Nothing is more delicious than eating freshly baked waffles in the early morning before work. Better yet, how about waking up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and making warm waffles with fresh fruit and whipped cream on top, with a hot cup of coffee on the side? What a way to start your day! Warm, fluffy waffles are the perfect way to kick-start your morning, both weekdays and weekends.
When preparing delicious, restaurant-quality waffles, all you have to do is plug in your waffle maker and allow it to warm up before pouring your batter and a few flavorful toppings. With all of the different waffle makers available, it’s easier than ever to find a waffle maker that fits your needs and your budget.
Now that you’ve enjoyed your breakfast and realize that you need to get to work, there’s one thing you have to do before leaving your house, clean your waffle iron. This part is the downside of baking waffles because cleaning the crevices on the grids can be quite frustrating and time-consuming. You can always let it sit and clean it later, but letting food collect on a kitchen appliance can cut down it’s life and will make it even harder to clean later on.
While this might be the case, we have good news for all kitchen appliance enthusiasts. Cleaning your waffle maker doesn’t have to be a big job. It be easy!
How to clean your waffle iron
There are a few steps that are true no matter what kind of waffle maker you have. The instructions below are especially true if you’re waffle iron has non-removable plates, meaning that the waffle baking grids do not come off of the waffle iron. Basically, you can clean your waffle maker in the following four easy steps.
Step one: Allow your waffle iron to cool down
The first step of cleaning your waffle iron is unplugging it from the main power source and allowing it to cool down. It may be common sense, but it’s easy to remember this point when you’re in a rush to get done. Remember the non-removable plates can’t be immersed in water, so after unplugging the appliance from the power source, allow it to cool down while eating your waffles.
By the time you finish your breakfast, your waffle iron will have cooled down and will be ready to clean.
Step two: Remove excess oil from the waffle iron
With the help of a damp paper towel, clean the grid plates gently or simply place the paper towel inside the plates, then close the lid to allow the waffle maker to clean itself with the available steam.
After a minute or two, open up the lid and wipe the rest of the plates to remove any oils that might have accumulated.
Step three: Brush away stubborn baked on waffle crumbs
The next step is to check for any traces of stubborn baked-on waffle crumbs. To do this, you can apply a few drops of oil to the grid plates then allow it to soak in that oil for some time before cleaning the non-stick surface with a dry towel or paper towel.
Alternatively, if the waffle debris are too stubborn, you can use a soft kitchen brush or soft-bristled toothbrush to brush the plates and remove any debris.
Step four: Clean the exterior of the waffle iron
Finally, clean the exterior of the waffle iron with a damp cloth. This will allow you to remove any extra batter that might have spread to the casing during baking.
Always be cautious and avoid wiping the casing with a wet cloth to prevent getting shocked the next time you bake you waffles.
How to Clean a Waffle Iron with Removable Plates
Step one: Allow the waffle iron to cool down
As usual, disconnect the waffle maker from the main power source and allow it to cool while you enjoy your waffles. When done, follow the instructions on how to remove the plates, and be careful not to damage the surface.
Step two: Soak the plates in water
This can be done either in the sink or in a basin full of warm water. Clean the plates naturally with a soft towel without applying any soap detergents, as they can damage the non-stick surface.
Make sure the towel, sponge, or brush you’re using to clean the plates is soft and gentle so you don’t scratch the non-stick surface.
Step three: Let waffle iron plates dry before snapping them back
Here, you can either allow the plates to self-dry naturally, or you can simply use a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe them if you’re in a hurry.
Make sure that the plates are completely dry before you snap them back onto the waffle iron to avoid any problems the next time you connect your appliance to the power outlet.
How to clean a nonstick or Teflon Waffle Iron
Nonstick or Teflon waffle irons should only need a light coating of oil before the first time they’re used for the day. In other words, if you’re making 2-3 waffles in the same waffle maker, you should only lightly oil it the first time. In addition to that, if your recipe consists of enough fat, you shouldn’t have it problem with it sticking.
Still, if you find yourself with chunks of waffles leftover in your Teflon waffle grids, you should only need a damp cloth or brush to wipe it away.
NEVER use sharp or metal tools to remove waffles or scraped caked on batter on a Teflon or nonstick surface. Doing so can scratch off the nonstick surface and either cause the waffle iron to not work properly, or worse, be hazardous to your health.
How to clean a cast iron Waffle Iron
Cleaning and taking care of cast iron cookware is just different than anything else. Not only can a cast iron waffle iron last you a generation, but you’ll never have to worry about questionable chemicals in the waffle iron. On the other hand, it can be a pain to clean.
There are two types of cleaning we’re talking about here, everyday cleaning and a thorough cleaning.
For everyday cleaning your cast iron waffle iron, you can just use a moist rag or brush and brush off any remaining waffle chunks. Things should come off easy if your cast iron waffle iron is already seasoned and if you used enough fat (preferably butter) in your waffle recipe.
If you need a deep cleaning, there are two things you need. First, you need The Ringer, it’s a stainless steel cast iron cleaner. See below!
The second thing you need to do is follow the detailed instructions outlined in this article called Cast Iron 101. I was going to share a few tips, but honestly, EVERYTHING that you need to know related to your cast iron cookware is outlined in that post. Give it a read!
How to clean a Waffle Iron with ceramic plates
Waffle makers with ceramic plates are still generally nonstick. Yes, even though they’re PFOA and PTFE free, they’re still nonstick. Even then, they’re still resistant to scratches, peeling and flaking, and can often cook faster and cook more evenly than Teflon waffle makers.
For ceramic waffle makers, all you have to do is wipe the grids down with a damp paper towel or damp cloth. Always unplug the waffle maker and allow it to cool before doing so. Although it’s ceramic, you should never use sharp objects to clean it or to remove waffles.
How to clean sugar out of a Waffle Iron
With the vast variety of waffle dessert recipes available online nowadays, at some point you’ll likely make a waffle in which burnt sugar will be left on the waffle iron grids. This is easier to clean than you think!
All you need to do is get a soft cloth, preferably a microfiber cloth, and run hot water over it. Then squeeze out the excess water and rub down the grids. You’ll be surprised at how sugar melts away under the soft water!
How to clean a burnt Waffle Iron
It’s possible to fully recover a waffle iron with burnt on waffles, grease, sugar or other. With so many sweet and savory recipes out there, we’ve had all kinds of things get stuck on our waffle iron. Mac and cheese, cinnamon rolls, even croquetas! Still, it’s usually possible to clean your waffle iron grids with a most sponge or cloth. However, if your waffle iron is Teflon and you find yourself doing a lot of rubbing and scraping, you might want to reconsider if you should keep it.
With so many affordable waffle irons nowadays, I would rather get a new waffle iron for less than $30 than to risk scraping Teflon off of the waffle maker nonstick finish.
What’s a waffle maker cleaning brush?
A waffle maker cleaning brush should be your go to tool for taking care of your waffle maker. Just like you have a special steel brush for your BBQ, you’ll need a special brush for your waffle iron. This brush can be used for all of your nonstick kitchen appliances.
We recommend the OXO Good Grips Electric Grill and Panini Press Brush.
This little brush is ideal for getting into the crevices and grids of waffle makers, panini presses, indoor grills, and any other kitchen appliance. It has soft, flexible bristles that are specially designed for nonstick cookware. It’s handle is soft, comfortable, and non-slip, even when wet. It also works well on waffle makers with ceramic plates.
Best of all, it has 4.6/5 stars on over 1,100 customer reviews on Amazon!
The Easy Kitchen Appliances way
To make your clean the most low maintenance clean up possible, we’d recommend finding a waffle maker with removable plates, one just like this Hamilton Beach Waffle Maker with removable plates. This will allow you to pop off the plates and leave them soaking in water all day. When you return home, you can take them out and let them dry overnight before using again the next day. Having cleanup be this easy means that you can enjoy delicious waffles everyday without the mess!
Which waffle iron brands are easier to clean?
There may be things that are specific to the brand of waffle maker that you have. For example, Oster has brand specific instructions here. Although the instructions you’ll find on Oster’s site won’t be any different than instructions you’ll see somewhere else. Still, people always ask me how to clean their Breville waffe maker or their Waring Pro waffle maker. Unless your waffle maker has a very specific and unique function, like the Chefman Waffle Maker with the Volcano pour, there may not be anything model specific, although it’s certainly good to find out before using it for the first time.
How long should my waffle iron last?
Following these instructions will ensure that your electric Waffle Maker lasts for years. It’s easy for these appliances, especially the waffle irons from the more reputable brands to last for five or more years. When it comes to a cast iron waffle iron, it can last for more than a generation!
No matter what kind of waffle maker you have, take good care of it and it will provide you delicious waffles for years to come!