Well, Spring is here and for many it’s a time to dust off the cobwebs and say goodbye to the chills of winter. It’s also a time of year that many of us give our home a thorough Spring Clean … a time to pay attention to those tasks that don’t need to be done all the time or those small jobs that sometimes get overlooked. A classic example of this is the humble toaster.
Ours sits quietly inside the appliance cupboard and is used faithfully almost every single day but I have to admit it does get ignored a little … you know, out of sight, out of mind!
It’s not a particularly difficult job so, if it has been neglected, here are a few simple tips that will have it sparkling in no time at all:
- Safety first … you should always turn off and unplug any electrical appliance before cleaning it and the toaster is no exception. So before doing anything, turn off the switch and pull the plug from the wall. Make sure also that it’s had time to cool before you handle it otherwise you might end up with burnt fingers!
- Clean the inside of the toaster … you do need to be very careful to ensure you don’t damage the heating coils but a gentle scrub with an old toothbrush, a pastry brush, a small paint brush or a baby’s bottle brush will dislodge anything that’s burnt on and become attached. Most importantly, remember to also press down the lever on the side of the toaster, lowering it all the way down, so your brush can reach right to the bottom.
- Empty the crumb tray … most modern toasters have a small tray in the base of the toaster for the purpose of catching any loose crumbs and, in most instances, it will simply slide in and out easily. Remove the tray, tip the crumbs either into the sink or the rubbish, wash the crumb tray in warm soapy water, dry thoroughly and then return to its original position. While the tray is out, I also usually tip the toaster upside down over the sink to shake out any other crumbs that get caught in other parts of the toaster.
- Clean the top of the toaster … this will sometimes appear brown and baked on. I simply use a damp sponge and a small amount of Gumption and it will sparkle like it’s brand new.
- Now for the outside … a damp (not wet) cloth is usually all that’s needed but if the heat from the toaster has caused the outside to become a little sticky, once again some Gumption on a damp sponge should do the trick or I sometimes use my favourite citrus-based spray, De-Solv-it. For a natural alternative, a little bit of white vinegar should do the job especially for a stainless steel toaster. When cleaning the outside don’t forget to give any knobs and levers a wipe over also.
- Let’s not forget the cord … it can also become sticky and dirty after prolonged use. A damp sponge or a small amount of vinegar or gumption will clean away any sticky residue but before cleaning the cord, check it thoroughly to make sure it’s completely intact and there’s nowhere for moisture to get in. As with cleaning the inside and outside of the toaster, be sure it’s not plugged in when wiping the cord.
I try to thoroughly clean my toaster at least once a month but it’s definitely one of those appliances that can easily get overlooked. It is important though to keep it as free as possible from crumbs because these only encourage cockroaches and other creepy crawlies to hang around in the kitchen.
So now I have a sparkling clean toaster that looks as good as new!
So tell me, when was the last time you cleaned your toaster?
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