How to Clean an Air Fryer

Maintain your small kitchen appliance easily with these tips for removing baked-on food and residual grease.

January 21, 2021

If you’re one to shout from the rooftops how your life changed forever with your air fryer, you’re not alone. We love this thing just as much as we love mozzarella sticks (and that says a lot)! This game-changing small appliance make it easy to dish up delicious appetizers and meals, and to reheat leftovers, but it’s important to keep it clean in order for it to work safely and as expected.

Crumbs, oils and bits of food left in the base and the basket can cause smoke or become a fire hazard, but most of all, a dirty appliance can easily transmit burned flavors and smells into your food and your home. Fortunately, they’re extremely easy to clean.

Photo by: Shutterstock/Enjoy The Life

Shutterstock/Enjoy The Life

Follow these simple tips to maintain an air fryer so your food is cooked to perfection.

What You'll Need:

  • warm water
  • dish soap
  • sponge and a soft-bristled cleaning brush, like a toothbrush
  • dry microfiber cloth

Step 1: Unplug and Cool Your Air Fryer

If you just used your air fryer, let it cool down completely before attempting to clean it. Remove the tray, basket and pan from the appliance and set them to the side. These items can be washed easily in the sink (and most manufacturers even clear them for the dishwasher), but you should never place the appliance itself in the sink or submerge it in water. Submerging it in water would cause permanent damage and electrical failure.

Photo by: Shutterstock/Enjoy The Life

Shutterstock/Enjoy The Life

FYI: You should always store your air fryer upright and unplugged when not in use, just in case you forget to turn it off after cooking.

Step 2: Clean the Air Fryer Basket and Parts in the Sink

Warm water and dish soap easily clean away crumbs and break down residual oil on these components. Use non-abrasive brushes and sponges to wash each piece, and dry them by hand with a microfiber towel.

If any food is baked on, allow it to soak for a few minutes in the soapy water. The smell of fried foods can be fierce, so soaking with a scented dish soap also helps to cut down on lingering odors.

If you chose to run your parts through the dishwasher, you may also want to hand dry them with a cloth when they’re done, or allow them to fully air dry after the cycle.

Step 3: Clean the Exterior of the Air Fryer

The exterior components of the appliance don’t need to be cleaned every time you use it, but they are susceptible to crumbs and oils and often benefit from a wipe down with a damp cloth.

The heating element can also collect splashes of oil and should be checked to reduce the chance of burning smells while cooking. It can also be wiped down with a damp cloth.

As with the basket and other parts, avoid abrasive scrubbing and instead opt for a soft-bristled brush if you need to loosen any baked-on foods.

Step 4: Reassemble the Air Fryer

Once all elements are dry, you can reassemble the appliance. Store it unplugged and upright between uses. (Alternatively, go make some fresh fries.)

Photo by: Shutterstock/Leungchopan


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