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Six Simple Steps to Clean Your Waffle Maker

waffle maker with a spread of condiments and assorted plates

As appetising as it is to see batter ooze out from the sides of your waffle maker and begin to crust, this baked-on, greasy goop can really do a number on the appliance if not cleaned off regularly. Even worse, leaving your waffle maker as it is after every use can attract bacteria and make for some very questionable waffles!

Owing to the narrow spaces between the plateaus, and the butter and oil that make the inside (and parts of the outside) completely greasy with stuck-on bits of cooked batter, a mere wipe down isn’t going to get your waffle maker clean. Instead, you’ve to really get into those grooves and grids to remove all traces of grease and make your waffle iron clean and sanitary again. 

If you’re wondering how to clean your waffle maker and get rid of stubborn grease and sticky stains, these six simple steps are all you need!

Step 1: Melt Grease with Heat

woman holding electric waffle maker

A good trick to clean off grease from a waffle iron is to melt it away. For this, you will need to turn on the appliance and allow the plates to heat up. A few minutes should do the trick, however, if your waffle maker takes a while to heat up, you might want to take a look at the plates every few minutes and switch it off when you see that the grease has become wet. 

Step 2: Soak up Grease with Paper Towels

3 white paper towels on a wooden benchtop

WARNING: Allow the waffle plates and entire appliance to cool down before proceeding to this step.

Once cool to touch, unplug the appliance, grab a few paper towels, and push them into the grooves to soak up as much grease as possible. Don’t worry if some of the grease has congealed again after the plates have cooled down; we will tackle that later. The goal here is wipe up some of the oil so that the next steps are easier, quicker, and more effective.

Step 3: Brush the Plates

woman holding large electric waffle maker

A silicone cleaning brush or regular cleaning brush with soft bristles can be used for this. Simply brush both the plates including the grooves in between. This will help remove crumbs and bits of batter stuck to the iron inside and around the sides of the waffle maker, too. The more loose debris you can remove with the brush, the easier it will be to tackle grease later on. If you come across burnt-on foods, add a few drops of cooking oil to the stain and let it soak for a few mins; then use a non-serrated plastic knife to gently scrape off the crust. 

Step 4: Clean with Mild Soap & Water

blue dishwashing soap solution in a squeeze bottle

Even though you can’t wash a waffle iron under running water, you can still clean and degrease it with soap and water. Start by mixing ½ teaspoon of liquid dish soap in 2 cups of lukewarm water and follow the steps below:

  1. Dip a thin microfibre cloth in the solution and wring it thoroughly so that the cloth is merely damp. 
  2. Take a chopstick, hold it upright, and place the cloth over it (avoid wrapping it around the stick as it will become too thick); secure the cloth with a rubber band.
  3. Use the clothed chopstick to clean the greasy grid lines. 
  4. Replace or rinse the microfibre cloth at intervals (remember to dip it in the cleaning solution when you do).
  5. Clean each individual grid with a separate cloth and the cleaning solution.
  6. Take a fresh microfibre cloth, dampen it with water, and wipe over the plates and grooves multiple times to remove all traces of the cleaning solution. Again, rinse off the cloth in between and repeat.

Step 5: Clean the Exterior

red and black waffle maker

Wipe the exterior with a cloth to remove dust and loose debris. There’s no need to make a separate cleaning solution for the grease and stains on your waffle maker, however, if needed, you can strengthen it by adding in a few more drops of dishwashing liquid. Dampen a clean cloth with the cleaning solution and wipe the exterior of your waffle maker. 

While you may need to spend a little extra time and elbow grease to spot clean stubborn grime and stains, soap and water is really all you need to do this. Finish the exterior cleaning of your waffle maker by rinsing off the cleaner with a damp cloth, followed by a dry wipe-down to prevent water spots.

Step 6: Dry the Waffle Maker

arge electric waffle maker

To keep your waffle maker fresh and prevent mould and mildew, dry the inside thoroughly before storing it away or closing it. Moisture tends to sit between the grid lines for a while even after wiping them with a dry towel, therefore, it is advisable to allow your waffle iron interior to air out completely after cleaning the appliance. Typically this will take anywhere between 1-2 hours, after which, you may store away your clean, degreased waffle maker!

How to Keep Your Waffle Maker Clean and in Tiptop Condition

These simple tips will not only keep your waffle iron clean inside and outside, they will also ensure that the appliance is performing at its best!

Take a look below.

  • Avoid scratching the surface of your waffle plates with abrasive cleaning tools or cutlery as this will cause the batter to stick
  • Clean spills on the sides and exteriors as and when they occur (after the appliance has cooled down)
  • Use a pastry brush to lightly grease the plates and grid lines with cooking oil; this will prevent the batter from sticking to the surface
  • Clean your waffle maker after every use by wiping it down with paper towels followed by a damp-cloth wipe (when cool to touch)
  • Always allow the waffle iron to air out and dry completely after a wipe down or deep clean

If you want to keep making tasty waffles, you need to keep your waffle maker clean! For that, simply follow Maid For You’s waffle cleaning guide and pay heed to the tips above to maintain a top-performing, sanitary, and grease-free waffle iron! For more kitchen cleaning guides, check out our guide to cleaning other common kitchen appliances. 

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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