7 Simple Steps to Help You Keep Your Air Fryer Clean

How to Clean an Air Fryer

An air fryer is a small coffee maker-sized machine that helps us to fry food using very little oil. It works similar to convection ovens by rotating heated air inside the machine to fry food and make it crisp. Air fryers are great for cooking limited quantity food and have numerous health benefits as they do not use much oil. 

However, cleaning an air-fryer is a tricky job most users fail to understand. A typical air fryer has a coil at the bottom, a cooking basket, a cooking tray, and a pan. The pan usually has a handle that is detachable in some models. 

The outer egg-shaped appliance has an LED display and touch-sensitive user controls in high-end models. Many models also use regular buttons instead of touch sensors. There is usually a button for basket or tray release after cooking. Most air fryers have concealed handles that can lift to clean.

5 Important Parts to Clean in an Air Fryer 

Most of the air fryer models on the market are dishwasher friendly, and the main supplies you'll need to clean are: 

  • Dishwashing liquid.
  • A soft-bristled brush with a handle.
  • Dishwashing sponge.
  • Toothpicks.
  • Soft microfiber cloth.

Place the food to be fried on the basket and place it atop the cooking tray, which collects all the grease and fat drippings. Ensure you use the basket always to prevent the food from sticking to the cooking tray. Once you finish cooking, soak the cooking basket and pan in hot water for half an hour, and pop it into the dishwasher with other items.

1. Outer Surface Cleaning

Clean the outer surface with a soft, damp cloth that does not scratch the LED panel. Wipe the exterior clean after use to retain its shiny exterior and prevent food splatters from sticking to the machine. Even small crumbs can get stuck to the outer surface as the device heats up while working. 

The best way is to wipe it with a microfiber cloth before switching on the machine and once when you finish cooking. Spend a few seconds to wipe the exterior during every use to keep your device new-looking for ages. 

2. Cleaning the Cooking Basket and Pan

If you are hand-washing the basket, ensure you let it soak in hot water with a good dishwashing liquid for half an hour. Clean using the soft side of the dishwashing sponge, even if it is steel. The inner sides have non-stick coatings, and they will peel off with time if you use hard scrubbers. Turn the basket over and clean the other side to remove any food residue. 

3. Cooking Tray Clean-Up 

The collecting tray will sometimes have unique swirl designs, which are hard to clean with a regular dishwashing brush. Soak it in water and dishwashing liquid until the grease is removable, and use a brush with a handle to reach the nooks and corners. Select a brush with soft bristles and never use metal scrubbers or brushes with steel wire bristles. 

4. Power Cord and the Plugging Point

Most people ignore the power cord and the point where it gets plugged in, which sometimes causes the air fryer to malfunction. Dust accumulates over the years, and it is best to clean it at least once every six months using a soft earbud or a toothpick and some cotton. Check the cord point for dust accumulation if the fryer doesn't turn on or shuts down improperly. 

5. Coil Cleaning

Clean the coil by dipping a soft cloth dipped in hot water once the coil has cooled down. If necessary, dip it in soapy water to clean any hard to remove residue and wipe it again with a damp water cloth. Use paper towels to dry it. 

6. Upside Down Cleaning

Sometimes the air fryer gets too dirty after cooking meat or too many items. It is best to remove the cooking tray and basket and turn the air fryer upside down in such cases for a thorough cleaning.  

7. Inner Parts Cleaning

Use a soft-bristled brush with a handle to clean the internal components of the air fryer after removing the cooking tray and basket. Use the brush to clean the sides on the upper side and the bottom part. Then, use a toothpick to pull out food stuck inside nooks and crevices.

Cleaning Frequency

Cleaning your air fryer after every use is ideal, but it is unnecessary if you are cooking in very little quantity and there isn't much meat cooking. Just clean the tray, pan, and basket in a dishwasher and perform a deep cleaning or upside-down cleaning once a month.

Removing Pungent Smell

Sometimes the air fryer starts smelling bad when you cook particular food, and no amount of cleaning will help get rid of the pungent smell. 

Mix a few pinches of baking soda into water (3g/100ml water ration) and shake it well in a spray bottle. Spray it on all of the hard-to-reach areas when the air fryer is in the upside-down position. 

Let it stay in the upside-down position for half an hour. Then, respray it with the baking soda solution and turn your fryer to a normal position. Fill the cooking tray with hot water and run the air fryer for 20 minutes. The baking soda and hot water steam will clean all stubborn food residue, making your air fryer squeaky clean. 

Remove the water, let the fryer cool and wipe the coil and the inside again with a damp cloth. Then, let it dry thoroughly before operating it. If the smell is too much to bear, you can put lime into your air fryer and boil it with hot water for 5 minutes. 

Alternatively, you can also use a vinegar and lime juice mixture with hot water and simmer it for 15 minutes. You can also try these methods to remove the plastic smell from your air fryer when you first purchase them.  


Air fryers are handy devices that don’t cost much time or effort to clean. Keep your air fryer clean using these quick and simple steps to ensure your food cooks healthy and tastily.

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