How to Clean a Waffle Maker
Cleaning and maintaining your waffle maker doesn't need to be a pain
The most important test results in our waffle maker ratings are how each model cooks and browns waffles. But since we know that people generally loathe using kitchen appliances that take even more time to clean than to operate, we assess waffle makers for ease of use, too. “That includes whether there are seams and crevices that batter can get stuck in,” says Tara Casaregola, a CR test engineer who oversees our waffle-maker tests.
Here, CR shares advice on choosing a well-designed waffle maker and offers tips to make waffle maker cleanup a breeze and keep your machine in tip-top shape.
What to Look for in an Easy-to-Clean Waffle Maker
Here are some features that make cleaning easy.
- Nonstick cooking plates: They help prevent the batter from sticking.
- Removable grid plates: They make for easier cleaning—some are even dishwasher-safe.
- Drip tray: They prevent batter overflow from messing up the sides of the waffle maker and your kitchen counter.
- Smooth exterior: The fewer the crevices, the fewer the areas for runaway batter to ooze into.
- Batter cup: They let you measure out a precise amount of batter for the waffle maker, to avoid overflow in the first place.
How to Clean Your Waffle Maker
Even if your waffle maker aces CR’s ease-of-use test, grease, batter, and crumbs are unavoidable when making waffles. Here’s how to clean your appliance after each use and a few tips for minimizing messes before you start cooking.
Batter-proof your countertop. Before you get started cooking, place a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment underneath the waffle maker to catch batter droppings and crumbs. Once you’re all done, simply toss out the soiled sheet.
Protect the nonstick coating. Anything sharp or abrasive runs the risk of scratching your waffle maker’s nonstick coating, which will then turn into a sticky spot. Skip the metal utensils and instead use a wooden chopstick to get underneath a waffle to lift it out when it’s done cooking.
Avoid over-greasing and nonstick aerosol sprays. The directions in most waffle maker manuals recommend oiling the grids with a greased paper towel before the first use. After that, you shouldn’t need to oil the plates again as you cook; too much grease will end up oozing out beyond the grid and potentially into crevices, or worse, the controls. Nonstick cooking sprays contain chemicals that burn onto the plates and ruin the nonstick coating.
3 Top Waffle Makers From CR’s Tests
These produce evenly browned waffles and are easy to clean (listed alphabetically).