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Toaster Lever Won’t Stay Down: Why and How To Fix It

A toaster is an extremely convenient way to make your breakfast as you rush out the door to work – as long as it works. When it comes to ensuring your machine is working, one of the basic necessities that any toaster must fulfill is pushing the bread down when you press down on the lever. However, if the lever keeps popping back up, the bread won’t go down, and you’ll need to make other arrangements for breakfast.

If your toaster lever isn’t staying down, the most likely explanation is that debris is caught inside the machine causing it to malfunction. Other reasons include an unplugged toaster and a broken lever. The solution to this issue depends on why your toaster lever isn’t staying down.

In this article, I’ll walk you through some of the common reasons your toaster lever isn’t staying down. I’ll also give you solutions for these issues, so your toaster will be back up and working before you know it!

Toaster level won't stay down. How to fix it.

Your Toaster Is Unplugged or Isn’t Getting the Right Voltage

Before you try anything else, make sure your toaster is plugged into the power. If your toaster is unplugged, the lever won’t stay down.

This solution may sound simple and obvious, but there’s a chance you simply forgot to turn the switch on after you plugged your toaster into the outlet. By double-checking to confirm, you ensure you won’t have to go through any of the longer solutions mentioned below.

Additionally, make sure your toaster is getting the correct voltage. Most toasters need between 103-120 volts to operate and run on an alternating current (source).

If you’re unsure whether it’s a voltage issue, don’t worry – you’ll be able to tell pretty easily. Electric companies provide homes with 240 volts of electricity, and there’s a normal fluctuation of 210 to 250 volts during the day. 

If the voltage your home is getting is lower, the lights in your home will dim and brighten throughout the day, and other appliances will be affected. If you suspect it’s a voltage issue, contact your electrical company for help.

There Is Debris Caught Inside the Toaster

As mentioned above, the most likely explanation for a toaster oven that isn’t staying down is debris (most likely crumbs) caught inside the machine that’s clogging it up. 

Before you open up your toaster to clean it from the inside out, you should first try a simpler solution – shaking out the crumbs. 

Turn your toaster upside down and shake it thoroughly so that any crumbs caught inside fall out. If your toaster has crumb trays, clean those out as well.

You can refer to this YouTube video to get an idea of how to clean your toaster with this method: 

However, depending on how dirty and clogged up your toaster is, this solution may not work. In that case, your only option (unless you want to buy a new machine) is to open it up and give it a deep clean. 

To do this, you should:

  1. Disconnect the toaster from the socket.
  2. Clean your machine using the method outlined above.
  3. Turn your toaster upside down and unscrew the screws at the bottom of your machine.
  4. Once you’ve unscrewed them, you can remove the cover and the lever cover.
  5. Remove any crumbs that may have gotten stuck in the lever assembly and the heating coils.
  6. Test the lever to see if it moves properly. If there’s still an issue, apply lubricant to it.
  7. Put the cover and lever cover back on and close up the machine.


If this method still doesn’t solve your issue, there’s a chance that there’s another issue preventing the lever from staying down.

Your Toaster Lever Is Broken

If your toaster is spotlessly clean, there’s a good chance that the problem with the lever is a relatively simple one – it’s broken. 

If your lever is visibly broken or hanging off the toaster, you’ll either need to take your machine to a professional to get it repaired or buy a new toaster.

However, not all types of lever damage are instantly visible. 

Another common issue you may face is a lever that’ll stay down – as long as it’s in exactly the right position. While it’s possible to ignore this issue and continue using your toaster, I don’t advise doing so. Continuing to use a damaged toaster will only harm it further. 

To address this issue, you should:

  1. Follow steps 1 through 4 mentioned above.
  2. Gently disconnect the controller board from the body of your toaster.
  3. Check the lever to see if you can identify the problem.
  4. If you can identify the issue, check the toaster manual to see how to fix it. If you cannot find a solution, you’ll need to contact the company or replace your machine.
  5. If you cannot identify an issue, your toaster may need a deeper clean than the one you provided above. Take an old toothbrush and gently scrub out any crumbs and dirt that’s still visible.
  6. Plug the toaster and retest the lever mechanism. If it’s still not working, the problem is likely nothing more than wear and tear, which means you’ll need to replace your toaster. 
  7. Reconnect the controller board, put the cover and lever cover back on, and close up the machine if the mechanism is working.

You can also refer to this YouTube video to see how this method works:

It’s essential to keep in mind that you should try this method if you’re uncomfortable working with electronics. Toasters are relatively budget-friendly to replace, so you can always get a new one instead. Alternatively, contact the company for help as to where you can get your machine repaired. 

If you’re looking for a new toaster, I recommend the Amazon Basics 2 Slice Toaster (link from Amazon). It’s an affordable option available in a range of colors and has extra-wide slots that make it perfect for extra-thick slices of bread or even bagels. Additionally, it has six shade settings, as well as a bagel and frozen setting, so you can make sure your morning toast is just right.

Final Thoughts

You should usually be able to solve the problem of a toaster lever that won’t stay down by thoroughly cleaning your machine. However, if the lever is broken further than your ability to fix it, or there’s an issue with the voltage your toaster and other appliances are receiving, you may need to contact a professional for help.

Alternatively (unless the issue is the voltage), you can always consider investing in a replacement machine instead. Toasters are relatively affordable, and buying a new machine will save you the time you would spend trying to find a fix.

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I'm obsessed with cleaning (maybe to an unhealthy degree) and want to share all of my best tips and hacks with you.

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