A squeaky-clean air fryer is just one magical ingredient away


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Photo: Getty Images/Leren Lu

“I don’t know about you, but my air fryer was crusty,” reads an all-too-relatable Reddit thread. I, too, own (and love) an air fryer. I, too, have experienced that very real struggle of trying to coax Brussels sprout bits out of all its nooks and crannies. I too have taken to the internet to ensure my most treasured kitchen appliance gets the hygiene it needs and deserves. And, courtesy of the good users of Reddit, I’ve found a trick for how to clean an air fryer that’s so good, even stubborn cauliflower gnocchi remnants don’t stand a chance.

This tale of air fryer triumph is akin to the moment King Arthur pulled his mighty sword from the stone. “So, today, after cooking fried chicken, I put some apple cider vinegar in the basket (the main one, not the insert) right after making the chicken. Scrubbed it with a dish brush and it’s as clean as it’s been since the first time I’ve used. Smells good, too,” writes a Redditor. Honestly, it’s no great shock that ACV turned out to be the solve(nt) for this issue. The vinegar’s uses are unending and varied: from hair care, to breakfast hacks, to keeping your reflection happy.

Of course, there are air fryers on the market that are dishwasher safe. So definitely read the fine print on yours to see if you can save yourself a world of trouble with all the sweat-inducing scrubbing. Beyond that, a little soap and water will also work in a pinch. You’ll just have to put in the elbow grease. And remember, the tray isn’t the only piece that needs to be attend to. Air fryer connoisseurs harp on the importance of cleaning out the grease that may build on the top story of the gizmo as well. (Pro tip: you can tell how dirty this is by excess steam coming out of the back vents.)

Now that you know how to clean an air fryer, you’re ready to cook an air-fried dinner.

The Instant Pot is another a five-star kitchen tool that gets pretty dirty. Here’s how to clean it

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