Air fryers have quickly become go-to kitchen appliances. They cook quickly and in a contained environment. While they may not make a mess in the kitchen, they can become messy on the inside.
Inside the air fryer, pieces of food and bits of oil build up in the air fryer. Over time, they make your air fryer stink. Sometimes, air fryers can start smoking and become fire dangers in your kitchen. To prevent these problems, you should clean your air fryer after each use. If you’ve wondered how to clean an air fryer, continue reading.
Cleaning the Air Fryer
Before you clean any type of air fryer, let the heating element cool and unplug the appliance. After it has cooled, use a dish soap that fights grease, a bottle brush with soft bristles—like those in the Holikme Set, and a gentle cloth or paper towel.
Use the Dishwasher If You Can
Some air fryer parts are dishwasher-safe. If this is the case, but those parts, like the basket or tray, into the dishwasher. Place them upside-down on the top rack.
When You Can’t Use a Dishwasher
If the parts are not dishwasher-safe, put the tray or basket into warm, soapy water. With the bottle brush, scrub the food parts and oil residue from the little crannies. Most air fryers have non-stick finishes, so don’t scrub too hard. Then, rinse the soap and let the basket dry.
While the basket dries, wipe the interior of the air fryer with a paper towel, so it soaks up any oil or other residue.
If your air fryer has oil in it, empty it into a small container rather than dumping it in your sink. The oil can damage your plumbing. Save the container in the refrigerator and fill it with used oil until it is full. Then, throw it away.
Deep Cleaning Your Air Fryer
If you accidentally fill your air fryer too full, gunk and residue might build up on the heating element. Getting baked-on residue off of the heating element takes more effort than a simple post-frying cleaning. Before you clean the air fryer, let it cool completely.
You will need to make a baking soda paste with ½ cup of baking soda and a few tablespoons of water. Stir the mixture until you have a useful paste that you can apply to the heating element. You will also need a soft cloth or some paper towels.
Before you clean the heating element, remove the basket and racks and clean them. As you clean the gunk, let it fall into the bottom of the air fryer so you can easily get to those bits and pieces. Do not flip over your air fryer at this point in the cleaning process.
If you have burned pieces of food on the heating element and mesh overlay, use a dry and clean bottle brush to remove them. Clean off all of the loosened food bits with a damp paper towel. After this step, turn over your air fryer so you can access the heating element.
With the baking soda paste and a damp cloth, wash the heating element. Repeatedly rinse and wring out the cloth to remove residue. Continue cleaning with the baking soda paste and the damp cloth until the heating element is clean. Once it is clean, turn the air fryer the right way up, replace the dry basket or trays, and let it all dry completely.
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When Food Won’t Budge
If your air fryer has food that just won’t break free, use a toothpick to push it out. Then, use a damp cloth to get the food out of the air fryer. Food gets trapped in the mesh and vents, so sometimes cloth and brushes aren’t enough to get everything out.
When the Smell Won’t Leave
Some foods leave lingering odors in the air fryer and your kitchen. If you can’t get rid of the smell in your air fryer, try soaking the basket for an hour in soapy water. For persistent odors, get a lemon wedge, rub it on the basket, and let it deodorize your air fryer basket for 30 minutes. Rewash the basket to remove the lemon juice and seeds. Repeat as necessary.
No matter how often you use your air fryer, you should clean it after every use. Remember to let the air fryer cool, so you don’t burn yourself. If you use your air fryer regularly, consider deep cleaning it weekly, so you don’t run the risk of fire danger in your home.