Like many households, you may consider your air fryer an essential kitchen item – but how exactly do you keep it clean? Learn steps for cleaning each of the machine's components, as well as tips for maintaining your air fryer through spills and grease.
A Quick Rundown of the Air Fryer's Components
Familiarize yourself with the parts and functions of your air fryer to ensure each component is thoroughly cleaned.
- Basket: The container where food is placed and usually the part that gets the dirtiest.
- Drawer: Houses the basket and catches oil and fat.
- Heating Element: Usually located above the basket
- Fan: Located behind the heat source; circulates hot air to ensure food is evenly cooked.
- Air Inlets and Outlets: Vents that keep your unit from overheating and should never be blocked.
Pro tip: Prolong the life of your machine by cleaning it after each use. You should also clean your air fryer as soon as it’s cool to the touch once you’re done cooking since hardened food debris can be difficult to remove.
How to Clean an Air Fryer
Follow these steps to deep clean your unit and keep it grease-free each time you need it for your next meal.
Cleaning the Basket
- To remove hardened food or debris stuck to the basket, allow the basket to soak in warm water for up to 10 minutes.
- Dampen a cloth with hot water and dish soap.
- Use the cloth to wipe down the sides and bottom, and if included, the removable tray.
- Rinse off with cool water.
Pro tip: Clean up any oil that collects at the bottom of the basket as soon as possible, or it will harden and stick.
Cleaning the Interior
- Wait until the unplugged air fryer has completely cooled.
- Dampen a cloth with warm water and use it to wipe down the heating chamber.
- Tackle any stubborn stains with a cleaning solution of equal parts water and white vinegar. Let it sit for up to 5 minutes for maximum effect.
- Make a paste of water and baking soda to clean any caked-on food or build-up and then rinse it off with warm water.
- Thoroughly dry the machine with a clean cloth.
Pro tip: You can also disinfect your air fryer using our Disinfecting Surface Cleaner, an alcohol-free, food-safe disinfectant that is proven to kill 99.9% of germs while leaving surfaces without grime or sticky residue.
Cleaning the Exterior
- Make sure the unit is unplugged and completely cool.
- Dampen a cloth with warm water and dish soap.
- Wipe clean remaining grease or hand prints.
- Dry with a clean cloth.
Pro tip: Never fully submerge the whole air fryer in water, as this can damage electrical units and cause later malfunction.
Drying and Storing an Air Fryer
- Allow the separate parts of the unit to air dry overnight.
- Only store the air dryer once it is completely dry.
- Store away from moisture (like sink or dishwasher), as well as away from heat (such as near a stovetop or oven).
Pro tip: Be sure the air dryer is completely dry before storing, as any remaining moisture can lead to bacterial growth, as well as mold and mildew.
Air Fryer Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
Only use air fryer-safe oils.
Avoid cooking sprays that contain ingredients like soy lecithin. This oil isn't air fryer-safe and can damage the unit's nonstick coating over time.
Avoid hard scrubbing and harsh tools.
Scrubbing too hard or using abrasive sponges or scouring pads can wear down your machine's nonstick coating. Also avoid using metal utensils like spatulas or tongs inside the unit since it can have a similar deteriorating effect on the nonstick coating.
Prep ahead of time to make cleaning easier.
You can keep clean up to a minimum with the help of tools like silicone or parchment paper liners, that keep splatter at bay and are sold in air fryer-compatible sizes. Common items, such as foil, are also safe to use in an air fryer.
Prolong your air fryer by skipping the dishwasher.
Some air fryers feature baskets that are dishwasher safe, but the rest of the components are usually hand wash only. Handwashing protects the machine's nonstick coating, as well as keeps food build-up and grease from accumulating and causing later malfunctions.
If you do decide to clean your unit using a dishwasher, always consult the manufacturer’s guide to confirm that each part is dishwasher safe.
Always unplug before cleaning.
Never clean your air fryer while it’s plugged in to avoid the risk of electrocution, as well as moisture getting into electric parts and deteriorating the unit and its performance.
See smoke? Turn the air fryer off.
If you see smoke or fumes from your machine while it's running, turn it off immediately. This is usually a result of accumulated grease that hasn't been properly cleaned off, and letting it remain there can lead to deteriorated cooking performance, bad flavors, and in some cases, fires.