I always compare cleaning the inside of a toaster oven (or any other kitchen appliance for that matter) to going to the dentist. Only few of us are looking forward to it (and some even loathe it outright), but more often than not, it is the thought of visiting the dentist that is worse than anything we can experience there.
With that in mind, if you have the basic tools and the right knowledge, then cleaning the inside of your toaster oven won’t need to be an overwhelming chore (both in reality and mentally.) And that’s what I am going to prove you today.
Better yet, to broaden your choices, I will show you two different ways you can clean your modern toaster ovens. But first, let us look at the materials you will need to carry out the task.
1. A qualitative cleaner
You have several options you can take advantage of. The first option is a store-bought oven cleaner, which will offer the fastest and easiest process. This is also the type of cleaner I recommend if you’re dealing with a serious amount of grime and grease.
That said, if you prefer all-natural approaches or you are sensitive to some harsh chemicals, then I recommend you going with my second recommendation – baking soda, a spray bottle, vinegar, and water. This option will also work out wonders if you’re dealing with a lot of build-up.
Just note that it will take time because you will need to let the baking soda + water paste to sit for approximately 11 hours (or overnight.)
2. A huge garbage bag
You will need this when emptying the removable bake ware of your toaster oven.
3. A microfiber sponge or scouring pumice
This will come in handy if you’ll be dealing with a lot of buildups.
4. A damp cloth rag
This is what you will use to wipe the grime after applying the cleaner. You might need more than one rag if your toaster oven is overly grimy.
5. Paper towels or old newspapers
Pad these around your countertop floor in case any dirt drips out when you’re cleaning.
6. Protective safety glasses
If you’ll be using a store-bought oven cleaner, then you will need protective safety glasses to protect your eyes from the chemicals in the cleaner. You won’t need these if you’ll be going with the second baking soda option.
7. Rubber cleaning gloves
Just make sure you’re not using disposable gloves (especially if you’ll be using a store-bought cleaner.) you will need a heavy-duty barrier laying in between the cleaner and your skin.
Once you have everything required to clean the inside of your spacious toaster oven, we can get to the main section of the post.
Cleaning the inside of your toaster oven with vinegar and baking soda
- Take out every removable part from your toaster oven, including, but not limited to, the thermometer, pizza stone, baking racks, etc.
- Lay down the paper towels and newspapers beneath your toaster oven
- Take a small cup and mix 2 or 3 tablespoons of water with a cup (or half) of baking soda. Just tweak the amount of baking soda until you have a spreadable paste.
- Put on the gloves and use your fingers to spread the paste all over the interior of your toaster oven. Ensure the paste covers the crevices, corners, door, top, bottom, sides, and backside. If you are using an electric toaster oven, then ensure you do not apply any paste on the heating elements. And if you’re cleaning a gas oven, do not apply the paste where the gas comes through. When you’re done, close the oven.
- Let the areas you’ve applied the paste on sit overnight (or around 11 hours.)
- While waiting, place the removable racks inside your kitchen sink and sprinkle baking soda on them – then pour vinegar on top. Expect the combination to foam, and after the foaming stops, cover the sink’s drainage hole and run hot water until the bake ware is submerged.
- Allow the bake ware to sit overnight as well.
- The following day (or after 11 hours), wear your gloves and take the damp cloth rag. Use the rag to wipe down all the surfaces inside your toaster oven. And if there are sticky spots remaining, use a wet microfiber sponge or scouring pumice to get rid of all the grime.
- Remove the bake ware from the water in the sink and scrub them using the rag until all grime and grease is gone. Just like the preceding step, use a microfiber sponge or pumice on any tough spot.
- Dry the racks and put them back in your oven.
- That’s it. You’re done.
Now let us look at the second way you can clean your toaster oven using a store-bought oven cleaner. But since the first two steps are the same as if you had followed the cleaning using vinegar and baking soda, we will skip them in this guide.
Method Two, The Cleaning
1. After taking out the removable parts and laying out the paper towel and newspapers under your toaster oven, put on your safety glasses and gloves. Consequently, spray the inside of your oven with the cleaner and cover the crevices, corners, door, top, bottom, sides, and back. And just like the first time, if you’re cleaning an electric toaster oven, do not spray the heating elements – and if you’re using a gas one, do not spray the hole the gas goes through. Close your toaster oven after you’re done.
2. Allow the sprayed areas to sit for a specified duration as listed on the label of your oven cleaner. Most cleaners I have come across will need from 20 to 40 minutes.
3. While waiting, take the removable racks outside and spray them using the cleaner – then put them inside a garbage bag. Leave them outside your house (but inside the bag) for the same period of time as your toaster oven.
4. After the advised period of time passes, take the damp rag and wipe down all the interior surfaces. Ensure you hit each crevice and crack, so you do not leave any trace of cleaner or dirt behind.
5. Take out the racks from the garbage bag and wipe them down using the rag. Subsequently, rinse them using hot water and dry them before putting them back into your toaster oven.
6. That’s it, you’re done.
When you’re done cleaning your high end toaster oven, it should be looking brand new. And to prevent it from accumulating baked-on grease in the future, lay down an aluminum foil sheet on the bottom. This should be sufficient to catch all the fillings, crumbs, grease, cheeses, and other fallen foods.
But make sure you remove and replace this sheet the next time you clean the inside of your toaster oven.