If you’ve just bought one, you may be wondering how to clean an air fryer. The good news is that air fryers are very easy to clean. In fact, it’s one of their most appealing features. However, some parts are easier to clean than others.
The best air fryers often come with dishwasher-safe inserts, meaning that the trays and baskets can simply be placed in your dishwasher after you’re finished using them. However, a lot of people get so much daily use out of their air fryer that waiting for a dishwasher cycle to finish will be a hassle.
Luckily, we think that once you know how to clean an air fryer by hand, it’s actually so easy that you won’t need to wash it in the dishwasher on a regular basis anyway. For five steps on how to clean an air fryer, keep reading.
1. Make sure it’s unplugged
Before you get started, make sure you unplug your air fryer to cut off the electricity supply. Most air fryers have a removable tray that simply pulls out of the machine, but some (such as the Tefal ActiFry range) have a different design that allows you to lift out the pan inserts from the top of the machine. Regardless of what your specific air fryer may be, switching it off before starting the cleaning process is a safe and smart move.
2. Get rid of residue
Many air fryers collect fat at the bottom of the tray, whether it’s dripped away from bacon or fallen off fries. This can solidify when cooled, which can be tricky to wash away with water. Remove fat and crumbs using a dry paper towel, which will help the cleaning process before you start washing.
3. Get washing
Wash your basket and tray using soapy warm water and a cloth or sponge. Many air fryers have non-stick coatings, so don’t use anything too abrasive or you may risk damaging the basket.
Be sure to clean both the inside and outside of the basket, as well as any holes in the insert. Either dry with a clean cloth or leave to drain.
4. Clean the fryer unit
While knowing how to clean an air fryer basket will come in useful on the regular, it’s also important to know how to clean the exterior of your machine. Wipe it clean with a damp microfibre cloth, taking extra care around any buttons and controls.
5. Tackle the inside
Every now and again it’s important to clean the interior heater in your air fryer. This can be tricky, especially because you should avoid getting the heating element wet.
One of the best ways to clean the inside of an air fryer is to lay it on its back and apply a paste made out of a very small amount of water and some baking soda. Leave this to dry out and then scrub away the paste with a toothbrush.
Baking soda is a great natural cleaner that you’ll see in many of our care and cleaning guides, and scrubbing it away will help to rub any residue and absorbed oil away from the air fryer uni. Just make sure it’s all gone before you next use your air fryer!
How often should I clean my air fryer?
You should clean the basket after every use, or you’ll end up with burnt residue or dangerous hot oils that can emit smoke and damage your air fryer.
Luckily, if you follow our tips on how to clean an air fryer basket you should be able to do this in minutes. As for the exterior and inner heating element, this can be done less frequently.
See more cleaning tips with our guide on how to clean a BBQ