How To Clean A Toaster Oven And Keep It Clean!

Find step-by-step photo directions for how to clean a toaster oven, what cleaning products the manufacturers recommend you use, and our #1 maintenance tip.

Grid with variety of toaster oven photo and cleaning products.

When was the last time you cleaned your toaster oven?

Days, weeks, months…maybe never!

No judgments here, we’ve been guilty of letting ours go far too long without a cleaning.

For now, let’s cover the admittedly boring but still important stuff:

  • How to clean a toaster oven using the manufacturer’s directions
  • Why you should never use a Brillo pad
  • And the best way to keep your little oven sparkling clean

Are You Cleaning A New Toaster Oven?

If this is the first time you’ve cleaned your toaster oven (brand new or new-to-you) make sure to read the manual and note any specific do’s and don’ts according to the manufacturer.

*Their recommendations should always overrule ours*

{Related: 4 Surprising Things I’ll Never Use In Our Toaster Oven}

What Should You Clean Your Toaster Oven With?

Cleaning products.

The Cuisinart, Breville and Oster manuals we consulted recommend using:

  • A sponge or soft cloth.
  • A mild liquid soap and water solution, diluted vinegar or a non-abrasive cleanser.

All of the manuals specify to never use Brillo pads as they will scratch the toaster oven’s finish/coating. Instead, they recommend nylon or soft plastic scouring pads for scrubbing the crumb tray and baking racks. (We found them at CVS and the $.99 store)

What about oven cleaner?

It’s tempting but don’t use an oven cleaner. Those sprays are not meant for aluminum which is what the interiors of most toaster ovens are made of.

Not to mention that scary list of precautions.  

Back of a can of oven cleaner with the word aluminum circled in red.

Go Easy With The Liquids

  • Never immerse your toaster oven in water.
  • Always apply cleaning solutions to a sponge or rag (including warm water) and not directly on the toaster oven.
  • Make sure your sponge is slightly damp and not dripping otherwise you can easily splash liquids into the electrical components, especially if you have a convection fan.

{Related: 7 Things You Should Know About Convection Toaster Ovens}

How To Clean A Toaster Oven

Grid of photos of toaster oven interior and glass door.

To keep your toaster oven in good condition you should try to wipe it down after every use. But a good weekly cleaning like this one is more realistic for us, how about you?

Before cleaning your toaster oven make sure it is unplugged and cooled.

Remove the baking rack and wipe any crumbs from the interior walls and door.

Hand wiping down the glass door with a white rag.

Some crumbs might stick in the corners. You can use a pastry brush or an out-of-service toothbrush to brush them away if you want.

Next, remove the crumb tray. Wipe any crumbs off into a trash can and set the tray aside.

To Clean The Interior

Prepare a bowl of 1/2 cup hot water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar or a little bit of mild cleaner like dish soap.

Grab a soft sponge, dip it in the water and squeeze it out well so it’s not dripping. (Make sure you use only the soft spongy side and not the rough green scrubber side)

Man holding a yellow sponge and bowl of warm water.

Wipe down the inside of the toaster oven’s walls and the ceiling, taking care to avoid the heating coils/elements.

The walls should clean up easily if they’re not heavily coated with grease.

Rear wall of a dirty toaster oven.

To Clean The Heating Elements

For most traditional ovens you can gently wipe the length of each element with a water-dampened cloth and allow them to dry completely before use.

Some newer countertop convection ovens warn against touching the elements with ANYTHING so make sure to consult your manual.

Either way, do not use soapy water or any cleanser on the elements or you may damage them.

To Clean The Ceiling

The ceiling is always the hardest area for us to keep/get clean. Yours is probably that way too (try not to look).

It’s because the ceiling usually doesn’t have the same nonstick coating as the interior walls and crumb tray.

Stained toaster oven ceiling.

To help prevent these kinds of stains on your toaster oven’s ceiling see our #1 maintenance tip later in this post.

Lastly, wipe down the inside of the glass door.

{Related: Is Your Toaster Oven Lying About Its Temperature?}

To Clean The Outside

Wipe down the exterior door and outside of your toaster oven with a sponge lightly moistened with the water and vinegar solution.

If you want to use a glass or other spray cleaner on the door or exterior of your toaster oven make sure to apply the cleaner to your towel instead of spraying it directly on the appliance.

Man spraying cleaner onto a white rag in front of a toaster oven.

Again, don’t use the green scouring side of the sponge it will leave tiny scratches all over your toaster oven.

The Control Panel

Don’t forget to wipe down the controls, those knobs can get pretty grimy.

If you have an LCD Screen, the manual for the Breville Smart Oven Pro (BOV845BSS) advises you use a damp cloth as “cleaning with a dry cloth or abrasive cleansers may scratch the surface.”

Man wiping down the outside of a toaster oven with a yellow sponge.

Getting Back To The Crumb Tray

If wiping it off doesn’t get it clean, fill your sink with hot soapy water and soak the tray for a few minutes. Use a soft sponge or nylon scouring pads to scrub it clean.

If the stains are really stubborn you can soak the tray for a few hours and then try scrubbing again.

Man washing a crumb tray in soapy water with a yellow sponge.

We know you’re sick of hearing this but make sure to use the sponge side – not the rough side. As it can remove the non-stick finish on the tray making it more difficult to keep clean in the future.

Rinse and dry the tray. Repeat with the baking rack.

Hands holding a clean toaster oven crumb tray.

Replace the baking rack and crumb tray in the clean toaster oven. 

TIP: Don’t cover your crumb tray with foil – it’s a fire hazard!

Lastly, make sure all of the elements are entirely dry then plug your sparkly clean toaster oven back in and treat yourself to a batch of warm and fluffy baked potatoes.

Photo Grid showing clean toaster oven interior.

The Best Defense Is A Good Offense

Each time you cook with your toaster oven food can get on the walls, ceiling, bottom, and door.

When you roast vegetables daily like we do you’re splattering oil all over the inside. If the crumbs and grease aren’t cleaned off before your next use you can unintentionally bake that food onto the appliance making it harder to clean off.

So how do you keep your toaster oven clean? Wipe it down. A LOT.

{Related: Unbelievably Easy Toaster Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts}

The Problem Is

All of the toaster oven manuals we’ve read talk about wiping it down right after cooking.

But your toaster oven (and ours) is screaming hot after use and not somewhere you want to be sticking your digits.

Toaster oven on countertop with door open showing red hot heating elements.

Another Dirty Dish

To keep our toaster oven clean (and hands burn-free) our #1 maintenance tip is to think of it as just another dish to wash after dinner.

Once the toaster oven has cooled wipe down the ceiling, walls and crumb tray with a damp sponge. Oh, and don’t forget to wipe the inside of the glass door too – it’s easy for a lot of grease to build up on it.

So far we’re about 70/30 for remembering to do it ourselves.

If you sometimes forget to clean it after cooking too, you could also make a habit of wiping down the toaster oven before you preheat it for your next meal.

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  1. I treat my toaster oven like my stovetop…clean after every use. I’m leary about cleaning the side with the vents. Even if I used a soft sponge with any gentle cleaner I’m afraid it will get in the vents and cause problems. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Margie,

      First off, well done on cleaning it after every use! You’re doing so much better than we are 🙂

      When it comes to cleaning a convection toaster oven I think there’s always a chance that something could get in the vents.

      Is it likely you’ll have an issue? Probably not, especially since it sounds like you’re a very mindful cleaner but of course anything is possible 🙂

      You might want to try using a small cloth instead of a sponge. Recently I’ve been using a cloth that I squeeze out really well before wiping down the inside of our countertop oven.

      I find it gives me a bit more leverage/friction if I’m trying to remove grease from the oven’s walls. An added bonus is that the cloth is less absorbent than a sponge so there’s even less chance of any liquids going into the open vents.

      Hope that helps and happy cooking!
      ~ Brie

  2. good morning tim and brie,
    thank you for all the tips on how to clean and maintain cleanliness of a toaster oven.
    my problem is i can’t pull out the tray behind the toaster oven, i think oil got stuck on the bottom tray. that is why when we toast bread( only), there’s smoke coming out.
    please help😥

    1. Hi Neth,

      One time we had a crumb tray that was a little stuck and I was able to get it out by using one hand to press on the tray (near the back of the oven wall) while my other hand wiggled and pulled the tray out towards me.

      The toaster oven was tiny so Tim had to hold it while I did this to keep it from moving too much. And I’m sure you already know this but just in case, the oven should be completely cool before you put your hands in it.

      Also, I’d definitely contact the manufacturer – they might have more ideas for removing the tray and/or what’s causing the smoke.

      Good luck and happy cooking!

  3. So I did some bad things when cleaning my Breville Pro….I used a Brillo pad on the rack. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Should have found this article first. Anyway, now my DHs toast is sticking. Any ideas how to reseason the racks so they stop sticking? No new accessories are available on the Breville website, so have to figure out how to make this work again. Thank you!

    1. Sorry to hear about the toast sticking, Laur, that’s a bummer. I’d definitely reach out to Breville and see if they have an estimated date for restocking.

      In the meantime, if you’ve got an air fryer-style model you can make the toast the same way but using the air fry basket instead of the rack.

      If that’s not an option, you could try laying a heat-safe checkered metal cooling/baking rack on top of the regular rack and then make the toast on it.

      1. Thank you Brie! I rewashed the rack and then set it to its highest temp cooking with nothing in it for 10 minutes. Let it turn off and cool. This actually helped. Hubbies toast just stuck very minimally. Though I know I was wrong using a Brillo, I do think cooking off any residue helped. Just wanted to let you know. Again many thanks and I will do better next time. 😉 Peace

        1. Yay, great job finding something that worked! And thanks for taking the time to come back and share 🙂 I’m sure it’s going to help someone keep from panicking if they find themselves in a similar situation.

          Happy Cooking!

        2. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will clean everything, I went to spray a degreaser on the oven door and the wife had it spotless already with a Magic Eraser, just don’t use it on any decals or writing it will clean everything off

  4. I have a Ninja Foodi Digital Air Fry Oven which is modeled like a toaster oven, not one of those cylinder ones. I barely ever clean it so enough grease built up on the top of the interior to cause smoke. Gently sponges weren’t doing anything so I used the green side and ended up scratching the ceiling of the interior, possibly removing a layer? I think it’s made of “brushed stainless steel,” or at least the exterior is. Not sure if the interior is aluminum? Anyway, will the scratching affect cooking? Will I have metal coating in my food? Or is it just harder to clean now?

    1. Hi Jess,

      You probably just scratched the metal but I’d recommend reaching out to Ninja as they’ll have all of the technical details about the materials used for the different parts of the oven and if there is anything you need to be concerned about.

      Here’s a link to their support page: It looks like they’ll even call you instead of making you wait on hold.

  5. I use straight dawn at let it soak a little bit, covering the heating elements with a heavy cloth, etc. I can get most of the heavy grease with a paper towel. I clean the remaining grease with a hard plastic scraper. Works great for me.

  6. I just picked up a second hand Breville Smart Oven Pro (squeal!), and spent the morning cleaning it. My tip for the glass – I used a razor blade, angled to be as close to horizontal to the glass as possible to reduce any scratching risk, and all the baked on grease was gone in seconds.

    1. Yay, Connie!! Congrats on your new-to-you toaster oven, how exciting! Thanks for the glass tip, we’ve got a few baked-on grease spots I’m definitely going to try that on.

      I hope you have lots of fun cooking with your new kitchen toy 🙂

    2. Can you use ammonia in a small cup and boil some water an pour in a pan leave it setting over night an not damage your toaster oven

      1. Hi Dee, I’m sorry but I have no experience with using ammonia to clean anything. I’d recommend reaching out to the oven’s manufacturer for specific instructions and advice.

        Also, I’d be very cautious about trying to create a steamy environment inside of a toaster oven that has digital controls. Unfortunately, I’ve heard a few sad stories of newer toaster ovens that were steam-cleaned, and afterward, the controls stopped working completely.

  7. Hi,
    I would love some tips on how to clean between the glass. I tried to clean some grease there with a a spray mixture of baking soda and vinegar which obviously didn’t work and now I have these unsightly white streaks! it doesn’t seem as if the glass can be removed and the vents are way too small to stick anything through. Any ideas would be much appreciated!

    1. Hi Tanya,

      I’m having trouble picturing what you’re talking about. Do you mean that tiny space between the door and the oven or are you talking about metal that’s surrounding the glass in the door? Either way, I find that using a Q-tip or an old toothbrush is sometimes helpful for cleaning corners and other tight spaces.

    1. Hi Cecelia,

      Another reader actually suggested that in the comments below! I’ve only tried it with our little (light-weight) toaster oven and it went fine. I’m not sure how it would go with a giant countertop oven like the one in the photos above, I’d probably need a buddy to help.

    2. I’m thinking of flipping mine upside down too. We have a Cuisinart air fryer toaster oven. The ceiling in ours is a mess. You can’t really get at it because the heating elements are in the way. I’m going to call the manufacturer and see if setting a small bowl of ammonia inside would be okay. I’m also wondering about using Goo Gone.

        1. Hi Ron,

          It depends on what the elements are made of. To be on the safe side, you’ll want to refer to your manual or check with the manufacturer for specific directions.

          For most ovens, manufacturers advise against using any type of cleanser on the elements, just a gentle wipe down with a damp cloth.

          With some ovens, you have to be very careful as certain heating elements (like quartz) can be easily damaged and usually cannot be replaced.

  8. I have an Emeril: I am knee deep in cleaning everything in my kitchen. Today was the toaster oven. OMG I had no idea there were so much grease on the back, sides and top. My husband is the cook so I really did not pay much attention. I only use it to literally make toast. I love Dawn. It is such a great grease remover. No luck. Check the info on the net and cannot use SOS. O BOY now what. I got nothing and have not seen any ideas anywhere that are working. I am so, so, so surprised that manufactures don’t offer an interior that can be cleaned. I guess it is not cost effective for them. My guess is that when it gets to dirty you will just buy another one. Makes me crazy.

  9. I have a Breville toaster oven. The crumb tray has dark stains on it – these are not surface build up stains. Rather, they appear to be a part of the tray. I do not see any info on how to remove these stains. The directions on cleaning it only remove the surface dirt. Can you please assist?

    I also see that lining the tray with foil is not safe. If I purchase a new tray, I’d like to avoid these permanent stains in the future. Thank you.

    1. Hi Pam,

      After years of using our oven daily, the crumb tray has those darker really set-in stains too.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any great ways to remove them. We’ve tried barkeeper’s friend, dawn dish soap, a product called krud kutter, and a few other things but they haven’t budged.

      Personally, I’ve decided to stop worrying about it.

      Our crumb tray may have stains but it is clean. Plus the stains are not keeping it from doing its job of protecting the floor of the oven and making it easy to remove crumbs, etc.

      Also, I’m the only one who can see the stains. It’s not like I pull out the crumb tray and show it off to guests when they visit 🙂

      My best advice is to wash the tray often, especially after cooking things with oil as I think that’s the main culprit. Otherwise, if it’s not affecting how the oven functions, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time on it.

      That said, I know that cleaning styles are very personal so if it’s something you feel strongly about I’d suggest reaching out to Breville to see if they have any suggestions.

      1. Call me crazy but I put the crumb tray from my Breville 900 into the dishwasher and it came out great. It had built up dirt on it because, unfortunately I’m less of a perfect housekeeper than most. I know its probably a bad thing but it looks good to me.

        1. Hi Michelle! As a fellow “less of a perfect housekeeper than most” I’m definitely going to give this a try. Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

      2. Brie, after many failed attempts to clean the crumb tray which looked like a hazardous waste dump, I ordered a new one…which does not mean we are any better at regular cleaning the new one. I, too, wonder why Breville doesn’t use interior materials that are better suited to cleaning or offer a product-based cleaner. At the end of the day, I’m with you, Brie. Stains will be stains…period. Life goes on.

    2. This is for Pam & Brie: I, too, have been drive crazy with a dirty oven especially when I went away for a few months and left the cooking to hubby! Before that, I used an SOS pad on crumb tray….don’t do that. I bought a new one which surprisingly aren’t too expensive and then cut out a piece of oven protector sheet to lay on top and it works like a charm keeping the tray clean.
      The second wrong I did was to spray the oven door with oven cleaner. DON’T DO THAT. What a mess and the inside looked horrible. Yup, dumb me ordered a new oven and will give this one to daughter; however, after I ordered, my hubby used stainless steel cleaner and a soft wrap and scrubbed the heck out of it and it isn’t like it was before, but sure looks better than after the oven cleaner debacle.
      I agree….make an oven that you is cleanable.

  10. Hi, I have an Emeril 360 airfryer / toaster oven and everywhere I’ve searched for how to clean it, says to use vinegar. My daughter is deathly allergic to vinegar. She can’t even go down that aisle in the grocery store or she’ll breakout in hi es! So needless to say I can’t use it. Any other ideas? Besides dish soap, already tried that but no luck. Thank you for your time.

  11. Thats why I like an air fryer only! It all goes in dishwasher and done! No caked on grease or glass to clean. I have a toaster oven too for toast and small pizzas etc, a breeze to clean

  12. I have a Cuisinart air fryer oven with grease splatters that will not release – I have tried vinegar, baking soda, Fulsol, dish detergent and everything else imaginable. I read somewhere long ago that putting a cup of ammonia in an oven and leaving it overnight would soften the grease spots. Is this safe for the air fryer oven?
    Do you have any other suggestions? I’m so disgusted, I’m thinking about donating it and getting another. This one has proven impossible to clean.

    1. Hi Sam,

      That sounds like a super frustrating and exhausting experience. I know the type of grease splatters you speak of, we have a bunch of little ones on our drip tray. I’ve tried a lot of things to remove them without much success.

      The only thing I know about ammonia is that if it’s not used properly it can cause burns and respiratory issues.

      Have you tried contacting the manufacturer to see if they have any suggestions? Even if they don’t you can at least let them know how you feel about their product.

      Sorry we couldn’t help more!

    1. Hi Judie,

      For some ovens it’s okay for others the manufacturers have very specific directions about what’s okay to do and products that can and can’t be used to clean them. So you’ll want to refer to the cleaning instructions in the manual for your toaster oven.

  13. I have a Breville air fry oven is it okay to use Ajax on the crumb tray and metal protecting the heating elements as I can’t remove the oil. Also can I use the scratch part of a sponge just for those areas mentioned.

  14. Perhaps you need to move your smoke detector. When we had a smoke detector that was so sensitive to the bathroom steam, we moved it. Otherwise one is tempted to remove the batteries and of course that doesn’t make sense.

  15. My toaster oven just died, being 9 months old and (I am impressed) they are sending me a new one. However, I am not happy with it, anyway.
    The only place I have in the kitchen for it, happens to be near the smoke detector, which goes off EVERY time I use it.
    Besides which, cleaning is a pain (and, I find, mission impossible) I have read several places that people use the Silpat pads, but I then found out that the American version is a bigger size than our Australian one and there is no Silpat pad that will fit our oven. I actually wrote to Silpat (asking if I could chop a larger one to size (no, you can’t) and they said that they “may” make more sizes. Just checked, they haven’t so far.
    Anyway, the tray at the bottom is not my biggest problem. I can remove it and clean it in the sink. It is the INNARDS that drive me nuts.
    Given all its functions (mostly the air flying part) where, if you place another tray under the basket, you are impeding its function, most of which cause fat to go splattering everywhere, you’d think they’d come up
    with some self-cleaning function!
    All well and good that it does what it’s supposed to do very well (mostly) what good is that if you have to spend ages attempting (mostly without much success) to clean it after each use?
    I have a self-cleaning normal oven and have now gone back to using that for most messy cooking.
    They have asked me to send the old one back to them and am now trying to clean it, as I am embarrassed!
    OTOH, the only part that is not dirty, is the glass on the door – I have been cleaning that with the cleaner I use for my glass cooktop.
    I will attempt to keep on top of the cleaning better when the new one arrives but don’t like my chances. I may park it in the garage and use it there, to avoid the smoke detector problem

  16. I tried baking soda paste with vinegar on walls of overn, left on for 10 hours, and it DID NOT WORK. 🙁 🙁 Any pro tips would be useful. I will either go for the harsh chemicals, or will live with a grease-stained toaster oven.

  17. The manufacturers should make the toaster ovens self cleaning or use porcelain for the interior. I would not mind paying more for something that was less work to clean.

  18. Well I just learned something new….that the ceiling is not coated with an ‘easy clean’ surface; while everything else is. That is the precise reason I purchased my Cuisinart. Why would a well-known, large manufacturer not do this? How much more could it possibly add to the cost?

  19. I use salt to clean my toaster oven. For the crumb tray, I lay my toaster oven on its back and open the tray so that it’s horizontal. I position it so that the outer edge overhangs the sink a little. After brushing off any loose debris with a paper towel, I moisten a sponge with hot tap water, squeezing out the excess. Then wipe the crumb tray. Immediately sprinkle generously with salt and coat any areas of grease or stuck on food. I let it sit for several minutes then rub lightly with a paper towel. As I wipe the salt absorbs the stuck on food or grease and starts to turn brown. I brush the dirty salt into the sink and redo the process as needed. I have a small, square plastic scraper that I use for really stuck on spots. The salt is slightly abrasive and can take off the finish if you rub too hard, but if you do it lightly a few times it should be fine. Note, this works on the glass doors as well. Just position the area to be cleaned so that the salt doesn’t go into the cracks and crevices of the toaster oven. Another note, I clean my cast iron pans with this method as well. Once they are clean I just wipe with coconut oil and they’re seasoned and good to go. The best part is, I get cheap dollar store salt and keep it just for cleaning, and when I’m done with it, it goes right into the sink and down the drain. No chemicals and very little cost!

    1. I love that there are no chemicals involved and can’t wait to try this method on our little toaster oven. Thanks so much, Lisa for these great tips and your step-by-step instructions!

    2. I have a question,. In a quest to clean my oven before sending it back, I tried laying it on its back, but the door refuses to stay open in that position.
      What is your trick?

      1. In my experience, you won’t be able to get it to stay open in that position if the door is springloaded like in the Breville.

  20. Can someone give pointers with cleaning the roof of the toaster oven? We just got the Breville smart oven air fryer and I want to keep it in good shape and protect our little oven. My mil likes to use the oven to broil her bacon so we are getting a lot of grease spots on top. Any pointer will help! Tia

    1. Hi Karen, congrats on your new oven!

      The interior roof is super to hard to clean on the Breville’s. Especially because you want to be extra careful around the heating elements.

      Wiping down the roof after each use helps to avoid any buildup but the grease spots/stains are near impossible to remove using the soap and hot water recommended in the manual.

      If you’re on Facebook there are two great groups dedicated to that specific oven you might want to check out. I’m sure they’ll have a lot of good bacon cooking/cleaning tips for you.

    2. When broiling, instead of placing the rack at the suggested broiling height, place the rack on the lower “bake” rack and broil from there.

  21. The Toaster Oven Cover (any piece of fabric the same width as your toaster oven… a table runner or scarf folded in half and draped over the top and front, preferably somethings that looks good yet blends in and doesn’t call attention to itself) is the easiest way I know to feel great about how your toaster oven looks–it’s still a good idea to clean it so it isn’t a fire hazard, but this way, if it won’t come clean (and ours never will) it still looks fabulous.

    1. A toaster oven cozy is a genius idea, Betty! You should design a line of specialty ones – given how much we all struggle with trying to keep a toaster oven clean I bet they’d sell like hot cakes 🙂

  22. EXCELLENT IDEA!!!! Turn it on the side. first off you can at least get a better look than trying to see the ceiling of the oven. some of the ideas i have tried but like you nothing that was a easy to use cleaner. the soft water and a soft rag did’nt seem to get ours very clean.
    thank you for several ideas. we love using our mini oven because it is easy to cook for 2 and in the summer months, it does’nt heat up the house to much.
    Thanks again,

    1. Hi there, I use bar keepers friend, safe for aluminum.Works well and my toaster/ convection oven has survived many cleanings, and the glass is nearly spotless.

  23. You need to clean the CEILING of the toaster oven? I just finished trying to get baked on grease off of my toaster oven, and was only
    Partially successful. If you rub hard enough some stuff comes out. I have no idea why I can’t clean the glass on the door well. I actually think I will try that Cream of Tartar stuff. What do you think about lining the tray with aluminum foil?

    1. Hi, Moira!

      It sounds like you’re doing a great job, there’s always going to be staining but like you said a little elbow grease gets a lot of it off. Now that it’s had a deep clean, giving your toaster oven a quick wipe down after use will make a HUGE difference in keeping it clean going forward.

      Unfortunately, putting foil on the crumb tray can be a big fire hazard. You can read a little more about that here

      We’ve heard of some people using copper grilling mats on their trays but don’t use them ourselves. I’ve just accepted our tray is going to have staining and do my best to wipe it down.

      Yeah, the ceiling can get a lot of stuff splattered on it from roasting food. Don’t stress too much about it though, you just want to wipe off any surface grease.

      If you have a magic eraser hanging around I used one on our glass door the other day and it did a great job cutting through the grease.

      Wouldn’t it be awesome if they made these little ovens easier to keep clean? Then we could just focus on the yummy food 🙂

    2. I hope you are only using the cover when you are NOT using the toaster oven! The top gets very hot, and may have vents in the top or side in addition to the back Keeping it covered while in use could damage the unit or cause a serious fire hazard.

      Re glass cleaning…

      On my previous toaster oven, the glass seemed uncleanable, and kept getting worse. What did the trick was a thick paste of baking soda and vinegar. When it dried out, I sprayed more vinegar on the paste. The glass was so coated with hardened grease that it took leaving the paste in place for a week, but it was pristinely clean when I finally rinsed it off. A bit of rubbing, but no real scrubbing. This works for the inside of the toaster, too, or the regular oven, but the baking soda is a beast to rinse out, so it’s definitely not good for the interior of the toaster, and a lot of work for the regular oven.

  24. I just dug an old toaster oven out that’s been in a barn for a few years & I’m not sure when it was used last. It definitely needs cleaned, so I’ll keep these tips in mind.

    Do you have a suggestion as to how I should go about safety testing it to see if it’ll even work?

    1. Congrats on your toaster oven find, Jenn!

      Unfortunately, we only have experience with using new ones. I know some readers have purchased used toaster ovens at yard sales, etc. hopefully they’ll chime in with a few tips for testing if it will work.

      If you can tell the model/type of toaster oven you might want to look for the manual online and read through the “warnings” section. That part is usually full of good safety tips.

  25. After I am done cooking, I spray the inside of the oven with water, which creates steam. This is basically the same process as a steam clean oven. Then I just wipe with a damp cloth.

    1. That’s a great idea. Sounds almost too easy. : ) but I hadn’t thought about that for the toaster oven. Thank you!

      1. Considering that all of the cleaning instructions say to never apply your cleaning liquid directly on the toaster oven but only on the cloth or sponge, I do not think that spraying water directly into the toaster oven is a good idea at all!

    1. Great question, Sheila! We spent an afternoon reading labels at Home Depot and the Grocery store one day and I remember being disappointed that Goo Gone Oven Cleaner was a no go but I couldn’t remember why.

      I just looked up the product and on their website, it says do not use on aluminum which is what the interior (and crumb trays) of most toaster ovens are made of.

  26. I like Simple Green, an industrial degreaser. Cuts the grease, smells nice, and is non-toxic and biodegradable.

    1. Great question Shirah!

      On the back of our bottle of Bar Keepers Friend Soft Cleanser, it says that for aluminum (which is the type of metal inside that super filthy toaster oven pictured above) to “use sparingly and rub extra gentle with a damp sponge.”

      I tried a little on the crumb tray and when I wiped it off of the tray a bunch of gray colored stuff came off onto the sponge too. Since it seemed like the gray was some of the oven’s finish, as that spot was dull and no longer shiny, we decided not to use more of the BKF on the pan or toaster oven.

      I’m still on the hunt for a product that will get that baked on grease off without damaging the finish in the process – so far it’s been pretty elusive!

      1. On the back of the liquid Barkeepers Friend All Purpose Soft Cleanser, it says “Bar Keepers Friend is not for use on gold, silver, pewter, marble, lacquered metals, or anodized aluminum.” I guess it would depend on if the toaster oven you have is considered lacquered metal or anodized aluminum. I know it’s great on stainless steel.

  27. I can’t wait until a company comes out with a self cleaning toaster oven, I hope it will be Breville

    1. Yes! I couldn’t agree more Carol Anne. Honestly, if ANY company came out with a truly self cleaning toaster oven I’d buy it in a heartbeat 🙂

  28. So my wife and I have never cleaned ours out and we’ve had it for 5 years, would the warm water and white vinegar work to clean off everything that has baked into the interior, or would you suggest something else?

    1. Hi Brian!

      I’d definitely start with a round of hot water and vinegar just to knock some of the baked on stuff off 🙂

      Since you’re talking about a lot of years without cleaning it’ll probably take a few rounds to start to get things in better shape.

      Check your toaster oven manual, most usually suggest using a non-abrasive liquid cleanser or mild spray solution for tough to clean areas. I tried Sue’s suggestion below of “cream of tarter and hot water on a rag” and found it worked pretty well.

      For anything you use, test in a small area first to see if it scratches your toaster oven or removes the finish before applying to the whole thing.

      Good luck, we’d love to hear how it goes and what works best for you!

  29. I just used the air fryer setting on my Breville Air oven for the first time to make chicken wings for a Super Bowl party and the oven’s ceiling is now a mess. Any tips for getting the baked-on grease off without damaging the quartz heating elements?

    1. Hi, Nicole! You’re smart to be careful with the heating elements. Check out page 29 of your toaster oven’s manual, there are directions for cleaning. Under the Warning section it says to use caution, let them cool completely and “…gently rub a soft, damp sponge or cloth along the length of the heating element. Do not use any type of cleanser or cleaning agent.”

      If you’re on Facebook, there’s also a Breville Air group that I imagine will be discussing cleaning after wings today 😉 you can find it here

  30. I was wondering about using cream of tarter and hot water on a rag that’s wrung out. I used it on a s mall sauce pan & it looked new!
    It took off all that dark stain out.

    1. Hi Sue!

      That’s a great idea that we’ll be adding to our “try list” for sure.

      The biggest problem we’ve found with using any kind of powder like baking soda is rinsing it off the toaster oven, since you can’t toss it in the sink, lol. Combing a powder and water on the rag sounds like a much better idea.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing 🙂

    1. Not yet, Wanda! So far everything we’ve tried has done way more harm than good 🙁

      Unfortunately, we haven’t had a lot of time recently to devote to it but we do plan to try a few more tips and hope to have an update (good or bad) sometime next year.

      1. Looking forward to learning what Part 2 has to offer! Thanks for all these recommendations, I’ll be trying them….but I’ve certainly NOT kept up with “after use” cleaning….or even annual cleaning (other than emptying crumb tray) at this point!

        1. Hi Sara,

          So far Part 2 is turning into more of a “What Not To Do” which I am still planning to post. I’m hoping it will save you from wasting time/money on stuff that doesn’t work.

          As annoying as it sounded to us at first, wiping it down after use (even if you forget sometimes) does make a HUGE difference over time.

          My best advice is to give it a good initial scrub but then don’t stress too much. Just like with your favorite pots and pans, a well-loved toaster oven is always going to look like it gets used 🙂

  31. That is a really good tip. I would have never thought of it, thanks. And also thank you for the blog post. Exactly what I needed.

  32. I leave the ceiling to clean last. Turning the oven upside-down makes it easier for me to check for damage and to clean ceiling and upper heating elements thoroughly.

    1. What a great tip, Nally!

      Even just turning the toaster oven on it’s side will make it easier to clean the ceiling. Thank you for leaving this comment, it’s such a game changer!

      1. My spring-loaded oven door has closed on me several times pinching my skin on occasion so I gave up on laying it on its side.