Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Dishwashers are amazing, don’t get me wrong. They’re powerful machines that can save us a tremendous amount of time in the kitchen. With that said, they’re SO powerful that they can also work against us when it comes to certain items that we unintentionally (err, intentionally but unintentionally) toss in them. I’m pretty sure we all have that cup or favorite container that got magically transformed after a trip in the dishwasher!
High water temperatures coupled with high pressure and tough cleaning agents that work well yet are very aggressive on your dishes often doesn’t bode well for an item like an air fryer basket. Depending on the model you have, these baskets are usually made of plastic, ceramic or a metal like stainless steel. And that means they require just a few simple cleaning tools (and potentially a little elbow grease) to keep nice and tidy.
Follow these simple tips to extend the life of your air fryer basket and keep your favorite appliance running (and looking) like new!
How to clean your air fryer basket and trays
Let it cool before submerging in water or giving it a scrub
Just like you wouldn’t put a hot glass dish straight out of the oven under a stream of cool running water, you don’t want to put a hot air fryer basket or tray under cool water, either. Let the basket cool, then proceed with cleaning.
Use warm, soapy water and a soft, clean sponge or cloth to clean
Once your basket or tray has cooled, use warm, soapy water and a gentle cleaning sponge or cloth to clean the basket and tray. A simple dish sponge and non-toxic cleaning soap usually works 99 percent of the time! Give it a rinse under warm, running water and let air dry, or towel dry with a clean cloth.
Use a soft bristle brush to get off tough debris
Tough messes like grease, breading and chocolate can be difficult to get out of those tiny little grates in air fryer baskets and trays. Have a designated appliance cleaning brush (even a new, soft bristle toothbrush will work) and use warm, soapy water to remove the debris. If needed, you can submerge the cooled basket or tray in warm, soapy water in your clean sink basin and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, try again with your brush; it should help remove any of the leftover mess!
For tough odors, think citrus!
I’m not a big fan of making air fryer fish, then turning around the next day and making chocolate chip cookies that now have a hint of fish to them. No thank you! To prevent this, you can use a citrus scent from fresh fruits in your cleaning solution. I’ll add a tablespoon or so of fresh lemon or orange juice to my warm, soapy water, and within 10 to 15 minutes, the smell is gone.
Other air fryer cleaning tips to remember
- The air fryer base is NOT dishwasher or sink safe, period. This has an electrical unit that can be very dangerous if exposed to water. Between uses, simply take a clean, warm, soapy cloth and wipe down the outside of your air fryer to keep it nice and clean. Note: Be sure it’s unplugged before doing so!
- While the air fryer electrical unit should not be touched, the heating element that comes in contact with the food when the heat is circulating may need to be cleaned every so often. Some food items may “pop” up due to the force of air circulating, and you don’t want debris to build up over time. To clean this, make sure your appliance is completely cool and unplugged. Turn the appliance upside down and take a damp, warm soapy cloth to wipe down. Pat dry and let air dry completely (with the basket removed to allow air to reach it) before reusing.
- Do not use an abrasive brush or bristle sponge on your air fryer basket. Many are often made of nonstick spray or a like material, and this can damage your basket over time.
For more air fryer advice, keep reading: