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How To Clean an Air Fryer, the Easy Way

Crispy, air fried goodness while being a little bit healthier and using a fraction of the amount of grease a traditional fryer would? Count us in. Even though your air fryer cooks with less grease, there will still be some grease clean up and maintenance required after whipping up those delectable fried foods.

A dirty air fryer may lead to food particles getting stuck in places they’re not supposed to, which could cause problems inside the appliance. A bit of dish soap and water is not the best way to clean an air fryer, as these can only do so much in terms of removing baked-on grease. Even the homemade mixture of baking soda and water can take 30 minutes to an hour (and quite a bit of elbow grease) to start removing gunk.

Never use metal utensils, steel wool, or abrasive sponges to remove any stuck-on food or to clean the air fryer basket or pans. These can damage the non-stick coating.

Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner is a cleaner, degreaser, and deodorizer that can clean grease from the air fryer basket and trays, as well as remove grime and stains from both the inside and outside of the appliance. The formula will not leave behind chemicals that could be absorbed by your food.

The Easiest Way to Clean Your Air Fryer

Well, you might not like the answer, but the easiest way to clean your air fryer is to clean it every time you use it. (We warned you.)

Here’s the good news: First, it’s an air fryer, which means you’re not cleaning up a greasy, gross, oily mess. Second, most air fryers have some parts that are dishwasher-safe, which makes cleanup basically as easy as pushing the “start” button on your dishwasher. And finally, when you clean your air fryer every time you use it, you don’t end up with stubborn, hard-to-clean, yucky bits of who-knows-what.

The basket, tray and pan can be washed just like you would any other dish: with soap and warm water. Or, if you don’t feel like washing them by hand (and we don’t blame you), place them in the dishwasher. Most air fryers have dishwasher-safe pieces, but check the instruction manual for your specific model first, just to be sure. Dry all of the parts completely before you reassemble the air fryer.

If the basket or pan has baked-on grease, soak it in hot water and soap for 20 to 30 minutes. Then remove the now-softened gunk with a scrub brush.

To clean the interior, remove the basket, tray and pan to clean the inside of the air fryer. Simply run a damp cloth or sponge with a little bit of dish soap over the entire interior and wipe it dry.

Since there’s very little oil involved in air frying, there’s also little greasy residue, so you don’t need to clean the outside of the air fryer as frequently. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior every couple of uses. Make sure you unplug it first!

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Also check the coil. If there’s oil or residue on the heating coil, let the unplugged machine cool, then wipe the coil with a damp cloth—just like you would with the heating element on an electric stove.

If you notice a foul odor coming from your air fryer, chances are there are food particles trapped somewhere in or on it. Mix together baking soda and water to form a paste. Then use a scrub brush or an old toothbrush to thoroughly scrub the interior of the air fryer. (Seriously, did you know baking soda could do all this?!)

Never use metal utensils to remove crumbs or baked-on grease from the fryer. It can damage the non-stick coating and prevent your fryer from working properly.

Knowing how to clean an air fryer isn’t hard, but it is important to care for and extend the life of your appliance. Now that you know how it’s done, here are some foods you didn’t know you could cook in your air fryer (and some you definitely shouldn’t!).

What Not to Do When Cleaning Your Air Fryer

There’s really not much to cleaning your air fryer (promise!), but there are a couple of things you should definitely not do.

Do not use metal utensils, steel wool, or scrubby sponges to clean your air fryer! Most air fryers are nonstick, and anything abrasive can scratch the coating.

Do not submerge your air fryer in water! Yes, some parts get removed and cleaned in water (or the dishwasher), but the main unit is an electric appliance and you will ruin it.

Unplug the appliance: Turn the air fryer off, unplug it, and let it cool. It’ll take about 30 minutes and will cool more quickly if you remove the basket and the pan from the main unit.

How To Clean an Air Fryer

What You’ll Need

Cotton or microfiber cloths

Non-abrasive sponge

Baking soda

Soft bristle brush or toothbrush

Dish soap

Instructions

Unplug the appliance: Turn the air fryer off, unplug it, and let it cool. It’ll take about 30 minutes and will cool more quickly if you remove the basket and the pan from the main unit.

Give the inside and outside a first pass: Use a damp cotton or microfiber cloth to wipe down the outside of the appliance. Then, use hot water and a non-abrasive sponge to wipe down the inside of the appliance.

Clean the heating element: Turn the appliance upside-down. Use a non-abrasive sponge to wipe down the heating element.

Get rid of dried food residue: If there’s hard, stuck-on food residue that doesn’t come off the main unit — outside, inside, or on the heating element — make a paste out of baking soda and water and scrub any dirty spots with a non-abrasive sponge or soft brush, then wipe down with a cotton or microfiber cloth.

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Clean the basket and the pan: For many (if not most) brands, the basket and the pan are dishwasher-safe, so all you have to do is load ’em in and run your normal cycle. Even if they’re not, cleaning the basket and pan is usually as simple as a quick clean with hot, soapy water and a non-abrasive sponge.

Soak the basket and the pan: If there’s stubborn residue that won’t come out of the pan or basket (or both), fill the pan with hot water, put the basket in the pan, let soak for about 10 minutes, and then use a non-abrasive sponge to clean. Repeat as needed.

Dry all the parts. Let everything air dry for a few hours or use a clean cotton cloth to dry the main unit, basket, and pan. Reassemble.

We based our instructions on two air fryers we love: The Philips Avance XL Digital Air Fryer and the Black+Decker Purify Air Fryer. Some air fryers may be slightly different.

If you want to keep your basket from getting too gunky, you can grease it or put a piece of parchment or aluminum foil down. Just make sure it doesn’t cover the entire basket or else you’ll prevent air from circulating!

If your air fryer starts to get a little stinky, put a half lemon in the basket or some lemon juice in the pan. Let it sit for about 20 to 30 minutes, then clean, rinse, and dry the basket and pan

How do you clean the inside of an air fryer?

With use, the interior of your air fryer may get food particles that won’t wipe away. To clean it, first unplug the appliance and let it cool, then remove the basket and the pan to clean the inside of the air fryer. Use a damp cloth or sponge with a small amount of dish soap to wipe down the inside and rinse. If you have a removable air fryer basket (like this one), you can also soak it in hot water with some dish soap for about 10 minutes to get rid of any built-up residue.

How do I clean the gunk out of my air fryer?

If there’s a lot of gunk built up in your air fryer, it could be because you cleaned it wrong. Be sure to read the instructions before you clean your air fryer so you do so safely and effectively.

The most important thing is to make sure you don’t reach inside! Also, don’t use sharp objects or abrasive cleaners on your air fryer (or any nonstick appliance). Use hot water and mild soap with a sponge or soft brush, and never use steel wool or sponges with rough surfaces.

Can crux air fryer go in dishwasher?

Yes! The basket and the glass lid are safe for the top rack, but make sure to let them air dry. You can also put the heating element in the top rack of your dishwasher. Be careful when cleaning glass lids, since they’re not designed to be submerged in water!

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What can I use to clean an air fryer?

Make sure you never use abrasive cleaners (like steel wool) on your air fryer — not only will you damage it, you’ll increase your risk of getting grease splatters that could lead to a grease fire. Instead, use soft bristle brushes, brushes with a soft wire bristles, or liquid dish soap.

Air fryers are very easy to clean!

Here are some common ingredients you can use:

Baking soda: This is a good option for removing stuck-on bits from the heating element and from the inside of the appliance and for cleaning around the pan and basket. It’s also effective for removing staleness from your fries. Using baking soda on your air fryer is how we cleaned our air fryer after four years of use! Just be sure to wash out the appliance and let air dry afterward before reusing it.

Does an air fryer need to be cleaned?

Yes, air fryers do need a good cleaning from time to time. Even if you’re being conscientious about food not sticking and cleaning the basket after each use, you may notice your fries tasting like they’re getting old. That means it’s time to clean!

How often should I clean my air fryer or deep fryer?

If you notice your air fryer is getting greasy or smells funky, it’s probably time to give it a good scrubbing! But if you’re looking for a schedule to follow, we recommend doing it every few months — at least.

Can you wash an air fryer in the dishwasher?

Yes! You can use a regular glass dishwasher for most air fryers, but if there are any parts that are not dishwasher safe, put those parts on the top rack. (We don’t recommend putting the heating element in the dishwasher.) After washing, be sure to let your appliance dry completely before using it again.

Energy efficiency: The most efficient air fryers are not only lighter and have better energy efficiency, but they also have longer lasting heating elements. Look for models that have an indicator light to let you know when the appliance is at its optimal temperature (for safety reasons).

Size. If you’re the only one eating these healthier dishes, we recommend buying a model that has a small basket that can fit two or three servings at a time. If you have to prepare larger meals for the whole family, consider getting a bigger basket size.

Long power cord: You might also consider where you will place your air fryer on your kitchen counter, but if you don’t have room to place it near an outlet, it may be a good idea to get an air fryer with a long power cord. This way you will be able to move it around easily if need be.

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