How to Clean an Air Fryer

To keep your air-fried food crispy and delicious, learn how to clean an air fryer after each meal. It's easier than you might expect!

We know frying isn’t healthy — at least, it wasn’t until we discovered the air fryer. It uses less oil, so food that’s air-fried is lower in fat and calories. Plus, cleaning an air fryer is much easier than cleaning a deep fryer.

To help you care for your new favorite kitchen appliance, we’ve put together a quick guide on how to clean an air fryer.

Are Air Fryers Hard to Clean?

We get it, cleaning kitchen appliances is intimidating. Luckily, an air fryer is easier to spruce up than other cooking gadgets, like an oven. All it takes is warm soapy water and a dish cloth to remove food buildup.

The most time consuming part? Allowing the basket to soak if there’s lots of sticky residue. Check out the handy tools recommended below to ease the process.

How to Clean an Air Fryer

Tools and supplies

  • Dawn Powerwash dish spray: A good sponge and dish soap are really all you need. We recommend Dawn Powerwash for the job because it cuts through grease effectively. Plus, it’s so easy to use. Just spritz and scrub with your favorite sponge!
  • Scrub Daddy sponges: When cleaning the air fryer basket, turn to the internet’s favorite dish sponge: Scrub Daddy. It’s sturdy enough to remove food buildup and grease and more durable than traditional sponges. Just be careful not to scrub the interior cooking surface too hard, or you’ll scratch it. Pair with Scrub Daddy products like a sponge handle for a superior clean.
  • Swedish dishcloths: The air fryer isn’t clean until you wipe down the main unit. Instead of paper towels, opt for Swedish dishcloths. They’re more absorbent and reusable, and ideal for all areas of the home. Just rinse with water, wipe down the air fryer and you’re good to go!


1. Unplug the air fryer

Safety first! Turn off and unplug your air fryer. Allow it to cool completely before cleaning.

2. Clean removable parts

air fryer and removable basket on kitchen counter

Remove the basket, tray and pan. Many air-fryer accessories can be washed like any other dish, with soap and warm water. If you don’t feel like washing them by hand, place them in the dishwasher. Most air fryers feature dishwasher-safe pieces, but check the instruction manual for your specific model.

3. Clean the main unit

The main unit should never be immersed in water. Instead, take a damp cloth and wipe down the entire unit and the control panel to remove food splatters or grease residue. If you notice any food stuck on the heating coil, remove with a soft dish brush.

4. Check the heating coil

Cleaning Air Fryer heating Coil with damp cloth

Check the heating coil after each use; it’s usually in the top of the unit. If there’s oil or residue on the coil, let the unplugged machine cool, then wipe with a damp cloth or dish brush, as you would with the heating element on an electric stove.

5. Dry and reassemble

Completely towel dry or air dry all the parts before reassembling the air fryer.


Can you clean an air fryer with water?

Yes and no. Though some foodies found filling the air fryer basket with soapy water and turning it on inside the main unit will do trick, we don’t recommend it, because it could damage the nonstick coating on the interior cooking surface. Instead, unplug the air fryer and clean the basket with warm soapy water, then wipe down the main unit with a cloth.

How often should you clean an air fryer?

The key word here is “often.” Clean after every use, or every few uses, to avoid greasy food buildup.

How do you keep an air fryer clean?

Cover the cooking surface with foil or an air-fryer liner. We prefer the latter because it’s much easier to cook with. Just pop the liner in the basket, layer ingredients on top, and remove when you’re done.

Air Fryer Cleaning Tips

  • If the basket or pan has baked-on grease, soak it in hot water and soap for 20 to 30 minutes. Then remove the now-softened gunk with a scrub brush.
  • If you notice a stinky odor, chances are you’ve got food particles trapped in or on it. Mix baking soda and water to form a paste. Then grab a scrub brush or old toothbrush and thoroughly scrub the interior.
  • Never use metal utensils to remove crumbs or baked-on grease from your air fryer. It can damage the nonstick coating and prevent the fryer from working properly.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

Erica Young
Erica Young is a freelance writer and content creator, specializing in home and lifestyle pieces. She loves writing about home decor, organization, relationships, and pop culture. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.