How to clean an air fryer? Quick & Easy

Quick Step-By-Step Cleaning Guide

On of the most asked questions I get about air fryer are ‘how do I clean an air fryer?‘ and ‘how do I keep my air fryer clean?‘.


Here is my advice in for keeping your air fryer in its best condition!

Pro tip: Clean an air fryer after every use

First of all, my advise to you is to clean your air fryer every time you have used it. Secondly, I recommend you to clean the air fryer and the parts by hand. This is the ‘secret’ to keep your air fryer in its best condition.

See how I clean my Philips Airfryer

At 10:19 you can see how I clean the Philips Airfryer XL and at the 13:06 you can see how I clean the Philips Airfryer XXL.

How to clean your air fryer?

When you have used you air fryer for making golden fries, crispy chicken or grilling a piece of fresh salmon, your air fryer becomes dirty. The frying basket gets oily, there are crumbs on the bottom of the pan and the exterior of your air fryer has some finger smudges here and there.

Don’t worry, cleaning your air fryer is super easy. At least, when you are doing it regularly and when you follow these steps.

After you have served you dish from your air fryer don’t sit down and start eating. Okay, serve your meal at the table. But then return back to your air fryer.


I understand you want to eat. But in order to make the cleaning of your air fryer easy it is important to pour in some warm water with dish soap inside the pan of your air fryer.

STEP 1: Serve, soak and eat

Unplug the power cable first and then squeeze a few drops of dish soap inside the air fryer. Grab a container with warm water and pour it over the dish soap inside the pan.


Make sure there is enough water in the pan so your frying basket, at least the bottom part, sits under water.

Now, shake up the water a bit and close the air fryer. Because the air fryer is still warm from air frying it will keep the water warm for a while.

Let it sit and soak, while you can enjoy your meal.

That’s it?

How was your meal from your air fryer? I hope it was good, because there is still some more cleaning to do.

Don’t worry – when you follow along it will be quick and easy 🙂

Open your air fryer and take a look. See, most of the food particles, oil, fat and grease have loosen up a little because of the dish soap.

Now, make sure the parts are not super hot any more so you can grasp the pan with the frying basket out of the machine.

Be careful not to spill the water. Just make sure the air fryer is opened enough so you can lift the pan easily from the drawer part.

Of course, when you have another type of air fryer, just open the air fryer and support the bottom a bit.

Place the parts next to your sink and grab the following tools that you have laying around somewhere in your kitchen.

What Cleaning tools do I need?

Before we go further, let’s grab some tools first. I use the following five tools:

  1. Dish soap
  2. Soft sponge / scrubber
  3. Dishwashing brush
  4. Draining bord or dish cloth
  5. Microfiber cloth

STEP 2: Cleaning the air fryer frying basket

Remove the air frying basket from the pan and place this part inside the sink. Put some dish soap on a sponge and run some warm water.


Clean the air frying basket with the sponge and make sure you hit all the sides, the handle and all those little groves.

When you have an Philips Airfryer XXL, you are in luck. Because you can remove the bottom part of the frying basket. This part is, if you ask me, the most annoying part to clean when it comes to cleaning air fryers.


Use the sponge to clean the metal netting. Don’t try to do this with a brush, because this will cause a lot of splatters.

When food particles, like cheese, won’t come off I recommend to use the scrubber under water so it won’t splash.

In most cases, cleaning the frying basket is fairly easy to do. Don’t expect to make it look like it is brand new. It is just like any other pan, microwave, oven or other kitchen appliance, it will show some wear and tear after some usage – nothing to worry about.


Place the frying basket on the draining board. Or place a dish towel on the kitchen counter for the part to dry out a bit.

STEP 3: Cleaning the air fryer pan

Next we move over to the pan of your air fryer. It depends on the type of air fryer you have, but most air fryers have just a pan and a separate frying basket. But other air fryers come with an extra layer inside the pan.


When you have this extra layer, remove it first and clean it just like with the frying basket. Once cleaned, set it aside to dry.


For the pan I suggest you to fill it with hand warm water and spray in some dish soap. Grab your sponge or brush and clean the inside and outside of the pan. Try to hit all the spots, also the difficult to reach ones. Because this is the place were food particles can accumulate over time.

Now rinse out the pan and make sure most of the soap is gone. Place the pan on your draining board.

STEP 4: Cleaning the heating element

Over to the heating element. Every air fryer has this heating element and it forms basically the heart of your air fryer together with the ventilator. This crucial element is a bit fragile, so be careful when you want to clean it.


Why would you want to clean the heating element? Well, over time this part will became dirty as well due to oil splatters, stuck food particles and other food related residues.

When this element is dirty and isn’t properly cleaned every once in a while, you will experience that your air fryer might start smoking or release a nasty odor in your kitchen area.

So how do we clean this element. First make sure the air fryer is completely cooled off, so you won’t burn yourself. Also check again if you have unplugged the air fryer.

Grab your microfiber cloth (or a moist kitchen towel) and make it moist with some warm water and a bit of dish soap.


Place a towel on the kitchen counter or on the table and place your air fryer upside down on it. Please make sure you have removed the inner parts first.

Now, open the drawer so you can see the heating element and the surrounding area. Start clean it with your cloth or towel. Be gentle, because you don’t want to damage the element.

You will notice that some areas are a bit hard to reach. You can make use of a soft toothbrush or q-tips to clean these areas. But try to concentrate on the areas that are really dirty.

While you are cleaning the heating element, you can also clean the interior of the air fryer while your are at it. Dry off the parts when you are done if necessary.

STEP 5: Cleaning the exterior

The interior is clean. Time for the exterior, and this is really a piece of cake. Turn your air fryer back on its feet. What you might see is that some crumbs are laying on the counter or table top. These crumbs have fallen out of the exhaust or the vent shaft of the air fryer, perfect.


Grab a clean and moist towel or cloth and clean the exterior of the air fryer. Please don’t use a scrubber, hard sponge or sharp object because the plastic exterior can scratch very quickly. And these scratches are quite noticeable, especially since most air fryer have a glossy finish.

When you have cleaned the exterior grab a dry towel or microfiber cloth make your air fryer dry. This part is important when you don’t want to see water streaks or dried water droplets on your air fryer.

STEP 6 (OPTIONAL): Cleaning air fryer accessories

Did you use any air fryer accessories? Such as a grill pan or baking pan? Then of course I suggest you to clean these parts by hand in the same way you did with the other air fryer parts.

When it is difficult to clean the accessories completely, you can leave it in a some water with dish soap and let it soak for a while so the food residues will dissolve and loosen a bit.

Congrats, you are done!

Alright, that wasn’t that hard was it? You have cleaned your air fryer successfully. Try to clean your air fryer regularly. Of course, you don’t need to clean the heating element every time. But I do recommend to clean the parts and exterior after every use.

Questions & Answers

Here are some common questions answered by me about air fryer cleaning:

Clean by hand or with a dish washer?

It is better to clean the air fryer and its parts by hand with some water and soap. A dish washer can also clean the parts, but the parts are more likely to wear, such as the non-stick coating.


Also the parts of a regular sized air fryer are relatively large, so it will fill up your dish washer quite quickly.

Besides, when you put the parts inside your dish washer you are more likely to scratch or damage the pan, frying basket or air fryer accessoires due to cutlery or other dishes that are already in your dish washer.

So, long story short. When you want to keep your air fryer in its best condition, just clean it by hand.

How to prevent your air fryer from getting dirty

In The Netherlands we have the saying ‘Preventing it is better than curing it’, so how do you prevent your air fryer from becoming dirty.

For this you can make use of aluminum foil or baking paper. With the aluminum foil you can for instance cover the bottom of the pan. Or you can create cups or other containers with it.

The baking paper can be placed inside the frying basket. But make sure you will put food on top of the baking paper in order to prevent the paper from flying around inside of your air fryer.

Air fryer accessories can also help to keep your air fryer clean. When I want to steam some fish or want to heat up food left overs I grab my baking pan to use as a container. After air frying I only need to clean this baking pan.

What to do when I can’t clean my air fryer?

I use multiple air fryers and non of these air fryers are dirty from the inside. Of course you can see that the air fryers are not brand new anymore. There are some smudges and scratches on the exterior. And inside you can spot some oil, baked-on grease and fat residues here and there. But nothing to be worry about.


Though, some people complain that they can’t clean their air fryer. The frying basket turned black, the pan has dirty stains that are impossible to remove and the air fryer has a nasty odor when turned on and it sometimes even produces smoke.

Well, the problem here is that I think these people don’t clean their air fryer that often. They use the air fryer for a couple of days, maybe weeks, and then after a while they want to clean the parts of the air fryer.

Sadly, this isn’t the best way to keep an air fryer in its best condition. To keep an air fryer clean, I recommend to clean it after every usage. And preferably by hand.

Tips and tools for air fryer cleaning

But, you want a solution on how to clean your really dirty air fryer. Try out the following suggestions:

Don’t try to clean with chemicals.
  • Dishwasher detergent – Fill the pan with water together with dishwasher detergent and leave it over night. Rinse out the solution and clean the parts as mentioned above.
  • Lemon – Place a piece of aluminum foil inside the air fryer and pour in a small layer of water on top of it. Cut a lime or lemon and place it on the foil. Turn on your air fryer for 5 till 10 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius or 380 degrees Fahrenheit. The lemon or lime will dissolve the fat and oil which then drips on the aluminum foil.
  • Baking soda – Put a spoon of baking soda inside the pan and pour in hot cooking water over the soda. Let it soak for a few minutes and rinse it out and clean the parts as mentioned above.

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