Have you ever felt overwhelmed thinking about how to clean an air fryer? Have no fear—the easiest way to clean this convenient kitchen appliance is right here in this post. With these quick and easy cleaning tips, you’ll keep your air fryer in such good shape, it’ll feel brand new every time!

Dirty exterior of the air fryer.
Dirty exterior of the air fryer.

Worried about food build-up? Wondering how to clean around the heating coil? Should you put it in the dishwasher? This post will answer your commonly asked questions about cleaning your air fryer.

What is the best way to clean your air fryer?

The best way to clean your air fryer only takes a few simple steps. Use mild soap and a soft sponge, bristle brush, or toothbrush. Cleaning on a regular basis (which is different for everyone) will rid your air fryer of lingering odors and stuck-on food.

There are many different air fryers on the market, so it is best to always check the instruction manual for specific directions about your model.

How Often to Clean an Air Fryer

It all depends on how often you use your air fryer. Even if you use your air fryer just once a week, cleaning it whenever you use it will prevent food buildup, malfunctions, and even fires.

If you are consistent with regular cleanings, you won’t need to do as many deep cleans. Keep in mind, the longer something sticky sits in your air fryer, the harder it is to clean off. So if you make something especially messy like a meat with marinade or thick breading, you definitely want to clean immediately after you finish eating.

How to Clean Your Air Fryer

Step 1: Let it cool

Make sure your air fryer is unplugged AND completely cooled. This includes the base under the basket, trays, and the heating element.

Step 2: Remove the crumbs

Take out the removable basket or trays and dump the crumbs out in your sink or trash. If you have trays, pull out the slotted tray with the drip tray right underneath it, so you don’t get crumbs all over your kitchen. This step makes the rest of the cleaning process that much easier and faster.

Leftover crumbs at the bottom of your air fryer basket.
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Step 3: Clean the basket

Give your air fryer a good wipe-down with warm, soapy water and a soft sponge or bristle brush. If your air fryer has bits of hard caked-on food, let it soak in a sink full of water to help loosen that food up.

Once you wipe it down the first time, rinse your sponge or brush and give it a second pass. This ensures that no grease or stray food particles get left behind.

Scrubbing the air fryer basket with a soapy, soft bristle brush.

Step 4: Wipe down the insides

Wipe down the bottom plate and chamber with a damp cloth. Just like the basket, wipe the inside of your air fryer twice. Make sure the cloth isn’t too wet when cleaning the heating element or you will have pools of water in parts of your air fryer. Turn the air fryer back on for 2–3 minutes AFTERWARD for a quick dry.

Wiping down the air fryer basket with a sponge brush.

How to Deep-Clean an Air Fryer

Step 1a: Remove Baked-On Grease: Basket

Keep the air fryer basket assembled and fill it up with soapy, warm water. Let it sit until the grease loosens which will make it easier to clean. Once you pour out the water, use a soft-bristled brush to remove the softened food residue.

If you have a toaster oven air fryer, add a cup of water in a heat-safe container to the tray and turn it on a high temperature for 2-3 minutes. When you open it up, you will find that the gunk has been conveniently lifted without any scrubbing, elbow grease, or soap. Then you can give the inside of your air fryer a quick wipe with a damp, soapy cloth.

Colorless dish soap and baking soda place in front of a basket air fryer.

Step 1b: Remove Baked-On Grease: Air Fryer

Over time your heating coil will have baked-on grease from your cooked food. Use an old toothbrush to remove grease buildup on the heating element inside the air fryer. Use a paste of water and baking soda to help to get that stubborn grease off.

Dirty heating element/ coil in the air fryer

Step 2: Scrub the Interior

After removing the hard, baked-on grease, use a soapy, clean cloth to wipe down the rest of the inside of your air fryer. It might take a few rinses and wipes to ensure zero residue. No need for strong detergents here!

Step 3: Wipe Down the Exterior

Run a dry paper towel over your air fryer once you have spot checked the outside. Do not forget to examine the top of your air fryer for dust! Never fully submerge your air fryer in water. To prevent rusting, do not ever put air fryer parts in the dishwasher.

Wiping down the exterior of the air fryer with a damp paper towel.

More Air Fryer Resources

If you are new to air fryers, read this post about how to use an air fryer. To maximize your knowledge on if you can put foil or parchment paper in your air fryer, quickly read through these posts to give you that cooking confidence. With these helpful tips, you’ll be prepared to cook or bake anything in your new kitchen appliance!

How do you degrease an air fryer?

Place a cup of water in the air fryer and let it sit at a high heat for a few minutes. Open it up and wipe it down with a soapy, damp rag.

What are the safety measures you need when cleaning an air fryer?

Make sure your air fryer is completely cooled. Do not use overly soaked rags, cloths, sponges, etc. Do not use steel wool scrubbers. Check your instruction manual for specifics to your model.

What happens if you don’t wash your air fryer?

Food built up can cause a fire hazard and slow down cooking time.

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