Toaster Not Staying Down? (try this)

If you’ve put your bread in the toaster, pressed the lever down and it popped straight back up again, you’re in good company. This is one of  the most common toaster related faults according to an independent survey of kitchen appliances. In this article we’ll look at the causes and possible fixes for this annoying problem that’s just enough to spoil your morning routine.

Is The Toaster Plugged In Correctly?

OK, we know this sounds obvious, but come on, it’s early in the morning, you’re not fully awake and probably coffee deprived too. It’s a perfectly feasible conclusion that either you haven’t plugged the toaster in, or you haven’t turned the plug socket on. So before we go any further, check the toaster is plugged in and the socket is switched on.

Is The Cord Damaged?

The next obvious thing to check is the power cord. Check for any damage at all, any fraying, burnt sections of cord, any signs of corrosion etc. If you do find any, disconnect the toaster immediately, and replace the toaster. It looks like cereal for breakfast today.

Clear Any Breadcrumbs

The way most toasters operate involves a magnet which holds down the lever until the thermostat or timer makes the toaster pop up. If there is a buid-up of crumbs on and around the magnet, it’s possible they are blocking the lever from attaching to the magnet. To clear these crumbs, first you have to unplug the toaster.

Take the toaster for a walk outside, turn the toaster upside down (preferably over a bird table) and tap the bottom a few times. It should rain breadcrumbs for a while, but to make absolutely sure, you can spray inside using compressed air. Take the toaster back indoors, plug it in and it should work perfectly again. 

Magnet Failure


As we said above, the way most toasters work is by using a magnet to keep the lever down. Over time these magnets can lose their magnetism, and will fail to hold the lever down. If this is the case the magnet will need replacing. As toasters are pretty basic appliances, it’s possible to do this yourself just take the toaster apart, locate and replace the magnet. If you don’t fancy becoming a toaster repairer, you could take it to an engineer or buy a new toaster.

Defective Spring

The action that causes the toast to pop up, is created by way of a spring. As a spring gets used over and over, it can become defective, it loses its springiness. To check and replace the spring you’ll need to take the front off the toaster and locate the spring. It’s then a simple job of getting a new spring (the same size) and replacing it, or if you’d sooner buy a new toaster.

If you do pull your toaster apart to replace the spring, take advantage of the access and give the inside a good clean out. Remove all of the crumbs, using a soft brush and/or that can of compressed air.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my toaster not staying down?

The most common reason the toaster doesn’t stay down is due to a build-up of breadcrumbs preventing the magnet from holding down the lever. 

How long should a toaster last?

The average life expectancy of a toaster is between 6 to 8 years. You can prolong its life by removing any crumbs regularly.

Which uses more electricity: a toaster or a toaster oven?

Of the two, a toaster uses less electricity than a toaster oven.

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