To Clean A Waffle Maker, Strike While The Iron's Hot

Homemade waffles are far more delicious than even the best frozen waffles you've ever had. But perhaps everyone would be eating waffles every day of the week if it weren't for that pesky waffle iron. Crusted-on batter and misdirected nonstick cooking spray make a waffle maker a real hassle to clean. However, there is a trick that makes cleaning a waffle maker a lot easier — don't wait! Clean the waffle maker while it is still hot.

If you let the waffle maker cool completely before cleaning, all those crumbs, globs of batter, overflowed edges, and extra grease get fused onto the machine. It is still doable to clean a cooled-off waffle maker; it just takes a lot more work. Plus, if you aren't thoroughly cleaning the waffle maker — a real temptation after a luxurious breakfast on a lazy morning — you are creating an environment for harmful bacteria to grow. Yuck!

How to clean a waffle maker while it is still hot

You are going to want to do this carefully. If you are concerned about getting burned, throw on a pair of heat-proof gloves. Otherwise, proceed responsibly.

Start by unplugging the waffle maker. Then, dampen a paper towel or kitchen towel that you don't mind getting dirty with water. Use a pair of tongs to wipe down both the inside and outside of the waffle maker. To dislodge stubborn, stuck-on bits of batter, use a toothpick, a wooden kebab skewer, a chopstick, a pastry brush, or even a toothbrush — avoid using a metal tool that can damage the waffle maker's surface. If a piece of batter is really sticking, moisten it with a couple of drops of cooking oil, and scrape off the softened batter after a couple of minutes.

After the waffle maker has cooled off, wipe it down three times — first, with a cloth with lightly soapy water, a cloth with plain water, and finally, a dry towel. Never dunk an electric maker in a sink full of water — the whole device can be ruined. Since all the crusted-on bits should have come off fairly quickly in the first cleaning step, these wipe-downs should be done in a flash. There is no denying that cleaning a waffle maker is a bit of a process, but cleaning it while still hot definitely saves you some time and effort.