How to Clean a Waffle Maker

Having waffles for a weekend breakfast often provides a warm and happy feeling to everyone. The smell of butter, glistening syrup, and colourful fruits with whipped cream on top remind you of your childhood at grandma’s house.

Preparing waffles is usually fun, especially if you do it with the whole family. Kids love mixing the batter while you heat-up the waffle maker. But cleaning up the mess after cooking may not be much fun. Few people know how to thoroughly scrub away all the grease and sticky batter left on your metal-plated waffle maker without scratching the non-stick surface. Scrupulously cleaning your waffle iron poses problems for all except the most astute homemakers.

Not all waffle makers are built the same and may require different methods to get them squeaky clean. You don’t need to worry anymore. Below are some great tips on how to clean waffle makers properly, making it less of a worry and saving you time in the kitchen.

Things You Need to Clean a Waffle Maker

Even if you have the best waffle maker you need to maintain it. Before going into the details on how to clean a waffle maker, you first need to prepare the following things:

  • Clean water
  • Dishcloths or paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Fingernail brush, toothbrush, or any soft-bristled cleaning brush
  • Toothpicks or cotton swabs

How to Properly Clean a Waffle Maker

The steps may vary depending on the waffle maker unit you need to clean. These are just general tips and guidelines that you may follow to ensure the cleanliness and to maintain the functionality of your waffle maker.

1. Unplug the waffle maker.

Make sure that your waffle maker is unplugged and that the grid is cool before cleaning it. You don’t want any accidents or burnt hands while restoring the beauty of your waffle maker.

2. Wipe off bits of cooked-on batter and crumbs.

You can use a dry dishcloth of paper towel to wipe off surface grease, bits of caked-on batter, and crumbs on and around the iron plate. You may also use a cleaning brush with soft bristles. Never use any hard-bristled or abrasive brush on your waffle maker. It can easily damage the non-stick surface of the iron plates.

3. Use a damp cloth to thoroughly wipe off the grid.

Dunk a towel in warm water and squeeze it remove any excess water dripping from the cloth. Wipe off the waffle grid with the damp towel to remove all bits, crumbs, and excess grease or cooking oil.

4. Put a wet cloth or towel on top of the grid to remove any stubborn hard batter or crumbs.

For the stubborn batter, the steaming method might be necessary. To do this, dip a clean cloth into hot water then wring dry, making sure that it is not dripping wet. Lay the damp towel on top of the grid, then close the waffle maker’s lid. Leave the cloth on in that position for a minute or two until batter and crumbs have softened.

For very relentless gunks, create more steam by putting the wet towel on the bottom grid while it is still very warm. You can do this right after unplugging the appliance. However, be careful not to touch the hot iron plates with your bare hands. The steam created inside will quickly loosen the hard residue resulting in a less troublesome cleaning of the appliance.

5. Wipe the sticky batter off.

When the sticky batter and debris have already softened, wipe them off with a damp dishcloth. You may also use a brush with soft bristles to remove the particles in hard to reach areas of the grid. Just make sure that the cloth and brush are not dripping wet when you use them. For batter and crumbs in tiny cracks and holes, you can use a toothpick or cotton swabs to get them out.

6. Make a paste.

There are times when it is still hard and burnt-on batter left on the grid even after all your above efforts. If this happens, it is now time to use the cleansing power of baking soda.

Make a baking soda paste by mixing it with tiny amounts of water. The consistency of the paste should be that of creamy peanut butter. Baking soda has bacteria-killing ingredients that do not harm the non-stick surface of the waffle iron.  Put an adequate amount of paste onto the waffle maker grid and let it sit for at least an hour.

7. Wipe using a wet towel.

After the baking soda paste has done its job, wipe the baking soda paste off the iron with a damp cloth until no residue remains on the plate. Using a warm damp cloth is better to take away any residue from the appliance. You can also wipe the outer part of your waffle maker with a warm, clean cloth.

8. Wipe clean using a dry towel.

After thoroughly cleaning your waffle maker, wipe all surfaces — inside and outside — dry using a clean, soft, dry cloth or paper towels. Before storing the waffle maker away for the next Sunday morning waffle bonanza, make sure that the appliance is thoroughly dry to avoid mold from building up. 

9. Check for any grease and dirt left.

We are almost finished. Check the waffle iron for any left-over dirt. Run your finger along the grids to feel any grease or residue. It is to ensure, for the last time, that your waffle maker is clean before putting it away.

10. Repeat.

If you think and feel that your waffle maker is still dirty, you can repeat the above cleaning steps for a more thorough cleaning. There is no harm in being meticulous when it comes to your precious “smile-making machine”.

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The above steps are typically done for waffle makers with built-in iron plates. It is much easier to clean the ones with detachable plates. You will still need the same cleaning materials, but you have to detach the plates and soak them in hot water or conveniently place them in the dishwasher.  Gently wipe or scrub the dirt away and make sure that the plates are completely dry before reinserting the plates.

Additional Safety Tips

  • Always read and follow the instructions written in the manual that comes with your waffle maker. Manufacturers usually include specific cleaning instructions for various types of waffle irons.
  • Never use abrasive materials to clean the iron plates.
  • Do not immerse the waffle maker itself in water. It will ruin the electrical components of the appliance. You can only soak in water the detachable iron plates of your waffle maker.
  • Do not use soap or harsh chemicals on the iron plates. These chemicals can damage the non-stick surfaces of the waffle maker and may cause significant health risks.

Conclusion

Owning a waffle maker can make your morning breakfast more enjoyable. But, you must know how to clean a Belgian or other waffle maker properly. It will make sure that your appliance will last for a long time and safeguard the health of your family.

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