Whether you are using your air fryer on a daily basis or on a less regular basis, it is important to know how to keep your air fryer clean.
There are a number of reasons why air fryers need to be kept clean, and we’ll get into it all. Plus, we’ll pull together a list of all the best cleaning tips and tricks to help save you some elbow grease.
The grease in the air fryer is bad enough.
Why Is It Important To Clean An Air Fryer?
Cleaning an air fryer on a regular basis is important for two reasons. First, it keeps the machine in working order. Build up of grease and food debris can really affect the performance of the machine.
Not only will your foods take longer to cook, but it will also preheat slower and require more energy to function at normal levels.
The second and more important reason to keep your air fryer clean is for your health. When you cook fresh food in an unclean air fryer, there is a high chance that it will be contaminated by old food particles and any germs/pathogens that have grown in there.
Rather than take the chance of getting sick, we recommend you just clean your air fryer every time you use it.
What Components Of An Air Fryer Need To Be Cleaned?
Anything that comes in contact with food or oil needs to be cleaned, and this essentially covers the entire interior of the air fryer.
The basket and tray are the most noticeable elements that will need cleaning, but the walls of the air fryer and the area around the heating element are also exposed to splatter and oil spray and so should also be cleaned fairly regularly.
The best air fryer owners also keep the outside of their air fryers in good condition to prevent wear and tear spots or other unappealing types of damage that can affect their machine.
You may touch your air fryer with sticky fingers or make adjustments to settings, and keeping the outside of your air fryer clean will help ensure it always looks great, and you don’t run into any sticky buttons or other display issues.
Are All Air Fryer Baskets Dishwasher Safe?
In most cases, the air fryer basket, drawer, and other removable parts will all be dishwasher safe. However, this is not a guarantee, so it is important that you check your manual before putting these items in your dishwasher.
Certain types of materials and non-stick coatings will not be compatible with a dishwasher and will need to be washed by hand. Washing by hand will always be faster than a dishwasher cycle, so many people with dishwasher-safe air fryer components still choose to wash them by hand instead. It’s all up to you.
Whether you choose to handwash or run these components through the dishwasher, it is imperative that you do not put the main unit containing all the electrical wiring into any water.
How Often Does An Air Fryer Need to Be Cleaned?
The main components of an air fryer should be cleaned every time you use the machine. This means the basket and drawer/tray need to be removed from the machine and washed.
Sometimes they will only need a quick wipe down with hot water, other times you’ll need an intense scrub with warm soapy water or maybe even some cleaning supplies.
It all depends on what you’ve cooked and how recently you last cleaned it. Postponing this chore will only make the gunk and grime tougher to get off, so we recommend you keep up with it and save yourself the hassle of a tough clean up.
Messiest vs. Easiest Foods To Clean Out Of An Air Fryer
Depending on the types of air fryer recipes you are following, you may have an easy time cleaning your air fryer or be in for a really difficult time. Air frying simple foods like fries, dry cuts of meat, or veggies will be easy to clean.
If you are cooking breaded foods, anything containing cheese, or anything saucy, your cleaning task will be a challenge. You’ll have to be very careful when cleaning to ensure you get all the food particles, oil, and seasonings out of all the nooks and crannies.
Best Air Fryer Cleaning Products/Tools
There are a number of tools and cleaning products that you can choose to use with your air fryer. Of course, not all of them will be necessary, and it all depends on what kind of air fryer you have, what you are cooking in it, and how well you maintain a cleaning schedule.
For most people, a microfiber cloth and some dish soap is all that you will need to keep your air fryer in top condition.
If you are someone who is cooking messier foods fairly regularly, you may want to invest in a soft-bristled brush, an old toothbrush or a scrub brush for those deep clean days, or even some grease cutters like a Dawn kitchen spray.
Non-abrasive sponges are also recommended if you prefer not to use cloths; you can dedicate one from the pack to your air fryer messes. You may also choose to use baking soda and water to soak your air fryer basket and lift the grease without any manual effort at all.
Whether your main cleaning tool is a damp cloth or a dishwasher, we recommend keeping some paper towels on hand to dry the air fryer components after they have been washed.
Little bits can always be missed, and a paper towel will help clean the missed spots without dirtying up your dish towels.
Liners That Keep Air Fryers Cleaner During Use
If you are someone who wants to avoid the task of air fryer cleaning all together, you may want to invest in a liner or two.
Not only are liners great for making food extra crispy and lowering the risk of burning, but they also do a great job at extending the life of the machine. Using a liner will prevent you from needing to scrub at stuck on food and potentially scratch the coating.
Plus, you’ll be able to use metal utensils for scraping food off the liner when they aren’t safe for the actual basket of the air fryer.
There are many types of liners on the market, and you can even use oven safe dishes made of glass and other materials as a substitute for traditional liners to help keep your air fryer clean and grease free.
Silicone liners are the safest for air fryers, and you will want to avoid using anything that has wax on it.
Cleaning Tips For The Interior
When it is time to clean the inside of your air fryer after preparing a meal, the best way to save time and energy is to soak the basket and drawer/tray right away, before you sit down to eat.
Soaking these components in hot water and dish soap will make it a lot easier to clean because all the stuck on food will have lifted, and your soap will have acted as a degreaser.
Then, you just need to wipe it out with a dishcloth or sponge and your air fryer is ready for its next use.
Occasionally, it is a good idea to flip your air fryer upside down and have a look at the heating coil. It will likely have accumulated some grease splatter and will need a wipe down; this will keep it working effectively and prevent accidental fires.
For this area, you want to make sure you only use water, and you are very gentle to avoid breaking this vulnerable section of the air fryer.
When you need to deep clean your air fryer, there are a couple ways to go about it. Using a Dawn Powerwash spray is a great idea as it is a safe cleaning product for food surfaces that is highly effective at cutting grease.
Let it rest for at least 15 minutes and then wipe it clean. If you’d prefer an alternative, a mixture of 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water will also do the trick.
It is important that you don’t mic baking soda and vinegar, as the chemical reaction that ensues can damage the coating. A 30-minute soak time will work like magic.
Old toothbrushes are a great way to spotless corners and other smaller areas, too.
Cleaning Tips For the Exterior
Cleaning the exterior of your air fryer is a task that can be accomplished with a few simple steps. Similarly to the way you would clean any other kitchen appliances, the exterior of your air fryer will just need a wipe down with a damp cloth. Most air fryers have a coating to prevent fingerprints from showing up, so you won’t have to worry about that too much.
TikTok Cleaning Hack
If you are a TikTok fan, you will be excited to know that it is a great platform to find cleaning hacks of all kinds. The most popular cleaning hack comes from user @tanyahomeinspo.
The hack is really simple: pour some dish soap into your air fryer and fill it up with water. Set the machine to cook for three minutes, and once it’s done, you’ll see all the grease and stuck food bits that have been released.
It is a great time saver, and a cleaning hack that every air fryer user should know.