Take a look at your toaster oven and tell me it isn’t really messy. Why are you still cooking food when there’s nothing but grease and burned food clinging to the walls of the toaster? Don’t you want to see it clean?
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
There’s a great way to clean your toaster oven and it doesn’t require you to go out and buy expensive cleaners. The solution is actually a common kitchen product called baking soda. So how do you clean a toaster oven with baking soda?
Baking soda is a very powerful cleaning agent. Start by mixing baking soda with water until it turns into a paste. While the oven is unplugged, spread the paste throughout the inside of the oven. Avoid the heating element. Leave the paste on overnight. Then wipe and clean it off in the morning.
How to clean a toaster oven using baking soda paste
- Unplug your toaster oven.
- Mix approximately a 2:1 baking soda to water ratio or until it becomes a white paste. (You can substitute water for white vinegar as well)
- Spread the thick mixture all throughout the insides of the oven. (Avoid the heating elements).
- Leave the mixture for at least 12 hours or overnight.
- The next day with a damp cloth, wipe it down clean.
How to clean the heating element in your toaster oven?
- Make sure your toaster is unplugged.
- If it’s hot, wait until it cools.
- Use some soft dish soap and a lint-free cloth and gently clean.
- Rinse off the soap from the cloth, squeeze out as much water from it as possible, and use it to wipe off any residue soap still on the element.
There’s a lot you need to consider when washing the element coils.
For one thing, you don’t want to clean too hard. Those coils are much more prone to breaking than the rest of the toaster. In fact, if you deal enough force, you can crack the element. Replacing it might be hard to come by. You might just have to buy a new one.
We don’t want to use baking soda on the element because there’s a strong chance you won’t be able to wipe it all off. And if some baking soda does stay underneath or behind a hard-to-reach spot, you may end up smelling cooked baking soda. It’s not harmful to you. It’s just might not be pleasant.
Make sure the elements are dry before using them again.
Tips on how to best clean your toaster oven
Make sure your oven is unplugged
Electrical accidents can happen. Pull the plug to make sure you don’t get accidentally zapped or seriously injured from electricity.
Start with the inside then work on the outside
This is just something I prefer to do. But you can do it in any order. Most of my energy goes into cleaning at the beginning so I like to make sure the best of it goes directly to the insides of the oven.
Generously spread the baking soda mixture
Don’t go easy with this mixture. spreading a thin layer will likely not be as effective and end up making you have to scrub harder since the gunk might still be stuck really tight on the walls of the oven. Also, don’t overdo it. We don’t want the insides drenched with the mixture.
You can flip it upside down when cleaning the inside roof
Scrubbing upwards is hard. A better solution is to simply flip the toaster oven over and use the weight of your arms and body to scrub and wipe.
Remove the baking rake or tray and bathe it in baking soda water
keep it under the mixture for the same about of time you leave the spread on. The longer you leave it in contact with the cleaning solution, the easier it’ll be to scrub it off later on.
How does baking soda clean?
Baking soda is a mild alkali that can cause dirt and even grease to dissolve easily in water. It’s a natural chemical known as sodium bicarbonate, which’s present in all living things. Essentially, the role of this chemical is to balance the pH levels necessary for life.
Baking soda is non-toxic and is even used as a household ingredient for food. So yes, it’s safe around children and pets. Just make sure, no one is unintentionally eating it while it’s being used for cleaning.
However, because of its alkalic properties, baking soda makes an incredible cleaning product because it literally pulls off dirt and grease from surfaces. It spontaneously reacts with acids. While not getting too technical into the chemistry, this reaction releases CO2 gas. It’s commonly used to neutralize acid solutions or spills but in this case, it removes dirt and grease.
Have you ever spilled something on your carpets and your parents poured powdered baking soda all over it? Well, the reason they do it is that it loosens the dirt and food found clinging to materials like the carpet and slightly separate the connection. Thus, making it much easier to scrub, clean, or vacuum off.
You can use baking soda as a cleaning solution for nearly anything including sinks, tubs, tiles, microwaves, teeth, ovens, and even food.
Baking soda is the ideal cleaning agent to use for kitchens when you don’t want to use harsh chemicals.
If you would like to learn more about baking soda and its cleaning properties, check out this link from Extension Oconto County.
How often should you clean your toaster oven?
I recommend that you clean your toaster oven at least once every month. The reason why I do it so often is that I don’t want the grease or food particles to stay for too long. The longer it stays the harder it seems to get out. Rather than spending several hours scrubbing, I’d rather make it easy for myself every time and not let the dirty old burnt food have time to settle and harden.
How to remove grease from the toaster oven
The toughest part about cleaning a toaster oven is the grease. It’s slimy and extremely clingy to that toaster’s surface.
To remove grease, it might be more beneficial to add a portion of vinegar to the mixture. Making a mixture of 1:1:1 (baking soda, water, vinegar) will create a powerful agent that can potentially dissolve grease.
I’m going to assume that you’ve already gotten rid of most of the chunks of food and leftover burnt crumbs clinging to the walls and there’s a majority about of grease left. By the way, keep to only the walls, not the element.
- Spread the mixture 1:1:1 (baking soda, water, vinegar) in the areas of hard-to-clean grease.
- Leave it on for about 30 minutes.
- This time, use a scrub with a rougher surface and warm water to scrub the grease away.
- Spread on additional mixture if the grease is not all coming off.
When adding white vinegar to the mixture, you’ve to create something even more powerful than the first 2 solutions alone. The best part about this is that it’s all-natural and safe for pets and children to be around.
If for whatever reason you’re still unable to get rid of the grease or if there’s still that tiny bit of grease leftover that you can’t seem to get out, try a 1:1 ratio of baking soda with vinegar. Forget the water.
The bottom line
I don’t want to bore you with more ways to clean your toaster, but I’ve found this method to be really effective in getting out those incredibly tough stains. In fact, I get a little excited when all I have to do is wipe the dirt and the grease straight off.
The benefit of using baking soda with water or vinegar is that you get to leave out the harsh chemicals. It’s completely safe around pets and children. However, I wouldn’t let them flat-out eat it.
I think it ultimately depends on how long you leave the mixtures on. Obviously, if you do leave it on for too long, you gain the risk of the mixture from drying. This will render it ineffective if you leave it for longer.
Also, I have to stress how important it is to clean at least once a month. It makes getting the stuff off the toaster much easier.
Another added benefit is that as long as you keep your oven cleaned and maintained, you’ll enjoy many more years with it and not have to replace it so easily.
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