How To Clean a Waffle Iron with Non-Removable Plates

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.


Frequently Asked Questions

01. How Do You Fix a Sticky Waffle Iron?

While it sounds counterintuitive, using oil to remove grease is probably the best method we have found. 

Greasy substances found in the kitchen like cooking spray, little amounts of cooking oil or even butter can help clean any sticky waffle iron. 

Simply use the oil to wipe the sticky surface and use a clean paper towel or dishtowel to wipe the residue clean.

Alternatively, you can use a cooking spray to apply an even layer of oil all over your waffle iron. 

02. What is the Easiest Way to Clean a Waffle Iron?

Using a damp towel and cotton swabs is the easiest way to clean a waffle iron. Just wipe down the exterior and let it dry until you are ready to make some waffles. 

The best time to clean your waffle iron would be right after you’ve done making your waffles. Turn off your waffle makers after you’ve made your food. Then wait for a few minutes.

Use a dry paper towel to wipe your waffle maker exactly where you pour the waffle mixture. The heat helps to remove any buildup grease or leftover food from it. You won’t even have to use any soap to clean it. 

03. Are You Supposed to Grease a Waffle Iron? 

Yes. Waffle irons need to be greased every time before use. It can also be greased to clean.

The grease helps to give it a nonstick feeling so when you make your waffles, it won’t stick to the surface. If you are using a cast iron waffle maker, you need to season it from time to time. 

To season your cast iron waffle maker, apply a light coating of oil and plug it in for a while. Repeat this process until the surface looks shiny and smooth. 

04. Can You Wash a Waffle Iron in the Sink?

You should never put the entire waffle iron in the sink. In case of removable plates, remove the plates and clean them in the sink. But for un-removable plates, use a towel to wipe away any excess grease.

The reason why you shouldn’t clean it under the sink is that most waffle makers are electric. So direct contact with water can damage the gadget. It’s the same reason why we don’t wash a toaster in the sink. 

As waffle iron has many grooves and valleys, use cotton swabs if necessary to remove all buildups. Use a pastry brush to apply a light coat of oil to the waffle maker. 

05. Why are My Waffles Sticking to the Waffle Iron?

There can be a few different reasons why your waffle is sticking to the iron. One of them is not applying enough oil. Even if you are using a nonstick waffle maker, you have to use a light brush of oil on it. This helps to prevent it from sticking. 

If the waffles are sticking to the waffle iron, it can also mean the waffle iron is not hot enough. And if the waffle iron is sufficiently heated but the waffles are splitting up in between, it means that it hasn’t cooked through well.

06. Is Pancake and Waffle Mix The Same?

Both waffles and pancakes have similar ingredient lists so it’s not uncommon to assume they are the same thing in different forms. 

Pancakes and waffles both use eggs, milk, and flour. The main difference between them is the batter. 

Usually, waffle batters have more sugar or fat in them than pancake batter, making the resulting waffles browner, caramelized, and crispy.

How to Clean a Waffle Maker

Before you begin, note that you should never use any tools or utensils with sharps edges, scouring pads, or hard-bristled brushes that could scratch and destroy the surface of the waffle machine.

What You’ll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Rubber spatula
  • Sponge or dishcloth
  • Dish detergent

Step 1: Review the manual

Referring to the owner's manual will help you determine the best way to clean your waffle maker, and eliminate a lot of the guesswork to ensure you don't damage your appliance. If you can't find the owner's manual, don't fret; a quick online search should return product-care instructions needed to get the job done. Or go directly to the manufacturer's website to see if they include copies online.

Once you've located the manual for your machine, take a moment to review it. Determine if there are any removable parts, and whether or not your waffle maker is dishwasher-safe. Many waffle machines are not dishwasher-safe, but some have detachable components that can be cleaned in the sink or dishwasher. The majority of waffle makers on the market today clearly indicate they should not be submerged in water, so wiping it down is most often the best cleaning method.

Step 2:  Unplug and cool down

Make sure that your waffle iron is unplugged from its electrical source. This will help you avoid accidentally activating the power feature. You'll also want to give your waffle machine plenty of time to cool down after use so that you don't burn yourself during the cleaning process.

Related: How to Clean a Coffee Maker, Plus Why You Should Do It More Often

Step 3:  Wipe down with a paper towel

Many waffle makers on the market today come with nonstick coatings, which make cleaning a lot easier. Use a paper towel or dishcloth to remove any clinging waffle batter or oil residue. Don't forget to wipe up any food bits stuck within crevices or batter-overflow areas.Related: How to Make Your Own Reusable Paper Towels

Step 4: Brush away stuck-on bits

If there are any food bits still stuck to the machine, grab a soft-bristle brush (the soft bristles protect the integrity of the machine's surface, especially if it's nonstick). Carefully work the dry brush over the machine to dislodge stubborn crumbs. A rubber spatula can also be used to remove any dried residue from the waffle machine without damaging the cooking surface.

Step 5: Clean the cooking surface

Once you've removed any visible oil and food particles, clean the cooking surface of your machine with a damp sponge or dishcloth and a bit of dish detergent. If your waffle maker has a nonstick coating, skip the dish soap, as it can compromise the delicate cooking surface. Instead, opt for warm water. Be careful not to go overboard with the soap and water so that you don't damage the machine or expose electrical components to water that might increase the risk of electric shock once the machine is plugged in again.

Related: Here's How Often You Should Be Cleaning These Common Kitchen Appliances

For waffle irons with removable plates, remove the plates and place them in the sink or a container filled with warm water. Wash the plates gently with a soft sponge or brush. (Remember: don't use soap if the surface is nonstick.) Make sure any removable parts are completely dry before placing them back into the waffle machine.

You may need to make a few passes over the machine's griddle to satisfactorily clean the cooking surface, but with most of the food already removed, this shouldn't take long. Once you've cleaned the inside of your machine, turn your attention to the outside and give it a good wipe-down with your damp sponge or dishcloth.

Step 6: Dry the waffle maker

With a fresh dishcloth, wipe down your clean waffle maker to remove any moisture before storing it away or returning it to its place on the kitchen counter.

How to Clean a Waffle Iron (Non-removable Plates)

It can be daunting cleaning a waffle iron with non-removable plates. You can’t use a metal utensil, scouring pads, or steel wool to scrape the grill. They ruin the non-stick coating, causing it to peel off.

It’s not only unhealthy but also causes your waffles to stick the next time you use it. So, do you want to learn how to clean waffle maker efficiently? Check out these cleaning tips and see if you can find one that works for you!

Dry Clean

Use the dry clean method if you prefer not to get the nonstick surface of the waffle iron wet. Start by disconnecting the waffle maker from the socket allow it to cool off. Dry cleaning works best if it’s quite warm, but not so hot that you can’t touch it.

Use a paper towel to wipe away excess oil and brush away crumbs. You can also use a soft bristle brush to remove most of the gunk. If there’re any hardened bits, soak a dish towel in hot water and ring it out.

Put it onto the waffle maker and close it. Allow it to sit for a few minutes. Pry up any dried up oil spots using a rubber spatula. It’s capable of cleaning between the grid plates due to its thin and malleable nature.

You can also sprinkle a small quantity of cooking oil over stubborn pieces of waffles and let it sit for a moment. Afterward, rub the gunk away using a paper towel. Lastly, using a damp cloth, wipe the outside of the waffle iron.

Grease It Up

If you’ve ever used aerosol cooking spray to clean a waffle iron, like you would grease a pan for baking, you may have noted a brown, sticky residue. The residue bakes on and, in time, becomes a problem to remove. Learn how to clean a waffle iron without using severe chemicals.

tb1234 Baking sodaDry paper towelCooking oil (e.g.Crisco)Pastry brush tb1234

Spread a moderate layer of cooking oil, preferably Crisco, on the entire nonstick surface of the grill using a pastry brush and let it sit for an hour. Afterward, sprinkle a bit of baking soda onto the cooking oil.

Take your dry paper towel and begin rubbing until you remove the gunk. The use of both cooking oil and baking soda is advised not only because they gently scrub the surface clean, but also because they are food safe items. They aren’t harmful if they come into contact with food.

Steaming Method

Steaming helps loosen all the caked-on batter and makes it easier to wipe off all the gunk. One study found that it was easier to wipe away the crumbs and greasiness while the grill is still a little bit warm.

The article also explained how to clean built up grease on waffle iron. Before you start preparing for your next brunch, commit these tips to memory.

tb1234 Damp clothHot waterA soft toothbrush or rubber spatulaBaking soda tb1234

With the steam method, start by boiling some water. Dip the damp cloth into hot water and squeeze it so that it’s not dripping wet. Squeezing the cloth prevents any damage to this kitchen appliance’s wiring as a result of water dripping through the crevices.

When the iron is hot but powered down, put the wet cloth over the cooking surface of the waffle maker; then close the lid and let it sizzle and steam. Once the build up gunk has loosened, use a soft toothbrush or a rubber spatula to scrub off the grate.

Be gentle to avoid scratching the nonstick surface. Dipping the toothbrush in baking soda helps achieve this goal.

Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

According to a graduate from Iowa State University, baking soda can be used to clean off sticky grease on pans or kitchen appliances as it acts like an eraser. Baking soda helps in killing bacteria and is friendly to a nonstick surface, too.

tb1234 Baking sodaVinegarA small amount of waterA toothbrush or soft bristle brushDry paper towelA damp cloth tb1234

Mix some baking soda with some water to form a spreadable paste. Using a toothbrush made of a soft bristle, apply the baking soda paste to the nonstick surface of the grill. Next, pour some vinegar in a spray bottle and carefully spray each section of the grill.

Don’t saturate the waffle iron with vinegar. Afterward, use the toothbrush or soft bristle to scrub the grill while being careful not to leave marks on the non-stick coating.

Wipe clean with a dry paper towel. Grab a clean damp cloth and wipe the nonstick surface of the grill before storing it away.

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.
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