Kitchen equipment

How to Clean a Panini Press

The Panini press is an easy-to-use home gadget. Unfortunately, it tends to get greasy. You will often notice cheesy residues stuck on the appliance’s non-stick surface.

If you own a Panini press, I bet you know how difficult it can be to clean, especially if unfamiliar with the cleaning process.

Although most models have non-stick surfaces, cheesy residues and food cling to the surface.

Cleaning a Panini press is pretty straightforward. You don’t need any special equipment or a cleaning agent. All you need is warm water, dish soap, a soft scrub, and paper towels.

This article describes how to clean a Panini press in just a few minutes, but first, let us look at the things you need to pay attention to.

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Things you should pay attention to while cleaning a Panini press

Cleaning a Panini press may prove difficult because of permanent plates and fragile non-stick surfaces.

Permanent Plates

Most Panini press models come with plates permanently attached to the appliance. If your Panini press has permanent plates, you’ll have to clean the whole machine.

Cleaning a Panini press with permanent plates is potentially dangerous if you forget to plug it out while cleaning.

You must read the manufacturer’s instructions on cleaning beforehand.

Fragile non-stick surfaces

Modern Panini press models usually have non-stick plates. They are super convenient since they allow you to cook anything you want and are easy to clean.

Unfortunately, the non-stick plates are fragile, and you may have to go out of your way to ensure they don’t lose their non-stick properties.

I suggest reading the manufacturer’s guide on cleaning the surfaces to retain their non-stick properties.

Now that you know what to pay attention to while cleaning your Panini press, let’s discuss the step-by-step process of cleaning it.

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How To Clean A Panini Press

Cleaning a Panini press is pretty straightforward. You do not need any special cleaning agent or equipment. The secret is in following all the cleaning steps to the latter. 

We will discuss;

· Cleaning a Panini press that has removable plates.

· Cleaning a Panini press that has permanent plates.

· Getting rid of stubborn stains.

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Cleaning a Panini press that has removable plates

Cleaning a Panini press that has removable plates is relatively easy. Here is how to do it.

  1. Turn off the appliance and unplug it from the socket.
  2. If you were using it, let it sit for a few minutes. This will give it ample time to cool down. You can clean your Panini press when it’s a bit warm, but never when hot.
  3. Slide out the removable grill plates and hand-wash them using a soft sponge and warm, soapy water. Do not use abrasive scrubs like steel wool.
  4. Place the plates on a dish rack and let them dry. Once they are dry, reinsert them in your appliance.
  5. Use paper towels or a dry cloth to wipe down the outer surface of your Panini press until it is sparkling clean.

Note that you can only clean the removable plates in your dishwasher if your manufacturer deems it dishwasher safe. If not, hand-wash the plates.

Tip: If you’re having trouble removing residue stuck between the grooves, wrap a chopstick in a damp dishcloth and use it to clean the residue.

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Cleaning a Panini press that permanent plates

If your Panini press has permanent plates, you’ll have to use the steam method to clean it. It is an efficient method that isn’t hard to follow. Here is how to go about it;

1. Turn off the appliance and unplug it from the socket.

2. Let it sit for a few minutes until it cools down, 

3. Turn it on for two minutes until it warms up a little, then turn it off and unplug it. Use the lowest heat for this step.

4. Spray warm water on a paper towel or dishcloth. Alternatively, you can soak a dishcloth in hot water and squeeze the water out.

5. Use the paper towel or dishcloth to wipe down the plates until you remove all the residue. When the water on your paper towel or dishcloth comes into contact with the slightly heated plates, it turns into steam, making it easier for you to clean the plates.

6. Let the plates dry.

Getting rid of stubborn stains

If the residue and stains on your Panini press don’t get off after using either of the methods above, you’ll need more than warm water and a sponge to clean it. 

Baking soda is the answer. Make a solution by mixing a half cup of warm water with two tablespoons of baking soda. Mix the two ingredients until they are thoroughly combined, and then generously pour the mixture onto your plates.

Let the mixture sit on the plates for ten minutes, then use a wet dishcloth or paper towel to wipe it off. The mixture should get rid of the stubborn stains.

If your plates still have a layer of grime by the time you are done, mix a little bit of dish soap with hot water, soak a dishcloth in it, squeeze the water out, and then use it to wipe down your plates. The dishcloth should remove any remaining residue.

To avoid stubborn stains, I suggest you clean your Panini press after every use. You’ll only spend approximately five minutes cleaning it, and it will save you a lot of trouble.

What to avoid when cleaning a Panini press

Here are a few mistakes people make when cleaning a Panini press. Avoid them at all costs.

Soaking the appliance

Most people soak the Panini press in soapy water. If your appliance has non-removable plates, you should never soak them. Doing so will tamper with its electrical parts.

Note that no matter how greasy or stubborn the stains on your Panini press are, you can use one of the methods above to remove them. The baking soda solution method has always worked excellently for me.

Using abrasive scrubs

It would be best not to use harsh cleaning pads or steel wool to clean your Panini press.

Doing so interferes with the non-stick coating, so no matter how greasy your appliance is, don’t use steel wool.

Using harsh cleaning products

Harsh cleaning products may ruin your Panini press. Therefore, you should stick to warm water and dish soap. If the stains are too stubborn, use baking soda.

Extra tip

If your Panini press has removable plates, do not clean them in your dishwasher unless your manufacturer specifically says it is okay to do so. The dishwasher may tamper with non-stick coating on the plates.

I hope this article answered your question on cleaning a Panini press.

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