Keeping your toaster clean is important for two reasons. First to ensure that it does not pose any health hazards and the second, is to keep your toaster in good working condition. It's a common complaint that the toaster isn't working efficiently as it used to when it was bought new. If you have had this complaint too then it's time that you look at your toaster carefully, both inside and outside of it. Most of the time it's the dirt and grim inside the toaster that is the reason for the lower efficiency of the toaster. Check the panel of the toaster for accumulated dirt, grim and bread crumbles. Tilt the toaster a little bit and use a small brush to clean the panel and to free it from the breadcrumbs. Make sure that you do not bend the coil inside the panel else you will end up messing with the functionality of your toaster. It's always better to have a look at the instruction manual of your toaster once to find out if you can soak the panel in water to clean it.
While a lot of toasters are quite user friendly and can be cleaned up using lot of water or under the running tap water, some toasters are to be cleaned with extra care. If you are not sure about the instructions on how to clean the toaster as per the manual then just go the safer way, use sponge soaked in soapy water. You can also use a disposable cloth towel with some water and soap to clean the insides of the toaster including the panel. After rubbing and cleaning with the soapy water clean it with a sponge soaked in cold water or you can also use a rag soaked in water to clean the soap. After you are done with cleaning the soap, allow the toaster to dry or if you would like to use it instantly or put it away in the cabinet, then make sure that you dry it with a neat dry cotton rag.
After cleaning the inner parts of the toaster you should clean up the outer body of the toaster too. Cleaning the exteriors of the toaster is far more easier and simpler than cleaning the insides of the toaster or for that matter any electrical appliances. The outside of the toaster is however as dirty as the inside parts of the toaster or may be more than that. You will find a lot of hand stains, butter grease, watermarks, jam and what not. Sometimes you will find plain dust if you haven't used your toaster for a while. You can use any handy cleanser or spray bottle with little soft detergent mixed in water in it to clean the outer body. Wipe it clean with a rag or a sponge and your toaster will be sparkling clean. It's true that the electrical appliances are better maintained if they are used regularly, keeping them away on a rack or in cabinet for a longer time takes away the smoothness of its functioning.