My toaster is smoking and activating the fire alarm. I tried to clean the tray and the dust from the inside. I shook it pretty much and many black "things" came out. Although, it's still smoking. I believe that the butter melted inside it and has gone to particulars places that I can't clean by shaking or taking the tray off.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to clean it?

  • 9
    Did you put buttered toast inside a toaster?
    – Stephie
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 7:45
  • 7
    Welcome to the site. If you are putting buttered bread into a toaster then please stop it, the fat could start a fire! Bread should be buttered after being toasted, not before.
    – GdD
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 11:48
  • @baffledcook are you sure about this edit? Some kinds of sandwich are called "a melt" in English, it is possible that the OP meant one of those.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 9:48
  • If for some strange reason you want to butter something before putting it in the toaster, you can get reusable bags to put it in. They work well for toasted sandwiches for example.
    – Chris H
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 9:48
  • 1
    Vertical toaster, or horizontal?
    – Joe M
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


By toaster I am assuming you mean the type that has slots that you pop the bread into from the top. Normally they also have a removable tray at the bottom, which you say you have taken out and cleaned. Shaking does normally work, but this can also lead to breakage... so maybe not quite so vigorously would be a good idea. I don't understand why you have butter inside your toaster, but that is irrelevant now - so how to clean it. I would suggest opening some windows, and getting the toaster as close to an open window as possible, and putting it on repeatedly until it stops smoking, you are basically just burning off what is left in the machine. Just as a side note, every time you use your toaster, after it has cooled down, turn it upside down and give it a little shake, and try not to put anything other than bread in it. If you want to make toasted sandwiches or anything with butter/cheese, get a toasted sandwich maker.

  • 1
    I'd suggest just doing the burning off outside. It might work out next to a window with a fan blowing the smoke out, but in general if you have something pumping out smoke indoors it's just going to go everywhere.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 17:55

Let the grease and crumbs burn all the way.

At some point it will stop smoking and just shake the toaster upside down to remove all the crumbs and other particles (some toasters have a small hatch underneath to clean up the crumbs)

Tell your neighbours not to call the emergency sevices/fire department .

If possible, do that outside.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.