The toaster isn't something we always remember to clean, but we recently came across a bit of toaster cleaning advice from the 1927 Butterick Book of Recipes and Household Helps and decided to do some more research on the subject.
• First of all, make sure the toaster is unplugged and completely cool before you clean it. Work over the sink, trash can, or newspaper-covered table.
• Did you know that most toasters have a removable tray or hatch at the bottom? I must admit that I didn't. All these years, I had been turning the toaster upside down to shake the crumbs out, not realizing that there was a more thorough way to clean it. (If your toaster does not have a tray, upside-down shaking will certainly do the trick.)
• In addition to gentle shaking, the Butterick Book recommends using a small pastry brush to "reach the most difficult corners of an electric toaster and brush out the most elusive crumbs." We gave it a try and it's satisfyingly effective.
• If the tray is crusted with crumbs, remove and wash it with warm soapy water. Dry before reassembling.
• To clean the exterior of the toaster, use a soft, damp cloth and gentle soap if necessary. Vinegar works well to clean smudges on stainless steel toasters.
From now on, we're making a more conscious effort to clean to the toaster on a regular basis. It takes only a couple of minutes and preventing crumbs from accumulating helps keep the toaster in good working order.
Republished from article originally posted January 21, 2009.
Related: Survey: How Do You Clean Your Oven?
Want more smart tutorials for getting things done around the home?
See all of our Home Hacks tutorials
We're looking for great examples of your own household intelligence too!
Submit your own Home Hacks tutorial or idea here!
(Image: Gregory Han)