How to Deep Clean Your Air Fryer in 5 Easy Steps

If you’ve been enjoying your air fryer, chances are your air fryer might be due for a good deep clean. This could be quite the project, but if you follow my suggestions, it won’t be as painful as you think. 🙂

I’ve been using my Philips Air Fryer for 11 months now, and I finally got brave enough to “look under the hood” and discovered a lot of build up around the heating element. It was definitely time for a clean! I’ll also share how I regularly clean my air fryer basket (I have a Cosori Air Fryer and a Philips Air Fryer).

NOT taking a few minutes to clean your air fryer will result in some funky odors from the grease build up and food splatters you’re likely to find around the heating element!

Watch how you can clean your air fryer with awesome comprehensive video!

The Easiest Way to Clean Your Air Fryer

The best and easiest way to clean your air fryer basket is to clean it every time you are done cooking with it! 

Taking just a few minutes to clean your air fryer at the end of a cooking session will ensure your deep cleaning session will be a breeze!

This is how I clean my air fryer basket after each cooking session (note: NEVER immerse your entire air fryer unit in water!).

  1. Once it has cooled down, use a paper towel to wipe out any drippings and grease.
  2. Next, soak the air fryer basket in the sink with hot soapy water (I prefer a nice degreaser, like Dawn dish soap).
  3. After soaking, use a microfiber cloth (NEVER use anything abrasive)  to wipe everything down.
  4. With a wet paper towel, do a quick wipe down the exterior of the air fryer unit as well as the interior cavity.

Note, if your air fryer basket is dishwasher safe (it will say if it is or isn’t in the manufacturer’s instruction manual), you can go ahead and run it through the dishwasher. Although I have found that soaking in hot soapy water usually does the trick and I feel like it will prolong the life of my air fryer.

How Often Should I Clean My Air Fryer?

While regularly cleaning your air fryer basket will do wonders for keeping your air fryer clean and free of gross smells, it is so important to deep clean your air fryer.

How often you should clean your air fryer really depends on how often you use it. Take a peek at the heating element on a fairly regular basis. You may need to clean it every couple of months or a 2-3 times a year.

Got an Air Fryer Smell?

If you are noticing an odd plastic type smell coming from your air fryer, it could be because it is a newer air fryer. Here is a tip that a viewer shared with me:

Pour 1/2-1 cup of white vinegar and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice in an oven safe dish (like a ramekin or Pyrex bowl) and let your air fryer run for 5-10 minutes at 400˚ F. Keep running your air fryer until the smells are gone. 

You can also try putting half a lemon inside of the basket and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then clean like normal, and it should be odor free! Also check out my Air Fryer 101 post to learn more about proper maintenance for your new air fryer. 

Or the gross smell could be from using your air fryer a lot. If haven’t really been cleaning it, it’s likely you’re smelling food splatters and grease build up around the heating element.  

So you’ll want to follow these steps to deep clean your air fryer.

How to Deep Clean an Air Fryer

Before you begin, check your manual of your air fryer appliance to know if there are any special instructions for air fryer cleaning.

First, what you need to deep clean your air fryer

There are many different tools you can use to clean your air fryer. Use what works best for you and your air fryer! Some materials you might need include:

Step 1: Ensure that your air fryer is fully unplugged and cooled

Before cleaning your air fryer, ensure that it is fully cooled and unplugged. If you’ve just recently used your air fryer, you may need to wait about an hour to let it fully cool. Removing the basket from the main unit will help it cool faster.

Step 2: Wipe down the inside and outside.

Think of this step as the first pass through your air fryer. Using a microfiber cloth, wipe down the outside of your air fryer. And using a damp non-abrasive sponge or microfiber cloth, wipe down the inside of the air fryer unit. You’ll be surprised to see what comes off! 

Wipe down around the fan and look to make sure nothing is blocking the vents. Also wipe down the bottom of the air fryer. Then dry it with a clean towel.

Step 3: Clean the heating element.

If you turn your air fryer upside down, you’ll find the heating element for your air fryer. For this part, it is OK to use an abrasive sponge or scouring pad. Some even recommend using these stainless steel wipes

The best way I have found to clean out the heating element and around the heating element is to make this DIY stain remover and with an old toothbrush, scrub the heating element. After, let it sit for about 10 minutes. With a wet cloth, keep wiping until it is clean again! 

You can also try Dawn Platinum Powerwash dish spray! This stuff can get even the most caked-on food bits, and an SOS pad can help clean it. Watch my YouTube video and see me compare the DIY stain remover with the Dawn Powerwash dish spray on my air fryer. I personally prefer the DIY stain remover, it works and smells better. 

NOTE: Just remember, the more cleaner you use, the more you’ll need to rinse it off. Depending on your air fryer model, this could be challenging. If you don’t get all the cleaning agent rinsed off, the next time you use your air fryer it will smell like the cleaning agent you used!

Step 4: Deep Clean the Air Fryer Basket and Pan.

The air fryer basket and pan are typically dishwasher safe; however, confirm this with your manual before putting it in the dishwasher. If it is, all you need to do is put it into your dishwasher and run it using a regular cycle. If your air fryer is not dishwasher safe, you will need to clean it with a non-abrasive sponge and some hot soapy water. 

Then I like to use a small cotton swab and clean all the small grooves in the air fryer basket. You’ll be surprised at what you might find! Just be sure to use NON ABRASIVES when cleaning the non-stick air fryer basket!

I also take this time to check on and tighten any screws that connect the basket to the handle.

Step 5: Dry everything well.

Once you have everything all washed, it’s time to let it dry. You can use a clean cotton cloth to dry the unit, basket, and pan. Then reassemble, and it’s ready to go! 

Be sure that it is completely dry before you use the air fryer again! After a deep clean of the interior air fryer unit,  I let it dry over night to be certain that it is completely dry.

What NOT TO DO While Cleaning your Air Fryer

  • Do not use metal, steel wool, or a scrubby sponge to clean any parts of your air fryer that have a non-stick coating. This will quickly remove the nonstick coating, then you risk consuming this coating as you cook. If you’re having trouble removing food or residue, use the soaking method. Don’t use metal utensils or abrasive sponges. However, this is okay on the metal of the heating element. 
  • Second, do not submerge your entire air fryer into water. Some parts can be removed and cleaned or placed in the dishwasher, but the main unit has electrical components and can be ruined when submerged.
  • Do not clean it until the unit has completely cooled down.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning your air fryer doesn’t have to be a chore if you keep up with the regular maintenance. As long as you clean it after each time you use it, you won’t have to worry about food build-up or ruining your air fryer from trying to scrub it off. 

The longer you let the food sit in the air fryer, the harder it will be to clean! So after you’re using it, go ahead and wipe down your air fryer and give it a good clean!

Learn more about your air fryer:

What to make in your air fryer:

Meal Type: Tips, #StayHome
Categories: DIY, Healthy, Air Fryer

Comments & Reviews

  • This was very helpful to read. Thank you.

  • Cathy
    Your Air fryer cleaning video on youtube says to use…
    Dawn power wash
    Baking soda
    Hydrogen peroxide
    Blue dye
    Can you tell me what blue dye you are referring to or mentioning talking about.

    And do I have to clean it with these stuff or can I use other cleaning stuff?

    • Stacy, Deal Team Manager

      Hi Virginia!

      I think she meant to say blue DAWN, the regular non-power wash dish soap.
      Also, you can use anything you want to clean with, keeping in mind that you won’t want to use anything that would damage the non stick coating. I hope this helps!

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