What happened to the old geezer on the “Andy Griffith” show who fixed the old radios and toasters? Are there any appliance repair stores around? Most of your Editor’s friends just replace whatever falls apart. “The toaster was smoking, what should I have done?” No wonder we’re running out of landfills.
To keep a toaster from smoking or stalling, cleaning is often in order. Ross Olney, author of “Small Appliance Repair” recommends searching the inside of the toaster with a flashlight and removing the crumbs and other debris with a soft paintbrush. (Available at any hardware store).
The insides of the toaster can be cleaned with ammonia, but then must be left alone for four hours before toasting again. Olney strongly objects to attempting to dump crumbs from the appliance by turning it upside down and shaking. “This allows crumbs into contact with heating elements…causing the elements to burn out at “hot spots”
If your toast is too brown or burned, adjust the timing mechanism, attached with a screw. Turn the screw clockwise to have a shorter toasting period, or if the toast isn’t cooked enough, turn the screw counterclockwise. Of course, as with cleaning, you must unplug the toaster.
Olney solves the toast sticking problem (when the bread doesn’t pop up) by operating the slide lever with the toaster unplugged; this possibly will loosen whatever is binding the slide lever.
If you are consistent with cleaning and repairs, the toaster’s “shelf life” will go from two years to ten!