Can You Put Water in an Air Fryer to Clean? [Updated]

Air fryers have revolutionized our kitchens, offering a healthier, quicker, and cleaner alternative to traditional frying.

But can you put water in an air fryer? The short answer is yes – and no. Well, it depends on the circumstances. But direct exposure to water can be detrimental to the internal components of the air fryer.

Let’s dive in and explore the circumstances under which you can and cannot introduce water to your air fryer.

Using Water to Clean Your Air Fryer

Air fryers can indeed be cleaned with water and soap. However, caution must be exercised to prevent water from getting into the electrical components of the machine.

putting Water in an Air Fryer

Here are step-by-step instructions for cleaning your air fryer with water and soap:

  • Unplug your air fryer: Safety first; always ensure your appliance is unplugged before cleaning.
  • Dismantle the removable parts: Remove the basket, pan, and other detachable components.
  • Soak in warm soapy water: Soak these parts in a warm soapy mixture for a few minutes to loosen any stubborn grease or food residue.
  • Scrub gently: Gently scrub the components using a non-abrasive sponge or lint-free cloth. For tough spots, use a soft brush or an old toothbrush.
  • Rinse and dry: Rinse off the soap with warm water and dry thoroughly before reassembling.

Remember, the central unit should never be submerged in water. Wipe it down with a damp cloth, ensuring no water enters the vent or inside the unit.

Using Water to Steam or Cook in Your Air Fryer

Adding a little water to the bottom of your air fryer can assist in cooking certain foods. For example, a small amount of water under the basket can help create a steam effect in a Ninja Air Fryer. This is especially useful when cooking foods that tend to dry out, such as fish or chicken.

However, avoid adding water directly into the basket or the pan as it might splatter and damage the heating elements.

Using Liquid in an Air Fryer

While water can occasionally be used in an air fryer, other liquids, like oil, should be used sparingly. Excessive fluid can cause smoking or even a fire hazard. The charm of an air fryer lies in its ability to cook food to a crispy finish with minimal oil.

Boiling Eggs in Your Air Fryer

Boiling Eggs in Your Air Fryer

Many might wonder if you must add water to an air fryer to boil eggs. The answer is no. Place the eggs in the basket and set the temperature and timer. The circulating hot air will cook the eggs to perfection.

Post-Wash Usage

After washing your air fryer, it must be thoroughly dried before being used again. This is to prevent any remaining water from causing a steam effect which can potentially damage the heating elements.

And if you’re wondering how you can deep clean the internal components, specifically the heating elements, refer to our dedicated guide on cleaning the heating elements and ensuring your air fryer’s smooth functionality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you put soapy water in an air fryer?

You can put soapy water in an air fryer, but only for cleaning. Detachable parts such as the basket and pan can be soaked in soapy water to clean them. However, you should never put soapy water inside the central unit of the air fryer, as it can damage the electrical components.

Can you put water in an air fryer to cook?

You can put a small amount of water in the bottom of an air fryer to create a steaming effect when cooking certain foods. However, this should be done cautiously and never in the basket or pan, as water can splatter and potentially damage the heating elements.

Do you put water in an air fryer to boil eggs?

Not necessarily. Putting water in an air fryer to boil eggs is not suggested. The air fryer always uses hot air to cook the eggs, so no water is required.

Can you use an air fryer after washing?

After washing, you can use an air fryer, but all parts must be thoroughly dried first. This prevents leftover water from creating a steam effect that could damage the heating elements.

Do I need to put water in my air fryer?

Putting water in your air fryer during everyday cooking is unnecessary. The only instances when water should be introduced to the air fryer is when you are cleaning the detachable parts or trying to create a steaming effect for specific foods, and even then, the water should never be added directly to the pan or basket.


Air fryers are versatile and user-friendly kitchen appliances. While water and other liquids can be used in specific contexts, caution must be exercised.

Whether cleaning your appliance or cooking, always ensure the machine is thoroughly dried, and never add water directly to the pan or basket. Following these guidelines, you can maintain your air fryer’s longevity and enjoy delicious, healthy meals for years.

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