How to Clean a Waffle Iron

waffle iron with batter stuck to the sides

The Spruce / Ana Cadena  

Overview
  • Working Time: 15 - 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Skill Level: Beginner

There's something magical about that crispy grid on a waffle that captures the pools of sweet syrup and melted butter. Sweet or savory, waffle batter tends to expand and pour out of the waffle iron while it's cooking. Sticky and baked-on batter is just one thing you'll want to clean off of your waffle maker.

How Often to Clean a Waffle Iron

A waffle iron should be cleaned after every use to remove food particles that can allow bacteria to grow. A more detailed cleaning after several uses will remove any excess oil that can turn rancid and spoil the taste of the next batch of waffles. If you only use your waffle iron occasionally, the deeper cleaning should be done before storing the appliance.

Cleaning a True Waffle Iron

Waffle makers and waffle irons tend to be interchangeable terms. But if you have a true non-electric waffle iron, it should be cleaned just as you would a cast iron grill or piece of cookware.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Sink or dishpan
  • Non-abrasive sponge (optional)
  • Chopstick (optional)
  • Pastry brush (optional)

Materials

  • Paper towels
  • Toothpick
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Warm water
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide

Instructions

items for cleaning a waffle iron
The Spruce / Ana Cadena 
  1. Unplug and Allow to Cool

    Never attempt to clean a hot waffle iron. Allow it to cool completely and unplug the appliance to prevent any accidents.

    Washing Removable Plates

    If your waffle maker has removable plates, unplug the machine and allow it to cool. Wash the plates in warm, soapy water or place them in the dishwasher if recommended by the manufacturer. Follow the same tips for cleaning the outside and removing build-up for the plates as recommended below.

    an unplugged waffle iron
    The Spruce / Ana Cadena 
  2. Brush Away Food Particles

    Once the waffle iron is cool, use a dry paper towel or a soft-bristled brush to remove any stuck-on food particles or crumbs.

    using a dry paper towel to remove food particles
    The Spruce / Ana Cadena 

    Soften Burnt Batter

    If some batter is baked-on, dab it with a couple of drops of cooking oil. The oil will soften the hard batter after a few minutes and make it easy to wipe away.

  3. Wipe Away Excess Oil From the Grid Plates

    If you can see excess oil, use a paper towel to absorb and wipe away the excess. Fold the paper towel into a square and use the point to get into each crevice. You can also use a paper towel wrapped around a chopstick to follow along each grid line.

    getting into the crevices with a paper towel
    The Spruce / Ana Cadena  
  4. Prepare a Cleaning Solution

    Mix two cups of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Wet a microfiber cloth or non-abrasive sponge with the solution and wring it out so it is not dripping.

    cleaning solution in a measuring cup
    The Spruce / Ana Cadena 
  5. Clean the Surface Grids

    Use the microfiber cloth to wipe down the grid surface making sure you get in-between each grid line. Rinse out the cloth in clean water and finish by wiping down the grids to remove any soapy residue.

    cleaning the surface grids with a towel
    The Spruce / Ana Cadena  
  6. Clean the Outside of the Appliance

    Use the same cleaning solution to wipe down the exterior of the waffle maker. Follow-up with a rinsing wipe.

    cleaning the outside of the waffle iron
    The Spruce / Ana Cadena  
  7. Dry the Appliance

    Use a soft cloth to completely dry the inside and outside of the appliance. Never store a damp waffle maker.

    drying off the waffle iron
    The Spruce / Ana Cadena  
  8. Deep Clean the Waffle Maker

    Even if you have cleaned the waffle iron after every use, surfaces can still become sticky and need a deeper cleaning. Mix a paste of baking soda and a few drops of hydrogen peroxide (it may bubble slightly). Use a paper towel or pastry brush to coat the grid surfaces and even the outside of the appliance if it feels oily or sticky.

    Allow the paste to remain on the surfaces for an hour or longer. The paste may turn brown as it absorbs excess oil. Then use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe away the paste and the gunk. Use toothpicks to remove any build-up caught in seams or crevices.

    Allow the waffle maker to dry before storing it.

    cleaning the waffle iron with hydrogen peroxide
    The Spruce / Ana Cadena 

Tips to Keep Your Waffle Maker Clean Longer

  • There's no need to season an electric waffle maker. To prevent sticking waffles, simply brush on a bit of vegetable oil on the plate with a pastry brush each time you make waffles.
  • Do not use cooking spray to coat the grid plates. It will build-up over time and leave a sticky residue.
  • Do not use metal or sharp utensils (stainless steel knives or spatulas) on the surface of your waffle maker. Scratches to the finish will cause waffles to stick to the waffle maker.
  • Never submerge a waffle maker in water.