How to Deep Clean a Toaster?

When was the last time you cleaned your toaster?

A month back? A week? Or never?

C’mon, we have all been there.

After all, it pretty much always looks shiny on the outside. But truth be told, cleaning your toaster is just as important as any other appliance since all the dirt lies on the inside.

Considering you have one of these 2-slice toasters, I am sure you are toasting more than bread and butter in there and those leftover bread crumbs, melted cheese, etc. are bad news.

Not only can they hamper toasting quality but also reduce the durability and I am not even mentioning all the fungal and bacterial build-up on the inside you are going to be ingesting.

Thankfully, cleaning a toaster isn’t all that tough, here’s what you need to do.

Things you will need

  1. Warm Soap Water
  2. Toothbrush
  3. Cloth
  4. Vinegar
  5. Rubber Gloves

How to Clean Crumb Tray

The crumb tray is one of the easiest parts to clean and should be done almost 2-4 times a week. Here’s how it is done.

Step 1: Cut off the power supply

Obvious isn’t it (until and unless getting electrocuted is what you were going from the outset 😉 ). Once unplugged, move the toaster to the cleaning area of the counter, make some room and spread a few newspapers.

Step 2: Clean the Crumb Tray

In most toasters, the crumb tray can be easily pulled out. Turn it upside down so all the crumbs and debris fall onto the newspapers.

Give it a nice shake and a few taps as there may be some debris stuck to the tray in case you haven’t cleaned or toaster in a very long time.

Step 3: Wash the Tray

Once the crumbs are out, it is time to give the tray a deep clean. For this, you will need some warm soapy water and a sponge. Now, wash the tray just like you would clean any other kitchen utensils and make sure you remove any stain or crumb.

After a thorough wash, let it dry out completely before putting back into the toaster.

But what if my toaster’s tray is not completely removable?

In that case, just draw out the crumb tray as much as you can, turn the toaster upside down and give it a good shake to remove all the crumbs.

Once done, wipe the crumb tray clean with a damp cloth or sponge. Just make sure you dry it out before you push it back in and turn on the toaster.

If the toaster has no removable tray, just shaking out the crumbs by tilting your toaster should do the trick but do not be too aggressive when doing so.

How to Clean the Toaster Exterior

Now that the crumb tray is drying, it is time to focus on the other parts and give it the shine back that made it the centerpiece of the kitchen countertop.

Step 1: Clean the Wires on the inside

The best tool to clean the wires on the inside is a clean toothbrush or a pastry brush as they easily reach on the inside thus helping you get rid of the grease and cheese debris stuck to it.

Once you have run the brush or toothbrush through the wires 2-3 times, once again turn the toaster upside down to remove the debris that must have slipped inside.

Note: If the toaster is really dirty and a dry toothbrush isn’t enough, I would recommend you dampen the brush with vinegar.

But why vinegar instead of regular water?

That is because Vinegar is one of the most potent natural cleaning agents. Don’t believe us? Check out what else you can clean with vinegar in your house.

Also, do not drench the brush in vinegar, you only want to dampen it or drying the toaster will take longer.

Step 2: Wipe the exterior

Take a wiping cloth, dampen it using vinegar and give the exterior of the toaster a good wipe. For more stubborn stains, you can also turn to baking soda.

Make sure you scrub gently and use a cloth that will not scratch the shiny, colorful surface of the toaster.

Insider Tip: To remove melted plastic from the toaster, you should use a nail polish remover.

How to Maintain Your Toaster

1. Deep clean your toaster once a month

The cleaning method we described above is exactly how you deep clean a toaster and should be done at least once or twice a month if you regularly use it for toasting grilled cheese sandwiches, bagels, etc.

This will ensure your toaster continues to toast with the same efficiency even after a year or two of use.

2. Remove crumbs twice a week

If you do not use your toaster regularly you probably do not need to deep clean it so often but that does not mean you neglect the crumbs. The tray should at least be emptied once or twice a week.

3. Wipe it down daily

Do you want your toaster to not just operate but also look like a brand new one? Well, toasters can end with scratches and their color fades away if stains on them are left for too long.

These small appliances will barely take minutes or two to wipe down with a damp cloth so make sure you are doing it on a day to day basis.


Cleaning and maintaining the toaster isn’t just about the toaster’s health but also your health as anything that is left dirty for too long becomes a haven for microbes like bacteria, fungus, etc. (not the kind of ingredients that make sandwiches yummy).

If you have a different hack, do share it with us in the comments section below.

You can also throw in your questions regarding buying, cleaning or maintaining a toaster and we will get back to you asap. Till then, Happy toasting.

Jennifer Dumas

My name is Jennifer! Welcome to Dinners and Dreams. My goal here is to encourage you to try out recipes you never thought you could make at home. Furthermore, I also review products that I have used in the past or currently using to make every day buying decisions easier and to ensure you get the best value for your money.

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