Viral TikTok for air fryer cleansing trick works, but it surely’s not magic

Welcome to AirFryDay, where – you guessed it – every Friday Mashable provides information on the latest trends, gives advice and reviews recipes for your air fryer.

There are really easy ways to clean your air fryer.

We’ve broken it down in detail here. The result? Use soap and water on the basket and grate. Use a damp cloth to clean the heating element – when it needs cleaning and after it has cooled down. You can wipe the outside with disinfectant wipes or a cloth.

But if you want a simple deep clean – let’s say your air fryer has become encrusted in the long run – then TikTok has a hack for it. User @maverickmcbee posted a TikTok in which they heated soapy water to thoroughly clean their cooking basket.

ALSO SEE: The Best Air Fryers to Make Crunchy Food Faster Than the Oven

The basic steps as described by @maverickmcbee were.

  • Fill your air fryer with soapy water.

  • Fry for 3 minutes at 370 degrees.

  • Drain the water, rinse it out, and check out a much cleaner air fryer.

This is what it looked like on the viral TikTok, which has garnered nearly 9 million views.

The three basic steps in photos.
Source: Screenshots: tiktok / @maverickmcbee

When I started my test of this hack, the first thing I had to do was assess the cleanliness of my air fryer. The machine is often used considering I run these AirFryDay tests at least once a week. But I find my air fryer – an Instant Pot brand Vortex – super easy to clean considering the inside is just a non-stick drawer with a non-stick, removable grate.

On inspection there were some baked-on grease stains on the underside of the grate and a few stains here and there, probably from a shabby hand drying over yours really. Here are a few close-ups.

Left: The underside of the grate.  Middle: a watermark on the drawer.  Right: some dirt on the top of the grate.

Left: The underside of the grate. Middle: a watermark on the drawer. Right: some dirt on the top of the grate.
Credit: mashable

So I filled my air fryer with a ton of dish soap and some warm water, and then stirred the water to get the soapy water to work. It looked like.

Tons of soap.

Tons of soap.
Credit: mashable

Foam.

Foam.
Credit: mashable

From there I carefully pushed the water-filled drawer into the hot air fryer for 3 minutes at 370 degrees. Before I knew it, one or the other cook was done.

But when I pulled out the drawer, the hot water was mostly clear, which didn’t give me much hope of the hack’s effectiveness. This is what it looks like.

I had mostly clear water, definitely not brownish like the viral TikTok

I had mostly clear water, definitely not brownish like the viral TikTok
Credit: mashable

In the viral TikTok, the resulting water was brownish. So obviously I didn’t pick up that much dirt.

Upon closer inspection, the water stains and light dirt were removed from the top of the grate which was nice. The baked-on greasy things on the underside of the grill mostly stayed. A quick rinse didn’t remove it, although I was able to carefully scrape it off with a paper towel. But that would have been the case before the hack, I suspect.

Here are pictures of the remaining grease and the largely clean top of the grate.

That looks mostly clean, doesn't it?

That looks mostly clean, doesn’t it?
Credit: mashable

Unfortunately the fat remained.

Unfortunately the fat remained.
Credit: mashable

So does the hack work? Yes and no. Hot soap and water will clean something. I think that much is clear and obvious. Is it radically better than just using a sponge and tap water? Or even better in the dishwasher? No not true. But it’s very simple.

I just wouldn’t expect it to magically remove stubborn fat that is really stuck. However, I’ll admit that this trick might work better for different types of air fryers that are not that easy to clean by hand. The Vortex’s non-stick coating makes wiping off super easy. I could see this hack come in handy for air fryers that use wire baskets, or even the guy on the viral TikTok that seems to create more places for food.

So there you have it, air fry some water and you might be rewarded with a cleaner machine.

Comments are closed.