If you love making all kinds of delicious bread with your bread machine, then you have to have the same passion for cleaning it. After all, the secret to good bread is not only the recipe but also a well-maintained machine! Read on and learn the steps to clean your bread maker. I’ve got a few handy tips to make it last longer, too.
Steps on How to Clean Your Bread Maker
Cleaning your bread machine is not complicated at all. Compared with other appliances, it only has fewer sections and removable parts to clean. These bread machine cleaning tips should make routine cleaning and proper care easier.
After baking, unplug the bread machine and let it cool down completely. Bread makers can be very hot inside, and some units even get their exterior very warm. You can burn your hands if you clean it up right away. So, for safety, leave it alone for several minutes. If it’s your first time to clean your bread maker, you may want to read the cleaning section of your instruction manual. This part should give you more specific details and instructions based on the bread machine model that you have.
Sweep and wipe
Waiting for your bread maker to cool down hardens the food residue left and makes it easier to sweep out. Turn your bread machine on its side then use a small brush (or small paintbrush), clean cloth or paper towel to remove the crumbs. This step should prevent baking these bread scraps on your next batch and getting that burnt smell. If there’s moist dough left inside, leave it to harden and dry up, so it’s easier to remove. If liquid spills end up inside the unit, use a microfiber cloth to wipe them off.
When you clean your bread maker, make sure to wipe its exterior, too. So, have your moist cloth or cleaning wipes ready. Over time, the outer surface of your bread machine may change in colour. But you can prevent early discolouration or the build-up of stain with a little spray of liquid cleanser.
It’s time to clean the insides of your machine. Bakers, however, often disregard cleaning the heating elements. Yes, these are the most sensitive parts of your bread machine, not to mention the most difficult to replace or fix, but leaving them dirty can also damage the unit. Make sure to apply gentle cleaning.
Start by moistening a soft cloth, then use it to wipe away food particles along the entire length. You may need to wipe them repeatedly for more stubborn food residues. Just make sure not to scrub or push down too hard as you might bend or displace the heating elements. Also, avoid using any harsh chemicals or cleaners like bleach.
This step is perhaps the easiest part, especially if your bread pans and mixing paddles are dishwasher safe. However, most bread pan accessories require hand washing to keep the bearing underneath the bucket lubricated. Still, washing them with warm soapy water is just as quick and easy.
The kneading blade or dough hook is typically removable, so make sure you read the manual to know how to detach and clean it. Sometimes, it can also get stuck in the bread bucket. You can soak it in hot water for a few minutes to soften the food particles that might have slipped inside the shaft. This technique should also loosen the crumbs stuck to your bread pan.
When you clean your bread maker pan, use a soft sponge or warm soapy cloth. Steel wool, metal spatula or abrasive cleaning materials can scratch its non-stick coating, making your baked bread hard to remove. A scratched non-stick surface can also be a breeding ground for bacteria.
Dry and reassemble
Finally, leave your bread bucket and its attachments to dry thoroughly before reassembling them. Ideally, air-dry them in an upright position to let water drip down easily. Putting the parts back without proper drying can lead to rusting or mould growth. When ready, reassemble, close the lid and store your bread machine somewhere safe without putting anything on top.
Tips to Maintain Your Bread Maker
Complement your cleaning know-how with these proper maintenance practices to keep your bread machine in tip-top shape!
- Do clean your bread maker regularly. Some people do away with regular cleaning after use, especially when they plan to make the same baked loaf. The best practice though is to clean it after every baking. This simple habit should prevent crumb build-up that can affect the flavour and quality of your next delicious creation. Also, the entire cleaning process is faster when there are fewer bread crumbs to remove.
- Don’t spray your machine with water or toxic chemicals. No matter how dirty your bread machine gets, make sure not to let any liquid get in to preserve your unit and its warranty. Water can easily reach the circuits of your bread machine, while chemical cleaners can transfer to your baked loaf. It can also damage the protective finish. A damp cloth is enough to clean your bread maker and keep it in working condition.
- Do lubricate your bread pan. Your appliance may begin to produce weird sounds, which can be a sign that it needs proper lubrication. If you look under your bread pan, you should see a spindle shaft. This part can create unusual noises during constant spinning without regular maintenance. Check your manual for the recommended oil type to use.
- Don’t assume that your bread maker parts are dishwasher safe. Read the manual first and follow the recommended washing method. If you need to hand wash them, make sure you are also cleaning them with the proper cloth, sponge or cleaning brush.
- Do follow the instructions for use. Read the manual and choose the right settings to enjoy many years’ worth of happy baking. Check out this useful guide on how to use your bread maker in five easy steps!