• 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?
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(Image: Gregory Han)