Why It's Important To Regularly Clean Your Toaster Crumb Tray

Toasters are one of the most convenient and necessary appliances in our kitchens. But what happens to the crumbs, seeds, and nuts that fall off your bread and bagels during the toasting process? Chances are, unless you've done a recent deep-clean, they're still sitting at the bottom of your toaster — especially if you use the appliance frequently.

According to the home experts at Bob Vila, it's actually important to clean your toaster of these bits and morsels on a semi-regular basis. The reason why might surprise you: They pose a fire hazard. As Jenkins Restorations explains, the heating mechanism of a toaster is typically found at the bottom of the appliance, which is often the same area where crumbs and debris end up. As such, there's a chance that crumbs stuck in these hard-to-reach areas could ignite a fire.

Additionally, as crumbs accumulate at the bottom of your toaster, they'll become burnt and charred, per Cooking Light, and unfortunately, these unpleasant flavors can transfer to whatever it is that you're toasting.

How to clean your toaster

Toasters may seem like one of the more daunting appliances to clean. After all, how are you supposed to reach the bottom of the toaster, where all these crumbs are hiding? Turns out there's an easy solution: Use the crumb tray. As Real Homes notes, many people don't realize that (most) toasters today have a crumb tray, which allows you to remove the debris from the bottom of your toaster with ease.

To clean your toaster, always start by unplugging the appliance. Then, per Cooking Light, look for a raised notch at the bottom of the toaster, usually located on the side or at the back. If you pull it, the toaster's crumb tray should slide out, allowing you to discard the crumbs and hand-wash your tray with soapy water (Bob Vila says using soap will help prevent future crumb build-up). Once you're done, simply put the crumb tray back in its spot.

Speaking with Cooking Light, cleaning expert Melissa Maker recommends cleaning your toaster crumb tray once a week.