4 Simple Air Fryer Cleaning Methods

Love your air fryer but hate cleaning it? Same. If your air fryer is billowing with smoke or funky fumes – it’s crying out for a clean. Here are four brilliantly easy air fryer cleaning methods to keep your favourite kitchen appliance nice and sweet for each and every cook!

Have good air fryer cleaning habits from the start

Without wanting to sound like your mum… if you have a brand spanking new air fryer, it’s a good rule to have that you JUST CLEAN IT EVERY DAMN TIME that you use it. Like anything, prevention is better (and a heck of a lot easier) than cure. Air fryers included.

Every time you cook something in your air fryer, oil and food particles are blown around. Even if the air fryer doesn’t look that dirty, it’s still a good idea to give it a wipe-over at the very least. If you often see smoke and your air fryer smells funky while you’re cooking, they are both sure-fire indicators that your air fryer needs a clean.

SAFETY NOTE: Not all air fryers are the same. DO read the air fryer’s instruction manual to see if it’s safe to add liquid to the drawer or if parts are dishwasher safe.

air fryer cleaning
A clean air fryer is a HEALTHY air fryer. So don’t be afraid to clean it y’all. Source: Bigstock

Air fryer cleaning tips 101:

  • If your basket mesh is clogged with bits of food debris, use a toothpick to poke through and dislodge them.
  • Lining the bottom of the air fryer drawer with foil makes for an easy clean-up – just lift it away and pop it in the bin after cooking.
  • Don’t use an oven cleaner on baked-on food or grease. Make a paste of bi-carb soda and water and spread that over baked-on grease and let sit for 10 minutes. Give a light scrub and continue cleaning.
  • Don’t try to cheat the cleaning system by using a piece of foil or paper on the base of the actual air fryer basket as it prevents the air from circulating around your food properly. Chances are your basket might be a bit cleaner, but your food won’t be cooked evenly!
  • Most air fryers have a ‘non-stick’ coating so need to be looked after. Using a metal wool sponge or scourer (as tempting as it is to use one) will most definitely scratch the coating and contribute to it being more stick than non-stick over time. Try a sponge such as a Scrub Daddy for something a little less abrasive.
  • It’s not just the drawer you need to clean! Wipe over the whole exterior of the machine and then onto the inside with a warm damp cloth and don’t forget the drawer tracks – they’re a great catch for oil buildup.

4 Easy air fryer cleaning methods to try at home

1. A TikTok deep air fryer clean

TikTok cleaning extraordinaire Carolina Mccauley shared how she deep cleans her air fryer and I have to say, it’s impressive. There’s no part of the kitchen appliance that doesn’t receive a little touch-up – and she just uses basic pantry items to do it. Easy! Take a look at the video below.

@carolina.mccauley 💧 How to deep clean your air-fryer ☺️ #homehackswithcarolina #cleaninghacks #homehacks #cleaningtips ♬ Choking on Flowers – Fox Academy

2. The can’t be bothered dishwasher method

The easiest cleaning method of them all, you’re one 65°C heavy wash cycle away from cleanliness. Many of the Philips brand air fryers can go in the dishwasher for a super speedy and not at all messy clean-up. Obviously, that doesn’t include the main body of the machine, just the drawer and basket. REMINDER: Check your specific air fryer manual for which parts are safe for the dishwasher.

air fryer cleaning
SOME air fryers baskets can go in the dishwasher for super easy cleanup! Source: Supplied

3. A popular 3-minute soapy heat-up and tip hack

It’s common for people to also clean their air fryer by adding just a squirt of dishwashing detergent and enough water to cover the base of the air fryer basket and heating it up. Turn the air fryer on for three minutes to soften and lift baked-on grease then tip the liquid out, wipe out with a paper towel and leave to air dry completely *chef’s kiss*. Watch it below to see it in action!

@victrxia i wasn’t expecting it to be that bad #airfryercleaning ♬ Ylang Ylang – FKJ & ((( O )))

4. The old-fashioned scrub-a-dub-dub

Of course, the fail-safe way to clean your air fryer is the good old-fashioned method of just washing the drawer and basket in the sink with soapy hot water, giving it a scrub just as you would any other pan after cooking. Just make sure it’s completely dry before putting back together – no one wants their crunchy hot chips rubbing against a rusty air fryer basket.

air fryer cleaning
Sink, suds and sponge: air fryer cleaning the old-fashioned way. Source: Bigstock

There you have it, a sink-full of ways to get your air fryer clean with (hopefully) minimal elbow grease. Tell us, how often do you clean your air fryer? Are you in the ‘every single time I use it’ camp or do you ‘stretch it out between cooks’ as long as possible?

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Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

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