Why Is My Toaster Oven Smoking? How To Fix It

So it’s been only a few seconds since you put your bread into your toaster, and now you notice plumes of smoke coming out of it? It is definitely not how you wanted to begin your day!

But calm down. It is not a very serious issue! There could be multiple reasons behind a smoking toaster. Such as the accumulation of food, dust, and bread crumbs at the base of your appliance. In addition, butter, oil, or grease may also cause your toaster to smoke.

If you wish to know more, then read ahead! In this article, we will explain to you in detail the most common reasons behind a smoking toaster, how to prevent your toaster from smoking, the proper method of cleaning it, and much more!


Why My Toaster Smoking?

The following are some of the most common reasons behind a smoking toaster:


1. Crumb Build-Up


One of the primary reasons a toaster emits smoke is an accumulation of bread crumbs in its crumb tray.

These small pieces of bread can easily break off and accumulate in the base of your toaster. When they build up in larger quantities, they may ignite after coming in contact with your toaster’s heating component.

Therefore, if you use your toaster daily, it’s a wise idea to clean it at least once every 15 days to prevent the accumulation of bread crumbs.


2. Food Debris

Another reason behind smoking toasters is food debris. If you have a pop-up toaster, it could be bigger or small chunks of food stuck between its heating component, which may cause your toaster to smoke.

However, in toaster ovens, any leftover food on its backing rack, floor, or wall can cause smoke.

So please ensure that you remove any visible food debris before using any of these devices.


3. Dust Build-Updust

The accumulation of dust particles is another reason why you can see smoke emerging from your toaster.

If you do not use your toaster regularly, dust can build up on it and cause smoke when you use it the next time.

However, you can prevent this by placing your toaster in a box or enclosed space such as your cupboard until your next use.

Moreover, wipe it with a clean, damp cloth to remove any dust particles before keeping it in a box or your cupboard.


4. Oil or Grease Build-Upgrease-builup

The accumulation of oils, butter, or grease, in your toaster can also cause it to smoke. This issue will be more common if you regularly toast greasy foods in your toaster, especially if it is a toaster oven.

While the smoke from the accumulation of grease or oil won’t last long, that doesn’t mean you don’t clean your toaster regularly.


Can A Toaster Catch Fire?toaster-burned

Unfortunately, like appliances, your toaster can also catch fire. This is because they comprise electric components that generate heat to give a brownish-golden color to your bread. However, if a toaster still heats up after its selected time is completed, then it can most likely catch fire.


How Common Are Toaster Fires?

Toasters are one of the major causes of home appliance fires. Because toasters are electrical devices, they can be defective and catch fire if you do not handle them properly.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), around 25% of fires caused by toasters can lead to severe injury and even death.

Unfortunately, more than 700 people worldwide are killed every year by toaster fires and electric shocks.


What Causes Toaster Fires?

There are multiple reasons behind your toaster catching fire. These are:

  • An accumulation of dust, oil, grease, bread crumbs, and food debris in your toaster.
  • Faulty electrical cords and other electric parts of your toaster. We advise you to check your toaster’s cords regularly to identify potential causes of fire.
  • Placing flammable items such as paper, cloth, or plastic objects on or around your toaster. Always keep your toaster’s surrounding area clean.
  • Let your food cook in your toaster oven for a long time.
  • Poor quality of electric components.


How Do You Stop a Toaster From Smoking?

There are several things you can do to prevent your toaster from smoking. Such as:


• Storing Your Toaster Properly

How long your toaster will last depends on how you store it to a great extent.

For instance, we have mentioned earlier in this article that the accumulation of dust on your toaster is one of the main reasons why it emits smoke. Hence, if you keep your toaster in a box, you will prevent dust from accumulating on it.

Moreover, by properly storing your toaster, you will also ensure that its electric components do not wear out sooner.

Tip: Rodents such as mice can get into your toaster and chew its wires, causing a malfunction. Therefore, we recommend you place your toaster in a large-sized plastic box once it cools down.


• Cleaning Your Toaster Regularlycleaning-toaster

Toasters may become dirty even after just one use. Moreover, if you use them daily, then it is very difficult to prevent the build-up of food debris and crumbs in them.

Therefore, if you clean your toaster regularly, at least once every 2 weeks, you’ll be able to prevent it from clogging up with food debris. Want to know how? No worries, we will explain to you!


1.  How To Clean a Pop-Up Toaster

It’s quite simple to clean a pop-up toaster. While cleaning the interior of your toaster will eliminate any crumbs, dirt, and food debris from it, it is a wise idea to clean its exterior also to prevent any build-ups. Just follow these steps to clean your taster properly:


How To Clean the Inside of Your Pop-Up Toaster

Things Required:

  •  Dish Soap
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Stiff toothbrush
  • Spatula

The Method:

  • Switch off your toaster and allow it to cool down. You should never clean your toaster quickly after using it because you may get an electric shock or burn yourself.
  • The next step is cleaning the crumb tray. Most modern toasters have detachable crumb trays.
  • Turn your crumb tray upside down and shake it lightly over the dustbin to remove any food particles. Now what to do if your toaster does not have a detachable crumb tray? Just flip it and shake it slightly to remove the debris.
  • Then, with the help of a wet sponge and soapy water, wipe the crumb tray to remove any residue and let it dry completely.
  • You can also clean or scrape off stubborn food particles with the help of a stiff toothbrush or a spatula.
  • At last, turn your pop-up toaster upside down again to ensure no more food debris is


How To Clean the Outside of Your Pop-Up Toaster

Required Items:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Stiff toothbrush

The Method:

  • Make a solution of dish soap, white vinegar, and water by mixing them in equal quantities. Then, soak a sponge in this solution and clean your pop-up toaster’s exterior with it.
  • If there are any stubborn marks or stains on your toaster, you can use a mixture of dish soap and baking soda to get rid of them.
  • Using a toothbrush, scrub off any remaining stains.
  • Then, wipe the baking soda with a damp sponge and let your toaster dry.


2. How To Clean a Toaster Oven

Cleaning a toaster oven is not a difficult task, even if it has a lot of food debris stuck inside. to do than you think. Just follow these steps:


How To Clean the Inside of Your Toaster Oven

Required Items:

  • Dish Soap
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Stiff toothbrush
  • Baking soda
  • Clean, dry cloth

The Method:

  • Unplug your toaster oven to protect yourself from catching current. Also, never clean your oven immediately after use, or else you might burn yourself.
  • Then, remove the racks, baking tray, and other movable parts of your oven. Fill your sink with water and dish soap, and soak those movable parts in your sink to clean them.
  • To remove any hard stains or food debris, mix equal parts of water and baking soda to form a solution. Spread this solution inside the toaster and let it stay for 10-15 minutes. You can also use a stiff toothbrush to scrape off any hard stains or food debris.
  • Then, using a clean sponge, wipe it off. Be careful not to damage the heating component of your toaster oven. Just lift it to clean its base.
  • You can also gently shake the sides and top of your toaster oven to eliminate any small pieces of food debris that are stuck in the corners.
  • Then, rinse the interior of your toaster oven with water. You will have to rinse it many times to ensure that there’s no baking soda mixture left.
  • At last, reassemble the toaster oven and allow it to dry properly.


How To Clean the Outside of Your Toaster Oven

 Required Items:

  • Dish Soap
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Baking soda

The Method:

  • Soak a sponge in a solution of dish soap and warm water and wipe the exterior of your toaster oven.
  • To get rid of hard stains, apply a mixture of water and baking soda onto them and scrub them off with the help of a stiff toothbrush. Then, wipe the mixture with a damp sponge.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to polish the outside of your toaster oven.
  • lastly, allow it to dry. Do not use the toaster again unless the interior and exterior are dry!


Don’t Freak Out If Your New Toaster Oven Is Smoking!


If your new toaster oven or pop-up toaster suddenly starts smoking, don’t panic! We understand that seeing smoke coming out from your brand-new appliance can be worrying, but it is completely normal. Wondering why? We will tell you!

Manufacturers apply a protective coating on toasters to prevent them from rusting. Therefore, when you plug in your toaster, it generates heat which, in turn, burns this protective coating during the first few uses.

However, you can toast a few pieces of bread in your pop-up toaster to burn away the residue and discard them.




1. Do I need to unplug my toaster when not in use?

Yes, you should always unplug your toaster when not in use to prevent fires.

According to studies, electrical appliances like toasters can get hot if left plugged in and are at the risk of catching fire or malfunctioning due to power surges.

Moreover, leaving your toaster plugged in can also cause a 5% increase in your electricity bill as it can still consume some amount of electricity.


2. Why is my toaster smoking without anything inside?

Your empty toaster might be smoking because of a malfunction or very small food particles stuck inside. For example, chunks of bread can remain in direct contact with a heat source of your toaster during a prolonged period and, thereby, emit smoke.


3. Can a toaster catch fire if it stays plugged in?

Yes, a toaster can catch fire if it stays plugged in because it contains many electric parts that heat up for toasting your food. These parts generate enough heat to ignite your toaster even after you stop using it.


4. Why does my toaster overheat?

Your toaster is overheating due to the build-up of food particles at the bottom. These food particles tend to increase the heating components’ intensity and burn your bread or other food.



To sum up, don’t panic when you notice your toaster smoking, as there could be simple reasons behind your smoking toaster. Such as the build-up of food particles, bed crumbs or grease, etc., at the bottom.

Therefore, cleaning your appliance would fix this problem and prolong its life. Moreover, we recommend you always unplug your toaster when not in use to prevent it from overheating and thereby catching fire.

We hope this article solves your problem. If you have any other queries, drop them in the comment section. We will try our best to help you! Stay safe!

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