How To Clean A Waffle Iron


How to clean a waffle iron

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is ‘How to clean a waffle iron’ and here is my comprehensive guide to some easy cleaning hacks.

Enjoying delicious waffles for breakfast, a late lunch or as a dessert always feels special and luxurious. But cleaning up a messy waffle maker with dried batter on the exterior or the waffle plates is a dreaded chore.

Most electric waffle makers are easy to clean because of the non-stick surface on the plates. But sometimes you still have these pesky crumbs that stick in between the ridges and are hard to get rid off.

Regardless if you own a waffle maker with removable plates, a Belgian or classic waffle iron, a waffle maker you can flip – our tips do apply to all of them.

I must admit that waffle irons with removable plates are the easiest to clean.

General Rules For Cleaning A Waffle Iron

If you are unsure about how to clean your precious waffle maker, please check the user manual first. It will tell you if the plates should be washed in soapy water or if the (removable) plates are dishwasher safe.

  • First and foremost, always wait until the waffle maker has cooled down and before cleaning it, unplug the appliance for your safety.
  • Secondly, never immersed the waffle maker in water. If water gets into the electrical parts of your waffle maker, you risk getting an electric shock the next time you plug it in or even break the waffle iron altogether.

Even though these safety precautions seem to be common sense, it is still good to be reminded.

  • Thirdly, avoid using cooking spray because it will leave a sticky residue over time which is very hard to clean.
    If you want to grease the waffle plates, use a pastry brush and lightly brush the oil on the plates.
    In general, we have found that waffle makers with nonstick coating don’t need any greasing at all.

Extra Tip: if the waffles stick to the cooking plates, add a bit more oil or butter to the batter.

The Easy Way To Clean A Waffle Maker With Removable Plates

Step One

Unplug the waffle iron and let it cool down. Remove the plates according to the instruction manual.

Step Two

If the plates are dishwasher safe, place them in the dishwasher. If not, put them in hot water and let them soak for a while.

Step Three

Use a very soft sponge or brush with soft bristles to remove any batter or greasy residue.

Never use sharp objects like a knife because it can scratch the non-stick coating. Instead, you could use a tooth brush or ear swabs to clean hard to reach areas.

Step Four

Put the plates on the drying rack and let them air dry or pat dry with a tea towel.

Step Five

After the plates have completely dried, snap them back into the waffle iron. (Follow the instruction manual)

To clean the exterior of the waffle maker use a damp cloth and wipe it clean.

How To Clean A Waffle Iron With Non-Removable Plates

Cleaning a waffle maker with non-removable plates might be a bit trickier than with removable plates. I have watched all kinds of YouTube videos with cleaning hacks but don’t think you need to over complicate things.

Some of them I have found even a bit dangerous like filling the hot plates with water and let it steam. Really! Steam can cause severe burns, and I would stay away from this method.

Here is an easy cleaning tip: Fill a bowl with hot water and dip in a very soft brush (e.g., a pastry brush) or a soft sponge. Gently brush the water on the plates and into the crevices.

If the dough is stuck in between, just let it soak in a bit of water for a few minutes and then brush it away.

To remove any excess oil on the plates use a dry paper towel to dab it off.

The trickier part is to clean any excess batter that might have dripped down the sides onto the exterior.

Please keep in mind that the batter doubles in size when it cooks. Therefore don’t fill the plates right up otherwise the batter will overflow.

One of my favorite waffle makers, The Breville Smart Waffle Maker,  has an overflow ring so the batter never goes on the exterior and it is a breeze to clean.

To clean the exterior, I use a soft sponge and press it into the dry mixture to loosen it a bit and simply wipe it off after a few minutes.

Step One

Unplug your waffle iron and let it cool down.

Step Two

Use a dry paper towel and dab off any excess oil. Use a soft brush, dip it in hot water and gently brush in between the crevices to remove any batter and crumbs.

Step Three

Clean the outside with a soft sponge or dish cloth.

Step Four

Make sure the plates are dry before you store away the waffle maker; ready to be used again!

Things You Should Avoid

Here are the most important things you should avoid when cleaning a waffle iron.

  • Never immerse the waffle maker in water
  • Always unplug the waffle iron and let it cool down before cleaning.
  • Don’t use any cooking spray. The residue will build up over time and is hard to clean.
  • Don’t use sharp objects like a knife or hard brushes or scouring pads to clean the plates. It will destroy the non-stick coating.

Cleaning Tools

You’ll only need simple cleaning tools:

  • paper towels
  • ear swabs and a clean tooth brush
  • a soft pastry brush, a sponge, and a dish cloth.


Wrapping Things Up

I do hope my guide on ‘How to clean a waffle iron’ gave you some useful tips that will make your life a bit easier.

Afterall, we want to enjoy the waffles (and plenty of them) and not spending all day in the kitchen afterward.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment box, and I  will answer them.

Looking for the perfect waffle maker? Please be sure to check out Our Buying Guide To The Best Waffle Makers.

Worried about waffle makers with a Teflon coating? Here is our list of waffle makers without Teflon. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links. 

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