One of the hardest working appliances in the kitchen is the toaster. Each slice that the appliance heats releases crumbs that, in the long run, hinder its operation. In this text you will learn how to clean a toaster.
If the appliance does not work properly, it will burn your bread and you run the risk of consuming harmful substances such as acrylamide. This organic compound represents a potential problem for people of all ages.
In addition, toasters require periodic maintenance to reduce the amount of pollutants suspended in the air. According to research from the University of Colorado, making toast is one of the activities that adulterates indoor air quality.
5 tips for cleaning the toaster
Efficient cleaning of a toaster involves the inside and the outside. If you spend a few minutes each time you use the machine for surface cleaning, it won’t take much longer to sanitize it thoroughly. Before you start, check the manufacturer’s instruction manual.
- A dry and a wet cloth.
- Toothbrush or pastry brush.
1. Unplug and cool down
Unplug the toaster to prevent household accidents. If you have just used the appliance, wait until it cools down. Put it on newspaper or on top of the sink, so as not to spill the crumbs in it.
2. Empty the tray
A conventional toaster has slots for 2 slices and a removable plate that collects the residues. Take out the latter and shake out the shavings. With warm water and soap, moisten a cloth or sponge, wash the tray and wait for it to dry.
If necessary, use a spatula to remove any residue. In case the toaster does not have a crumb tray, just shake it upside down.
3. Sweep up the leftovers
The pastry brush or toothbrush is for removing crumbs that refuse to come off from the corners. The tool needs to be fine enough to go through the top slots and sweep out the inside of the toaster.
4. Clean the outside
Cleaning the outside of a toaster is the easiest thing to do. You dampen a microfiber cloth in soapy water and wipe the housing, levers and knobs.
5. Insert the tray
Once the crumb tray is dry, return it to its place. Before turning the toaster back on, make sure it’s not damp.
How often should a toaster be cleaned?
If crusty bread is a regular part of your breakfast, make sure you clean the toaster at least once a week. If it is a sporadic appliance, clean it every month.
What you should not delay is to shake the crumbs out of the tray and wipe the outside with a cloth, so that the utensil is presentable, does not spoil the kitchen and toasts correctly. For your health, it is essential to take care of the cleanliness of the bread warmer.
In addition to acrylamide, inside a dirty toaster heterocyclic amines may form, advanced glycation reduction may occur and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons may appear. These substances stick to the charred food and are associated with harmful effects on the body.
Recommendations for use
Proper use of the toaster prolongs its functionality. Although the manufacturer specifies how to work with the appliance, it does not hurt to pay attention to the following recommendations:
Adjust the toasting level: generally, the knobs are graduated between 1 and 5. If your toaster is new, start at the middle level. Test each level until you define how toasted you prefer your breads.
Don’t overcrowd the slots: putting in more slices than the slots allow will clog the appliance.
Wait as long as necessary: wait for the slices to toast, but don’t neglect the burnt smell. 2 minutes is usually enough. When you hear the sound and the lever is lifted, the bread is ready.
Consume the necessary energy: if you feel like 2 loaves of bread and your toaster has the capacity for both pieces, put them in one batch. The less you use, the less energy you waste. If you want to know how much electricity your toaster uses, consult an online calculator to find out.
Respect the manual: although there are traditional, horizontal, tin and oven toasters, the objective is the same. However, it is essential to read the instructions required by each brand.
No dishwasher: it is dangerous to get the toaster completely wet.