cooking ability of your toaster oven in the long run.
While you can easily clean the surfaces of the oven, it happens that the heating elements also get dirty over time. How do you clean the heating element of a toaster oven?
In this article, we take a look at how to clean your toaster oven and its heating element.
What Is A Toaster Oven?
Before we start with the actual cleaning process, let’s first talk about what makes a good toaster oven.
A toaster oven is an appliance used for baking or reheating foods. It has two main parts: the heating element and the convection fan.
The heating element heats up the air inside the oven so that food cooks faster. The convection fan circulates the heated air around the oven so that the food gets evenly cooked.
A toaster oven is usually placed on top of the stove.
It is important to note that not every toaster oven is designed to work on top of the stove; some models have been specifically made to fit under the countertop.
You can find both manual and automatic toasters. Manual toasters require you to turn them on and off manually, while automatic ones use a timer to automatically switch themselves on and off.
Most toaster ovens come with a removable glass panel. This allows you to see if there is any food stuck in the oven.
How To Clean A Toaster Oven Heating Element
Now that you know what a toaster oven is, let’s move onto the actual cleaning process.
What You’ll Need To Clean Your Toaster Oven Heating Element
There are a few things that you need to get the heating element of your toaster oven clean again.
Mix some water with washing up liquid. You need this soapy water to wash the heating element.
Soft Sponge/Soft Brush
If your heating element is particularly greasy, you may want to use a damp sponge to gently scrape off the worst. For particularly tough stains, we recommend to use either a soft wire brush or baking soda (see below).
Microfiber cloth are so versatile all around your home. They are also ideal to give the heating element a wipe over once you are done with cleaning.
For the tougher stains, you don’t want to scrub or damage the heating element, so we recommend using baking soda that will get even the toughest stains off.
The vinegar will neutralize smells and odors, and will give your toaster a new, shiny finish.
Cleaning Your Toaster Oven’s Heating Element
It’s a good idea to check your toaster’s user manual first before you start cleaning. You will likely find some good advice on what to use for cleaning your toaster.
Most manuals will also advise that the heating element of a toaster oven should be cleaned as little as possible so to avoid the risk of causing damage.
Preparing Your Toaster Oven
First thing’s first: make sure that the toaster oven is unplugged from the wall socket.
Next, you will need a soft cloth and warm water. If you don’t want to risk damaging your oven, then you can use a spray bottle filled with hot water instead.
If you plan to use a spray bottle, make sure that the nozzle is pointed away from the heating element when spraying it.
Finally, you should remove the glass panel and the top cover before cleaning your toaster oven.
It is possible that you might find the instructions printed on the packaging of the toaster oven. If so, follow those instructions carefully.
Remove The Front Panel And Unscrew The Bottom Plate
Remove the front panel of the toaster oven by unscrewing the screws.
Then unscrew the bottom plate by loosening the screw. You need to remove bottom plate fully to get to the heating element.
Remove The Heating Elements
Now, take out the heating elements by lifting up the metal frame. You will see the heating elements attached to the metal frame.
Next, check how you can remove the heating elements from the frame. With most toaster ovens, you can just lift them out.
Clean The Heating Elements
Once you removed the heating elements from the frame, you can start cleaning them. First, dampen the heating element gently with a little bit of soapy water.
Try not to use too much water to avoid any risk of damaging the electrics.
When you removed some of the surface dirt with the soapy water, you can use either a soft sponge or a cleaning brush to gently scrub away the more persistent dirt.
You may also want to use baking soda for tough stains to get rid of all the food particles. Then apply some of the white vinegar as finish.
The last part of cleaning the heating element is to dry it. You can use either a paper towel or a dry microfiber cloth for this.
When you are done with cleaning, it’s time to reassemble everything again. Place the heating element back in its original position and replace the top cover by tightening the screws.
Then reinstall the bottom plate by tightening the screws.
You can now switch the toaster oven back on and test it to ensure the heating element works fine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens If I Get Oven Cleaner On The Heating Element?
Oven cleaner can cause severe burns if it comes into contact with the heating element. This includes both liquid and solid forms of oven cleaners.
So it’s essential that you don’t use oven cleaner anywhere near your toaster oven.
Is It Safe To Clean Toaster Oven Heating Element?
Yes, it is safe to clean your toaster oven heating element using the above-mentioned method. However, it is important that you do it only after reading the manufacturer’s instruction manual.
Toaster ovens have become very popular over the past few years. They are great multi-tasking devices which allow people to enjoy their favorite foods without having to go through long cooking processes.
However, they can be quite messy because of the grease and crumbs that tend to accumulate inside.
We hope this article helps you clean your toaster oven quick and easy.