How to Clean A Toaster (Pop Up & Toaster Oven)


Toasters, the unwanted wedding gift, the college dorm necessity, and the perpetuator of our addiction to carbs.

Anyway, that aside,we get asked all kinds of toaster cleaning questions.  And, I can’t blame you, because the toaster is this compartmentalized gadget that gets placed neatly in a corner and all the dirty little secrets are lurking on the racks or the crumb tray.  To make matters more complicated, there are two kinds of toasters out there: pop up toasters and toaster ovens.  Each needs to be cleaned a little differently, so we’ll handle both here.

Hi, ok, so you’ve got a pop-up toaster.  Cool.  I don’t, well, I didn’t.  But, what I did do was head over to Value Village and grab one, so I spent 7 hard earned dollars on a used toaster, and even it was clean.  So I had Chad jam it up with a bunch of toast and now it’s back to a reasonable state of crustiness.

Keep in mind that toaster is not like a BBQ which kind of tastes better with charred bits at the bottom.  A dirty toaster can smell, smoke, catch fire and make your food taste bad.

You have to clean these toasters out ideally once every couple of weeks and a more thorough clean once a month.

How To Clean a Pop Up Toaster

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • small cleaning toothbrush,
  • nail polish remover,
  • cream of tarter,
  • dish soap,
  • sponge,and
  • cloth.


1. For starters, unplug the toaster.  Wait until it’s cool to clean it.

2. Then, remove the crumb tray carefully (it’s going to drop crumbs everywhere) and brush it off into the sink or garbage.  Then, soak it with dish liquid if it’s greasy.  If not, just give it a wipe and set aside.

3. Now, onto those crazy coils.  You obviously can’t remove the coil, so you need to brush it clean.   You can start this entire process by turning the toaster upside down and shaking it over the sink or garbage to free up some of those crumbs or burnt pieces of toast.  Dampen your cleaning toothbrush with water, and use it to brush out any particles on the sides trapped in the coils.  Start at the top and work your way to the bottom, keep a paper towel under the toaster while doing this to avoid getting crumbs everywhere.  You really need to jiggle the toothbrush around, especially closer to the bottom of the toaster in order to free up some crumbs.  You can’t rinse the coils, which is why we are only using water and no soap.

4. When that’s done, clean the exterior with your sponge and soapy water.  If the exterior is stainless steel, you can make a paste of cream of tartar and water to scrub the gunk off and shine it up.  Feel free to use the toothbrush to clean greasy spots on the toaster exterior, that works really well too.

5. Now here’s a cool tip, if you have colour transfers on your toaster from plastic bags, you can use a bit of nail polish remover to get any marks off.  Now, leave it to dry for a day or so, that way the moisture gets out and doesn’t electrocute you.  Leave a note or something to let your family know not to use it.

All done!  Now you know how to clean your pop-up toaster.

How To Clean a Toaster Oven

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • nail polish remover,
  • cream of tarter,
  • dish soap,
  • sponge,and
  • cloth.


1. Unplug the toaster and wait until cooled.

2. Now, make a paste of cream of tartar and water.  This will be safe for the interior, wire racks, exterior and glass door!

3. Remove racks,trays and crumb tray to start.  Apply the paste to the racks and let them sit in the sink to soak.  We usually line ours with tinfoil to make cleanup easier, especially because a lot of things with cheese get created in our toaster. It’s quite easy to change out the tinfoil and so nice to not have to deal with that tough mess.

4. Now here’s where things get a little spicy.  Add the paste to the soft side of of your sponge.  Apply the paste to the interior of the toaster, then the exterior.  Once applied, return to the interior and scrub, then repeat this on the exterior.  If you get a non-scratch sponge you can use the scrubby side, and if not, you can scratch the exterior so be careful.  Apply more paste to challenging stains like burnt cheese or scorch marks.

5. Use a cloth dampened with water to ‘rinse’ the interior and then move to the exterior and then buff everything dry.  Finally, clean the racks and trays in the sink. Put the whole thing back together and you’re good to toast so long as it has been thoroughly dried.

6. As a quick tip (as stated above), if you notice any colour transfers, you can use a bit of nail polish remover to get rid of it.

All done!  Now you know how to clean your toaster oven.

Happy toasting!

Previous articleHow To Make A Bed in Two Minutes!
Next articleThe Truth About Air Fresheners
Melissa Maker is the host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube, editor-at-large of, and founder of Clean My Space (a well-known Toronto-based cleaning service). She's been knee-deep in the cleaning game since 2006. Follow Melissa: @MelissaMaker on Instagram, SnapChat & Twitter!


  1. ok check the video that was great. But how you remove dark stain from the inside of the toasted oven.OH that the upper inside.Thank You

  2. I left my baking racks in my self cleaning oven while my oven was self cleaning itself. When the cleaning process was finished the racks came out dark and stained. How do I restore them to their beautiful former selves? Please give me my shining baking racks back!

  3. Can I tell are my hero!!I thought our tarnished toaster was just going to have to live that way but now thanks to you, I’m the proud owner of a sparkling toaster AND toaster oven! Thanks Melissa, you’re awesome!!

Tell us what YOU think!!