You’re probably thinking that you’ve done a great job in keeping your air fryer clean. However, it’s been found that 80% of households don’t clean some of the more essential areas oven air fryer. We’re talking about the heating element. If you ever looked into the heating element of your air fryer, you’ll probably see a deep black charger of sadness. As if it was that alone and forgotten while the rest of its parts were carefully taken care of.
That’s why I’ve put together this article. Here are the steps to cleaning specifically the heating element of your air fryer, along with some tips for transforming it into a fully functional appliance.
Is an air fryer easy to clean?
Cleaning an air fryer can be rather difficult when it’s your first time. But it’s important to understand that if you want an easier cleaning experience, you must always clean your air fryer after each use. The more this cleaning habit you develop every time you use it, the easier it is to clean.
If you leave your air fryer uncleaned after multiple uses, then there’s a strong possibility that these baked-on foods and these leftover grease residues will pile up on top of each other and create hard-to-remove stains.
How to clean the air fryer heating element
Cleaning the heating element of an air fryer doesn’t have to be hard. But it is important that you know exactly what to do to make your life easier in the process.
- The very first thing you need to do is unplug the air fryer and let it cool. Make sure the air fryer is completely shut off. You may even want to wait about 30 minutes to let the electricity within the circuits diffuse.
- Turn your air fryer over so that your heating element is that the bottom. We’re going to use gravity to our advantage and it will also make scrubbing a lot easier.
- Using a scrub or an old toothbrush, dip it into a solution made of baking soda, dishwasher, and hydrogen peroxide in the metal area around and under the heating element. Don’t use the toothbrush on the heating element.
- After scrubbing through all the outer areas near the heating element, let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t go any further than this because if the cleaning solution dries then it’s just going to be more difficult to wipe off.
- After 5 to 10 minutes, grab a wet paper towel or a wet microfiber towel and wipe down the area that you recently scrubbed. If you need to go back and scrub this area again, that’s okay. You can repeat step 3 as many times as you like. This will only make your air fryer heating element area much cleaner. I don’t suspect that the first time will be enough.
- If you were like me and you still see little bits of gunk and hard to remove dirt lingering, then it’s time to bring out the big guns. You can pull out a metal sponge and gently, scrub back and forth until those little bits of dirt are gone. I want to mention here that you should make sure that the area you’re using the metal scrub on is also made of a metallic material. And it probably goes without saying, but do not use this metal brush on the heating element itself.
- The hard-to-reach places underneath and behind the element are usually easiest to clean if you use an old toothbrush. When wiping down the cleaning solution you created, you can use a damp cloth and take it under the heating element by using the toothbrush. You just have to set the cloth on the side of the heating element and use the toothbrush to push it further underneath. And you can simply move it around there to pick up any final residue.
Baking soda, Dawn Power Wash, and hydrogen peroxide DIY cleaning solution
One of the more powerful homemade cleaning solutions we’ve come across is when you put together a 1:1:1 (of all equal parts) containing an equal amount of baking soda, added to an equal amount of Dawn’s Platinum Power Wash dish detergent oh, and hydrogen peroxide. If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide at home then you can substitute it for white vinegar. But we found hydrogen peroxide to be a more effective ingredient.
How do you remove burnt food and baked-on grease from a heating element?
If you find that there is burnt food or baked-on grease on the heating element itself, then there’s a way simple procedure to clean that.
Make sure you create the baking soda, Dawn detergent, and hydrogen peroxide cleaning solution from above. The solution is all-natural and safe for both you and the air fryer. It doesn’t contain chemicals that are dangerous to your health.
While using a microfiber towel, the best thing you can do is gently scrub the residue off be heating element. In most cases, a simple minute or two of scrubbing will peel these things right off. However, if they’re really tough stains, then you can leave this solution on the heating element for up to 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes is over, go ahead and try to gently scrub it again with your towel.
One very important thing to note is that you should never use too much cleaning solution on the heating element. The solution may travel down under the heating elements base and fry the electrical system underneath.
Should I clean the air fryer heating element occasionally?
This mostly goes without saying, cleaning your air fryer heating element is very important to improving the longevity of your air fryer. Most of our readers agree that much of the reason why their air fryers last so long is due to how well they maintain and take care of them. This involves making sure their air fryer is cleaned along with the heating element on a regular schedule.
Should I clean the air fryer heating element after each use?
In most cases, it is acceptable to clean your heating element on regular occasions. You don’t necessarily have to clean it after each use. However, we do recommend that you wipe it down with a wet paper towel after each use. This will make any scheduled deep cleanings you have planned later on a cinch.
By wiping down your air fryer element every time you use your air fryer, you will make it easier for yourself and create a lesser chance of permanent stains.
Tips on cleaning your air fryer heating element
- Be prepared for a little bit of elbow grease and laying the element down will help you get the job done easier.
- The area behind the air fryer element is usually made of alloy materials, you don’t have to worry about scratching it. That means it’s often okay to use an abrasive scrub. The heating element itself requires a microfiber cloth. Don’t use an abrasive scrub on the heating element.
- Do not use oven cleaners because it might damage the heating element, instead use really powerful dishwashing soap or a gentle mixture of cleaning solutions listed above.
- Do not pour water directly onto the heating element. There are electric wires and circuits behind the heating element that you don’t want to damage.
- Make sure your entire air fryer is completely dry before using it again. This is especially important after you’ve deep cleaned the heating element.
- If you decide to use a metal scrub to get rid of the hard-to-remove stains around your element, then I recommend you use gloves because the scrub will really damage your nails and fingers.
- If you start to smell a funky smell coming from your air fryer while you’re cleaning it, then that’s an indication that what you’re doing is working. As you successfully remove dirt and residue, the emergence of these smells is normal.
- All Air fryer devices are built differently, but we swear, some brands make a conscious effort to design the air fryer element in a way that’s easier to clean than others. If you’re interested in knowing which air fryers are the easiest to clean, we’ve created an article just for that here.
- Ultimately, you won’t get all of the dirt removed. You going to have to accept that some areas are almost impossible to reach unless you have the right tools. Just don’t beat yourself up on that.
What are the effects of a dirty heating element on an air fryer?
If you leave a heating element dirty for several months it will start building up this nasty residue of grease and baked-on food. After several months it will probably not be a problem, but if you go further than that and leave it unclean, you may start smelling something a foul odor coming from your air fryer.
The residue that builds up can always catch fire or smoke. If any of this happens, then you’ll probably have to get a new air fryer.
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