How to Fix a Broken Toaster

A toaster is an extremely helpful kitchen appliance. While a toaster might be a relatively inexpensive gadget, nothing is more aggravating than not having your morning slice of whole grain toast, Pillsbury Toaster Streudel, Pop Tart, or waffle magically pop up like it was supposed to. This a.m. frustration can indeed become a major early morning annoyance if you let it.

In the world of toasters, an ounce of prevention can really go a long way as far as prolonging the life of your faithful appliance. The build-up of crumbs is one of the most common problems associated with toasters. Not only is this the easiest problem to prevent, a build-up of crumbs can also make your appliance more likely to catch on fire or have other more complicated internal issues.

Thankfully, if an overabundance of crumbs is your toaster’s only problem, the issue can generally be remedied in a snap. After using your toaster, first, unplug it from the electrical outlet. Wait until the electrical components have cooled off. Then, clean the crumbs out of your toaster.

Most pop up toasters have a small flap, or lid, on the bottom that slides or pushes open so you can do this relatively easily. Be careful not to shake your appliance, turn it upside down, and do not immerse it in water. Shaking the toaster can cause other problems, and so can turning it upside down. Most toasters say right on them not to immerse them in water, because if water gets into the heating components the toaster will stop working, and it can be an additional fire hazard. By simply keeping an appliance clean, this will undoubtedly result in your toaster having a longer more useful lifespan.

Proper use of a toaster is another important factor. The button or mechanism that you depress, which lowers and raises your toast, can commonly slide out of place over time, and sometimes faster with more aggressive wear and tear. Be careful not to exert too much force on this lever, even if you’re in a hurry, or having a frustrating morning. Also, do not force this lever back up again while it’s still halfway through the middle of its heating cycle.

If you have cleaned the crumbs out of your toaster, taken proper care of it, and still have a toaster that won’t pop up, chances are there is some other type of electrical problem with the appliance. There’s still a couple things you can check easily before determining you need to buy a new one.

First, always make sure the toaster is unplugged. Unscrew the bottom of the toaster, and remove this so you can look inside the toaster at the electrical components. If the electrical components appear burnt, you can try, very gently removing the burnt areas with a piece of fine sandpaper. However, if the contacts appear burnt completely up, melted, or more extensively damaged, purchasing a new toaster is going to be your best bet.

If the lever not popping up is still the only problem, you can always try using a small pair of needlenose pliers and gently trying to bend the contact levers back up just enough so that they are back into the position where they will work again.

These simple do-it-yourself repairs should be adequate for the most common toaster issues. If the damage to the toaster is in the electrical cord, or the heating elements it’s better off not to fix it. If you have a newer toaster model that seems elaborately more complicated, its issues are also probably better left to be tackled by an experienced repairman.

Whatever you do, don’t let a simple toaster frustrate you. A toaster is one of the least expensive household appliances and it can very easily be replaced at a minimal cost.

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