This TikTok Airfryer Cleaning Hack is Actually Dangerous

We all love a good TikTok cleaning hack, especially those that reduce cleaning time and produce spectacular results. But, if we’ve learned one thing this year, it’s that you can’t always follow viral social media advice — like the popular air fryer cleaning hack that poses a fire risk.

TikTok Airfryer Cleaning Hack

What is the TikTok Air Fryer Cleaning Hack?

Sometime in 2023, a new cleaning hack started trending, depicting TikTokers filling air fryers with soap and water and then turning them on to heat the water and loosen stuck-on food. After about five minutes of cooking the soapy water, the TikTokers poured a slurry of brown water and bits of food down the drain.

@brinlee.miless this is your sign to clean you air fryer #cleantok #fyp #cleaning #satisfyingvideo #howtoclean #cleaningtiktok ♬ High School – Nicki Minaj

These videos have amassed millions of views, influencing air fryer owners to give this “hack” a try. However, doing so could be detrimental to your air fryer and house.

Why You Shouldn’t Heat Water in Your Air Fryer

When you heat or boil water in an air fryer, the liquid can reach the heating elements and other electrical circuitry. All it takes is a few water droplets to ruin your air fryer and cause a potential fire hazard.

According to Electrical Engineer Mat Merten of You Off Grid, “There are lots of different designs, some could cause an immediate fire risk, others are unwise in the fact that you are boiling water in a place that is generally not designed to have that much steam.”

Mixing electricity and water is almost always a dangerous combination that can lead to electrical shocks, fires, and ruined appliances. Check any air fryer manual, there’s likely a set of instructions that explicitly state not to heat liquid or boil water.

The Correct Way to Clean an Air Fryer

Most air fryers have a non-stick Teflon coating, making them easy to wipe down. After cooking in an air fryer, use a rag to wipe out the basket, and then rinse with water and dry. For stubborn messes, fill the air fryer basket with hot, soapy water and allow it to sit for ten minutes before gently scrubbing.

You can also use a paste made of baking soda and water to scrub away stuck-on sauces and burnt food.