This Viral Video Says You Can Clean Your Toaster with a Hair Dryer — So I Tried It

updated Dec 8, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Unexpected home appliances are often the unsung heroes of common, household jobs. Greasy kitchen cabinets? Pull out the steamer from your laundry room. Crumb-ridden microwave? Try a hand vac prior to scrubbing. Dirty, neglected toaster? Just grab your blow dryer, apparently.

I’m no stranger to using new tools on old jobs, but I’ll admit, I’d never thought to bring a hair tool into the kitchen — until cleaning influencer Jessica Haizman convinced me. In a recent TikTok, Haizman suggests a simple, three-step process to revitalizing a pop-up toaster. And from my side of the screen, the process looks easy and the results look good.

Given that my toaster hasn’t seen a deep clean in, oh, the 10 years since I’ve had it (thanks, whoever bought it on my wedding registry!), I was more than happy to try the trick. Especially since, according to someone who knows a lot more about cleaning than me, an inside-out deep clean required just three (admittedly quite random) tools I already had lying around at home. Easy, right? Let’s find out!

First, Haizman suggests grabbing a dry microfiber cloth and using it to loosen any bigger particles lodged in the toaster slots. The goal is to apply enough pressure so the crumbs fall down onto the tray below. That part was easy, and it worked! Then, finish off the bigger particles by grabbing the tray out of the toaster, discarding the crumbs, and washing it off in the sink and setting it aside to dry. Again, easy and effective.

I knew from the get-go the next part could make or break the experience: introducing the blow dryer. I understand the concept: You’re just blowing air downward to forcefully remove any lodged-on debris from the inside of the toaster, which would otherwise be difficult to remove.

The problem is (at least for me!), the crumbs ended up all over the kitchen counter and floor, which ultimately adds another step to the cleaning process.

Instead, I’d recommend simply picking up the toaster and holding it upside down over the trash, then lightly shaking it or knocking it against the side of the garbage can until all the crumbs emerge. If you’re noticing any tiny, stuck-on particles, then you can try using the blow dryer over the trash or garbage disposal, and definitely on the lowest setting. 

Once all the crumbs are gone — however you end up doing it — it’s time to wipe down the outside of the toaster. Haizman recommends a mixture of white vinegar and water, which zapped all the grease and grime on the outside of the toaster. On my toaster, most of the rusty-looking, burned-on residue inside still remains.

But overall, my trusty Oster looks shiny and fresh, and at least half its age. Now, to vacuum all these toast and bagel crumbs off my counters!

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: This Viral TikTok Says You Can Clean Your Toaster with a Hair Dryer—So I Tried It