There's something magical about that crispy grid on a waffle that captures the pools of sweet syrup and melted butter. Whether your favorite type of waffle is sweet or savory, one of the keys to the best-tasting and best-looking waffles is a clean waffle maker (no likes a waffle that sticks to the maker and comes out in torn pieces).
The terms waffle iron and waffle maker are used interchangeably these days. Technically, a waffle iron is made of cast iron, non-electrical, and used to cook waffles directly on a stovetop or campfire. A waffle maker is a small electrical appliance with fixed or removable plates. If you have a true waffle iron, it should be cleaned just as you would a cast iron grill or piece of cookware.
How Often to Clean a Waffle Iron
A waffle iron should be cleaned after every use. This will 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.
What You Need
- Paper towels
- Dishwashing liquid
- Warm water
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Soft-bristled brush
- Non-abrasive sponge
- Microfiber cloth
- Sink or dishpanToothpicks
- Chopstick (optional)
- Dishwasher (optional)
How to Clean a Waffle Iron With Non-Removable Plates
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.
Brush Away Food Particles
Once the waffle iron is cool, use a dry paper towel or a soft-bristled brush (like a pastry brush) to remove any stuck-on food particles or crumbs.
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 very warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Wet a microfiber cloth with the solution and wring out the cloth 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 and be sure to 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.
How to Clean a Waffle Maker With 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 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 above.
Tips to Keep Your Waffle Maker in Top Condition
- Do not use cooking spray to coat the grid plates. It will build-up over time and leave a sticky residue. If the waffles are sticking, brush on a bit of vegetable oil with a pastry brush.
- 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 sticking.
- Never submerge a waffle maker in water.