how do you wash an air fryer

How Do You Wash an Air Fryer?

Air fryers have become a popular kitchen appliance, known for their ability to cook food with minimal oil, giving a healthier twist to traditional fried foods. These counter-top convection ovens use rapid air technology to circulate hot air around the food through forced convection, creating a crispy outer layer.

This process simulates traditional deep frying without the need for all that oil. As with any kitchen appliance, regular cleaning and maintenance of an air fryer ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Keeping it clean not only guarantees delicious results every time but also prevents unwanted flavors or potential health hazards. But how do you wash an air fryer without damaging it?

Cleaning your air fryer is vital for its performance and is important for the long life of the product. Regular cleaning after each use, deeper cleans for stubborn residues, and eco-friendly methods with natural ingredients ensure your appliance remains in optimal condition. For best results, refer to your model’s manual and avoid harsh chemicals. Regular maintenance guarantees delicious and healthy meals every time.

Let’s explore these effective methods to keep your air fryer in tip-top shape.

Routine Cleaning an Air Fryer for Everyday Use

Regular cleaning after each use can keep your air fryer functioning at its best. It’s a straightforward process that prevents the build-up of grease and food particles, ensuring your meals remain tasty and healthy.

  1. Safety Comes First: Before starting, always unplug the air fryer and wait for it to cool for about 30 minutes.
  2. Basket and Pan Cleaning: Remove the basket and pan from the unit. Wash them using warm soapy water and a soft sponge. Rinse them thoroughly afterward.
  3. Attend to the Interior: With a damp cloth or sponge, gently wipe the inside of the air fryer, ensuring no residue or food particles are left behind.
  4. Exterior Wipe-down: The outer part of the air fryer can gather fingerprints and grease. Use a damp cloth to give it a clean wipe.
  5. Dry All Components: It’s essential to ensure all parts are completely dry before reassembling and storing. This step helps in preventing any potential electrical hazards.
  6. Check the Bottom: Sometimes, crumbs or small food bits can gather at the bottom. Give it a quick check and clean as necessary.
  7. Inspect for Wear and Tear: While cleaning, it’s a good practice to inspect the components for any signs of wear or damage. Replace any parts if needed.
  8. Reassemble and Store: Once everything is clean and dry, reassemble the air fryer and store it in a cool, dry place, ready for its next use.

Intensive Cleaning an Air Fryer for Stubborn Residue

Over time, even with regular cleaning, your air fryer might accumulate stubborn grease or baked-on food. This method will guide you through a deeper cleaning process to tackle those tough spots and refresh your appliance

  1. Safety First: Before anything else, disconnect the air fryer from power and allow it ample time to cool down.
  2. Basket Soaking: If your basket has sticky residue, immerse it in warm soapy water. Let it sit for about an hour to soften the grime.
  3. Heating Element Attention: Using a soft-bristled brush, gently brush away any particles or remnants from the heating element. Be gentle to avoid any damage.
  4. Vinegar Solution for the Interior: Mix equal parts of water and vinegar to create a cleaning solution. Dampen a cloth with this mix and wipe the inside of the air fryer. This not only cleans but also helps in odor removal.
  5. Outside Cleaning: Using a mix of dish soap and water, clean the outer surface of the air fryer to remove any stains or splatters.
  6. Handle and Buttons: Often overlooked, the handle and buttons can gather grime. Wipe them down with a damp cloth.
  7. Inspect the Base: The bottom part can collect oil or tiny food bits. Ensure it’s clean and free from any debris.
  8. Ensure Thorough Rinsing: After the intensive cleaning, rinse all removable components with clean water to ensure no soap or cleaning solution remains.
  9. Dry Thoroughly: Use a soft towel or let the parts air dry completely before putting the air fryer back together.
  10. Store Properly: Once everything is clean, reassemble your air fryer and place it in its designated spot, ready for future cooking adventures.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning an Air Fryer with Natural Ingredients

For those who prioritize green cleaning or wish to avoid certain chemicals, there are natural solutions that can be just as effective. This method emphasizes the use of eco-friendly ingredients readily available in most households.

  1. Safety Precautions: Ensure the air fryer is unplugged and has sufficiently cooled down.
  2. Basket Care with Baking Soda: If the basket has tough stains, prepare a mixture of baking soda and water into a paste consistency. Spread this paste over the stain, allowing it to sit for a few minutes, then scrub gently using a soft sponge.
  3. Refreshing with Lemon: Wipe the inside with a lemon slice or use a cloth dipped in lemon juice. This not only cleans but also leaves a pleasant scent.
  4. Exterior Shine with Vinegar: Mix water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture on the outside and wipe with a soft cloth for a natural shine.
  5. Button and Handle Detailing: These areas can sometimes be neglected. Use a cloth dipped in a mild soap and water solution to clean them.
  6. Base Cleanliness: Ensure the bottom is free from any residual oil or small food particles.
  7. Natural Odor Remover: Place a bowl of baking soda inside the air fryer overnight to absorb any lingering smells.
  8. Rinse with Care: After cleaning with natural solutions, make sure to rinse all the parts with water to eliminate any residue.
  9. Air Drying: Let all the components air dry. This method is eco-friendly and ensures no moisture remains.
  10. Assembly and Storage: Once all parts are dry, assemble the air fryer. Place it in a clean, dry area, awaiting its next culinary task.


Can I put my air fryer basket in the dishwasher?

While many air fryer baskets are designed to be dishwasher safe, it’s always a wise move to consult the user manual specific to your model. Dishwashing can be a convenient way to clean the basket, but repeated exposure to intense heat and strong detergents might affect the non-stick coating over time. Hand washing can be gentler and extend the life of the basket.

How do I clean the heating element of my air fryer?

Cleaning the heating element is essential to ensure efficient performance. Once you’ve ensured the appliance is disconnected and cooled, approach the heating element with caution. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any debris. It’s advisable to steer clear of liquid cleaners on the heating element. Instead, a dry brush should suffice. If any grease is noted, a damp cloth can be used sparingly, making sure to dry the area immediately afterward.

Is it safe to use chemicals to clean my air fryer?

While many commercial cleaners promise effective results, it’s imperative to consider the safety of the surfaces that come into contact with your food. Opt for mild dish soap or natural cleaners such as vinegar or baking soda. If you decide to use a specialized cleaning product, make sure it’s labeled as food-safe. After using any cleaning agent, rinsing thoroughly is vital to ensure no residue remains.

How long does it take to clean an air fryer?

The duration for cleaning largely depends on the method you choose and the condition of the air fryer. A routine clean-up might take around 10 minutes, but if you’re addressing stubborn residues or performing a deep clean, you might spend up to 30 minutes or more. Setting a regular cleaning routine can help reduce the time spent on each session.

How often should I clean my air fryer?

It’s a good practice to give your air fryer a quick clean after each cooking session. This helps in preventing build-up of food particles and grease, which can affect the taste and quality of your meals. A more in-depth cleaning might be required less frequently, perhaps once a month, depending on usage and the types of foods you cook. Regular maintenance ensures consistent performance and extends the lifespan of your appliance.


Maintaining a clean air fryer ensures both its longevity and the quality of food it produces. Whether you’re doing a quick clean after a meal or a more thorough deep clean, the methods outlined above are designed to be both effective and safe. Regular cleaning also ensures that you can enjoy the many benefits of your air fryer for years to come.