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How to Clean a Toaster Oven with Baking Soda

As I stare at my toaster over in the aftermath of an especially messy breakfast, I wondered how to clean a toaster oven with baking soda.

To clean a toaster oven with baking soda, create a  paste with baking soda & water. In a cool, unplugged toaster oven, spread the paste on the inside of the oven, avoiding the heating elements.  Let sit at least 12 hours or more. For minor cleaning, 1 hour should suffice. Wipe clean with a damp cloth & warm water.

After all, our food comes in close contact with the small size of our toaster oven, so I wasn’t sure I wanted harsh chemicals in there baking with tomorrow’s breakfast.

But there’s more to keeping your toaster oven clean, so let’s dive in and answer some additional questions related to how to clean a toaster oven with baking soda.

If you’re looking to buy any small kitchen appliance, don’t forget to check out my Recommended Products Page (click to see my page) which breaks down all my best picks by category.

I always hand-select items that I either own, have used, or have researched well to ensure they are great items. I also give not only top of the line as well as inexpensive alternatives so my choices work for any budget.

How do you clean the inside of a toaster oven?

A mix of baking soda and water or white vinegar is a great way to clean toaster ovens. Just avoid the heating elements and make sure the oven is off and not plugged in. Allow the mixture to sit for up to 24 hours depending on how dirty it is. Wipe clean with warm water and a cloth.

To clean the roof of your toaster oven, once unplugged and all racks and trays have been removed, I like to slip it upside down.

Then clean the roof the same way you would clean the rest of the toaster oven.

For baking racks and trays inside your toaster oven, remove and set in your sink or on a flat baking tray.  Sprinkle a little baking soda on them and spray or pour a small amount of white vinegar on them.

The baking soda will start to foam. When it does, go ahead and fill your sink with hot water and drop the racks and trays in, leaving the baking soda mixture on them.

Let them sit in the water overnight for big jobs or an hour or two for minor cleaning.

They should easily rinse and wipe clean with a sponge and then, once dry(ish), they can go right back into your now clean toaster oven!

One thing people don’t always think about with a toaster oven is how hot the outside gets and where you plan to use it.

If you’ve ever wondered about whether a Toaster Oven Can Go Inside a Wooden Cabinet (click to read my post), check out my article to find out the right way to do that!

How does baking soda work as a cleaner?

Baking Soda is great for cleaning because its naturally alkaline nature chemically reacts to water and vinegar, which causes dirt and grease to dissolve quickly and easily.

Baking Soda, sodium bicarbonate, is an all-natural substance present in all living things. While most people know it for baking, it’s properties are great for a wide variety of things.

It also has a great abrasive quality if not diluted too much, so it’s a great alternative to scouring cleansers like Comet. Since it’s all-natural, baking soda is extremely safe and effective cleaning a variety of household items such as:

  • Glass
  • Sinks, tubs, and tile
  • Microwaves
  • Plastic
  • Your teeth (which is why you often see it in toothpaste)
  • Enamel

Of course, since we bake with it, you should obviously know that baking soda is completely non-toxic and safe to use around food, kids, and pets.

how to clean a toaster oven with baking soda Kitchen Appliance HQ dirty toaster oven

How do you clean the heating element in a toaster oven?

Clean the heating element in your toaster oven by using a mild soap and a clean, lint-free rag on a cool, unplugged toaster oven. Gently wipe the coils ensuring no residue from the cleaning rag remains. It’s OK to have water & soap on the rag but avoid getting the heater element significantly wet.

This gets a little trickier as we don’t want to put harsh chemicals or even baking soda on the heating element.

For one, if we don’t wipe every ounce of residue off, you’ll get that delicious toasted baking soda smell the next time you use it. For another, we don’t want to risk damaging the element, forcing you to buy a new one.

But if little Jimmy managed to scrape the cheese off his pizza when grabbing a slice, we do need to clean the heating elements in our toaster oven.

Of course, it goes without saying (but I will) that we need to unplug the toaster oven and not do anything until it’s completely cool.

Damp a sponge or cloth in some warm water. Then begin gently wiping the length of the heating element back and forth. If you’re following all my how to clean a toaster oven with baking soda steps, this should be the 1st thing you do.

No need to clean the oven only to make a mess cleaning the heater elements.

As I said at the start, avoid using soap, or other cleaners on the heating elements as they could damage it. Make sure to let everything dry first before plugging the toaster oven back in or using it.

Can you mix baking soda and vinegar to clean?

Yes. Combining baking soda and vinegar makes for a great all-natural cleaning product. Vinegar works as a cleaner because of its acidity, making it a solvent great for cleaning grease, but it also has deodorizing properties too.

We addressed how baking soda works as a cleaner above.

When you mix baking soda and vinegar together, they can be an unstoppable cleaner, and of course, are great to use around kids and pets.

Aside from being great to clean a toaster over, combining the two ingredients are also great for cleaning:

1. Disposals

Pour a half cup of baking soda into the opening of the disposal, then a cup of white vinegar. For extra cleaning power, then pour some boiling water down the drain followed by ice cubes and turn on the disposal.  Rock salt and/or a lemon or lime wedge also work great for sanitizing and cleaning the blades as it turns.

2. Bathroom Cleaner

Mix 2/3 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup liquid soap, 1/2 cup water, and 2 tablespoons white vinegar. Mix and pour into an empty (and clean) spray bottle.

How do you clean a toaster oven naturally?

Clean a toaster oven naturally by avoiding any chemical-based cleaners and instead use a combination of water, white vinegar, and mild soap on a cleaning rag. Always use a 2nd rag to wipe away all remaining residue from inside the toaster oven.

That being said, there are some great all-natural store-bought products too for those that don’t want to make their own.

When I searched Amazon Prime just now, eliminating anything under 4 stars, only 2 items came up that had a good number of reviews.

I prefer to find items on Amazon with hundreds of reviews so I truly know that it’s more than just a friend or 2 of the owners.

Those 2 items are Better Life Natural All-Purpose Cleaner and Puracy Multi-Surface Cleaner Concentrate.

Puracy is all-plant based and formulated by doctors. It has almost 5 stars and is an Amazon’s Choice product.

Better Life is also an Amazon’s Choice product with almost 5 stars and is ” Free of VOCs, alkylphenol surfactants, and petroleum. No rinsing or residue, just wipe clean. Not tested on animals”.

Just click either of those links to check them out on Amazon.

How do you get baked on grease out of a toaster oven?

To get rid of baked-on grease from a toaster oven, make a paste with baking soda, water, and white vinegar. Apply the paste on the interior, avoiding the heater element. Also, ensure the oven is cool and unplugged. Allow the paste to sit overnight. Wipe with a warm, wet rag. Repeat if necessary.

Unlike your oven, most toaster ovens are made of aluminum. Thus, you should not use typical oven cleaners like Easy-Off in a toaster oven.

As with any cleaning of an electric appliance, start by unplugging it and make sure it’s cool inside. Give the inside of the toaster a wipe with a warm, damp sponge to loosen any debris and remove any loose chunks.

Using the same steps we’ve already talked about for how to clean a toaster oven with baking soda, go ahead and spread the mixture of baking soda and water on the surface where the baked-on grease is.

In this case, however, we don’t need to wait overnight or even hours; usually, just a few minutes will do.

Then use a scrubbing pad (I would avoid using a brillo or other metal mesh pad as they could scratch) and a little warm water, begin scrubbing the greasy areas. You can add more baking soda & water paste as needed.

Grease not coming up?

Spray a little white vinegar on the grease and allow to sit for a minute. Continue scrubbing adding more baking soda paste as needed.

Hopefully, that answers all your questions about how to clean a toaster oven with baking soda! If not, comment below!

Final Thoughts

In this article, we took a look at something that happens in every kitchen; a dirty, baked-on, toaster oven.

We explored why you might want to not use harsh cleaners in your toaster oven, how to get rid of baked-on grease in a toaster oven, whether vinegar works to clean one and the best way to clean the heating elements in a toaster oven.

Ultimately, we explored how to clean a toaster oven with baking soda to get yours spotless with no harsh chemicals to get on your food the next time you use one.

What’s your favorite thing to cook in a toaster oven?

If you’re looking to buy any small kitchen appliance, don’t forget to check out my Recommended Products Page (click to see my page) which breaks down all my best picks by category.

I always hand-select items that I either own, have used, or have researched well to ensure they are great items. I also give not only top of the line as well as inexpensive alternatives so my choices work for any budget.

Photo credits:

Closeup shot of the Breville stainless steel toaster oven by Your Best Digs is licensed by CC2.0

Toaster Oven by Sarah Marriage is licensed by CC2.0