A London supermarket recently dedicated an entire freezer aisle to all food you can cook in an air fryer. If the trend catches on, that means some serious workout for the nifty kitchen gadget everywhere!

Unlike a deep fryer, an air fryer keeps the splatter in check while doing its thing. Still, stray food bits and stuck-on gunk can quickly build up.

Moreover, an air fryer caked in thick grime and grease is a fire hazard waiting to ignite.

So, learn how to clean air fryer like a pro (with those helpful tips from our Chelsea end of tenancy cleaning team) and continue to nourish your loved ones with guilt-free cooking!

What You’ll Need

Before we get to deep-cleaning your air fryer, let’s make sure you have the following cleaning supplies ready:

  • Soft sponge
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Clean cotton or microfiber cloths
  • Mild dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Paper towel
  • Vinegar, lemon/lime juice (optional)

How to Clean the Removable Parts of the Air Fryer

Some air fryer parts are dishwasher-safe, and that’s half the battle already won. But if you prefer to hand-wash them, here’s how to do it:

  1. Sprinkle 1–2 tablespoons of baking soda onto the bottom of the outer basket and add a generous squirt of dish soap.
  2. Pour hot water into the drawer and wait for the mixture to foam.
  3. Put the inner basket back in place.
  4. Allow the baskets to soak for at least 20 minutes to loosen the muck and dried-up food residue.
  5. Clean the baskets using a sponge.
  6. For stubborn stains, create a paste by mixing two parts baking soda and one part water. Then, apply the paste on the scum and scrub with a sponge.
  7. Use a soft brush to remove grease and debris from the mesh or holes of the fry basket.
  8. Rinse the trays under running water.
  9. Wipe them down with a clean cloth and let them air dry.

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How to Clean the Main Unit of the Air Fryer

While waiting for your baskets and crumb tray to dry, let’s get down to the main unit.

  1. Unplug your air fryer and let it cool down completely.
  2. Dust off the air vent using a fine brush.
  3. Dampen a cloth and add a dot or two of dish soap. Then squeeze the rag to work up a lather.
  4. Wipe down the control panel, exterior, and drawer cavity with the damp cloth.
  5. Use a soft brush to clean the heating coil and other hard-to-reach corners. Afterwards, give them a swipe of the damp cloth.
  6. Remove any sudsy residue with a clean, dry cloth.
  7. Let the unit dry completely.
  8. Reassemble your air fryer.

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How to Remove the Plastic Smell From Your Air Fryer

Your brand-new air fryer comes with factory coating that burns when exposed to high heat. As such, you might notice a strong plastic smell on the first few uses, even after washing it.

Consider these tips to eliminate this unpleasant odour:

  • Preheat the unit to 400°F for 20 minutes before using it for the first time. You can repeat this process as needed until the plastic smell dissipates.
  • Wipe down the interior with a soft cloth dipped in lemon/lime juice or vinegar solution (equal parts water and vinegar). Then, air-dry it before your next use.

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How to Get Rid of Lingering Odours From Your Air Fryer

Fish and other strong-smelling food can leave a lingering odour on your air fryer. Here are some simple solutions to address this:

  • Soak the fryer basket and grease pan in warm, soapy water for at least 30 minutes before washing them.
  • Rub the interiors with the natural deodorisers described above.
  • Place an oven-safe dish or ramekin containing a mixture of two cups of water and the juice of half a lemon in the drawer. Then, let it steam at 400°F for 30 minutes.

How Often Should You Clean Your Air Fryer?

A dirty air fryer is less energy-efficient, as the grime and buildup can hinder airflow and heat distribution. Besides, it can leave an unpleasant aftertaste and odour on your next air-fried dish. Not to mention, it can harbour food-borne diseases.

That’s why we recommend cleaning your air fryer after every use. Fortunately, most air fryers come with removable parts that make cleanup much less messy.

Some models even feature dishwasher-safe baskets for the ultimate convenience. To be sure, check your owner’s manual before tossing them in your next dishwasher load.

A quick washing in the sink can also do the trick. And don’t forget to wipe down the exterior with paper towels after every couple of air-frying sessions.

If you rely on your air fryer for daily nourishment, we also advise deep cleaning once a month.

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Tips on How to Keep Your Air Fryer Clean

Here are some practical tips to keep your air fryer in immaculate condition:


  • Give your air fryer a light cleanup to avoid gunk buildup after every use.
  • Use a damp cloth (not wet!) to clean the unit.
  • Develop a routine for deep-cleaning your air dryer.
  • Use a silicon liner or parchment paper to catch drips and crumbs on the go.
  • Consult the manufacturer’s manual for specific cleaning instructions or precautions.


  • Never immerse your main unit in water.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaning materials to clean your air fryer.
  • Don’t use a sharp object or metal utensils to scrape baked-in food particles from the trays. Scratching the nonstick coating can compromise its effectiveness and pose potential health risks.
  • Turn off the air fryer if you notice plenty of oil or smoke when cooking high-fat foods like bacon or chicken. Remove the excess grease before you continue cooking.

Wrapping Up

The mighty air fryer is undoubtedly the biggest kitchen craze of the decade. You can use it to whip up fried goodness with a tiny fraction of the oil and effort other cooking methods require.

That said, regular cleanup is a must if you want to enjoy the benefits of air frying for longer. It’s also advisable to give it thorough attention for a gleaming makeover now and then.

By mastering how to clean air fryer, your unit will be sparkling like new and everyone asking for seconds!