The Best Way to Clean a Toaster


As you use your toaster, it is only natural for crumbs to fall into it. Unfortunately, if crumbs build up they can turn the toaster into a fire hazard. Cleaning the inside of your toaster is an easy procedure that helps ensure it is safe for your home, and cleaning the outside keeps it looking nice for years to come.

Things You'll Need

  • Trash can
  • White vinegar
  • Sponge
  • Old toothbrush
  • Warm water
  • Rag
  • Turn off and unplug your toaster. Cleaning a plugged-in toaster can lead to you becoming shocked or burned. Allow it to cool completely if it was used recently.

  • Open the crumb tray at the bottom of your toaster. If the tray comes off, remove it. Dump the crumbs from the tray into a trash can or into the garbage disposal.

  • Pour enough white vinegar onto a sponge or old rag to dampen it. Use the sponge or rag to wipe off the crumb tray. You also can use hot water and liquid dish soap. If there are crumbs that you are unable to wipe away, use an old toothbrush to scrub the tray clean.

  • Rinse the tray completely with running, warm water to remove all vinegar or soap. Dry completely. Do not attempt to return the crumb tray to the toaster until it is dry.

  • Repeat Steps 2, 3 and 4 with any other removable trays or racks your toaster may have.

  • Turn your toaster upside down over the top of the sink or the trash can. Shake gently. Tap the bottom as needed. This will shake free loose crumbs. Do not shake or tap too hard; you do not want to dislodge any of the electronics inside the toaster. You may need to have a friend for family member help you with this step, if you have a large toaster that is hard to hold one-handed.

  • Gently brush away any stuck-on debris from inside the toaster with an old toothbrush.

  • Use the vinegar or water and liquid dish soap to clean the outside of your toaster. Use a rag or the toothbrush, which ever one you prefer. Wipe the outside of the toaster with a dry rag.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use vinegar instead of dish soap and water, if you are cleaning a stainless steel toaster.
  • Avoid getting water inside your toaster. It can destroy the toaster and you run the risk of electrocution.

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  • Photo Credit duotone toaster image by Rick Sargeant from
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