A toaster oven tray or crumb tray is a removable part in a toaster oven that collects crumbs, food splatters, and grease from food cooked in a toaster oven. It is usually square-ish in shape as it adjusts to the size of the rack.
After cooking a delicious meal in your toaster oven, there is usually the plight of how to clean your tray because it is usually covered in grime, crumbs, and grease.
A common solution is to tackle it with abrasive and oven cleaners. However, the use of oven cleaners has been found to peel-off aluminum coatings progressively.
So how to clean a toaster oven tray properly? The easiest solution to this predicament is to first learn about the different types of homemade cleaning agents.
Then it is just the matter of properly removing the tray and applying the cleaning agent.
Also Read: How to Clean Toaster Oven Glass
How to Clean a Toaster Oven Tray with Homemade Cleaning Agents
Commercial oven cleaners can be quite expensive and toxic to use.
Although they contain chemicals that leave your toaster oven shining, they leave chemical residues in your oven and are not eco-friendly.
Homemade cleaning ingredients, however, are cheap, effective and non-toxic natural components that can be used individually or when combined together.
Some commonly used homemade cleaning agents are:
Cooking salt is surprisingly an effective ingredient for a stress-free crumb tray and general toaster oven cleaning.
The technique in using salt involves sprinkling it on any food bubbles, spills or splatter before it solidifies.
It makes for an easy clean when your toaster oven is cool.
It also eliminates odors.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda or Bicarbonate of soda is a commonly used and one of the most effect household cleaner for the deepest and hardest stains.
It helps to remove and break-up dirt that is stuck to the crumb tray or oven surface.
To get a grime-free crumb tray, it is important to balance your Baking Soda to water ratio. Basically, your aim should be to create a thick paste out of baking soda which can then be applied to the oven tray.
Here are basic step in creating the paste.
- Mix baking soda and water in a ratio of 2 to 1 i.e For every part of water, add two parts of baking soda.
- Stir together in a bowl until a paste is formed
- Apply to your crumb tray or toaster oven surface with a soft brush (or paintbrush).
- Keep the paste applied over night
- Wipe clean
Vinegar and Baking Soda – Is it Effective?
One of the most famous practice is to mix vinegar with baking soda. The question is: is this an effective method?
The answer is No. Vinegar is acidic while baking soda is alkaline.
Mixing these two will give you a kind of saltwater which ultimately doesn’t do much.
If you want to use both, it is better to use the baking soda method first and then use vinegar solution as a finishing touch.
To make vinegar solution, follow these steps:
- Add one part water with one part vinegar (one cup water with one cup vinegar).
- Pour the solution in a spray bottle and shake it well so that solution mixes properly.
- Spray the solution on the crumb tray
- Wipe and clean it first with a damp piece of cloth and then with a dry piece of cloth.
3. Vinegar and Sugar
White vinegar is an acid that eliminates dirt and kills bacteria. It is a potent cleaner, especially when mixed with sugar.
The procedure of using Vinegar as a crumb tray cleaning agent.
- Mix white vinegar and sugar in a ratio of 1 cup vinegar to 2 tablespoons of sugar.
- Apply on crumb tray while it’s still hot,
- Let it sit for 1hour
- Scrub lightly
Preliminary Steps to Remember When Cleaning the Crumb Tray
Cleaning of toaster oven tray should be done as regularly as possible.
To prevent having to endure a stressful cleaning that could occur weekly, ensure you wipe out your crumb tray after every cooking.
Here are some preliminary steps to take when cleaning your crumb tray:
- Never attempt to clean a toaster oven or any of its parts without unplugging it first.
- Next, you open the toaster oven door to remove the tray. Transfer the tray to the sink where you can clean without fear of dirtying the floor or countertop.
- Remove all the crumbs by tilting to one side and tapping on the tray.
- Usually, grimes and some crumbs are stuck unto the tray, to get it out, you could soak it with dish soap about fifteen minutes.
- Once this is all taken care off, you can use one of the cleaning agents and its cleaning method as described above for a deep clean.
Also Read: What is Oven Self Clean?
Why Should I Clean My Toaster Oven Tray?
There are many reasons why cleaning the toaster oven tray is crucial.
Cleaning your toaster oven helps you prevent a myriad of bacteria. “But my toaster oven heat will terminate all bacteria”. There are some heat resistant bacteria called thermophiles that thrive in very high temperatures.
Removing Odors and Smells
Frequent cleaning eliminates offensive odors and gives your kitchen a pleasant and clean smell
Leaving scales and grimes in the crumb tray is actually a fire hazard.
The crumbs and the grease can heat up very quickly, which could result in damage to your oven and, worse yet, cause a fire.
Also Read: Are Toaster Ovens Safe?
When to Clean Your Toaster Oven Tray
Some clean their toaster oven’s tray after every use, some clean weekly, some clean once every other week and others do once a month.
The bottom line is that the longer you wait, the deeper clean you will need to perform.
To reduce stress and of course be hygienic, it’s best to clean your toaster oven after use.
It’s even better to start cleaning when the toaster oven is still somewhat warm because the spilled substances are not yet totally stuck to the surface.
Also Read: Best Toaster Ovens for Frozen Pizza
Toaster Oven Cleaning Precautions
Toaster ovens are electrical appliances and their cleaning methods should be followed cautiously.
To avoid toaster oven malfunction after cleaning, here are some tips;
Let it Dry Before Plugging in
Always leave the cord unplugged before cleaning and plug back only when the toaster is dried
Let air inside your toaster oven to dry after cleaning, do not close the door immediately
Be Careful of the Heating Elements
Do not use a cleaning agent on heating elements. Also be careful when removing the tray so that the heating elements do not get damaged. They are a fragile component.
Be Careful with Liquids
Do not pour or douse your toaster oven with any form of liquid.
When putting the crumb tray back in side, make sure it is not wet at all.
Abrasive Agents can be Harmful
Do not use abrasive materials to clean your toaster oven or crumb tray as it may damage the finish.
Cleaning the crumb tray isn’t as tedious as you may think it is. If you followed this article on how to clean a toaster oven tray, you shouldn’t have any issue at all.
If you still have an issue i.e if you are having a hard time locating or removing your crumb tray for example, it is best to refer to the instruction manual of your particular model.