If you’ve never thought of cleaning your toaster, you’re not alone. Most people chalk it up as an unnecessary chore. Yet, toast “experts” worldwide will tell you that a daily three-minute cleaning routine will elevate your toast from meh to marvelous. Ready to up your toast game? Follow these three simple steps:

Decrumb the Toaster

First things first: unplug the toaster.

 Next, locate the crumb tray – normally visible by the handle extending out from under the control switch panel. If you’ve never cleaned your toaster, you may let out a nervous giggle or two when you slide out the crumb tray. You’re likely to find lots of crumbs, pieces of burnt toast, and possibly some other unidentified goop. Dump the contents of the tray into the compost bin or garbage. If you only find crumbs, lucky you! If your kids have experimented with toaster-grilled-cheese-sandwiches, the mess may require more elbow grease. Crumb trays can be hand washed, and stubborn gunk can be scrubbed away with an old toothbrush. Once dry, put crumb tray back before making toast again.

Flip the Toaster

Again, only perform cleaning tasks when your toaster is unplugged.

Although it’s impossible to deep clean the inside of the toaster, flipping it upside down over the compost bin or garbage is highly effective. Once you’ve flipped it over and shook most crumbs loose, look down into the slots for small pieces of toast that may be stuck in the heating elements. Sometimes a gentle tap or two will dislodge the toast bits, otherwise you may have to use extra-long needle nose pliers, extra-long tweezers or a pair of scissors.

Wipe the Toaster

Now that your toaster is toast free, it’s time to wipe it down. Whether your toaster’s exterior is plastic or stainless steel, you can easily remove fingerprints, oily smudges and crumbs with a damp microfibre cloth. Buff it dry with a dry microfibre cloth, and leave it unplugged until it’s time to use again.

Pro tip: Although they don’t generate oven-high heat, toasters get really hot, and have the potential to be a fire hazard. Consumer affairs agencies in Canada and the U.S.A. both recommend that toasters should be unplugged after use.

 

 

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