Why You Shouldn't Use Water to Clean Your Air Fryer

by Elizabeth Marcant
A stainless steel air fryer is shown with its cooking compartment open and full of chicken wings while a pair of kitchen tons sits next to the fryer on the table, air fryer, chicken wings, appliances, fryer, kitchen appliances, tongs, cooking, chicken, wings, food

If you haven't played rock, paper, scissors or entered into another negotiation tactic to decide who does the after-dinner dishes, are you even cooking meals at home? For most people, facing a pile of greasy, food-encrusted pots, pans and small appliances on a full belly isn't the best way to round out an evening. So, it's easy to see how tips to hack your way through such chores can come about — such as a viral TikTok air fryer hack that shows people cleaning air fryer baskets with soap and water.

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But does this air fryer cleaning hack really work, and is it safe for your air fryer? Get answers below.

Should You Try the TikTok Air Fryer Cleaning Hack?

The hack shows up on videos across TikTok and other social media. It involves people filling the basket of their air fryers up to halfway with soap and water and turning the air fryer on. The concept is that, while the appliance heats up the soapy water, it cleans the basket.

Many experts, including home safety and electrical professionals, are weighing in on this hack. The consensus is that it's not a great idea, and you should put in a few minutes to clean your air fryer another way.

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Why Isn't It a Good Idea to Put Water and Soap in Your Air Fryer?

The main reason that you shouldn't use this TikTok air fryer hack is that these small kitchen appliances aren't designed to accommodate so much liquid. The entire point of air fryers is the ability to cook foods without a lot of oils. At most, you're only meant to add a few tablespoons of oil or water to the baskets.

If you add more than that, you could cause leaks or splashes that damage your machine. Even if the liquid itself doesn't end up in air fryer components and cause damage, the amount of steam created by heating soapy water can cause an issue.

On top of these concerns, most single-purpose air fryers are not designed to heat water enough to cause it to boil. Trying to heat soapy water to clean the air fryer could put enough pressure on the appliance that you burn it out or otherwise damage it.

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If You Have Already Tried This Hack, Is Your Air Fryer Ruined?

A lot of people have tried this hack with a small amount of water and found that it didn't work that well. Food that was really stuck on had to be cleaned off in other ways, even after the TikTok air fryer hack. If you've already tried this and your air fryer is working fine, you probably didn't cause any lasting harm.

If you tried the hack and are worried that water splashed into areas of the air fryer that shouldn't get super wet, unplug the machine. Wait for it to cool down and carefully wipe away any excess water you see. Let the appliance sit for 24 hours or so to ensure any water air dries before you try to use it again.

What's the Best Way to Clean Your Air Fryer Safely?

Want to know how to clean your air fryer without causing any damage? Your best bet is to follow the manufacturer's guidelines — check the manual that came with your appliance for those instructions.

You can remove the basket of most air fryers and wash it in hot, soapy water in your sink. Many air fryers may come with baskets that are dishwasher safe, but check your manual to be sure. As for the rest of the air fryer? Wait for it to cool down, and then carefully wipe it down with a damp dishcloth after each use.

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The eLocal Editorial Team operates independently of eLocal USA's marketing and sales decisions.

Elocal Editorial Content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Editorial Content should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed professional in your state reviewing your issue. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the eLocal Editorial Team and other third-party content providers do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of eLocal or its affiliate companies. Use of eLocal Editorial Content is subject to the

Website Terms and Conditions.

The eLocal Editorial Team operates independently of eLocal USA's marketing and sales decisions.

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