You may eat toast for breakfast every day or just have it on occasion but the way you’re making it could be all wrong.
We’ve rounded up 13 common toaster mistakes – and some are more dangerous than others.
Not emptying the crumb tray
Lots of people forget to do this or don’t even realize their toaster has a crumb tray.
The small removable tray should be somewhere at the bottom of your toaster and catches the crumbs that fall from your toast.
It’s important to clean it every so often so that it doesn’t become overloaded with crumbs.
Too many crumbs near a toaster’s heating element could result in a fire.
Confusing the numbers
The numbers on a toaster’s dial can mean different things depending on the brand of your toaster.
According to a YouTube video by Tom Scott, the numbers on more expensive toasters often correlate to minutes.
However, some toaster dials just determine how much electricity goes through a switch to result in either light or heavy toasting.
Not trying new settings
You might not be getting the most out of your toaster unless you experiment with the settings.
Different types of bread may also require different settings depending on thickness and your personal preferences.
Putting bagels in backwards
If your toaster has a bagel setting, you should be loading your bagel with the slices facing inwards.
The wires in the middle of your toaster will get hotter, meaning the outside of the bagel can stay chewier but the inside can be nicely browned.
Forgetting the lever
Most toaster levers that you press down to turn your toaster on will also lift up an extra inch higher to make it easier to get your bread out.
It’s worth trying to lift the lever higher before panicking about stuck toast.
Don’t put a knife in the toaster
When a piece of toast gets stuck you may want to dig it out with a knife or another metal object.
You should never put metal into a warm or plugged-in toaster as it can result in an electric shock.
If your toast is stuck, unplug the toaster, make sure it’s not hot, and then use something like a wooden spoon to prise it out.
If you’re toasting a lot of bread back-to-back you need to account for the fact the toaster will still be hot after the first round.
If you don’t lower your toaster settings to adjust to this, you’ll notice all subsequent rounds of toast are a bit crispier than the others.
Not cleaning your toaster
Some appliance experts think your toaster needs to be cleaned fairly regularly.
That’s because the crumb tray might not catch every stray piece of bread.
Unplug your toaster before cleaning and use a cloth or cleaning brush.
Making grilled cheese
Putting cheese in the toaster is not a good idea as it can cause both a mess and a fire hazard.
If the cheese drips onto the heating element or your toaster’s wires this could be very dangerous.
Don’t put really thick bagels or slices of bread into the toaster until you’ve trimmed them down.
Overloading your toaster could result in uneven cooking and extra crumbs.
Toasting on the side
Toasters aren’t meant to be used when lying on their side.
This can result in uneven toasting and it’s also a fire risk.
This tip can apply to lots of different appliances.
When you unplug your toaster to fix an issue, hold onto the base of the cord so any electrical errors, such as broken wires, can be avoided.
You’re using the wrong toaster
Not all toasters are made equal.
If you’re having major toaster problems you may find you want to invest in one with bigger slots or you may even prefer a toaster oven to a regular toaster.
A toaster oven would let you make grilled cheese, pizza bagels, and lots of other toasted delights without the safety hazards of doing that in a regular toaster.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.