There’s never a bad time for waffles but now that the weather is getting cooler, they’ll probably be in regular rotation (pumpkin spice or otherwise). Here’s how to clean a waffle maker, with or without removable plates, so yours is always ready to go.
Turning to your waffle maker can up the ante on brunch, whether it’s for delicious, golden waffles or hash brown waffle patties—and it’s even good for lunch, dinner, and dessert. But facts are facts: Sometimes the thought of having to tediously clean an appliance that is full of hard-to-clean nooks and crannies can deter one from taking one’s cooking game to the next level.
Luckily, there are some really great cleaning hacks that can make it easy to take the stress out of using the waffle iron, with both non-removeable and removable plates.
Presto FlipSide Belgian Waffle Maker, $39.99 from Walmart
Keep it clean, keep it busy.
Related Reading: The Best Waffle Makers of 2020
Heat Things Up
According to the experts at Oster, who manufacture waffle irons, getting your waffle iron clean starts with the same thing that making a great waffle starts with—bringing the heat. Cleaning a waffle maker actually works best when the maker is still slightly warm to ensure baked on foods don’t become unwelcome guests.
A Little Elbow Grease
As Oster says, cleaning up the waffle iron starts as soon as the appliance is turned off. As it cools, wipe the plates with a dry paper towel to loosen any stuck-on bits. For more stubborn batter still left behind, pour a bit of cooking oil on it and let it sit for about five minutes. After that, a quick wipe with a paper towel or non-abrasive sponge should be all you need in order to ensure the waffle iron plates are clean and ready for the next use.
If your iron needs a bit more love, use a plastic spatula to help loosen additional left-on food.
Flex-Core Mini Silicone Spatula and Spoontula Set, $12 from Sur La Table
Small and gentle enough to pry off stuck-on food.
Wipe Down the Outside Too
Wiping the waffle iron down with a damp paper towel or dishtowel with non-abrasive soap and water is all you should need to keep the waffle irons’ exterior looking brand new. Just ensure the iron is cool before wiping.
Related Reading: The Best Paper Towel Alternatives
Try These Tricks for Extra Dirty Waffle Irons
If the plates are still too dirty, there are a few ways to give the waffle iron an even deeper clean. If the plates are removable, soak them in a mix of non-abrasive soap and water, then gently scrub with a non-abrasive sponge and dry them thoroughly.
If the plates are not removeable, never fear, you can still get your waffle iron sparkling clean. After the waffle iron cools, wipe the plates dry with a paper towel to remove anything that can be wiped away without much effort. Then, grab a little non-abrasive dish soap and warm water and scrub the plates—and in between them—with a toothbrush. The size of the toothbrush, as well as the bristles, will help get into all those nooks and crannies, according to Simply Organized.
EcoFrenzy Kids Bamboo Toothbrush, 4 for $7.95 from Amazon
These soft-bristled brushes are smaller for tighter spaces, and eco-friendly too.
Don’t have a spare toothbrush lying around? A small, soft-bristled scrub brush or rubber spatula can also do the trick.
Header image courtesy of MIXA / Getty Images