How to Keep Your Air Fryer Clean





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You’ve got an air fryer and want to make the most of it. If you’re new to using one of these appliances or if you need a refresher on how to clean an air fryer properly, I’ve got your back. 

What you will need:

For that soft scrubbing powerNylon Cleaning Scrub Pad
For that heavy rubbing actionHeavy Duty Scouring Pads
The last resort scrubberStiff Bristle Brush
Light as a feather, but Natural Dish Soap Liquid
Last line of defense20% White Vinegar
Helps in tandem with vinegarBaking Soda

It’s effortless to keep your air fryer operating at its best. Here’s what you need to know:

Once you start using your air fryer, you’ll quickly learn how to clean it

Air fryers are easy to clean and only require a few steps.

  • Wash the basket with warm water and dish soap. 
  • If any stubborn spots on the basket won’t come off, use a sponge, brush, or scrubber designed for cleaning dishes in your sink, and then rewash them with warm water and soap. 
  • Clean up any spilled oil with paper towels, sponges/rags/old t-shirts—whatever works best for you! 
  • The same goes for the tray: wash it by hand in warm soapy water or place both pieces in the dishwasher if they’re safe for use there.

It’s best to clean the air fryer after every use

It’s best to clean the air fryer after every use. This way, you can keep your food tasting fresh and prevent food from sticking to the basket or tray. 

As a possible workaround, you can use air fryer liners, which will help to make cleaning a breeze. You can learn more about them in my article here.

Cleaning the air fryer after every use also helps prevent grease and odors from developing inside your air fryer.

Sponge, soap, and water are the basic trio of cleaning

Sponge, soap, and water are the basic trio of cleaning

The basket, tray, and drip pan can be hand-washed with gentle soap and warm water. A sponge is best for cleaning these parts as it will not scratch them.

When cleaning your air fryer basket, try not to let any food dry on it if you do, rewash the piece in hot soapy water and wipe dry before placing back into the fryer. 

You can also use this time to clean out any stuck-on bits from around the basket’s edges and corners that might have accumulated while cooking.

Suppose you aren’t sure how much damage you’ll cause by using dish soap or other cleaning products on your air fryer.

In that case, I recommend using plain old warm water and a mild detergent like Ivory Liquid dish soap. Instead of harsher chemicals like bleach or vinegar (which could ruin some plastics).

If there are some sticky or hard-to-remove bits, then you might want to look into something a bit rougher to clean your air fryer, but more about this is below.

Common stains can be removed easily with a damp cloth or dish soap

Please don’t use harsh chemicals on your air fryer as they may damage its surface. 

The most common stains are grease and sauce, which can be removed easily with a damp cloth or dish soap. If you’re using water, heat it until it’s warm to the touch but not hot (you don’t want to risk damaging your air fryer!).

If you’re worried about getting out more stubborn dirt and grime, try using a non-abrasive sponge made of nylon mesh

You can also use a stiff bristle brush if there are tough baked-on food particles. If you are going to use it, remember that you need one that is plastic like this one from Amazon. Metal ones would scratch and damage your air fryer.

Scrubbing pad and warm water to remove sticky residue

Scrubbing pad and warm water to remove sticky residue

You will need a scrubbing pad and warm water to remove sticky residue from your air fryer. 

Using a sponge or dishcloth is recommended. This can be any household item that will work effectively while being gentle on your air fryer’s surface.

You also want to avoid using hot water as this could damage the surface of your air fryer and make it more difficult to clean in the future. 

The best temperature for cleaning an air fryer is around room temperature or slightly warmer than that. 

You don’t want boiling water coming into contact with its exterior parts, either.

It’s also essential not to use abrasive cleaners when cleaning an air fryer even if they don’t claim to leave behind residue!

This includes steel wool pads and vinegar, and baking soda solutions. 

Both may seem safe but are pretty damaging. And should be only considered as a last line of defense.

Over time, they will scratch away at whatever material makes up your appliance’s internal components (making them harder for heat to get through).

Finally, please avoid using chemical cleaners such as bleach solutions or ammonia due to their volatile nature. 

These chemicals could react negatively with other materials within your appliance, causing additional damage over time even after it seems everything looks clean again!

Clean after every use

Cleaning an air fryer is generally straightforward, so long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

You’ll need to unplug the appliance, disconnect it from any power source and wipe it down with a damp cloth or sponge.

The manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your particular model will vary slightly from those of other brands and models.

Some types of cookware are dishwasher safe, but air fryers are not. Many experts warn against putting the whole air fryer in them (due to their electric heating element).

While this may seem like a hassle at first (to follow some manual or the steps mentioned above), it ultimately saves time and energy in the long run because you are going to get used to following these and you will be air fryer cleaning master or mistress in no time.

Hard water can create a white film over your air fryer

Hard water can create a white film over your air fryer

If you have hard water, after a few uses, you may start to notice a white film over your air fryer. 

This film is mineral deposits that are building up inside the unit. It can be removed with simple cleaning methods and help keep your air fryer working at its best.

To get rid of the white film on your air fryer you are going to do the thing I warn you before. It is last resort solution, but the only possible to fight the hard water:

  • Add 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda into the basket holder of your appliance (without food) and turn it on for 20 minutes. 
  • Then turn off and sit for another 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Now that there’s nothing in there but cleanliness and freshness! 

The vinegar will dissolve hard-water deposits, while the baking soda helps clear out any lingering smells from cooking meats.

The terrible smell after proper cleanup?

Suppose your air fryer smells terrible after a while, even if you’ve cleaned it properly. In that case, you may want to run another cycle post-cleanup. 

If your water is hard or the smell persists, vinegar can help fix both.

  • First, use a scrubbing pad and warm water to wipe down the inside of your air fryer. Don’t use soap or detergent they can leave residues that will attract dirt and odors in the future. 
  • Then pour about a 1/2 cup of vinegar into the basket and start your air fryer. Vinegar should take about 20 minutes to vaporize and remove any old smells lingering inside. 

Clean your air fryer before 1st use

If you’re a first-time user of an air fryer, you’ll want to clean it before using it for the first time. Otherwise, your first meal with this device could be tainted by the smell of other people’s cooking and past foods.

It’s also a good idea to clean your air fryer regularly so that any old food or grease doesn’t build up inside and make everything gross.

When cleaning, make sure not to use harsh chemicals (or ammonia-based cleaners) on any parts that come in contact with food. It’s best practice to avoid these products entirely when cleaning kitchen equipment.

A clean air fryer will keep food tasting its best

Your air fryer should be cleaned before first use and after every use.

A clean air fryer will keep food tasting its best.

Suppose you’ve had to throw away an entire batch of fries because they were too greasy, burnt or smelled weird. In that case, you know how important it is to care for your appliance correctly. 

With proper care, your air fryer will remain fresh-smelling and last much longer than a dirty one would!


Using an air fryer is easy, but cleaning it can be tricky. If you want to clean your air fryer and keep it smelling fresh thoroughly, then follow the steps mentioned in this article.

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4 responses to “How to Keep Your Air Fryer Clean”

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    […] best features of the Philips Air Fryer is its non-stick surface, which makes cleanup a breeze. To clean the basket and tray, simply use a soft sponge or cloth and some warm, soapy water. Avoid using abrasive […]

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