The Easiest Way to Clean a Waffle Maker

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Author: Tosh Lubek Published: 17th March 2021 is supported by its readers. Please assume links on this site are affiliate links or ads, and that I get commissions for purchases made through these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Thank you if you use any of the links.

Since you’re reading this article, I’m guessing you love waffles. But, like me, you don’t enjoy the clean-up once you’re done. Even so, a little effort will save you time and expense overall. I have found the following is the easiest way to clean a waffle maker after making breakfast.

Switch off and unplug your waffle maker. Let it cool until slightly warm. Wipe between the grids of the waffle iron plates with a dry paper towel. Apply cooking oil for 5 minutes to caked-on waffle batter. Wipe off the softened batter with a paper towel. Use a damp cloth to wipe clean the exterior of the waffle maker. 

So that’s how to clean a waffle maker, but is keeping your waffle iron clean important?

Sure it is! But importantly you’ll also want to know how to clean a waffle iron easily.

Do you need to clean a waffle iron?

It’s important to keep your kitchen appliances clean. Just like you would keep the rest of your kitchen clean, your appliances, including your Waffle iron or maker also need to be kept clean.

Your waffle maker should be cleaned thoroughly after you use it to make your favorite breakfast or treat. Leaving moist batter drips and other residues on your waffle maker not only makes it look unattractive but can also encourage the growth of bacteria and molds.

So regular cleaning of your waffle iron is important to help prevent the build-up of germs and help prolong the working life of the appliance.

The best way to clean your waffle maker

The best way to keep your waffle maker clean is to make sure you don’t store it away still dirty. A little effort after each use will prolong your waffle maker’s life and make it much more attractive and hygienic to use.

The shape of the waffle maker plates makes them difficult to clean. The plates have multiple cross-crossing grids, so it’s not as if you can remove any residue with one simple wipe across the surface with a cloth.

Even so, this is how to clean a waffle maker.

When you’ve finished making your waffles, unplug your waffle maker from the wall outlet and let it cool while you are eating.

Once you’ve finished your waffles the waffle maker’s cooking plates will have cool but may still have a little residual warmth. This will help because any oily residue won’t be as sticky as when cold. Be careful not to burn yourself if the waffle maker has not cooled down sufficiently.

If your grids have non-stick coatings use a non-abrasive brush to remove loose batter crumbs from between the grids. To absorb residual oil or butter from the top or between the waffle iron grids, wipe with a dry paper towel.

Provided there isn’t any caked-on waffle batter between the grid ridges, you can go ahead and wipe down the grids with a damp cloth.

However, if you need to remove stubbornly caked-on batter, try softening it first. Pour a little cooking oil onto the batter drips and leave it for about five to ten minutes. Once the oil has been absorbed by the batter use the dry paper towel again. The softened batter drips should now come away quite easily.

Remember, grids with non-stick coatings should not be cleaned with abrasive tools or cleaners. These can scratch or damage the non-stick coating.

FUN FACT: Roy J. Plunkett accidentally discovered PTFE in 1938 while working for DuPont. Kinetic Chemicals (a Du Pont and General Motors partnership) patented the new plastic in 1941 and registered the Teflon trademark in 1945.

With the plates dealt with, close the waffle maker, and clean the outside. Only use a clean damp cloth to wipe the surface. Scouring pads or other abrasive cleaning products should not be used to clean the waffle maker’s exterior since this may damage the finish.

When you have cleaned the plates and the exterior of your waffle maker let the surfaces air dry completely before putting the appliance away.

Can you wash a waffle maker in the sink or dishwasher?

Your waffle maker is an electric appliance and just like any other electrical appliance, you should not wash a waffle maker in the sink.

I would advise against immersing electrical goods and soaking them in water. It’s not a clever idea, especially if the waffle maker is still plugged in at the wall outlet. That can lead to electric shocks and damage to your appliance.

For your safety, and the long-term functioning of your waffle iron, do not was a waffle maker in the sink.

Before cleaning your waffle iron, make sure it is switched off and unplugged from the wall outlet. Never immerse the waffle maker in water, even if it has been unplugged. Waffle makers are not designed to be soaked in the sink, and the electric components may be permanently damaged.

Attempting to clean your waffle maker in a dishwasher is also not recommended, even if unplugged. Apart from damage to the electrical components, some waffle grids are not dishwasher safe, and their non-stick coatings may be damaged.

How to clean a waffle iron with removable plates

If you bought a waffle maker with removable cooking grids or plates, you could give them a good soak in warm soapy water. But you’ll need to remove them first.

Here’s how to clean a waffle iron with removable plates.

1: When you’re done making your waffles unplug your waffle maker from the wall outlet and go and enjoy your breakfast or waffle treat. The waffle maker can be cooling down until you’re ready to give it a clean.

2: When you’re back in the kitchen, and your waffle maker has completely cooled down, go ahead, and remove the waffle iron grid plates. If you are unsure how to remove them, you can find out how in the manufacturer’s instructions.

3: Most waffle iron grids have non-stick coatings, and you’ll frequently hear that you shouldn’t use soap or detergent on kitchenware with non-stick coatings. The truth is that I’ve been washing my non-stick kitchenware in hot soapy water for years. It’s one of the best ways to remove greasy residues and food bits that will gradually spoil the non-stick surface if not cleaned off.

4: You can now soak the grid plates in the hot soapy water. Once any hard waffle batter has had time to soak and soften you can start cleaning the grids with a dishcloth, non-stick coating safe sponge, or a soft cleaning brush. Do not use any abrasive cleaners or metal tools.

5: Run the hot water and rinse the waffle maker grid plates. You want to remove the soapy water and any food bits that have gotten trapped in the grid cavities. If you spot you’ve missed some waffle batter aim the hot water at the batter and hopefully it will come away.

6: When all the soapy water and food residues have been rinsed off, stand the grid plates on a drying rack, and let them air dry. The grids will be warm from being rinsed in hot water, so they should dry quickly.

7: When the grids are completely dry insert them again into the waffle maker. Once back in place, close the waffle maker and give the exterior a wipe with a clean damp cloth. Let any dampness on the waffle maker dry and then you can put the appliance away until it’s needed again.

As I mentioned earlier, most non-stick waffle maker grid plates should not be put into a dishwasher. The first few times they may come out looking pristine, but the non-stick coating will start to deteriorate. Dishwasher detergents have extra chemicals and salts included that are too harsh for non-stick coatings.

If you do plan to put your grids into a dishwasher, ensure the manufacturer says that is safe to do.

Sadly, the best way to clean your waffle maker grids is to clean them gently by hand. That is if you want them to continue to work properly for many years to come.

Should you use a waffle iron cleaning brush or another waffle iron cleaner?

These days most waffle makers have grid plates with non-stick coatings. They should not be used with metal utensils and never cleaned with abrasive cleaners or hard bristle brushes. However, non-scratch brushes can be used to clean waffle makers. They use soft to medium plastic bristles. Plastic or silicone can also be used to ease out food residues.

Taking care of the waffle maker’s non-stick surface starts before you get to the cleaning stage. Don’t use ordinary metal utensils to remove cooked waffles from the grids. The metal tools will scratch the non-stick coating, degrading future performance. Make sure you use non-scratch plastic or silicone utensils.

You also want to avoid using damaging brushes and cleaning pads when cleaning a waffle maker. Forget scouring pads, wire pads, and hard bristle brushes. They will all ruin the non-stick surface of the grid plates.

Obviously, you want something that will help cut down the cleaning time without doing any damage to your waffle maker, and I think I’ve found it in The Crown Choice non-scratch waffle machine cleaner.

The Crown Choice electric brush is intended for cleaning indoor grills, as well as panini presses and waffle makers.

The medium firmness bristles are safe for non-stick cookware, with space in the center to fit inside grooves and grates. This electric brush includes bristles on the tip to remove hard-to-reach areas and food residues.

A free replacement brush head is included. You twist to unlock the original head and replace it with the new brush head. Each brush head should give at least fifteen uses.

Don’t try using an electric brush on hot waffle maker grids, but I would recommend cleaning up when the grid plates are still slightly warm. The clean-up will be a lot easier. The electric brush will work on cold waffle grids, but cleaning will take longer.


A quick clean-up each time you’re done making your waffles will prevent those sticky residues from building up. You’ll also ensure you’re maximizing the useful service life of your waffle maker, so you can keep on making perfect fluffy or crispy waffles for years to come.

A good clean after each use of your waffle maker may also be good for your health. Cleaning your appliance will help prevent the spread of germs.

So don’t leave your waffle maker horribly sticky and covered by batter drips before you put it away. Give it a good wipe, both inside and out, and you won’t be faced with lots of waffle-making residues that’s difficult to clean off.

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