How To Clean An Air Fryer

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When it comes to owning an air fryer, you may be asking yourself a few questions, like how to clean an air fryer. How often should you do it? How can you make the process easier on yourself? When it comes to air fryers, there’s a lot of things you can do, but if you’re looking for specific tips, this article offers some practical advice on how to clean an air fryer so that yours will work as well as possible and last longer too!

A toaster oven-style air fryer with it's door open, shows the inside of the air fryer.

While you should give your air fryer a good wipe-down after every use, at minimum, you should be giving it a thorough cleaning at least once a week if you use it frequently. You can easily take off parts of the air fryer, such as the inner basket, and use water with soap or vinegar to wash it. We’ll get into more details below.

Dry thoroughly before putting it back in the air fryer to prevent rust. For tougher spots where water doesn’t work well enough, try using baking soda for tougher grime.

Use an old toothbrush for hard-to-reach places where food can easily get stuck. If your air fryer has parts that are dishwasher safe, you could put those through the machine too.

Taking good care of your air fryer will help it last longer, so spending just a few minutes after each use to clean yours is worth doing. Whether your new or have had yours for a while, this article offers some advice that will make cleaning up after using your machine quicker and easier for you.

Wiping out the interior of an air fryer with a damp, yellow cloth.

Always follow the cleaning instructions given in the owner’s manual of your air fryer. Every appliance is different. The suggestions below may not be appropriate for your particular brand or type of air fryer.

How Often To Clean Your Air Fryer

The simple formula is:

  • Removeable parts – clean after every use. Sometimes they are dishwasher friendly.
  • Non-Removeable parts – clean once a week. They are never dishwasher friendly.

How often you clean your air fryer is up to you, and will depend on the amount of use it sees. How often you need to deep clean your air fryer will depend on your cooking style too.

Tips For Keeping Your Air Fryer Clean

  • Try not to overfill the fryer basket when cooking. If there’s too much food in the basket, you’ll end up with more food sticking to the inside than necessary, making it harder to clean later.
  • If you do not yet have an air fryer, when looking to purchase one, see if you can get one with removable, dishwasher-safe parts. This will make cleaning your air fryer much quicker and easier.
  • Try to avoid cooking on high heat for long periods of time if you can, as this can cause more stubborn debris on your air fryer.
  • If you do need to cook something at a higher temperature for longer, try not to let anything extra get stuck in the air fryer’s ventilation holes or tubes. If it does get stuck, wipe it out immediately after it cools enough to touch it. An air fryer is easiest to clean right after using it. Just don’t burn yourself!

How To Clean An Air Fryer

The first thing you want to do is make sure your air fryer is unplugged. Never clean an air fryer while it is plugged in. There is a large risk of electrical shock if the appliance stays plugged in.

Also, do everything you can to avoid the heating coil. You will bump into it, but never scrub it directly.

While your air fryer is still lukewarm after use, unplug the appliance, take a clean cloth (a microfiber cloth works great!), and wipe out any leftover food debris stuck in crevices. If you’re having trouble removing some of the tougher stuck-on pieces of debris, scrub with a wire brush or sponge then wipe it down again with either soap and water or a mild vinegar solution.

Baked on grease on the walls of an air fryer's interior.

How Do You Get Baked on Grease Out of an Air Fryer?

Unplug your air fryer and turn the air fryer upside down and use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the heating element.

If there is any baked-on or hard residue on the main appliance, make a paste using water and baking soda. Scrub the paste into the residue using a soft-bristle scrub brush and wipe away with a clean cloth. Allow your air fryer to air dry before using it again.

A small, metal bowl sits on a wooden surface with a white past of water and baking soda in it. A spoon rests inside the bowl.

How Do You Clean A Disgusting Air Fryer?

Spray a mild food-safe cleaner diluted with water onto a damp cloth or sponge, then wipe the entire outside of the machine down. Clean the interior of the air fryer with a damp cloth as well. Just make sure that it is unplugged and completely cool before doing so.

If you end up getting any grease or food on the counters surrounding your air fryer, you can easily clean that up by making a baking soda paste. And in many cases, just a damp cloth will do the trick.

A red brush scrubs the inside of an air fryer with a baking soda solution.

Use baking soda and a little water, apply to the counter with a damp sponge, scrub until the residue is gone, then wipe clean with a clean cloth or paper towels. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they will scratch and dull finishes over time. (Never use steel wool on your air fryer!) Or simply sanitize any surface as you normally would. The cleaners you use will depend on the surface you are cleaning.

Getting baking soda out of a tight nook in an air fryer using a Q-tip.

Getting Into Tight Spots

If you use a baking soda mixture, the only thing more difficult than cleaning in the tight spots is getting the baking soda back out of them. Don’t be afraid to use a soft tool such as a Q-tip in a tight nook. They make getting the baking soda out of nooks, crannies, and tight areas quite easy.

Can You Clean The Inside Of An Air Fryer Without Ruining It?

Yes, you can! Simply use a soft-bristle brush, dampened with warm soapy water, to remove any residue. Then use a separate soft cloth to dry off your air fryer after cleaning.

Tin foil lines the inside of a black air fryer basket.

What Is The Easiest Way To Clean My Air Fryer?

One great way to keep your air fryer clean to save time and energy on clean up is to do some prep before cooking. For super-messy items (like ribs coated in bbq sauce) you can place them on a sheet of tinfoil or parchment paper lining the air fryer basket to make cleanup easier.

You can also line the bottom of your air fryer oil catcher (the very bottom where all of the grease collects) with some aluminum foil before cooking.

You can also spray your air fryer basket with cooking spray to cut down on the amount of food that sticks to the appliance. See this article on the best air fryer oil sprays.

A large bottle of white vinegar sits next to a black air fryer.

How Do I Clean My Air Fryer With Vinegar?

The most reliable and gentle cleaning solution for your air fryer is 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar. If you use 1 cup of water, just add ¼ cup of vinegar. Add this to a spray bottle and spritz it all over the areas of your unplugged and cooled-down air fryer that you want to clean. If you are cleaning close to the cooking element, however, make sure you do not spray up into the heating element. It’s best to keep that area dry. To avoid getting it wet, simply spray this mixture onto a sponge or scrub brush instead of directly into your air fryer.

Make sure not to use any abrasive cleaners or metal scouring pads as this could cause extra wear and tear to your air fryer.

If any food gets stuck under the ridges of the heating element of your air fryer after cooking, It’s okay to use a soft-bristle brush to clear this after everything has cooled down. Just be sure that your air fryer is completely dry before putting it away.

A large back of baking soda sits next to a black air fryer.

How Do I Clean My Air Fryer With Baking Soda?

Create a paste by mixing 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Let it sit in the air fryer for 30 minutes, scrub with a toothbrush, then rinse. Just make sure that your air fryer is off, unplugged, and cooled down before using this paste. You also want to make sure that you wipe off any excess and completely dry your air fryer before using it again.

Dawn Platinum Powerwash dish spray sold on Amazon.

Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray, Dish Soap, Fresh Scent Bundle, 1 Spray (16oz) + 3 Refills (16oz ea)

How Do I Use The Dawn Powerwash Spray To Clean My Air Fryer?

Dawn Powerwash Spray (not paid to promote them, but the link below is an affiliate link for Amazon) is specifically designed for tough jobs. Just unplug your air fryer, let it cool completely, and spray some Dawn Powerwash Spray on the areas you’d like to clean. Wipe it off with a soft damp cloth and let it completely dry before putting it away.

Can I Use Oven Cleaner On My Air Fryer?

Absolutely NOT! Please, never use oven cleaner on your air fryer as it will cause harmful fumes as well as a lingering chemical smell in your air fryer. It is never safe to clean your air fryer with harsh non-food-safe chemicals.

An air fryer basket and air fryer trays sit in a dishwasher rack.

Should You Put Air Fryer Parts In The Dishwasher?

Yes, most air fryers have dishwasher-safe components that can be washed in the dishwasher such as the air frying basket. Never place your entire air fryer into the dishwasher or immerse it in water because doing so will damage their electrical systems.

How Often Should I Clean My Air Fryer?

If you just wipe down your machine after each use with a paper towel, then all you really need to do is disinfect your air fryer once a week or so. However, if you typically cook greasy foods, I suggest cleaning your air fryer thoroughly after each use.

Do I Need A Special Cleaner?

No. You don’t need a special cleaner for your air fryer, but you can use special cleaners if you’d like. Just make sure that whatever cleaner you use is non-abrasive and designed specifically for cleaning appliances.

You should never use harsh chemicals, scouring pads, or metal brushes on your air fryer because doing so could cause damage to the appliance.

When you’re done cleaning your air fryer, let it completely dry before putting any parts away. You should also wipe off excess moisture with a towel or paper towel to prevent rusting.

How Do You Clean An Air Fryer With Just Water?

Wipe down any visible oil and grime using a wet paper towel and then spritz the interior of the basket with water and wipe clean with a damp sponge. Let your air fryer completely dry before plugging it back in.

A bottle of lemon juice sits next to a black air fryer.

Other Cleaning Tips

You can gently clean your air fryer by using distilled white vinegar or lemon juice mixed with water. If there’s some serious gunk built up on your air fryer I would recommend trying the vinegar/water mixture first because that is more gentle than using baking soda or dish soap.

Final Cleaning Tip

Every air fryer is slightly different. Even if it’s the same type of air fryer but different brands. For example, a basket air fryer by KitchenAid will be slightly different than a basket air fryer by Cuisinart. And yes, the cleaning process can be very different between the different types of air fryers too. Check out our guides to basket air fryers, toaster oven air fryers, and paddle type air fryers.

So our biggest tip for cleaning your air fryer is to read your owner’s manual. The owner’s manual will always give you very specific instructions for cleaning your exact model. Always follow those instructions first and foremost.

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