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How to Clean a Deep Fryer

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Allow Fryer to Cool Completely
A deep fryer filled with food on a stove top
  • You can’t clean a fryer with hot oil in it. Make sure to allow the fryer to cool down completely before you start the cleaning process.
  • This may take a few hours after the last use.
Remove the Oil
Oil being poured out of a fryer into a bowl
  • Before you can start deep cleaning the fryer, remove the oil. 
  • Carefully lift the oil reservoir and pour the oil into a plastic bowl or container. 
  • If the oil is still relatively clean, you can pour it back into the fryer at the end for additional use. Otherwise, safely dispose it in the trash.

Tip: Do not pour oil down your sink drain as this can cause plumbing issues. 

Scrape the Sides and Bottom
A close up of a hand scrubbing the inside of a deep fryer
  • Use an abrasive sponge or a straight plastic edge to scrape away any build-up on the sides or bottom of the fryer. 
  • Work your way around, getting into the corners as well.
Add Water and Soap
A kitchen sink with soap near the faucet
  • Add a squirt of liquid dish soap to the fryer and fill it the rest of the way with hot water.
  • Mix up the dish soap and water.
  • Turn on the fryer and let the water come to a boil so the soap solution can break down the remaining grease inside the unit. 
  • Allow the water to boil for 5- to 10-minutes, depending on how dirty the fryer is.
  • Avoid burning yourself by allowing both the fryer unit and the water inside to cool completely. 
  • Once it does, dump out the soapy water into the sink.
Wipe Down the Inside
A person wearing gloves and wiping down the inside of an air fryer
  • Using an old rag or microfiber cloth, wipe down the inside of the fryer, working to remove all the remaining oil and grease. 
  • If more soap is needed, fill a small bowl with liquid dish soap and hot water to form suds and dip the cloth in the mixture between scrubs. 
  • If you are able to get all the oil off, set the unit out to dry and clean the exterior with the same cloths. 
  • If more oil still remains, try moving on to the next step.
Tackle Tough Grease with Baking Soda Paste
A person holding a spoonful of baking soda
  • When liquid dish soap and hot water don’t cut it, baking soda acts as a powerful cleaning agent. 
  • Add a heaping spoonful of baking soda to a small bowl.
  • Add just enough hot water to work the baking soda into a paste. 
  • Work the paste into the areas where you still have a sticky film or stuck-on residue. 
  • If the reservoir features a nonstick coating, use a soft cleaning brush to work the paste in. 

Tip: If you have a metal reservoir, use a steel wool sponge to scour dirty areas.

Rinse and Dry
A close up of a hand wiping the outside of a deep fryer
  • With your fryer nice and clean, it is important to let the unit dry completely before using it again. 
  • Wipe it down as much as you can with a clean, dry cloth and then allow it to dry the rest of the way. 
  • When it is completely dry, refill the fryer with oil, and it is ready for use again.
Deep Fryer Cleaning Tips
A deep fryer on a wooden cutting board in a kitchen
  • You don’t need to clean a deep fryer after each use. That oil will be good for multiple frying sessions. Over time, however, there will be some build-up. 
  • Avoid all the electrical components when cleaning a deep fryer. 
  • Never submerge your fryer in the sink. 
  • How often you have to clean your deep fryer depends on how much you use the unit. If you find that you are using it at least once a week, deep clean it every 3- to 6-months. 

Having a deep fryer at home is a great way to enjoy all the flavors of your favorite fried foods from the comfort of your own home. This appliance is generally very low-maintenance, and the oil you use is good for many uses. Once a quarter or so, give yourself an hour to deep clean the unit, and it will create tasty food for many years to come.