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The Best Way to Clean an Air Fryer (and Keep it Clean!)


Air fryers have had a huge surge in popularity among home chefs in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. These easy-to-use small kitchen appliances make it effortless to prepare a meal quickly. Air fryers work by using heated air that contains fine oil droplets to take the moisture out of foods, effectively removing the high-fat and high-calorie oils. Since air fryers use a fraction of the oil to cook foods, you’ll end up with lower-calorie foods much more quickly than other cooking methods. 

Because of these benefits, home cooks tend to use their air fryers more frequently than their other appliances, which requires them to clean them a lot. But, it can be difficult to know if they are cleaning it in the best way possible.

If you’ve ever wondered how to clean an air fryer, keep reading!

How Often Should You Clean Your Air Fryer?

Ideally, you should clean your air fryer after each use. Because it uses fine oil droplets to cook the food, grease and oil build-up will eventually collect in the machine. If you allow too much build-up to accumulate, your air fryer will eventually heat food less efficiently, consume more energy, and require a way more intense cleaning to get rid of the built-up particles down the line. If you clean it after each use, it will prevent grease and grime from damaging the functionality of your machine.

That being said, we understand that cleaning your air fryer after each use isn’t realistic, especially if you live a busy life. For a quick clean, a light wipe-down of the basket with either a wet or dry paper towel or washcloth will do the job well enough. Or you can simply throw your air fryer basket into the dishwasher for a nice hands-off, time-saving approach. Additionally, we recommend wiping the inside of the air fryer, with the basket removed, at least every 5 uses depending on what types of food you are cooking. This helps prevent loose particles and crumbs from traveling near the heating element and from liquids and greases baking onto hard-to-reach areas.

How to Clean Your Air Fryer (in 9 Easy Steps)

Follow the instructions below to ensure that your air fryer gets thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after you’ve used it.

  1. Unplug your air fryer
  2. If you’ve recently cooked, allow air fryer elements to cool to room temperature
  3. Remove the basket
  4. Let the basket soak in warm water and soap for 10-15 minutes
  5. If there’s caked-on grease or hard-to-remove stains in the basket, try scrubbing with a non-abrasive brush with warm water and soap solution still in the basket
  6. Use a damp cloth or sponge with a small amount of dish soap to clean the interior of the air fryer
  7. Turn the air fryer upside down and wipe down the heating element with your sponge or cloth
  8. For stubborn residue, you can also try to make a paste made out of baking soda and water and scrub with a soft-bristled brush 
  9. Allow your air fryer parts to fully air dry or wipe them down before reassembling

Other Tips for How to Keep Your Air Fryer Clean:

In addition to deep cleaning your air fryer, consider adopting the following tips:

Address the mess right away

Allowing grease and food particles to sit in the air fryer overnight or for multiple days at a time make them harder to clean up later, so get into the habit of cleaning them up right away. At a minimum, give your air fryer a good wipe down after each use to prevent oils from drying, even if you don’t get around to a deeper clean right away. Additionally, dump any crumbs out of the air fryer immediately after use. Another easy option is letting the air fryer basket soak with warm soapy water immediately after use and circle back around to clean it at a more convenient time!

Get rid of lingering odors

When you’re cooking, the amazing smells that fill your home can build anticipation and excitement for your meal. After the meal is finished, however, the lingering smells are anything but appetizing. Prevent lingering smells by soaking your basket in warm soapy water. You can also try cutting a lemon in half, rubbing it in the basket, and letting it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before washing your air fryer basket. You can also consider using a mild vinegar solution to alleviate foul smells.

Line your basket

Lining your frying basket can significantly reduce the mess that is left behind after cooking. See if you can purchase an easily removable basket insert that’s dishwasher safe. This will reduce the number of times you need to deep clean your air fryer. If you can’t find one, you can simply use parchment paper or tin foil sparingly. However, make sure you don’t cover the holes in the basket, as that allows air circulation and cooks the food all the way through. Also remember to only put tin foil or parchment paper in the air fryer basket, never in the bottom of the drawer.

Deep clean the air fryer basket to remove baked-on grease

For the stubborn, hard-to-remove baked-on grease stains in your air fryer basket, apply a generous amount of dish soap to the dry basket and fully cover all sides. Then, gently dust baking soda onto the dish soap and scrub the trouble areas using an old toothbrush. Next, take about a cup of vinegar and pour it into the basket. Lastly, pour hot or boiling water into the basket, stir the concoction, and allow it to sit overnight. 

If the buildup is still there in the morning, take your old toothbrush and scrub the areas with the soap, vinegar, and baking soda mixture still in the basket.

Final Thoughts on How to Wash Your Air Fryer

Cleaning your air fryer can ensure the longevity of your appliance, so it’s important to get into the habit of cleaning it regularly so you can enjoy delicious meals with a fraction of the calories. But, if you lead a busy life or you simply want a professional cleaner to ensure your air fryer is extra clean, reach out to inquire about our house cleaning service! Mulberrys San Francisco house cleaning services are designed to keep your home tidy and sanitized, so you can spend less time cleaning and more time doing the things you love.

Learn more about our house cleaning services today!