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How To Clean Your Air Fryer

You might not like it, but you've gotta do it.

air fryer with bubbles
Alexandra Folino

You can literally cook a week’s worth of meals in one air fryer (and we obviously have), but if you’re using the appliance as much as we are, it's important to remember that a proper cleaning is key. And good news: Their small size and easy-to-access components make clean-up super easy.

Here's our guide.

Turn it off

The biggest piece of advice we can give is to make sure your air fryer is unplugged and totally cooled before wiping it down. Clean air fryers are important but they are not worth risking a burn or shock.

Soak the basket

This can be the trickiest part to clean, as bits of food can stick to the grate or in the slits or holes of the basket. Soak the basket in soapy water for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. This should help loosen any sticking food from the metal or plastic.

From there, you can scrub the basket with a sponge and soapy water. If food is still caught in the holes or slits of the basket, you can use a toothpick or skewer to help loosen or scrape off any remaining food.

Wipe the drawer

Use a moist cloth or sponge with soapy water to clean the drawer thoroughly, then make sure it's totally dry before returning it to the air fryer.

If a significant amount of oil has pooled at the bottom of the drawer (which shouldn't happen because you're cleaning your air fryer often!), do not pour the liquid down the drain; transfer it to an old plastic container or can and dispose of it in the trash.

Get all up inside

You can approach how you would clean the inside of an air fryer as you would the inside of a normal oven (after all, an air fryer is basically a tiny convection oven). For a more standard cleaning, a good scrub with a damp cloth or sponge and soapy water should do the trick. Just make sure that if the heating element or fan is exposed you clean those too; they can be major culprits for odors or operational issues if not kept clean.

If the fryer hasn’t been cleaned in months or if there is a strong odor, you could opt for a slightly more intensive method. Combine baking soda and water in a 3:1 ratio and use a toothbrush to scrub the inside of the oven and any exposed components (like that heating element). Let this mixture sit on the mixture for up to 12 hours. Then, using a damp cloth, scrub the inside clean. If any bits of baking soda are still caked on or if there is any lingering residue, spritz it with white vinegar. The natural reaction between the vinegar and baking soda will foam slightly and you should be able to scrub it away. Give the inside a final wipe with a damp cloth.

Don't forget the outside

A wipe-down with soapy water is ideal, but if your air fryer has stainless steel parts, you might want to use a specialized product to give that perfect matte look.

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