A sandwich maker is the sandwich lover’s best friend at home. What better way is there to enjoy a hot, toasty sandwich than in the comfort of your own home, with all your favorite ingredients?
Being able to fire up your Panini press or Panini grill (what’s the difference?), cook up a quick masterpiece of a sandwich, and hit up the couch to watch Netflix is something special…
The benefits are incredible… but keeping your sandwich maker clean is a must if you want to keep on making an A+ sandwich. Lucky for you, most sandwich makers are pretty easy to clean.
4 Simple Steps To Cleaning Your Sandwich Maker
Cleaning your sandwich maker is usually pretty straight forward, especially if it has removable plates. But if it doesn’t, have no fear. After making some awesome sandwich maker recipes, all you need to do is follow these simple steps to quickly clean it up so it’s good as new.
Pssst… If your sandwich maker has non-removable plates, then skip past these 5 steps for your how-to!
Step #1: Turn It Off and Unplug It
Before you get started with cleaning your sandwich maker, make sure to turn it all the way off and unplug it.
While it’s unplugged and still warm, begin cleaning it (but double check that it’s not too hot or you may burn your hand). This will help remove any crumbs or oily residue before they’ve had a chance to stick on.
Step #2: Take Out the Removable Plates
Take out the plates with oven mitts or a few dry cloths and place them in your sink. Don’t soak the plates as it could damage the non-stick coating.
If the plates are dishwasher safe, you can put them in at this stage. Always check the instruction manual to see if they’re dishwasher safe before putting them in as it could ruin the plates.
Step #3: Wipe Down the Plates with a Sponge or Cloth
Once you’ve turned it off, unplugged it, and the sandwich maker is still a bit warm, get ready to wipe it down. Take a sponge or a washing cloth and get it hot with soapy water. Wipe the plates down once, then wring out the cloth or sponge (so there’s not too much soapy water).
Then wipe the surface down firmly a second time, and gently rub any food residue that remains. Remember to consider the grooves in the plates (if there are grooves) where food can get stuck and clean around each groove.
Step #4: Still struggling with residue between the grooves?
If you find that it’s still too difficult to get the residue between the grooves off, then try out this helpful tip: grab a chopstick (or the round end of a butter knife) and wrap it with a damp dishcloth, then try cleaning between the grooves again to loosen up any remaining grime.
Cleaning Non-Removable Sandwich Maker Plates
Follow these 4 easy steps if your sandwich maker has non-removable sandwich maker plates. You’ll have your Panini press ready and clean in no time for more mouth-watering sandwich recipes!
Step #1: Switch it Off
Turn off your sandwich maker and unplug it.
Step #2: Wipe Away Excess Food
Get rid of any loose crumbs with a dry cloth (if you have a smaller garbage can, just place it right under the sandwich maker and wipe the crumbs directly into it).
Step #3: Use a Soapy Sponge
Take a soapy sponge or cloth and squeeze out any excess water. Carefully wipe the plates down with your cloth. Get the cloth soapy again and re-wipe it down if there is still residue.
Step #4: Use a Dry Cloth
With a dry cloth, wipe the plates down again to finish cleaning the plates. Wipe the outside of the sandwich maker with a dry cloth or paper towel.
Warnings When Cleaning your Sandwich Maker or Panini Press
- Never put your sandwich maker into water or the dishwasher as it will damage the electrical circuit within the sandwich maker.
- Before cleaning, make sure the sandwich maker is fully unplugged as it could burn your hand.
- Don’t use heavy duty cleaning pads, brushes, or abrasive cleaners on the plates as they can damage the non-stick coating on the sandwich maker plates.
Bonus Tips When Using Sandwich Makers or Panini Presses
- As a rule of thumb, always do a quick double-check of the manufacturer’s instruction manual before cleaning your sandwich maker.
- Use a little bit of olive oil, butter, or margarine on the outside of your bread to prevent any sticking to the sandwich maker. Or try the non-stick cooking spray on the plates. (This will also give you a slightly crispier, golden-brown crust!)
- If you’re still having issues with super stuck-on residue after trying the above steps, soak some paper towel in soapy water, and let it sit on the plates for 10 minutes, then try wiping them down again. This will break up any remaining residue
- To cut down on cleaning, make sure your sandwich maker is fully preheated before cooking your sandwiches on it to ensure nothing sticks.