7 tips to keep your air fryer working for longer

How to look after your air fryer and keep it in action for longer

An open Sharp air fryer sitting on a kitchen counter with food inside the baskets
(Image credit: Sharp)

Almost all kitchens have an air fryer sitting in pride of place on their worktops, and for good reason! The best air fryers make delicious food in a much quicker, healthier and energy-saving way. This – and the fact that they cost less money to run – is why many people use air fryers over the best ovens.

But by repeatedly using your air fryer for every meal, it can have an effect on the look and performance of your favourite appliance. And as the cost of living crisis isn't showing any signs of slowing down, it’s more important than ever to keep your appliances in top condition, so you don’t have to replace them anytime soon.

To keep your air fryer working and looking like new for longer, here are seven tips to prolong the lifespan of your air fryer.

1. Clean your air fryer after each use (and deep clean regularly)

The most obvious tip on this list is that you need to clean your air fryer regularly. It’s not the most exciting task but it’s necessary if you want your air fryer to last for longer and stay hygienic for your next meal.

After each use, remove the basket and plates from the inner chamber of your air fryer and give them a good clean by hand or in the best dishwasher. Most attachments are dishwasher safe – make sure to check the instructions manual first – and you’ll want to dry everything thoroughly before adding the attachments back into the air fryer.

Aside from this regular maintenance, you’ll want to give your air fryer a deeper clean after every few uses. This includes wiping down the outside of your air fryer and tending to the heating element to avoid build-up, grime and stains. For full tips and tutorials, see how to clean an air fryer for more details.

2. Don’t cook certain foods in your air fryer

Instant Vortex Slim Air Fryer

(Image credit: Instant Brands)

Yes, air fryers can cook pretty much everything, but there are certain foods that don’t work well when cooked inside an air fryer. Foods like rice, cheese and sauces will stick to and spray everywhere on the inside of your air fryer which causes more mess to clean-up and potentially burning yourself. If you can’t remove stains or burnt-on food from the baskets, this will continue to cook and burn overtime, affecting the taste of your meals and affecting the inner workings of your air fryer. So to avoid these mistakes, it’s best to look at other methods of cooking certain foods, like these 7 foods you should never cook in an air fryer.

3. Avoid using oil sprays

To preserve the lining of your air fryer, avoid using oil sprays in the baskets. You might not realise it, but some oil sprays can cause a lot of damage, mainly due to the ingredients which can break down and wear away the linings and coatings of your air fryer.

Many people use these sprays to make their meals slightly healthier, but the beauty of using an air fryer over other methods like deep fat frying is because the air circulation method is already healthier. Instead of oil sprays, use regular oil instead, like olive oil, to keep your meals healthy and your air fryer in good shape. If you love spraying your oil, make your own by buying an oil spray bottle and filling it with your oil of choice.

4. Keep your air fryer away from unventilated and flammable areas

When setting up and using your air fryer, it’s important to put it in the right spot in your kitchen. If you place it in an unventilated area, your air fryer is more likely to overheat as it’s not getting enough airflow or having enough room for the heat to escape. Your air fryer also shouldn’t be too near flammable items, as unsurprisingly, these things can catch fire which can damage your air fryer… and your entire kitchen, of course. For more, take a look at the 7 places you should never put an air fryer in your kitchen.

5. Store it properly (and be careful of the cord)

Air frying size guide

(Image credit: Philips)

When your air fryer is not in use, make sure to store it properly. Of course, you can keep your air fryer out on your counter at all times, but you’ll want to consider where you put it, as you won’t want it near other appliances, water or heat sources. But if you’ve decided to put it away in a cupboard, let your air fryer cool completely before placing it on a sturdy shelf. Ensure this spot has enough room around it so it’s not a struggle to put in or out, so you’re less likely to damage it.

It’s important to also take care of the cable, and not let it rest against the hot air fryer after use, as this can damage the air fryer’s exterior and the cable’s interior. Avoid winding the cable around the air fryer or tangle it around itself as this can put pressure on the wiring.

6. Use liners and other silicone accessories

To cut down on clean-up and avoid damaging the inside of your air fryer, invest in lines and other silicone accessories. Silicone is a great material to use in an air fryer as it can be used repeatedly, plus it’s easy to take in and out of your air fryer, and contain splashes and stains. If you’re worried about the non-stick coating of your air fryer, using additional silicone liners, baskets and mats can prevent any flaking of the non-stick which is dangerous to consume. Check out the other air fryer accessories you need for easier air frying.

7. If something breaks, don’t replace the whole thing!

If the actual mains of your air fryer breaks, you’ll need to replace it completely because it’s dangerous to use a faulty appliance. But if you’ve noticed some scratching on the non-stick plates or a break in the basket, that doesn’t mean you have to replace the entire air fryer.

Instead, head to your manufacturer’s website or store to buy a replacement accessory. Most brands like Ninja and Tower have an accessories section where you can replace your plates, basket and other essentials. Not only will this keep your air fryer working for longer but it’ll save you money in the long run.

P.S. For more air fryer (and money-saving) tips, here’s exactly how much it costs to run an air fryer, and check out our air fryer vs multi cooker vs oven price comparison guide.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!