How to Clean a Waffle Maker

Jerome asked, “How does one clean a waffle maker?”

Although many modern waffle makers have nonstick plates, they also have a non-detachable grid, which can make cleaning seem impossible. No need to forego waffles though; the steps below can help you remove even the burnt, baked-on debris without damaging any of the electrical components.¹

Cleaning the Waffle Maker

You Will Need:

  • Dishcloth
  • Dish liquid
  • Baking soda
  • Old toothbrush
  • Soft scrub brush
  • Dry towel

Steps to Clean the Waffle Maker:

  1. Unplug the waffle maker and allow the grid to cool so that you don’t get burned as you clean.¹
  2. Dip a cloth in warm, soapy water, wring out the cloth and wipe the outside surfaces of the device.¹
  3. If there is any dry, caked-on batter crumbs, dip a cloth in hot, soapy water, wring it out well so that it is not dripping and lay the cloth over the grid for a few minutes. Do not use a cloth that is so wet it could drip into a crevice containing the machine wiring.¹
  4. If there is still stuck-on debris, apply baking soda onto a wet, sanitized toothbrush and scrub the grid clean.²
  5. Dip a cloth in warm, soapy water and wipe off the debris.¹ If needed, use a cotton swab to wipe debris out from a crevice or grid tunnel.³
  6. When the food particles are removed, clean the grid with a dishcloth or soft scrub brush dampened with warm, soapy water. Wring or shake off the scrubber so that it is not dripping. Be sure that the scrub brush gets into all of the grid tunnels, but try not to scrub so hard that you scratch the non-stick surface.¹
  7. When the grid looks clean, wipe it with a cloth dampened with plain water to rinse off any residue from the soap.¹
  8. Dry the grid with a lint-free towel.¹
  9. Wipe a finger along the grid tunnels. If you can feel any oily residue, repeat steps 6-8.¹

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If your waffle maker has a detachable grid, you can clean it the same way as a nonstick pan. Wipe the pan with a cloth soaked with warm, soapy water, then rinse and dry. If any scrubbing is needed, use a soft scrub brush or nylon scrub pad to avoid scratching the surface.¹
  • If your waffles are starting to stick to the grid, it may be because your non-stick coating has worn off. Place a sheet of wax paper between the grid plates for several minutes while the waffle maker heats up so that the wax can coat the plate surfaces.⁴
  • If you use cooking spray, apply it before you heat up the waffle maker. Cooking spray often contains lecithin, which will burn on a hot grid and create a gum-like residue.⁵


  1. Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson
  2. Baking Soda Bonanza by Peter Ciullo
  3. Classic Household Hints by Susan Waggoner
  4. Extraordinary Uses For Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest
  5. Handy Household Hints from Heloise



  1. The sticky residue on any appliance that has a Teflon non-stick surface is from using the non-stick spray. The ingredients are hazardous to our health. Stop using them and your appliances and your body will thank you. Use a silicone basting brush and a bit of olive oil, or an olive oil spritzer if you have one. Old waffle irons never had this problem; Grandma used a stick of butter or lard on a crumbled piece of wax paper. Let’s go back to the old ways in the kitchen.

Leave a Comment