Clean-ToasterIf you're like me, it's been more than a few years since you’ve cleaned out your toaster. Unfortunately, carbon and crumbs can build up inside toasters over time and decrease their efficiency and lifespan. Replacing a toaster can cost $70 or more (depending on how fancy it is). Keeping your toaster clean will not only make it work better, it will save you the costs of having to replace it. Below are some quick tips on how to thoroughly clean this everyday appliance and save.

1. Unplug your toaster

If you just used it you'll need to wait until it's completely cool before you clean it. You don't want to accidentally burn yourself! Unplug your toaster before starting to clean.

2. Remove the crumb tray

Take the crumb tray out of the bottom of your toaster if it's removable. Tap the tray on the side of the sink or against the side of the trash can to remove any crumbs and debris. Wipe the tray clean with a damp sponge or cloth. Pop the tray back into your toaster.

3. Shake out the debris

Turn your toaster upside down over the trash can or sink.Shake it to help dislodge any crumbs or hunks of leftover English muffin. Be sure to shake gently—you don't want to break it!

4. Scrub the inside of your toaster

Grab a small, skinny, soft-bristled brush and carefully scrub the inside of the toaster, concentrating on the coils. Try to get off as much of the carbon buildup and crumbs as you can. Again, be careful! You don't need to go all Mr. Clean on the thing and break something.

5. Shake again

Shake your toaster over the garbage can again to remove anything that might have fallen into the toaster while you were brushing it.

6. Set your toaster upright on the counter

It's time to clean the surface! Dribble a small amount of white vinegar onto a sponge or paper towel and scrub the exterior of the toaster. You can also use a sponge dipped in soapy water, if desired. If you have a stainless steel toaster you can spray a small amount of ammonia-free glass cleaner on your sponge to get the surface of your toaster streak free and squeaky clean.