How to Clean an Air Fryer – Keep it Clean for Excellent Results!

As technology gets better and better, new kitchen gadgets start getting out to the market to make cooking easy. One of those gadgets we can mention is the air fryer.

This is a fantastic appliance that’s increasing in popularity, and millions of people are using it nowadays.

If you want to get the most out of it, you’ll have to learn how to clean an air fryer.

Otherwise, you may end up with an appliance suffering from tons of issues.

To help you with that, we’ve arranged a brief but super helpful guide on how to do so in the easiest yet most effective way possible.

So, are you ready to start using your air fryer without issues later on? Then read to learn more!

What’s an Air Fryer?

Everyone loves a nice pack of French fries or a box of fried chicken. They are crunchier and tastier than potatoes and chicken alone. But if you want to make them, you’ll have to use a lot of food oil.

Luckily, the amount of oil you need doesn’t have to be that much.

Yes, with an air fryer, you can prepare the same French fries or fried chicken but with way less oil than in normal frying processes.

Even without the oil, an air fryer can still deliver the crispy and crunchy effect on your food – without harming the flavor.

The only thing you’ll need to do is place the food on a basket, add oil to the fryer, and then place the basket on the oil. Turn on the appliance, and it will fry your food in no time.

So, that’s an air fryer. It’s the best way to fry your food nowadays. But sure enough, after you cook your food – you will need to clean the appliance.

Problems From Not Cleaning An Air Fryer

The reason we recommend cleaning an air fryer is that you can start experiencing several issues if you don’t. Here are some of these issues:

Burnt Smell

When food gets stuck or simply builds up in the basket or pan, then it is very likely to start burning when you use the air fryer again.

This will cause a burnt smell that is nothing short of unpleasant. And sure enough, this smell not only goes around the air fryer when using it – but it also sticks to your food. So you’re likely to even taste the burnt food in your fries or chicken after they’re done.

Interior Peels Off

The interior of an air fryer tends to be metallic with a non-stick coating. But when food sticks to it because you didn’t clean it correctly, then getting that food off the surface may also peel the layer off.

Eventually, you will get a peeling interior that not only looks awful but also lets food stick to it even more. And what’s even worse, it may start breaking down and drop coating material into the food while using the fryer – and that can be unsafe and unhealthy. 

Pan Doesn’t Like into the Fryer

When the basket of the fryer has too much build-up or food residues, it won’t get inside the fryer quickly. That’s why you should learn how to clean the air fryer basket correctly every time after using.

Smoke Comes Off the Fryer

This is pretty common when there’s grease in the fryer pan. It will start to burn and create the annoying white smoke that both smells awful and leaves a weird flavor on the food.

This mostly happens when someone cooks greasy foods like bacon, sausages, meat, and the like. So whenever you cook something like that, cleaning is even more critical.

Fryer Doesn’t Start

Even though it happens rarely, it is still likely. If you don’t clean your fryer every time after using, then you may eventually experience an appliance that doesn’t want to start.

This could happen either because the grease went inside into the electric parts or because grease or residues that were left behind started to burn and damage something. Whatever the reason for the problem, the solution and the best way to prevent it is always cleaning after using.

What to Clean After Use

Even though it is essential to clean the whole appliance, there are a few parts that you need to clean always after using. And these parts are:

The Basket

This is where you place all the food like potatoes or chicken before frying them. For that, it has direct access to the oil and the food. Because of that, it will have residues left after cooking, as well as grease. So, you’ll have to learn how to clean grease from air fryer basket.

The Tray

In case you’re using a tray or the appliance comes with one, you should also clean it just after using. Just like the basket, it has almost direct contact with the food, so you’ll have to wash it up before storing it.


Here’s where all the oil goes. So, if you want the surface to stay clean and without build-up, you’ll want to clean it up every time. Otherwise, you may start experiencing weird smells and flavors over time.

Fryer Interior

The interior where all the items go tends to get dirty as well. With either grease or a few food residues, you will probably see a few grubby marks here and there. That’s why cleaning it is also essential, so you won’t experience any build-up later.

What to Clean Sporadically

The only part you can clean only a few times a month or week, depending on how much you use the fryer would be the exterior.

This part doesn’t come in contact with the oil or food, so it doesn’t get as dirty as the other parts. But still, you should clean it as much as possible, so it stays clean for long.

What You’ll Need to Clean an Air Fryer

To clean your air fryer correctly, you’ll need to gather a few essential items first. Here are some of them:

  •       Paper or microfiber cloth
  •       A non-abrasive sponge
  •       Two spoons of baking soda
  •       Deep fat fryer cleaner (optional)
  •       A brush or toothbrush (preferably with soft bristles)
  •       Soap dish

Steps to Follow: How to Clean an Air Fryer

If you want to clean the air fryer the right way, here are the steps you should follow to make it possible:

1.    Unplug

Get the air fryer off the electric current. Make sure it is not connected before you do anything. And sure enough, it should be cooled off so you can clean it without worries.

Apart from that, you should get all the items out. This means getting the basket, pan, and trays out if there’s any. Doing this immediately after unplugging the appliance will cool it down faster.

2.    Make the First Wipes

After getting the basket and pan out and making sure the appliance is cooled down, use the microfiber or paper cloth to get rid of any exterior oil or residues.

Then, with the sponge and hot water, wipe the inside to get rid of the oil excess. This will clean any grease left behind.

Finally, turn the fryer upside down and use the sponge again to clean the heating element. After that, you will be ready to clean the appliance in-depth.

3.    Clean Stuck Residues

If you haven’t cleaned the fryer in a while, then you will probably find stuck residues on the inside, outside, and possibly even the heating element.

To clean them up, grab the baking soda and make a paste with some water. Then, use the brush or toothbrush to get right on the residues.

Try to get deep into the residues, grease, or any stuck food you find. Use the paste as a degreaser. It will remove stubborn stuff and spots.

Once you get rid of the food, grease, or any type of residue, then wipe everything with the cloth. This will leave everything clean.

4.    Clean Basket & Pan

Most basket and pans are dishwasher safe. That makes it ideal for cleaning in the dishwasher, so you don’t have to make any effort cleaning by yourself.

Still, we recommend cleaning them well enough by hand if possible. Use your sponge or brush with the dish soap, and that will get rid of any residues, grease or stuck food.

This part is essential because the basket and pans often have almost direct contact with your food, so you’ll want them to be clean at all times.

5.    Soak Basket & Pan in Degreaser

This is how to clean baked on grease from air fryer. If the stubborn grease didn’t get off correctly with the previous step – then get the basket & pan soaked in soapy water.

You should let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes, so everything gets off the metal. Once they sit for a few minutes, get them off, and brush them off with the sponge and toothbrush.

If the grease doesn’t get off, then repeat. You can add the deep fat fryer cleaning solution to get rid of the grease even faster.

Make sure there’s no grease at the end. You’ll end up with a pristine fryer.

6.    Dry Everything

Once you’ve finished cleaning, then you can leave all the parts to rest. At least 2 hours of air drying will be enough. Finish up by passing a clean microfiber cloth over them to dry completely.

Before reassembling and storing, take a last look at the part. Brush anything off with the brittles if needed. Otherwise, just store and finish.

General Tips to Follow: How to Clean Air Fryer

The previous steps should be enough to learn how to wash air fryer correctly. But there are still a few things you may need to consider to do it even better. Here are some of them:

  •       For air fryers that get smelly over time, you can always use half a lemon on the soapy water when soaking the basket & pan. You may also pour some drops of lemon on the baking soda paste when cleaning the exterior. Get rid of the excess afterward to prevent the lemon from corroding steel.
  •       Never use anything apart from the sponge, towel, or brush to clean the air fryer. The non-stick coating on the steel of the appliance tends to be fragile, so even the slightest damage can scratch the surface and get rid of the coating.
  •       If you work on a restaurant or need to keep using the air fryer for long non-stop, then clean only the basket and pan. You can do this in just a few seconds, and it will make sure you can still keep using the appliance without too many residues or leftover grease.
  •       Always clean only when the device is cooled off, disconnected from electricity, and on a flat surface. Try to prevent any damage to the air fryer related to impacts, shorts, or heat.
  •       Store in a dry and cool place to keep the appliance clean. Also, try to cover it up with a bag or box if possible. Even the slightest scratch or impact can damage an air fryer.

These tips will help you take care of and clean the gadget even more effectively. Follow them up, and you’ll get a clean air fryer for years.

How to Prevent your Air Fryer from Getting Dirty

While learning how to clean air fryer is an excellent way to keep it clean for long, there’s nothing better than preventing any dirtiness from happening in the first place. Here’s how to do that:

  •       Read the owner’s manual of the air fryer before using it. Make sure to follow every instruction, so you don’t end up pouring oil or placing food when you don’t need to.
  •       Cook everything according to the manual. If there’s any specific type of instruction for French fries, fried chicken, or any other type of food – follow it to prevent spills and messes when using.
  •       Before using the air fryer, check it in search of any old residue, grease, or stuck food you may find. Getting rid of it before starting the appliance will prevent it from getting harder to clean afterward.
  •       Store the fryer in an upright position, in a dry place, free of any liquid. Also, it should be cool and disconnected from the outlet.


Now that you’ve learned how to clean an air fryer, it is time to start using it with care. Remember, they are super helpful in many ways, but they’re also sort of fragile.

Be careful when cleaning and do it consistently so you can get the most out of your air fryer. Once you start enjoying those fried meals, you will know how important it is to do so. So start now!