Air fryers are becoming increasingly popular because they allow you to cook food without having to stand over a hot stove or worry about burning yourself. They also save space in your kitchen. But despite their convenience, these devices can get dirty very easily. If you don’t properly clean them, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. In this article, we answer the question, how to clean my air fryer?
Whether you have a digital air fryer or an analog air fryer, you’ll still need to keep it cleaned inside and out if you don’t want it to break down. Before you attempt to clean it, check the user manual. You may find instructions for your specific model. Some models even have a self-cleaning function. And some are easier to clean than others.
This article gives you the basics of cleaning your air fryer as well as how to deal with lingering odors and stubborn food that won’t come off. So let’s get started.
Step 1: Get Your Supplies together
You won’t need a lot of expensive tools for this job. But you will need:
- A soft-bristle scrub brush
- A non-abrasive sponge
- Microfiber cloth
- Paper towels
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
You may have all these items already. If not, they can easily be purchased at your local supermarket.
Step 2: Make Sure Your Air Fryer is Cooled Down
Unplug the appliance and let it cool down completely. This should take about 30 minutes. Remove the basket, tray, pan, and any other accessories that are inside.
Step 3: How To Clean Your Air Fryer Accessories
Fill your kitchen sink with hot, soapy water. Place the accessories in the hot water and let them soak for about 10-15 minutes. This will help to loosen any stubborn, stuck-on food.
If food does not come off easily, make a paste with baking soda and water. Use a soft-bristle brush with the paste to scrub off the food residue.
Step 4: How to Clean an Air Fryer Interior
Using a damp microfiber cloth with a small amount of soap, wipe the inside of the unit. Then wipe again with a dry, clean cloth.
Step 5: How to Clean an Air Fryer Coil
The heating coil should be checked at least every few months for any residue. You may notice a buildup of food particles. Use a clean damp cloth to wipe the coil off. Make sure it’s completely dry before using.
Step 6: Clean the Exterior
Using a damp microfiber cloth with a drop of dish soap, clean the outside. Wipe down with a clean cloth or paper towels.
Step 7: Reassemble Your Air Fryer
Allow all parts to dry completely. Then reassemble the parts back into the unit.
Air Fryer Cleaning – What Not to Do
Below is a list of things you should definitely NOT do when cleaning your air fryer. Don’t:
- Submerge your air fryer in water
- Use disinfectant to clean it
- Use utensils to remove food that is stuck on the surface of the basket or tray
- Use steel wool or a steel wire brush on any parts
Using steel wool or a steel wire brush can damage the non-stick coating on the tray and pan. Also, disinfectants are not safe to use on surfaces that come in contact with food.
Be Careful With Nonstick
You should know that we never recommend putting any air fryer parts in the dishwasher. The non-stick coating can be damaged by harsh chemicals used in dishwasher detergents. Do not put non-stick items in the dishwasher.
Also, do not use metal utensils or other abrasives with non-stick coatings. Over time, the coating may begin to flake and chip off. If the coating chips off, contact customer service or try to return it.
How Often You Should Clean an Air Fryer
Get in the habit of cleaning your air fryer after each use. This will prevent food and other residues from building up on the parts inside. You may have a little grease to clean up from time to time, but since they use very little oil, the oil clean-up should be minimal.
How to Deal With Lingering Odors
There are two tell-tale signs that your air fryer definitely needs cleaning. One is odor. If you can smell food from previous use, it definitely needs to be cleaned. The second sign is smoke. Even though you use very little oil, food can still be trapped below and burn causing smoke.
A plastic smell in a new air fryer is quite common. To avoid this smell getting into your food, start by giving all the parts a good wash using the steps above. Next, run it with no food for a few cycles for 40 minutes at 350-400oF. Once the cycle has finished, cool the appliance completely. Then repeat 3-4 more times. This will help to release the plastic fumes.
Bonus How to Clean a Greasy Air Fryer
Baked-on grease will require a bit more work. You will need the following:
- Dishwashing soap with degreasing properties like Dawn
- Baking soda
- Tea kettle
Here are the steps to cleaning stubborn grease:
- Start by plugging the sink.
- Remove all washable parts from the unit and place them in the sink.
- Squeeze the dishwashing soap right onto the greasy parts and coat completely.
- Sprinkle baking soda on all parts you just put the soap on. The baking soda combined with the dish soap will start to lift off the grease. Alternatively, you can use a toothbrush to work the soap and baking soda into the parts.
- Use a baking soda and water paste with a scrub brush or old toothbrush. For tough to reach places, you can also try using a wooden toothpick.
- If the grease isn’t coming off, pour 3/4 cup of vinegar on the parts. You will probably see the baking soda bubble up. This is a good thing. This means it’s working.
- Fill the tea kettle with water, drop a piece of lemon inside, and bring to a boil. Then pour over the parts and leave to sit overnight.
- Use hot soapy water to wash off any remaining grease.
- Leave to dry completely on kitchen towels or a dishcloth.
The frequency of cleaning your air fryer will depend on how much you use it. You should get in the habit of cleaning it after each use. These simple steps can go a long way in extending the life of your air fryer and keeping it working at its optimum performance.
Do you have any great tips on how to clean your air fryer? We’d love to hear from you so please leave your comments below.