We adore small kitchen appliances for their convenience. From toasters to air fryers to waffle irons and everything in between, these compact but mighty machines help us whip up delicious food and cut down on cooking time in a pinch. The flip side of this convenience? Small appliances require their fair share of maintenance, especially if they're used frequently.
Luckily, TikTok has plenty of insight and inspiration for maintaining squeaky-clean appliances, even when they start out looking just plain gross. Here are three viral (and ultra-effective!) cleaning hacks to keep your portable kitchen companions in tip-top shape.
1. How to Clean a Toaster
First, @carolina.mccauley provides the lowdown on sprucing up your toaster—because we all know the distinct frustration of coping with bagel bits and crumbly toast remnants. She begins by scrubbing crumb trays with dish soap before tidying up hard-to-reach areas with a damp toothbrush. Vinegar is used to keep the toaster's exterior sparkly and sanitized. No harsh chemicals or non-food-friendly cleaners are necessary! Be sure to unplug your toaster before tackling the cleaning process.
2. How to Clean an Air Fryer
Love the convenience of air fryer cooking but grossed out by buildup and gunk after every meal? There's a TikTok video for that! Creator @zannigibbsxo shares the skinny on cleaning a crusty air fryer using a Scrub Daddy sponge, but an everyday dish sponge will do in a pinch. Don't forget to clean the outside of the air fryer too—a standard multipurpose cleaner works just fine. Want to minimize the need for cleaning? Consider lining the bottom of your air fryer cooking drawer with parchment paper or aluminum foil and setting food directly on top. When you're finished, simply toss the foil or paper.
Wait... Can You Put Foil in an Air Fryer?
In general, oven-safe materials are also safe in air fryers. This includes aluminum foil as long as it's used correctly. If you plan to use the tip mentioned above, make sure you're placing foil directly onto the basket grille and nowhere near the appliance's heating mechanism. Hold foil in place with food and avoid any acidic ingredients (lemon juice, tomatoes and even peppers) that might cause a reaction with aluminum. Before using aluminum foil in an air fryer, check the manufacturer's recommendations, as some companies may not recommend it.
Alternatively, skip the foil altogether and opt for parchment paper, which can be used with fewer "rules."
3. How to Clean a Waffle Iron
Did you check out our roundup of unique "nonwaffle waffles" of TikTok? If so, you might be wondering how to adequately spruce up your waffle iron after trying all those fun new recipes. Thankfully, TikToker @easierfood provides a unique take on sanitizing waffle irons: making cleaning waffles. You might be asking, "What is a cleaning waffle, exactly?" For @easierfood, it's a simple mixture of water, flour and salt. The creator explains that stuck-on batter gets transferred to the cleaning waffle, effectively removing it.
Whether your waffle iron needs wiping or your air fryer needs freshening, we hope these tips did the trick by inspiring you to get those small kitchen appliances looking good as new.