How to Clean an Air Fryer


Fried foods might taste unbeatable but they certainly do nothing for your waistline or overall health.

Luckily, you don’t need to miss out on that lip-smacking golden bounty if you invest in a new air fryer.

Using one of these nifty appliances allows you to use a fraction of the amount of oil you’d typically use when frying food without impacting the flavor or crispiness too dramatically.

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Before we give you a step-by-step guide to cleaning an air fryer the easy way, some general guidance it pays to bear in mind…

Cleaning an Air Fryer: Little and Often

While it might not be the most glamorous hack, you should clean your air fryer after every use if you want to minimize the overall time you’ll spend cleaning.

You can cleave the components into what you’ll need to wash after every use and what you can wash from time to time.

What Should You Wash After Each Use?

You can treat the basket, pan, and tray just like any other dish in the kitchen: wash with warm, soapy water.

If you’re not a fan of washing dishes by hand, the majority of air fryers come with dishwasher-friendly components. You should closely check the instruction manual to be sure.

Whether you wash these pieces by hand or in the dishwasher, make certain to dry everything thoroughly before you reassemble your air fryer.

Getting rid of any stubborn grease that’s splattered over the pan or basket is as easy as soaking it. Leave the parts to sit in some hot, soapy water for 30 minutes. Once softened, the grime should come clear if you gently use a scrubbing brush.

Cleaning the inside is a cinch once you’ve removed the basket, pan, and tray. All that’s needed here is a quick once-over with a damp cloth. You could use a little dish soap if things are looking dirty. This, though, is why you should clean up after each use then you shouldn’t even need any soap. Wipe the interior dry completely before you use your air fryer again.

What Should You Wash Occasionally?

The lack of oil in an air fryer means you should get correspondingly little greasy residue left behind. As a result, you won’t really need to clean the outside of the air fryer after every use. Unless you’re doing something wrong, you really shouldn’t expect much mess on the outside.

When you do need to wipe down the outside – every two or three uses should be more than enough – unplug your air fryer than blitz the outside with a damp cloth.

You should also periodically check the heating coil. If there’s any oil or debris accumulating here, switch your air fryer off and let it cool down properly. Wipe the coil with a damp cloth just as though you were cleaning the heating element on your electric stove.

Now you have a general overview of cleaning your air fryer, we’ll highlight a couple of things you should definitely avoid before we walk you through cleaning your new appliance step-by-step.

What To Avoid When Cleaning An Air Fryer

Often, knowing what not to do is just as critical as knowing how to pull a job off.

Take note of the following:

  • Do not use metal utensils or any kind of abrasive cleaning pad when you’re working on your air fryer. Since the vast bulk of air fryers are non-stick, any abrasive agent will scratch and impair that non-stick coating
  • Do not immerse your air fryer in water. You can remove the parts we outlined above for cleaning in hot water but never under any circumstances submerge the whole unit. It might seem too obvious to point out but air fryers are electric appliances so keep yours well clear of the sink.

Right, with that general background in place, it’s time to get down to the main event. If you’ve been paying attention and not allowed the dirt in your air fryer to build up through neglect, what follows should be a quick and easy job.

How To Clean an Air Fryer The Easy Way

First, you need to grab some simple supplies…

What You Need

  • Microfiber cloths (cotton will do at a pinch)
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge (non-abrasive)
  • Toothbrush

What To Do

  1. Unplug your air fryer
  2. Give the inside and outside a once-over
  3. Clean the element
  4. Remove all ingrained food debris
  5. Clean the pan and basket
  6. Soak the pan and basket
  7. Dry and reassemble your air fryer

1) Unplug your air fryer

Turn your air fryer off and remove the plug.

Make sure you give the unit ample time to cool down. You should leave it standing for at least 30 minutes.

If you remove the pan and basket, you should find the appliance cools more rapidly.

2) Give the inside and outside a once-over

Carry out an initial sweep of the inside and outside using a damp microfiber cloth. If you don’t have one of these to hand, cotton cloth works well.

Once you’ve blitzed the air fryer, use a sponge – make sure it’s non-abrasive – and some hot water to clean the interior thoroughly.

3) Clean the element

Now it’s time to turn your air fryer upside down. Using the same non-abrasive sponge, wipe the heating element thoroughly so no grease, oil or grime remains.

4) Remove all ingrained food debris

You might find some hard and ingrained food debris that won’t come off when you’re washing the inside, outside, or heating element.

To reiterate, if you follow our opening advice and clean your air fryer each time you use it, this aspect is something you should avoid.

If, however, you’ve let things slide, there’s an easy workaround…

Mix up a paste from baking soda and water then use a non-abrasive sponge or a soft brush. Work on these stubborn spots and the residue should come away with ease.

5) Clean the pan and basket

As we mentioned, the pan and basket are typically dishwasher-safe. Clean in that manner if you prefer.

If not, all you’ll need is your non-abrasive sponge and some hot, soapy water to clean by hand.

6) Soak the pan and basket

If you still find any lingering dirt, don’t waste your time scrubbing. Soak the pan and basket for 30 minutes in some hot, soapy water. All residue should now come away with little effort required.

7) Dry and reassemble your air fryer

Dry all components by leaving them to air dry for a few hours.

If you can’t wait, use a clean and dry cotton cloth to thoroughly hand dry your air fryer.


If you take the trouble to clean your air fryer on a regular basis, you shouldn’t encounter any snags with stuck-on food or greasy residue. Neglect this simple maintenance and you’ll end up with impaired performance and a torrid cleaning job on your hands when you get around to it.

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