Here's How Often You Should Be Cleaning Your Small Kitchen Appliances

Take it from us, your toaster needs some TLC.

a collage with a toaster, blender, and coffee maker with two gloved hands with a spray bottle and a sponge
Photo: Getty Images

Whether you start your morning brewing a cup of coffee or reheat dinner leftovers in the microwave, chances are that you use at least one small kitchen appliance on a daily basis. But just how often are you cleaning those appliances? Keeping your appliances clean is important, from preventing the spread of bacteria to maintaining the appliance's functionality. Learn how often you should be cleaning small kitchen appliances, including air fryers, toasters and stand mixers. Plus, get handy advice so your kitchen will stay in tip-top shape.


We've all had the occasional marinara sauce splatter or popcorn oil explosion in our microwaves. When you don't clean it right away, those messes gradually build up, resulting in a microwave that may need a scrub. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for two minutes, or until boiling. Carefully remove the bowl and the microwave turntable. (The bowl and turntable may be hot, so use caution when removing.) The steam from the water-and-vinegar mixture will loosen any grime. Use a paper towel or sponge to wipe clean. Wash the turntable like any other glass dish, either by hand with dish soap and warm water, or in the dishwasher. Clean your microwave once a week if used on a daily basis, or every three weeks for infrequent use.

Blenders & Food Processors

From smoothies to soups, your blender or food processor can quickly get dirty, especially if you're pushing buttons with food-covered hands. Cleaning the main attachment of your blender or food processor is simple. Squeeze a little bit of dish soap in the blender jar or food processor bowl and fill it with warm water. Secure the lid and blend or process as normal for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat the process until the blades, lid and jar are all clean. Clean the jar after each use to avoid cross-contamination.

To clean the base of a blender or food processor, unplug the unit and remove the jar, blades and lid. Wipe the base and cord down with a dishcloth, soaked in equal parts warm water and white vinegar. Be sure to let the appliance air-dry completely before plugging it back into an outlet. Clean the base of your blender or food processor every two weeks.

Air Fryer

When air fryers aren't properly cleaned, you may be able to taste or smell the remnants of another meal, so it's important to have a regimented routine for cleaning. First, unplug the air fryer and remove the basket and shelving. Wash these attachments in the sink with warm water and dish soap. Use a soft-bristle brush or sponge, but avoid steel wool because it may cause scratches. If there are any crumbs or debris stuck in the crevices, use a toothpick to remove them. Clean the basket and shelving after each use to avoid cross-contamination.

When it comes to maintaining the inner parts of the air fryer, this should be done every couple of weeks or when you notice it getting greasy. Unplug the air fryer and remove the basket. Dampen a rag or paper towel in some warm water and dish soap and wipe away any grease or debris. It can be helpful to flip the air fryer over so you can see the inside more easily. Bonus tip: Use pre-cut parchment paper that fits neatly in your air fryer so less grease and grime build up.


Sure, you could clean your toaster by shaking it over the sink and hoping the crumbs fall out, but that method won't entirely cut it. Instead, unplug the toaster and make sure it is completely cooled off. Shake out any crumbs, then remove the crumb tray. Clean the tray with warm water and dish soap, and dry completely before re-inserting. To clean the interior, use a pastry brush, silicone glazing brush or straw brush to remove any stuck-on crumbs. Give it one last shake over the sink and voilà! Cleaning your toaster every four uses can help improve the taste of your food and prevent burning.

Coffee Pot

Coffee grounds can get into every nook and cranny of the coffee maker, and finding them in your morning mug really puts a damper on the day. To clean your coffee maker, pour 4 cups of white vinegar into the reservoir and let it sit untouched for 30 minutes to sanitize. Run a brew cycle and empty the hot vinegar. Then, run a water-only brew cycle twice so your coffee doesn't carry an aftertaste. While the vinegar cycle is running, remove the grounds basket and wash it in the dishwasher. Clean your coffee maker every two months.

Stand Mixer

Whether you're making a cake or a batch of cookies, it's not unusual to have some batter or dough fly out of the stand mixer. While washing your mixing bowl and beaters should happen after each use, cleaning the base is needed after every three uses. Soak a cloth, paper towel or sponge with warm water and dish soap and wipe the base. Wipe down the unplugged cord and let the mixer dry off completely. If there are crumbs or debris stuck in the beater slots, you can take a cotton swab and wipe it clean. For the mixing bowl and beaters, wash with soap and warm water.

Pressure Cooker

Most pressure cookers have a removable inner cooking pot that can be hand-washed or cleaned in the dishwasher. Cleaning the other components of a pressure cooker take a bit more work and should be done once every five uses. For the sealing ring, clean it on the top rack of a dishwasher. For the base, use a damp cloth with dish soap and water, as it is not dishwasher-safe and should not be submerged in water.

If your instant pot has an odor, we recommend filling the pot with 1 cup water, 1 cup white vinegar and the peel of 1 lemon. Set the pressure cooker on the "Steam" setting for 2 minutes, then pour out the cleaning solution before air-drying.

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