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.
Equipment / Tools
- Soft-bristled brush
- Microfiber cloth
- Sink or dishpan
- Non-abrasive sponge (optional)
- Chopstick (optional)
- Pastry brush (optional)
- Paper towels
- Dishwashing liquid
- Warm water
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dry the Appliance
Use a soft cloth to completely dry the inside and outside of the appliance. Never store a damp waffle maker.
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.
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.