Air fryer cleaning: how to clean an air fryer

A smiling man stirs food in an airfryer, in a bright kitchen

Air fryers – the kitchen revelation none of us knew we needed... Until we did. Whether it’s weekday evening meals cooked quicker, or radical experiments with a new kitchen gadget, the air fryer has quickly become a staple in many of our kitchens, even if some of those dishes should stay as experiments: remember mopping down the side of the counters after the famous overflowing tomato sauce incident? (Your housemate meant well!) But how do you clean an air fryer 

With any new gadget there comes a raft of new hacks – tips and tricks which help us get the most out of them. Well, we’ve got our very own air fryer cleaning hacks for you to feast on (after you’ve feasted on your oh-so-delicious dinner). A shiny, clean and pristine air fryer is not just something to look at; it can make your food taste better and, of course, more hygienic and safer to eat. 

So, get to grips with our easy and accessible air frying cleaning tips and learn how to clean your air fryer and how to clean an air fryer basket so the next time your significant other, housemate or family member whips up their air fryer masterpiece and leaves sloppy splodges and splatters of oh-so delicious stew in the air fryer, you’ll know what to do. You still love them for cooking for you, though! It’s hygienic and your cohabitants will thank you for it – what's not to love?

How to clean an air fryer lightly

Before we roll up our sleeves and begin any strenuous scrubbing of those scrumptious splashes, let’s take a look at how to clean your air fryer when it only needs a light clean. Let’s say you’ve used it to toast some bread or maybe cook a batch of chips – you haven’t used any oil, and unlike that time you tried to roast an entire chicken in there, there isn’t too much mess in the air fryer (fortune favours the brave, and it was a noble effort). But you want to give it a bit of a clean. But how do you clean air fryers quickly and conveniently? 

It’s simple, just follow these easy steps and learn how to clean grease from an air fryer lightly: 

  1. Unplug your air fryer from the wall. This is an important first step. Firstly, it makes air fryer cleaning much easier, as you can manoeuvre it however you like to get the best clean. Secondly, and more importantly, this is a crucial safety measure. Unplugging it means you minimise the risk of electric shock, damage to the air fryer, and accidentally turning it on. 
  2. Remove the basket. Remove the basket from the air fryer, placing it to one side. 
  3. Take a sheet of strong and absorbent kitchen roll. It’s important that you ensure the air fryer hasn’t been used too recently and is completely cool to the touch. Now, with your sheet of kitchen roll, go into the cavity where the basket slots into, wiping the bottom and sides. Be careful to avoid the heating element as you don’t want to damage it. 
  4. Take care of the exterior. If you’re using strong kitchen roll, like Plenty, and it’s not too dirty yet, wipe the exterior of your air fryer down. Most air fryers have a plastic exterior – which is an easy material to clean – but it can also pick up smudges, fingerprints and other bits. Don’t worry, you're just a hands-on chef! Wiping down the exterior ensures a shiny finish. After all, it’s a staple of your kitchen and often sits right there on your counter, so keeping the outside clean can help keep your whole kitchen looking cleaner! 
  5. It’s time for the basket! This is just a light clean, so no need to get down and dirty here. Simply remove the grate from the air fryer basket – if it has one – and shake any crumbs or bits of food into the bin. Using the same sheet of kitchen roll (or a new one if it’s a bit too grubby), give the inside of the basket and the grate a good wipe down.


Use Plenty Flexisheets – they’re super absorbent so will pick up any light residues or crumbs, while its strength means it won’t break while you’re cleaning. Plus, with the perforated Flexisheets, you choose what you use. Whether it’s a mid-meal sauce-pocalypse or a couple of faint splashes of garlic butter on the counter, you can always use the perfect amount of kitchen roll. Use less and save more - it’s no wonder Flexisheets won 2024 Product of the Year.*

How to deep clean and air fryer

You’ve made a delicious air fried dish, everyone’s full and relaxing on the sofa settling in for the next episode of your favourite TV show. While it can be tempting to leave the clean-up until you next need it, rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck into cleaning is a great way to not only show your air fryer a bit of love, but your future self and others, too. 

Air fryer cleaning, and cleaning in general, shows that you care about the space you share with your partner, housemates or family. Cleaning can give you a real sense of accomplishment, too, so show yourself a bit of care and let’s learn how to deep clean an air fryer: 

  1. Again, ensure your air fryer is unplugged. Making sure your air fryer is unplugged before cleaning it is an important safety measure – don't skip it! 
  2. Remove the basket. Here’s how to clean an air fryer basket: remove the basket from your air fryer, shaking or scraping any bits of food into the bin (we don’t want to clog the pipes!) 
  3. Submerge the basket. When you want to know how to clean an air fryer basket, this is one of the best methods for a proper deep clean. Air fryers can get very hot and it’s common for bits of food, oil or seasoning to get baked onto the basket and the grate. As the greasy carcass of date night’s fried chicken platter serves as a reminder of the quality time spent, cleaning the fryer that made it so deliciously crispy becomes an act of love. Submerging your basket in a sink of soapy water, or even filling your basket with warm soapy water, and leaving it for 10 minutes, is a great way to soak some of those baked-on bits off. 
  4. While that’s soaking... While your basket is soaking, spray the air fryer cavity with a cleaning spray. Let it sit for a moment, before going in with a sheet of kitchen roll to give it a good scrub. Any residues will come right off. 
  5. Retrieve your basket. Let’s take a look at that basket. Fish it out of the sink and take any kind of scrubber or sponge. In the same water – a quick win in saving water – give the basket and grate a good scrub. Pay attention to any particularly stubborn bits (the sooner you clean your air fryer after it’s cooled, the easier this part is!) and once they’re gone, rinse the basket and grate with a bit of water. Set aside to dry!  
  6. Spray the exterior of the air fryer. With your cleaning spray, give the exterior of your air fryer a good spray before wiping it down with some kitchen roll. Use kitchen roll that’s strong when it’s wet for best results. 


Why not try your hand at making your very own, all-natural cleaner? It’s super effective, artificial chemical-free and you might even save a few pennies – great for when we get a bit trigger happy with the spray bottle!

Are air fryers dishwasher-safe?

So, you now know how to clean grease from an air fryer and how to keep an air fryer clean. But maybe you’re not one for washing up by hand – it can be arduous after a big feast and sometimes we just want to bask in that post-meal glow on the sofa – and you’re wondering "are air fryers dishwasher-safe?" 

The short answer: no. When it comes to air fryer cleaning, entire air fryers are not dishwasher-safe as they contain electrical circuits and heating elements. Individual components like the basket, however, might be. We recommend checking the manufacturer’s manual for a definitive answer, as each air fryer is likely to have different guidelines. 

How to wash an air fryer: answered

There you have it, how to wash an air fryer. Not only is your air fryer sparkling, but it’s likely your air-fried food will taste better, too! And don’t forget: post-cooking clean-up jobs are a part of the deal. Ask any chef – amateur or pro! You just can’t have the yin without the yang. Clean-ups don’t have to be a chore. Turn on the radio and start practising some of those sweet moves while you’re putting your newfound techniques to use! 

If you’re an air fryer aficionado but have trouble moving it about, washing it and drying it, why not reach out to a family member, friend or neighbour for some help? We all need a helping hand sometimes and whomever you ask will be delighted to assist. 

Similarly, helping out with little tasks like this is an act of care that everyone appreciates. If you know someone with mobility issues or who could use a helping hand for whatever reason, why not offer to give them a hand? Armed with this helpful guide, you know how to clean your air fryer, so spread the joy and use your new-found powers to help someone else.

* Winner General Household Category (Survey of 8,000 people in UK & ROI) 

Did you find this article helpful?Thanks for your feedback!