How to Clean a Toaster Oven – Start to Finish

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Last updated on March 14, 2023

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A toaster oven is a wonderful kitchen appliance to own. These gadgets are especially great for small apartments and smaller sized families. Ovens can take forever to preheat, but toaster ovens take much less time comparably. 

Unfortunately, they do get dirty, just like normal ovens. The good thing is they are smaller than a normal oven, which makes them easier to clean. Today we will show you step by step how to clean a toaster oven properly.

The cleaning solutions you will use are natural, so you will not need to buy any harsh chemicals.

Related Article - Best Toaster Ovens Under $100

Precautions Before You Start

First and foremost, make sure that your toaster oven is unplugged and completely cooled off before you begin. It is also recommended to move it to an open space such as a large countertop for the cleaning process. This will also allow you to have your cleaning supplies handy.

Keep in mind that depending on how grimy your toaster oven is, you will need to spend a good amount of time to clean it thoroughly. Plan this time in advance so that you don’t get frustrated or impatient while cleaning. This cleaning process will take time and a lot of elbow grease to accomplish correctly.

Materials Needed:

  • Warm Water
  • Dish Soap
  • White Vinegar
  • Baking Soda

Preparing the Cleaning Solution

To prepare the cleaning solution, we used 3 cups of warm water and ¾ cup of white vinegar plus a bit of dish soap to create this.

How to Clean the Inside of a Toaster Oven 

Remove all racks and removable accessories out of the toaster oven. Use a dish rag or soft cloth to wipe the inside of your toaster oven. Do not use any abrasive scrubbers or it could scratch up the metal. 

Wring out the rag so that it is damp but not dripping. Be careful to avoid touching the heating elements as much as possible while doing this step. This part can be very tedious, but this will ultimately give you the best results.

How to Clean Toaster Oven Racks and Trays

To clean the racks and bottom tray, fill up a sink full of warm water and soap and let them sit and soak. Don't be misled by the simplicity of this technique, it's very effective.

At this point you do not need to tire yourself out, let the suds do the work for you. 

You may need to let it soak for a couple of hours to get the serious grime off. That gives you just enough time to get on with your day. There is nothing wrong with taking time to relax during a long cleaning project, so give yourself a much deserved break if you so desire.

For Tougher Grease Spots

You may run into some seriously tough spots, and if that is the case, then here is where the baking soda comes into play. Mix equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste.

Liberally slather that paste on those tough spots and again, let it sit. You can even let it sit overnight if necessary. Once it becomes mostly dry, use some of that water and vinegar solution again and spray it on so that the vinegar can start to activate the baking soda for an even deeper clean.


Paste Applied

Don’t be afraid to use some elbow grease to attack that grime. Depending on how long the stains have been there, you may need to apply the baking soda paste a couple of times. 

Right about now is where you will be reminded of the importance of staying on top of your toaster oven maintenance moving forward. At least you are almost finished with cleaning! You will be so glad to have a clean toaster oven again, so hang in there.

How to Clean a Toaster Oven Glass Door

To clean the glass, you will need to use the same water/vinegar/dish soap mixture discussed above. The glass can be more difficult to clean but it will look so nice and shiny once you are done.

That is the nicest part of a toaster oven, being able to see inside to watch your food cook. Don’t forget to clean both sides of the glass and use a dry, clean cloth to wipe it off.


Post Cleaning

Keeping up with the cleanliness of a toaster oven will help your appliance to function properly for a longer time. When you see a mess inside it, clean it up as soon as you can. 

The last thing you want is that gross grime to build up for years and years. If you use a toaster oven often, consider cleaning the inside of it once a week. The amount of time you spend cleaning it will correlate directly with how often you use it.

Our End Result

After all that talk of cleaning, here is the end result of our toaster oven. It looks a whole lot better than before. A good cleaning session like this gives one a sense of accomplishment.

A clean house is a nice house to be in. Having a freshly cleaned toaster oven sitting on your kitchen counter will certainly make your home look and feel better overall.


We hope you have the confidence and know-how to tackle cleaning your toaster oven. Keep in mind that throughout this process, time is your friend. The longer you let things soak, the better and easier it will be for you to clean it later.

You cannot soak the entire toaster oven, but you can soak the racks and bottom tray. Once you are done cleaning, go out and have a celebratory treat -- you deserve it!

About the author, Michael

Michael spends his days eating, drinking and studying the fascinating world of food. He received his Bachelors Degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis and spent much of his time at the school brewery. While school proved to be an invaluable experience, his true passion lies in exposing the hidden crannies of food for the cooking laymen.