How to Clean an Air Fryer

Ready to learn how to clean an air fryer? It's a lot easier than you might think! Just follow this step-by-step guide after making one of our air-fryer recipes.

Asking us not to eat fried food is like asking Joanna Gaines not to make her famous biscuits. It’s not going to happen! But we also know frying isn’t healthy—at least it wasn’t until we discovered the air fryer. It uses way less oil, so food that’s air-fried is lower in fat and calories. Plus, cleaning an air fryer is much easier than cleaning a deep fryer.

Psst! Here’s our Test Kitchen’s ultimate air fryer guide.

To help you care for your new favorite appliance, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to clean an air fryer. And if you need a reason to dirty it up again, here’s the full list of things you can make in an air fryer.

How to Clean an Air Fryer from Start to Finish

Step 1: Unplug the air fryer

Safety first! Turn off and unplug your air fryer. Allow it to cool completely before cleaning.

Step 2: Clean removable parts

air fryer and removable basket on kitchen counterTMB Studio

Remove the basket, tray and pan. These air-fryer accessories can be washed just like any other dish: with soap and warm water. Or, if you don’t feel like washing them by hand (and we don’t blame you), place them in the dishwasher. Most air fryers have dishwasher-safe pieces, but check the instruction manual for your specific model, just to be sure.

Step 3: Clean the main unit

The main unit of your air fryer should never be immersed in water. Instead, use a damp cloth to wipe down the entire unit and the control panel to get rid of any food splatters or grease residue. If you notice any food stuck on the heating coil, use a soft dish brush to remove.

Step 4: Check the heating coil

Cleaning Air Fryer heating Coil with damp clothTMB Studio

Check the heating coil of your air fryer after each use (usually located in the top of the unit). If there’s oil or residue on the heating coil, let the unplugged machine cool, then wipe the coil with a damp cloth or dish brush—just like you would with the heating element on an electric stove.

Step 5: Dry and reassemble

Towel-dry or air-dry all of the parts completely before you reassemble the air fryer.

Air Fryer Cleaning Tips

  • If the basket or pan has baked-on grease, soak it in hot water and soap for 20 to 30 minutes. Then remove the now-softened gunk with a scrub brush.
  • If you notice a stinky odor coming from your air fryer, chances are there are food particles trapped somewhere in or on it. Mix together baking soda and water to form a paste. Then use a scrub brush or an old toothbrush to thoroughly scrub the interior of the air fryer.
  • Never use metal utensils to remove crumbs or baked-on grease from the fryer. It can damage the nonstick coating and prevent your fryer from working properly.
  • If you don’t have much time for clean-up, you can put foil in an air fryer to minimize the mess.

Don’t miss our full list of air fryer cooking tips!

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Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.