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Air fryers are excellent kitchen appliances, capable of making delicious snacks and dishes in less time, with less effort, and with less mess than other methods. Pretty dreamy, right? Their ease of use has made them popular worldwide. However, that doesn’t mean that they needn’t ever be touched by soap. 

Keeping your air fryer clean is essential for maintaining its performance, extending its lifespan, and ensuring the continued creation of healthy and delicious meals. So the Kitchenways team has decided to share our step-by-step guide to cleaning an air fryer. Keep reading to keep air frying to your heart’s content.

Why Do Air Fryers Need To Be Cleaned?

Although air fryers use little to no oil for the cooking process, minimising grease issues, food bits and grease can still accumulate. These nasty little bits can cause your air fryer to smell or even begin to smoke. 

Therefore, it is recommended that you clean after every use to keep your air fryer free of food and sticky residue.

Steps To Clean An Air Fryer

Follow these steps to for a spick and span air fryer, every time it needs a cleaning!

Step 1: Unplug And Cool Down

Before you start cleaning, ensure that it is unplugged and let is cool completely. This step is important for your safety and for the prevention of any possible accidents.

Step 2: Remove Accessories

Take out any removable parts, like the air fryer basket, drip tray, and any other detachable components. In most air fryers, these items are dishwasher safe, as they are in our 12l air fryer, but always refer to the instruction manual for specific cleaning guidelines.

Step 3: Hand Wash Or Add To Dishwasher

Next, wash the removable parts by hand using warm water and soap or place them in the dishwasher. If hand washing, it is important to use a non-abrasive sponge, soft bristle scrub brush or damp microfiber cloth to remove any residue or food particles Abrasive sponges can damage the nonstick coating, so these should always be avoided. 

Step 4: Clean The Interior

With a clean damp cloth or sponge, wipe the interior of the air fryer. Be gentle, and again, avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes that may damage the non-stick coating. If there is baked-on grease or some stuck-on food that won’t budge, use hot soapy water and a little elbow grease, but keep it abrasive with a soft cloth. 

If this doesn’t do the trick, you may be in need of a deep clean. In this case, make a paste from baking soda and white vinegar. Smear this paste over the tricky spots, leave it to sit for 10 minutes, and use hot water to rinse it off. 

Step 5: Clean The Outside

Now you can use a clean cloth to wipe the exterior of the air fryer to remove any dirt or grease. Avoid getting water on the electrical components. For stainless steel exteriors, you can use stainless steel cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water for a streak-free shine.

Step 6: Clean The Heating Element

This step can be skipped for everyday cleaning needs, but since the heating element is a crucial part of the air fryer, it does require periodic cleaning. Use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to gently remove any fat or debris from the heating coil. 

Step 7: Dry And Reassemble

And with that, you’re just about done! It’s time to ensure that everything is dry before putting it together again. Moisture can lead to unpleasant odours, so it’s best to use a paper towel after you clean an air fryer, to ensure it’s dry as can be. Once it is, reattach the parts and accessories.

Tips For The Best Way To Clean Air Fryer

So, you know how to clean an air fryer now, but, there is always more to learn. Here are our top tips for cleaning your air fryer perfectly, without damaging it in any way:

  1. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning agents, which can damage the non-stick coating or other components of the air fryer. Rather stick to mild dish soap or specialised cleaners.
  2. Just because an air fryer used much less oil and fat than a deep fryer, doesn’t mean it won’t get greasy. So if there are stubborn stains or residues on the frying basket or other removable parts, you can soak them in warm soapy water for a while to help loosen the debris before cleaning.
  3. Be cautious with the non-stick coating. To preserve its quality, use non-abrasive cleaning tools and avoid using metal utensils that can scratch or chip the coating.
  4. Pay attention to any crevices or hard-to-reach areas in the air fryer. Use a soft brush or a cotton swab to clean these areas thoroughly. The main unit should never be submerged in water, so this is the best way to clean these parts.
  5. If your air fryer has a filter or ventilation system, refer to the instruction manual on how to clean or replace it. Regular maintenance of the filter helps ensure proper airflow and prevents the accumulation of dust or debris.
  6. Regularly clean your air fryer after each use to prevent the buildup of grease or food residue, which can affect the appliance’s performance and produce unpleasant odours.