How To Clean A Waffle Iron (Best & Easy Ways)

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Waffle makers make wonderful treats but present very specific cleaning challenges. You are dealing with a very hot surface and plenty of small grooves that require detailed care to help prevent waffles from sticking.

However, cleaning your waffle maker doesn’t have to be a huge annoyance. There are simple methods to use – both for non-stick and cast iron waffle makers – that can get the job done quickly and efficiently.

How To Clean Nonstick Waffle Makers

Many of the best waffle makers come as a solid unit, so you can’t remove the plates for easy cleaning. There are simple ways to effectively clean these units to have them sparkling new without too much elbow grease.

The enemies of nonstick cookware are generally using the wrong tools and cleaning with abrasives.

Even nonstick waffle makers need oil, at least for the first batch of waffles. Use an oil misting bottle or a pastry brush for this application.

Always review your manual before tackling a serious waffle maker clean up.

  1. If using an electric waffle iron, unplug it and let it cool down before attempting to clean.
  2. Use a paper towel to wipe away any remaining oil or moisture on the surface plates.
  3. Use a non-abrasive, soft-bristled brush to wipe away larger crumbs.
  4. Soak a dish towel, sponge or dishcloth with hot water and wring it into the sink, leaving it moist but not dripping. Put the cloth on the iron and close the lid.
  5. Leave the cloth in place for several minutes to loosen any remaining sticky debris.
  6. Use a non-scratch sponge or tough paper towel to remove the remaining grease or food-stuffs that have been loosened with the above steps.
  7. Clean the outside of your waffle maker with a damp cloth. Make sure the cloth isn’t too wet and avoid getting water close to any electronic components of your appliance.

Never immerse an electric waffle maker in water.

You never want to use anything pointy or sharp to clean up the crevices in your waffle maker; this will damage the nonstick coating and lead to more difficult clean-up in the future.​

How To Clean Cast Iron Waffle Irons

Cast iron has two enemies: corrosion and the loss of their “season” or non-stick coating.

Oil your cast iron waffle maker before cooking, wipe it down with a paper towel or a damp cloth once it’s cooled, and avoid soap at all costs!

You can use the above steps for cleaning non-stick waffle makers to clean a cast iron waffle iron but may need to add the following extra steps to the process for stubborn debris, dirt, dust or rust.

  1. Mix equal parts baking soda and salt to create a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to the waffle iron using a soft brush or clean cloth.
  3. Gently rub the paste over the surface, using a little water if needed.
  4. Use a damp cloth to remove the paste and dirt.
  5. Wipe the waffle iron down with a damp cloth.
  6. Place the waffle iron upside down over a clean paper towel and leave it to dry.

You can also clean cast iron with a bit of steam; if your waffle iron is heavily coated in congealed batter, add water to the grid and heat it. The steam will help release the batter.

After this process, you will need to re-season your waffle iron to ensure the next batch of waffles doesn’t stick.

Final Thoughts

Waffles are a delicious combination of sugar, fat, flour and heat. The batter needs to contain enough fat to help in the releasing process and prevent sticking.

Oiling your waffle maker is important, but your recipe needs to work with you. Be decadent with the butter for delicious waffles and an easy clean-up.​

Written By Tara Williams

Tara is a food writer that has been editing and authoring articles for KitchenSanity since its founding. Her writing offers personal experience from experimentation with food and recipe creation. If you’re looking for simple tips, she will make your journey in the kitchen straightforward with a dash of fun.