We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Photography by sugarandcloth.com

by Elizabeth Thompson

The toaster is practically a daily use item in most homes. It gets us breakfast in an instant, warms our lunchtime bagel, and don’t say you’ve never eaten Toaster Strudel for dinner. All of this action can make for one dingy little appliance. Give your toaster the rehab it deserves.

Photography by apartmenttherapy.com

what you will need

Cleaning a toaster is not difficult or even very time consuming. But you will need a few items to make the job easier. Gather these up before you begin:

  • paper towels
  • small soft brush, like a pastry brush
  • soft cloth
  • dish soap
  • clean toothbrush
  • white vinegar (for stainless steel models)
Photography by MELANIE ACEVEDO

unplug and allow to cool

We are always hearing about the virtues of unplugging from tech, right? Better sleep, less monkey mind, no tech neck… Trust us, this type of unplugging is more than beneficial to your health and safety, too. Always, always wait to clean your toaster until it is completely cool and be sure to unplug that baby.


keep crumbs under control

When cleaning your toaster, things may get messy. If you would like to avoid a crumb-fest, throw down a few paper towels or do this over the sink. Saves time and energy post-clean.

Photography by DAVID MEREDITH

brush away strays

All of that toasting means crumbs, stray raisins, and bread chunks get stuck on. Loosen particles with a small, soft brush or pastry brush. Remember to be gentle, you don’t want to damage the toaster coils.

Photography by JASON PENNEY

scour the tray

Most toasters, but not all, have a sneaky little tray underneath to catch crumbs. Remove the tray, clean with warm soapy water, and dry thoroughly before reinserting. If your toaster doesn’t have a tray, that’s okay. There are other ways to ditch the debris.

Photography by Michael Wiltbank

shake things up

To make sure your toaster is free from as much toast waste as possible, tip it upside down (over paper towels or your sink) and give it a gentle shake. You may be amazed at the Pop Tart remnants and sourdough crumbs one small appliance can harbor.

Photography by homebunch.com

give a good brushing

Sometimes crumbs get stuck in the upper edges of toaster slots. Use a clean toothbrush to swipe these little rascals away.

Photography by wrappedupinrainbows.blogspot.com

wipe it down

Don’t forget the outside of your toaster. This popular kitchen appliance sees a lot of action, which means drips, stains, and fingerprints. Give it a good cleaning with soapy water and a soft cloth. Dry when finished.

Photography by crateandbarrel.com

shine it up

Stainless steel toasters are pretty enough to leave sitting out—if they’re sporting a high gloss gleam, that is. Use white vinegar to get that polish going and buff to a shine.

Photography by eatwell101.com

keeping it clean

To reduce the occurrence of complete overhaul cleaning, empty your toaster’s crumb tray regularly and wipe down the outside after each use. No need to hide this beauty in a cabinet, it now warrants a place on the counter. Unless, of course, you have a toaster cubby this cute.