How to Easily Clean an Air Fryer 

We all love our air fryers and the delicious food that comes with them. But I know I'm not alone, in wishing they could somehow clean themselves after each use! What makes an air fryer work so well, the hot convection air movement, actually promotes grease buildup over time. Something that can be avoided.

Even though these appliances don't need very much oil, unlike traditional deep fryers, they still gum up with grease, which can be difficult to clean. Especially if you don't tackle it soon after each use. The cooking baskets in air fryers are easiest to clean while still warm, so putting off cleaning is not the best choice!

If you notice that you smell odors quickly when cooking or preheating your air fryer, or if you have smoke coming from the appliance, its time to clean it out well. There is a chance that food residue has built up in the basket or come to rest near the cooking element.

You can make the cleanup process as easy as possible by choosing the right cleaning tools, sprays and even basket inserts or liners. We outline our best ways on how to easily clean an air fryer below.

How to Easily Clean an Air Fryer

How to Clean your Air Fryer After Use

As time allows, cleaning your air fryer quickly after using it makes the job much easier. Its best to remove all cooked items onto a plate or bowl for serving, freeing up the cooking basket, grill or rotisserie to go into the sink. Follow the steps below and you will get a fully cleaned fryer, ready to go next time you need it.

  1. Empty out the cooking basket of all food items.
  2. Turn off and unplug your air fryer.
  3. Place basket and cooking accessories into sink of warm soapy water to soak.
  4. Use a dish cloth from sink to wipe down the inside of the air fryer.
  5. Pay attention to the space near the element, remove any food crumbs.
  6. Using a kitchen brush or cloth, wipe down the pre-soaked basket.
  7. Make sure all cleaned parts are dry before putting back together.

How to Clean an Air Fryer that has Stubborn Grease

Sometimes you don't get a chance to clean up your air fryer right away. Or maybe it doesn't seem that dirty, and it gets used a few times in a row. Even with light usage, an air fryer basket will build up grease and grime, leading to unwanted odors and maybe even smoke when cooking. Here we outline some tips in getting that well-used air fryer back to perfect working condition.

Use a Dishwasher to do the Hard Work

Lets use the easiest method first, letting your dishwasher do most of the work sounds like a good plan! Nearly all air fryers available have dishwasher safe parts allowing them to be effortlessly cleaned. The higher pressure water streams, as well as the high temperatures help to loosen any stubborn grease.

Clean with a Degreasing Kitchen Cleaner

If you have really baked-on mess, there are a couple really powerful secret weapons you can use. Everyone is familiar with regular Dawn dish soap, but not all know that there are also super-power degreasing liquids as well!

Dawn Platinum 4X Degreaser is one of the best on the market. It easily cuts through most grease in your kitchen, and will make your air fryer shine again. The best part is it doesn't take very much to work well, so each bottle will last a long time. It has an amazing 4.9 Star rating from 38K+ reviews on Amazon!

Palmolive Ultra Oxy Power Degreaser is another great option, and is what I have currently have in my kitchen. I've used it even on floors near outside doorways to cut through dirt and grime. This will have no trouble cutting through grease in your air fryer. Its rated 4.8 Star from 22K+ reviews on Amazon!

Make a Homemade Cleaner with Baking Soda

You may already know, but simple baking soda can be used to clean most things in your home. Making a paste out of baking soda and water is another method to bust through stubborn grease in your air fryer. Use a kitchen brush or toothbrush to scrub the paste into the air fryer and basket. Avoid ever using abrasive metal scrubbies as you will strip off the non-stick coating over time. As a finishing move, try pouring vinegar and hot water onto the paste, then rinse clean.

Simple Tips for Keeping your Air Fryer Clean 

  • Use an air fryer basket liner. This is the easiest way to keep your air fryer basket clean. Using either a single-use paper liner or reusable silicone. This way all the fats, oils and crumbs stay inside the liner. Just throw away or wash it for next time!
  • Soak the basket and accessories soon after you are done cooking. The quicker you can get them in warm water, the easier life will be.
  • Use a high power degreasing soap to cut through really stubborn grease. Check out our recommended products above.
  • The more times you cook in an unclean air fryer, the tougher it will be to wash it so follow our steps to get your air fryer back to new condition.
  • Choose one of the best easy to clean air fryers from our recent review of top air fryers available.


Time is key when cleaning your air fryer, the sooner the better. If you can't get it scrubbed down right away, at least soak it in soapy water. If all else fails, use a strong degreaser to remove the stubborn grime, clean out all the nooks and crannies and around the heating element. If you prefer, use an air fryer basket liner to reduce the amount you have to clean after each use.

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