Small ovens are great if you’re cooking for one or two people, but when your family is growing and you need to cook larger batches of food, air fryers are the way to go in terms of promoting good health and convenience.
Air fryers eliminate oil from frying foods in favor of hot air that circulates throughout the unit. But what about cleaning oil and grease residue left behind by air-fried meals?
The answer is simple, clean your air fryer after each use. This prevents residue from building up and becoming difficult to remove in the long run. But if you find that you’ve accumulated oil and greasy residue inside your air fryer basket, then you can use a popular and Powerful method and solution that involves using multiple natural ingredients that will make residue virtually fall off. We’re talking about a combination of Dawn soap, baking soda, white vinegar, and lemon that will eliminate the residue.
Some of the supplies and cleaning solutions we recommend are going to be all-natural solutions. The reason for this is that you have to be careful what you put into an air fryer basket because it has a non-stick coating that you never want to damage.
If you’ve exhausted all your ideas and are tired of scrubbing endlessly with no results, try the method we set out below.
How to remove sticky oil and grease residue from an air fryer without damaging it
- Start by using a cleaning solution (like Dawn dishwashing soap) with a high degree of degreasing properties.
- Put the cleaning solution directly onto the area with the oil residue.
- Spread the cleaning solution throughout all the surfaces of the basket to clean the rest.
- Add a generous amount of baking soda particularly over the areas of the oil residue.
- Use an extra soft bristle toothbrush and try to agitate the solution mixture. Be gentle and wary of the non-stick coating on the basket.
- Once completed, add about 1 cup of white vinegar into the basket and watch it sizzle.
- Squeeze half a slice of lemon into water and boil it.
- Poor The boiled lemon water into the air fryer basket and let it sit overnight.
- The next morning, pour half of the solution into the sink and use a soft sponge with running water to gently scrub whatever that’s lingering in the basket.
- Be sticky oil and grease residue should come right off.
Why is the inside of my air fryer sticky?
The honest truth here is, no matter how much cleaning you do, you’ll eventually find that food leaves behind, and extremely frustrating to remove an oily or greasy layer. These things can sometimes be almost impossible to remove.
Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re probably wondering where the oil and grease come from when you haven’t added any oil at all when cooking. The oil and grease usually come directly from inside the food you make as well. Over time, these oils and residues start to build up and if you’re not the type to spend several minutes scrubbing and washing a single pan or basket, then it’s likely that residue will start to build up.
By the time you realize and are able to visually see the residue, it might already be too late. It might be stuck on there and will require even more work to remove.
For this reason, I found an approach that combines all possible natural cleaning methods into one while at the same time staying safe and preventing your air fryer basket from being damaged. If you follow the steps above, then you won’t have anything to worry about.
Methods for cleaning sticky oil and grease residue
Try lemon juice and vinegar
The active ingredient for cleaning oily residues and greasy stains is vinegar. Vinegar is a wonderfully non-toxic cleaning agent that helps get rid of things like dirt, mold, and bacteria.
Vinegar is an acidic solution that actually counteracts the sticky residue build-ups that you’ll find coming from food. It’s also known for being able to dissolve away soap scums, stains from hard water, and even residue from stickers.
The use of lemon helps offset the powerful scent of vinegar. And if you are more of an older conscious person, then we highly recommend that you use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Try a damp microfiber cloth to clean without damage
Make sure you use a microfiber cloth when dealing with the surface of the air fryer basket. Almost all modern-day air fryer baskets now have an outer non-stick coating. This coating is created so that food doesn’t stick to the basket.
There have been many cases where someone would use a rough scrubbing sponge to clean your air fryer and it ended up becoming a disaster. The non-stick coating would eventually come off sooner than they never expected. That’s why it is important that if you invest a lot of money into an air fryer, then invest a few more dollars into a good soft sponge or a microfiber cloth for cleaning it.
Try combining baking soda and water paste
Baking soda is naturally a cleaning agent because it is a mild base that interacts with dirt and grease to dissolve it into water. It also has the ability to deodorize by bringing both acidic and basic molecules into a neutral more odorless state.
On a molecular level, baking soda particles can be Imagined as a mineral structure. The structural shape of baking soda particles acts as a gentle cleaning agent that is abrasive against dirt, grease, and other sticky substances.
Try a soft-bristled brush to loosen crumbs and baked-on food
A soft-bristled toothbrush is an excellent tool to use when focusing on a particular area that has a lot of grease and oil build-up. The bristles are so small that they can get deep within the pores of the dirt and at the same time they are gentle enough so that they don’t damage the non-stick coating on the air fryer basket.
Try dish soap to easily lift the oily residue
For this, I highly recommend Dawn Powerwash Blue dishwashing soap. You can find this solution at any store physically or online. The reason why Don’s power wash works so well is that it has the ability to activate Suds by using its spray bottle. This formulation claims that it can cut through grease on contact. And the manufacturer also claims that.
Essentially, the idea behind Don’s power wash is to Simply spray it at the residue, wait a couple of minutes, wipe it off, and then rinse it with water.
Tips on preventing sticky oil and grease residue in an air fryer
Don’t forget to clean the heating element
It’s very important that you take the initiative to clean the heating element every time you use your air fryer. If you don’t clean the heating element then whatever foods get stuck to the element itself will get worse after it’s cooked the next consecutive time.
The residue that builds upon the heating element can very well damage the main core of your air fryer. Damaging the heating element virtually makes your air fryer unusable.
You don’t have to perform a deep clean on the heating element every time you use it. Simply use a microfiber washcloth and wipe out all the grease and oily residue after each use. You’ll know that it’s working when you noticed that your cloth gets really dirty.
Be careful when cleaning nonstick surfaces of the air fryer
You have to make it a point that every time you clean your air fryer basket, you keep in mind that the service of the basket is very fragile. Don’t scrub too hard or you’ll risk damaging and peeling off the outer non-stick layer.
That’s why we always recommend a soft microfiber cleaning cloth or a very soft and gentle sponge. For those who are non-believers, you may not think that you are damaging the surface of the non-stick coating, but if you take of microscope and look at before and after hard scrubs oh, you’ll notice that that micro-sized particle begin to shift within the layers. Unfortunately, if you continue heavily scrubbing your air fryer basket, you will eventually wear and tear out that outer coating.
The result here is that every time oil, grease, or even food that falls off the tray and onto the basket make it’s stuck on the surface of that area that peeled off. This will make it incredibly difficult to clean.
Don’t use oven cleaner to clean an air fryer basket
It’s important to be aware that there are cleaning solutions that exist that can very well damage the nonstick coating of your air fryer basket. While there are more damaging cleaning solutions than you can count on both hands, we think it is better if you just understand and educate yourself on which cleaning solutions are actually gentle on non-stick coatings.
The natural cleaning solutions and methods we described above are more than enough to take care of some of the toughest stains. You just have to combine vinegar, baking soda, Dawn’s Power Wash, lemon, and water.
Soaking your fryer basket in a natural cleaning solution
Another very important step to cleaning those difficult to clean scums is to give it time. In many cases, a few hours will do fine, but in some cases, if the dirt is really bad, then we recommend you leave it soaked in for the entire night. Giving the cleaning solution more time will allow it to pick its way through the grease and the oily residue. It will allow the solution to dig in further and dissolve whatever that is hanging onto the surface of the basket.
Keep in mind that we only recommend you do this with the current ingredients that we suggested. Don’t ever use any harsh chemicals and don’t leave those harsh chemicals on for a lengthy amount of time. Remember, the nonstick surface of an air fryer’s basket may also peel right off if the cleaning solution is too powerful. And, if given enough time, even a mild oven cleaning solution can strip away at the non-stick layer of the air fryer basket.
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