How to clean a sandwich maker, a sandwich grill or a sandwich press? After making some delicious toasties you may be wondering “how do I clean my sandwich maker efficiently?”. Luckily in this article we have a dozen of sandwich maker cleaning tips and hacks. There are various ways to clean up your sandwich grill after use, depending on whether it features removable grilling plates or not. Let’s get straight into the sandwich maker cleaning instructions!
- Removable plates vs. Non-removable plates
- The best way to clean a sandwich maker (for real!)
- Can sandwich maker plates be cleaned in a dishwasher?
- Sandwich maker cleaning tips & hacks
- Are there any kind of “sandwich maker cleaners” available?
- Can you use hard cleaning brushes to clean a sandwich maker?
- How to keep a sandwich maker clean?
- Do sandwich maker cleaning tips also apply to panini presses?
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Removable plates vs. Non-removable plates
In general, the very basic sandwich makers divide in two basic categories: the ones with removable plates and the regular ones with one default heating plate available.
Oftentimes, sandwich makers with removable plates make these heating surfaces dishwasher safe so that you can easily put them in your dishwasher when they get dirty.
If you want to know whether or not your removable plates are safe to put inside a dishwasher you have to consult your sandwich maker’s manual, product page or the box itself. The information should be available on either of these.
If however, your sandwich maker doesn’t feature removable plates, or you don’t want to bother cleaning your plates in a dishwasher, you will be forced to use the regular cleaning methods. Let’s get straight into these!
The best way to clean a sandwich maker (for real!)
What is the best way to clean a sandwich maker or a sandwich grill? Well, quite counterintuitively as a sandwich maker veteran I found the simplest and quickest one to be the most efficient.
Here is how I recommend to clean a sandwich maker:
- Unplug and/or turn off your sandwich maker and make sure that it has cooled down a little bit so you won’t risk burning yourself during the cleanup process.
- Remove the bread crumbs and loose food residue form the sandwich maker by gently pre-wiping the plates with a dry cloth and picking up bigger food pieces. Don’t use too much force.
- Use a simple slightly damp kitchen sponge or a damp piece of paper towel to remove the food pieces stuck to the sandwich maker’s surface.
- Lastly, using a dry paper towel wipe the remaining moisture from the heating surfaces you just finished cleaning and remove the remaining moisture. Wait a few more minutes before using the sandwich maker again.
Simple as that, no extra effort needed!
For better results you can safely use soapy water during the cleanup process, as long as you use a moderate amount of it on your sponge or paper towel. Excessive amounts of water can penetrate the sandwich maker’s chassis and damage the internal electronics.
If your sandwich maker plates are removable, always remove them before cleaning.
There are also other methods of cleaning sandwich makers present in many online videos such as this one suggesting closing a working sandwich maker with a damp paper towel piece inside it.
These tips however require much more effort and don’t really make it easier to clean the grilling surfaces than the good old traditional wipe down.
Remember, that the cleaning will be much simpler, if you always remember to remove the molten cheese and grease residue right after you finish making your grilled sandwiches.
This way you won’t have to deal with food stuck to the sandwich grill’s surface when you decide its time to give it a thorough clean. This is really one of the most important tips here although it may seem stupidly simple.
Can sandwich maker plates be cleaned in a dishwasher?
If your sandwich maker or sandwich grill features removable plates there is a high chance that it can be washed in a dishwasher.
Before putting your sandwich maker plate in your dishwasher, you should make sure that the plate of your sandwich maker is removable, and that it is in fact dishwasher safe.
As we’ve mentioned before, you can do that by checking the sandwich maker’s manual, product page or the information on the box.
If the removable plates of your sandwich maker are deemed dishwasher safe by the sandwich maker’s manufacturer you can safely put them inside your dishwasher and save some time on cleaning.
Sandwich maker cleaning tips & hacks
Here are some crucial tips on cleaning your sandwich maker or sandwich grill:
- Remove larger pieces of food before the wipe down by hand, if you don’t you risk smearing the food residue from these all over your sandwich maker.
- Use soapy water instead of clean water during the wipe down for easier cleanup.
- Don’t use too much water on your sponge or paper towel so as not to damage your sandwich maker.
- Do not use sharp objects or hard cleaning brushes to clean your sandwich maker – if you do, you risk the permanent damage of the non-stick coating on the heating surfaces.
Are there any kind of “sandwich maker cleaners” available?
For this moment there aren’t any cleaning solutions on the market that are labeled as “sandwich maker cleaners”.
You might be tempted to use damp tissues or wet wipes to clean your sandwich maker faster, but keep in mind that some of these products not meant for kitchen use are infused with substances that may damage your sandwich maker’s non-stick coating or even be harmful to you when heated up.
The other thing is, that under the name “sandwich maker cleaner” you can find often a certain kind of brushes that are supposedly designated for cleaning sandwich makers and panini presses.
You need to be careful with these however, as they can easily damage your sandwich maker’s surface when used incorrectly.
Can you use hard cleaning brushes to clean a sandwich maker?
It is generally not advised to use hard cleaning brushes or metal scrubbers to clean your sandwich maker. If you do so, you can easily damage the non-stick coating on the grilling plates.
Surface of the grilling plates on your sandwich maker are covered in a non-stick coating that can come off relatively easily if scratched too hard.
If you really want or need to clean your sandwich maker using a cleaning brush, make sure that it’s a soft brush and that you’re not putting too much pressure on the grilling surface during the cleanup. Otherwise you can simply scrape off the non-stick coating and risk permanent damage to your sandwich maker.
How to keep a sandwich maker clean?
There are a few simple tricks that can help you keep your sandwich maker clean. The most important tip here is to remove all the food residue right after you’re done making toasties, sandwiches or grilled cheese in your sandwich maker.
Unplug or turn off your sandwich maker and remove the leftover melted cheese and breadcrumbs while the sandwich maker is still hot (be careful not to burn yourself with the hot grilling plates).
You can use simple silicon utensils to do that safely and without damaging the non-stick coating.
It will be much easier to remove the small pieces of food and cheese when the appliance is still warm. This applies to cheese especially, as half-melted cheese is much easier to remove from the heating plates than cheese that’s already dried up and stuck to the sandwich maker’s surface.
You can find more tips on keeping your sandwich maker clean and functional here: Why Does My Sandwich Toaster Grill Stick? – Quick Fixes
You’ll safe much time on later cleanup if you try and manage the leftover food residue right after finishing preparing your toasties. Trust us on this one!
Do sandwich maker cleaning tips also apply to panini presses?
Can you clean a panini press in the same way you clean a sandwich maker? Panini presses (sometimes called panini makers or panini grills), are essentially sandwich makers with a few extra features (such as a floating hinge mechanism to allow you to prepare bigger sandwiches).
You can safely use the methods of cleaning a sandwich maker to clean your panini press. Just remember to unplug your device before cleaning and use a really small amount of water so as not to soak and damage the appliance.
If you’re interested in some neat tricks that will help you prevent your toasties, grilled sandwiches or panini sandwiches from sticking to your sandwich makers you can check out our write-up just about that: Why Does My Sandwich Toaster Grill Stick? – Quick Fixes