how to clean a waffle maker

How to Clean a Waffle Maker: Four No-Brainer Ways

If you love waffles, there is a good chance you have a waffle maker in your collection of kitchen appliances. However, when it comes to cleaning a waffle iron with non-removable plates, things may not be so straightforward. This is because you need to avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials like steel wool or scouring pads, as they can damage the nonstick coating on the cooking surface.

Don’t worry. Cleaning your waffle iron is quite simple. This article will teach you how to clean a waffle maker so you can keep it running to the best of its ability at all times. Keep reading to learn about the four cleaning methods and tricks outlined below.

Getting Started: The Basics Explained

Do Waffle Makers Need to Be Cleaned?

kitchen appliance with grid plate

Even with a nonstick coating, cast iron and electric waffle makers need to be cleaned. With continued use, built-up grease, excess cooking oil and waffle batter can adversely affect its performance.

Even if you only use cooking spray and don’t pour cooking oil onto your waffle maker’s grid plates, they can still develop a sticky residue. Regular waffle maker maintenance will help keep your waffle maker running smoothly and keep your waffles tasting great.

How Often Should You Clean Your Waffle Maker?

How often you clean a waffle iron depends on how frequently it is used. We recommend giving it a routine cleaning after every use and doing a more thorough cleaning when this does not provide you with the desired results.

How to Clean a Waffle Iron: 4 Easy Methods

Method 1: Routine Cleaning

This cleaning method should be used each time you use your electric waffle maker. When done properly, it can prevent grease from building up and prolong the time between the need for deep cleanings.

What You’ll Need:

  • Paper towels or a clean dish towel
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Pastry brush (optional)

The Procedure:

  • Unplug your waffle iron and wait for it to sufficiently cool.
  • Use a dry paper towel or pastry brush to clean out any leftover crumbs on the grid plates.
  • With a paper towel or clean cloth, wipe around the edges of the grid plates paying particular attention to the edges and corners. Folding your paper towel or cloth will help you access tight spaces better.
  • Wet your sponge with warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Wring it out thoroughly to remove excess water.
  • Next, use your damp sponge to wipe down your waffle maker’s interior and exterior. Thanks to the nonstick surface found on most waffle iron plates, this should remove any remaining gunk.
  • To finish up, use a dry paper towel or cloth to wipe down your waffle iron one final time. Simply return it to its storage space when it is completely dry, and you are all done.

Pro Tips for Waffle Makers with Removable Plates:

If your waffle iron has removable plates, cleaning them can be quite easy. All you need to do is remove them from the waffle iron to soak and scrub them just like you would with any other dish.

Some may even be dishwasher safe but always check the manufacturer’s instructions before opting for this method. While the following deeper clean methods will also work for waffle irons with removable plates, you may not need to do so, as they can be cleaned as usual.

Method 2: Clean Built-up Grease and Hardened Bits

If the previous method does not clean your electric waffle maker sufficiently, you can use this solution to remove excess oil residue or batter caked onto the surface.

What You’ll Need:

  • Soft bristle brush (like a pastry brush or old toothbrush)
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic or rubber spatula
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Damp cloth

The Procedure:

  • Unplug your waffle iron and wait for it to slightly cool, so it is not too hot to comfortably touch but still warm.
  • Using a dry paper towel, wipe off the grease left behind by your waffles.
  • Next, wet your cloth with hot water and wring it out.
  • Lay your damp cloth flat over the plates of your waffle maker and close the lid.
  • Wait for approximately 20 minutes while the remaining heat from your waffle iron paired with the damp cloth steams off any stuck-on bits and residual grease.
  • When enough time has elapsed, open the lid on your waffle iron and remove the damp cloth.
  • Use a kitchen brush, like a pastry brush or even an old toothbrush, and a rubber or plastic spatula to clean off any grease residue. At this point, it should be softened enough to come off fairly easily using only soft bristles and a non-abrasive spatula.
  • To finish up, dampen a sponge with soapy water and wipe down your entire waffle maker, inside and out and you should be good to go.

Method 3: Deep Cleaning With Baking Soda

When the above methods still leave you with hardened grease and baked-on batter from waffles, you may need to take more drastic measures to clean your electric waffle maker.

What You’ll Need:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Rubber or plastic spatula
  • Paper towels or clean cloth
  • Spray bottle
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap

The Procedure:

  • Unplug your waffle maker and wait for it to completely cool.
  • While you wait, mix a baking soda paste in a shallow dish with water.
  • Spread the mixture over the cooking plates inside your waffle maker. Ensure all parts are covered, especially the targeted areas.
  • Leave the paste on your waffle maker overnight, so it has enough time to break down caked-on residue.
  • After eight or more hours, add a small amount of white vinegar to a spray bottle.
  • Lightly spray the hot plates on your waffle maker with the vinegar taking care not to saturate the machine.
  • Using a damp paper towel or clean cloth, wipe away the vinegar and dried-on baking soda.
  • Any gunk on the hot plates should come off with the baking soda. But just in case, you can follow up with a rubber spatula to scrape off any lingering gunk.
  • Finally, wipe down your waffle maker with a sponge dampened in soapy water, and you should be all set to store it away once it dries.

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Method 4: Cleaning a Cast Iron Waffle Maker

Unlike an electric waffle maker with a nonstick surface, a cast iron waffle maker requires a different cleaning method. Like cast iron frying pans, water and soap are not recommended.

What You’ll Need:

  • Grease
  • Baking soda
  • Rubber or plastic spatula
  • Paper towels
  • Clean cloth or sponge

The Procedure:

  • While your waffle iron is still warm but not hot, use a paper towel to apply grease to the grid plates.
  • Leave the grease to sit and melt onto the waffle iron for about an hour.
  • Next, sprinkle a small amount of bicarbonate of soda over the melted grease.
  • Use your sponge or cloth to wipe and scrub away any stuck-on grease and batter. Follow up with a rubber spatula to scrape off any stubborn grime.
  • Use a dry paper towel to wipe off as much of the remaining mixture as possible.
  • Then, wipe down the entire waffle iron with a damp paper towel or cloth.
  • After your waffle maker dries completely, you may want to consider re-seasoning it, but at this point, it should be all clean and ready to go.

A Clean Waffle Maker Made Easy

After reading through our tutorials on how to clean a waffle maker like a pro, which method do you think you will try first? Is it time for a deep cleaning? Or do you think you can get away with a simpler method? Either way, now that you know the best ways to clean a waffle iron, what are you waiting for?

Start keeping your waffle maker clean today, and let us know how it goes in the comments below!

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