How to Clean a Toaster Oven Heating Element [The Full Guide]

If you like to sample an array of delicacies such as roasted vegetables, casseroles, or even bread then you probably own a toaster oven.

But, why a toaster oven? Not only is it a convenient cooking appliance, it also saves on kitchen space and will not turn your kitchen into a furnace during summer.

That said; this appliance just like any other in the kitchen is bound to get dirty and require cleaning. Cleaning should be easy right? Well, the most known cleaning technique for this device is a bit cumbersome.

That may discourage you from using your oven toaster because you do not look forward to cleaning it but that should not be the case.

In this article, we are going to teach you how to clean your toaster oven heating element effortlessly so stay put.

What You Need

For your cleaning to be successful, here are some of the things you will need.

  • A piece of dry cloth
  • Soft cloth
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Vinegar
  • Soapy water

How to Clean a Toaster Oven Heating Element

How you clean your toaster’s oven heating element, depends on how dirty it is. We are going to cover general cleaning, cleaning for tough stains, and deep cleaning.

Method 1

Let us begin with cleaning for mild stains.

Step 1

The first thing you want to do is unplug the appliance from the power source. This is because water will be involved in the cleaning process and you know, water should not mix with electricity.

Step 2

Soak a piece of cloth in soapy water mixed with vinegar and wring it out so that it is damp. After that, wipe the length of the heating element.

Do this firmly but gently especially if you are dealing with tough stains.

Step 3

If the element still has stains after doing this, soak your piece of cloth in vinegar and run it through the stains. This should remove them easily.

Step 4

Rinse your heating element carefully and allow it to dry completely.

Method 2

This method is for tougher stains. If you notice that soap and vinegar did not adequately clean your heating element, you may want to try baking soda.

Step 1

As usual, unplug the device from the power source. This is to avoid electric shock.

Step 2

Mix equal parts water and baking soda. This should form a thick paste that you want to allow to sit for about half an hour.

Step 3

Apply this paste generously on the heating element. Concentrate on where the tough stains are and allow it to sit for about an hour.

Step 4

Using a damp piece of cloth, wipe the baking soda from the heating element ensuring that there is no debris left.

Step 5

Allow the toaster oven-heating element to dry before plugging it back and using it again.

Method 3

This method is for when you want to do a deep cleaning for your toaster oven-heating element. It requires you to detach the heating elements for your oven.

Step 1

As you probably guessed, the first step would be to detach the heating elements. It is going to be difficult to clean these parts while they are inside the oven.

Note: If you do not have the skill to remove the parts, skip this step as you may end up causing damage to your toaster oven.

Step 2

This is where the actual cleaning happens. You want to place the heating elements somewhere and use a brush to wipe off any large crumbs.

There will be some stains stuck on the heating elements and to get rid of them, you can use:

Commercial Cleaner

A commercial cleaner works great if your heating element has huge deposits of grime and grease. Of course, commercial cleaners come in different brand names but you want to ensure that the active ingredient in yours is sodium hydroxide.

Use a dishcloth and dip it in the chemical cleaner before wiping down your heating element. You can also use a brush to scrub off any deposits that are stagnated on the surface.

Remember: While most cleaning chemicals deliver great results, they can be damaging to both your skin and other surfaces so you may opt to use another option.

Homemade Cleaner

DIY solutions are usually safer and cheaper. For instance, you can make a cleaning solution by mixing water and baking soda.

This cleaning option works perfectly when it comes to getting rid of tough stains. We had mentioned this earlier.

Step 3

Once you finish cleaning your heating elements, you want to dry them with a clean towel and allow them to der completely.

Reconnect the elements correctly to avoid causing a fire or damaging your oven.

What to Avoid When Cleaning Your Heating Element

It is important to know what to do and what not to as you clean the heating element of your oven toaster. 

Here are some don’ts.

  1. Do not soak your heating elements in water or any other liquid as this may cause damage. Besides, your heating element can conceal some water and cause an electric shock when reconnected to a power source.
  2. Do not scrub or scrape the surface of the heating element as this could cause an explosion or sparks. This also compromises the quality of this part.
  3. Do not leave any food particles or cloth fiber in the toaster oven after cleaning. This prevents the toaster from igniting when powered on.
  4. Do not plug in your toaster oven if the heating element is not completely dry.
  5. Do not clean the heating element before the oven. You want to clean the oven first to avoid dripping water that may damage the toaster oven.

Is it Necessary to Clean Toaster Oven Heating Element?

This is a valid question especially because cleaning your heating elements puts the toaster oven at risk of damage.

It is not necessary to clean the heating element of your toaster whenever you clean the rest of your oven. You should only do so occasionally.

This is because the more you clean it; the more likely it is to be damaged.

Actually, you want to clean the heating element only when you see visible dirt or grease accumulated on the surface.

That said; your heating element becomes a fire hazard if you do not clean it when it has built-up grime and grease. Yes, you heard that right. Not only does the debris look unappealing, it can also ignite.

Moreover, it is easier to clean the mess once you spot it rather than wait to deal with tough stains that will make cleaning riskier and harder.

Final Words

Cleaning the heating element of your toaster oven is not only hygienic; it doubles up as a safety measure against fire.

As such, you want to occasionally examine your oven to find out if spills and grease have built-up on the heating element. Of course, cleaning this part requires you to be extra delicate and cautious.

Most of the things you will need for cleaning are readily available in your home and are safe for use. If you opt to go the chemical way, ensure that you take cautionary measures.

We have explained in detail how to do the cleaning and it is now up to you to do it correctly.

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