Welcome to AirFryDay, where — you guessed it —every Friday Mashable covers the latest trends, dispenses advice, and reviews recipes for your air fryer.
There are really simple ways to clean your air fryer.
We broke it down in detail here. The upshot? Use soap and water on the basket and grate. Use a damp cloth to clean the heating element — if it needs cleaning and once it has cooled. You can wipe the exterior with disinfectant wipes or a cloth.
But if you want an easy deep clean — let’s say your air fryer has acquired some caked-on, long term mess — then TikTok has a hack for that. User @maverickmcbee posted a TikTok where they heated up soapy water to deep clean their cooking basket.
SEE ALSO: The best air fryers for making crispy food faster than the oven
The basic steps, as outlined by @maverickmcbee, were.
Fill you air fryer with soapy water.
Air fry at 370 degrees for 3 minutes.
Dump out the water, rinse, and see a much cleaner air fryer.
Here’s how it looked in the viral TikTok, which has amassed nearly 9 million views.
Credit: screenshots : tiktok / @maverickmcbee
As I started my test of this hack, first I had to assess the cleanliness of my air fryer. The machine does get a lot of use, considering I do these AirFryDay tests at least once per week. But I find my air fryer — an Instant Pot brand Vortex — super easy to clean, considering the interior is just a nonstick drawer with a nonstick, removable grate.
Upon inspection, there was some caked-on grease stains on the underside of the grate and a couple marks here and there, likely from a shoddy hand-drying via your’s truly. Here are a few close ups.
So I loaded up my air fryer with a ton of dish soap and some warm water, then agitated the water to get the suds going. It looked liked this.
From there, I carefully popped the water-filled drawer into the air fryer for 3 minutes at 370 degrees. Before I knew it, the odd cook was finished.
But when I removed the drawer, the hot water was mostly clear, which didn’t give me much hope for the hack’s efficacy. Here’s what is looked like.
In the viral TikTok, the resulting water was brownish. So clearly I didn’t take up as much grime as that.
Upon closer inspection, the water marks and light grime from the topside of the grate was removed, which was nice. The caked-on greasy stuff on the underside of the grate, however, mostly remained. A quick rinse didn’t remove it, although I could scrape it off, meticulously, with a paper towel. But that would’ve been the case before the hack, I suspect.
Here are pictures of the grease that still remained and the mostly clean topside of the grate.
So does the hack work? Yes and no. Hot soap and water will do some cleaning. I think that much is clear and obvious. Is it radically better than just using a sponge and tap water? Or, better yet, using the dishwasher? No, not really. But it is very easy.
I just wouldn’t expect it to magically remove tough grease that’s really stuck. I will concede, however, that this trick might work better for different kinds of air fryers that don’t look as easy to clean by hand. The nonstick on the Vortex makes it super easy to wipe down. I could see this hack proving useful for air fryers that use wire baskets or even the type in the viral TikTok, which seems to heave more places for food to stick.
So there you have it, air fry some water and you might just be rewarded with a cleaner machine.