How to Clean a Waffle Iron the Right Way

By Sharon Brandwein

Warm and toasty waffles are a fun treat on a Sunday morning. Whipping them up is as easy as mixing the batter, pouring it onto the preheated waffle iron, and voila, you’ve got a breakfast that’s a real crowd-pleaser. But while making waffles is relatively easy, the clean-up leaves a little to be desired. From caked-on messes to sticky residue, waffle irons can be a bit tricky to maintain—unless you know how to properly clean a waffle maker.

This guide walks you through how to clean a waffle iron and in it, we share a few different ways to clean your appliance. As a bonus, we include a few tips for keeping your waffle iron clean which will keep it working optimally and can even prolong its life.

dirty waffle iron and plate of cooked waffles

Photo via Shutterstock

When to Clean Your Waffle Iron 

More often than not, the best time to clean your waffle iron is right after you use it. If your waffle maker has non-stick plates, clean-up should be fairly easy; all it would likely take is a quick wipe down with a damp paper towel or dishrag once the plates have cooled, and you're done. 

If you've been using your waffle iron without cleaning it periodically, or if you've been using it with non-stick sprays, a deeper clean may be necessary. And considering this is an electrical appliance, you may want to give your owner's manual a quick once-over before you begin.


How to Clean a Waffle Iron with Steam 

You might find that the best way to clean a waffle iron might even be the easiest. This simple method of cleaning your waffle maker uses steam to release the gunk off your appliance, and the results are pretty impressive. Just remember that you are working with an electric appliance, so you want only dampness—no soaking wet parts around the iron.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Paper towels 
  • Clean sponge (optional)
  • Water

Step 1: Preheat Iron

Preheat your waffle iron.

Step 2: Wet Paper Towels

Take several paper towels, soak them in water, and wring them out until they are just damp.

Step 3: Set Paper Towels on Iron

Place the damp paper towels on the heated waffle iron and put the top down. Wait for a few minutes as the steam works its magic on the caked-on gunk. Be sure to stay close and keep an eye on the waffle iron.

Step 4: Turn Off Iron and Wipe Down

Once the steam has had a few minutes to work and the caked-on gunk is loosened up, turn off the iron, let it cool, and then wipe the unit down with a damp sponge or paper towel. 

How to Clean a Waffle Iron with Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

For caked-on messes, you may need time and a little more cleaning power to whip your waffle iron back into shape. Here's how. 

Tools and Materials Needed

Step 1: Unplug Iron

Unplug the waffle iron and let it cool. 

Step 2: Clean Up

Soak up any remaining oil and wipe away loose bits and crumbs.

Step 3: Make a Paste and Let Sit

Combine just enough baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Spoon the paste onto the plates and anywhere else on the appliance where batter is caked on. Let the mixture sit for at least an hour with the machine set open. For more stubborn messes, you can let the paste sit longer.

Step 4: Wipe Plates Clean

After letting the mixture sit for a while, wipe the plates with a clean rag or damp paper towels. Repeat if necessary. 

Step 5: Clean Remaining Crumbs

Tackle any remaining bits with a soft-bristled brush or use a toothpick to get into the small cracks. Wipe away any bits the come loose with a damp paper towel or a clean rag. 

How to Clean a Waffle Iron with Removable Plates 

If you were wondering whether you can wash a waffle maker, the answer is yes—sort of. If your waffle iron has removable plates, you can wash them; here’s how. 

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Gentle dish soap
  • Non-scratch sponge or soft-bristled brush
  • Clean dish towel

Step 1: Unplug Iron and Remove Plates

Unplug your waffle iron, allow it to cool, and remove the plates. 

Step 2: Submerge Plates in Water

Fill your sink with warm soapy water and submerge the plates. 

Step 3: Clean Plates

Using a sponge that's safe for non-stick surfaces or a soft bristle brush, clean the plates taking care to put a little extra elbow grease on sticky grease spots and caked-on batter bits. 

Step 4: Rinse Plates

Rinse the plates in warm water and dry them with a clean dish towel.

batter dripping onto a waffle iron

Photo via Shutterstock

More Waffle Iron Care Tips

Keeping your waffle iron clean can increase the longevity of the product. Plus, who wants to compromise the delicious taste of waffles with a dirty iron? Here are some general cleanliness and preservation tips to keep your waffle iron in good working order:

  • Always check your user’s manual before cleaning your waffle iron. There may be instructions specific to your unit that you need to know before you begin. 
  • Stay away from oil sprays with propellants. Aerosol cooking sprays tend to leave a sticky residue behind that can be pretty difficult to clean. If you find that your batter is sticking, just pour a little cooking oil on the grates before you begin.
  • Don’t use sharp tools or knives to scrape off caked-on bits from the plates of your waffle iron. This can lead to scratches on the surface that can compromise the non-stick integrity of the unit.

Do you use your waffle iron often? Do you have any tips for cleaning it? We’d love to hear your comments below!

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