The Air Fryer Basket Cleaning Hack That Couldn't Be Easier

From glazed salmon to cheesy garlic bread, it sometimes seems like there's nothing you can't cook in an air fryer. But anyone who's gotten a little too creative with their appliance knows that there is definitely a limit to what an air fryer can handle, and the cleanup for failed culinary experiments can be a huge hassle. Even if you use your air fryer sparingly, scrubbing the debris out of the machine's nooks and crannies can be extremely inconvenient. Fortunately for the fryer fanatics out there, cleaning out the air fryer basket just got a lot simpler. With just a dishwasher detergent pod and some hot water, the basket can shine like new with little to no scrubbing required.


The next time your air fryer basket needs a little TLC, put the whole thing in the kitchen sink, tray and all (though you may want to dislodge the tray so it's not flush with the bottom of the basket). Drop in a dishwashing detergent pod, and then pour in a cup or two of boiling water, like from an electric kettle, then fill the basket the rest of the way with the hottest water your sink can manage. Wait about 20 minutes, give everything a rinse, and you should be left with a perfectly clean basket. It's safe to say that this is one of the most helpful air fryer hacks out there.

The cleaning power of dishwasher pods

Even though you won't be bent over scrubbing away at the dishes, resulting in sticky hands and a sweaty brow, your air fryer basket will still get a thorough clean. That's because dishwasher pods contain dishwashing detergent, not dish soap. We're not knocking dish soap — it's chemicals make removing oil from kitchenware a breeze — but in order to get the best results you must also manually make sure it starts to bubble and use a near-constant stream of water. Dishwashing detergent, on the other hand, contains protease and amylase enzymes that chemically scrub away food particles like proteins and starches. These enzymes are excellent at breaking down gunk and grime, so dishwashing pods can be used to make cleaning things like pans covered with burnt-on food and filthy oven racks much easier.


As powerful as the pods are, some especially stubborn messes still may require a light scrub to completely erase them. If the air fryer basket still has greasy, stuck-on spots after it has soaked with the dishwasher pod and hot water, use a firm scratch-resistant scrub sponge or brush to finish up the job. As for the rest of the air fryer, you can clean the inside and outside of the machine with a damp sponge or cloth.

How to keep your air fryer clean

There are a number of simple, preventative steps that will help you stretch out how long your air fryer can go without a bath. One of the simplest techniques is to dress the bottom of the basket with parchment paper or a dedicated reusable or disposable liner. A liner limits how much of the fryer basket actually comes into contact with the food, and is a great line of defense against stuck-on messes. Additionally, if your model doesn't already come with one, a grate or tray that fits in the basket lifts food away from the sides can make a big difference in how much time you spend cleaning. Whatever you do, just don't use cooking spray in your air fryer as it can damage the machine.


These investments may help delay how often you have to wash your air fryer, but they won't remove the need for cleaning completely. Ideally, the air fryer should be cleaned after every use, but once a week should be fine for most busy people. If you do notice any stuck-on food after using the air fryer, give it a dishwasher pod bath right away to quickly clean it up.