Experts are warning against this TikTok air fryer cleaning hack

'This hack looks like a potential air fryer-killer and is generally pretty unsafe'

black air fryer in kitchen with food on kitchen island
(Image credit: Ninja)

Air fryers are super handy kitchen appliances for cooking up homemade fries and chicken wings without having to turn on the oven. If you use yours a lot, you might be wondering how to clean an air fryer properly.

TikTok is full of cleaning hacks ranging from genuinely helpful and time-saving to downright dangerous, and experts are warning against trying this particular air fryer cleaning hack we've seen doing the rounds.

black air fryer in kitchen with chicken and asparagus

(Image credit: Instant Brands)

TikTok air fryer cleaning hack warning

TikTokers have been sharing an air fryer cleaning hack that involves filling up your air fryer drawer with water and washing up liquid before turning it on to remove grease and grime. Not only does this sound risky, but air fryers should also be cleaned after every use, so the kind of build-up shown in these clips isn't something you should have to deal with.

Millie Fender, our Small Appliance and Cookware Editor cautions against putting so much water in your best air fryer, especially when it's turned on. 'Water and electricals are always a no-no, but especially with an air fryer where the hot steam will end up rising and potentially interfering with the heating mechanism, which sits directly above the basket.

black air fryer in kitchen with food on kitchen island

(Image credit: Ninja)

'This hack looks like a potential air fryer-killer and is generally pretty unsafe,' she says. Millie also points out that you can clean your air fryer by hand in a fraction of this time, so the hack can't even be called time-saving. 

'Simply remove the basket insert and wash both the insert and the drawer with hot soapy water before allowing it to dry. Air fryers typically have a non-stick coating in the drawer, so giving it a light wash to remove crumbs and oils is usually all that's needed on a day-to-day basis,' the small appliance expert says. 

black air fryer in kitchen with burgers and fries

(Image credit: Breville)

'Most air fryers (including the one in this video, which is from Cosori) have removable parts which can go in the dishwasher.' Overall, it doesn't actually save you time, and it means water is dangerously close to the air fryer's heating mechanism. 

So when it comes to cleaning shortcuts, perhaps stick to the tried and tested (and much safer!) lemon air fryer cleaning hack instead.

It's a no from us.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.