7 Simple Ways To Clean A Microwave

Housewife cleaning microwave oven using lemon

Microwave ovens can be considered a staple in every modern home. It makes heating leftover food easy, it makes delicious and quick meals, too. But the one thing that no homeowner actually wants to do, is to clean up an especially dirty microwave. Unlike cleaning a conventional oven, a microwave can be cleaned with a few simple steps.

Here are a few tips and tricks on how you can overcome this challenge and allow your microwave oven to last a long time.

What you will need

Russell Hobbs microwave oven on a marble benchtop

These are just some of the most basic materials you'll need when cleaning a microwave. Luckily you should have most of these items on hand in your kitchen and bathroom pantry. Be sure to have them on hand so that you are ready any time you need to deal with a dirty microwave.

  • 1 cup of water
  • Sponge
  • Lemon
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap
  • Commercial cleaner
  • Microfibre cloths
  • Microwave safe bowl

Cleaning your microwave

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Now that you know the tools that will help you clean your microwave, here are some of the things you need to know when it comes to cleaning your device:

Wet Paper Towel Method

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If your microwave doesn’t look like a nuclear explosion happened inside it, then using a bunch of wet paper towels would be more than sufficient to clean it. Just place the wet paper towels inside your microwave and run your microwave on high for around 5 minutes. This trick will create steam which will help you remove unwanted dirt and contaminants in your microwave. It also serves as a primer for tougher issues like stuck food.

Using dish soap

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This method works almost the same as the Wet Paper Towel Method. Fill a non-metallic microwave-safe bowl with parts of water and dish soap and place it in the microwave. Let it run for just 1 minute on a high temperature or until it steams. Remove the bowl and use a sponge to wipe the inside of your microwave. Don't forget to clean the microwave door whilst you're at it.

The power of baking soda

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Baking soda is the go-to cleaner for stuck food in your microwave, amongst other things. Simply make a paste out of baking soda and water and place it on whatever hardened food is stuck in your microwave. Allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes then just wipe it off with a wet sponge or towel. You may repeat the process until you can completely and easily remove the unwanted burnt food inside.

Vinegar and water solution

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The process for using this solution is just like the dish soap method. Grab a microwave-safe bowl and mix in one cup of water and vinegar in equal parts.

Place it in the microwave and allow it to steam for quite a bit. Make sure to wipe the unit dry before using it again so that there won’t be any traces of vinegar left inside your microwave.

Vinegar water is a timeless, versatile, natural cleaning product that assists with the removal of stubborn stains and grime. A match made in heaven for an extra dirty microwave.

Using lemon to freshen up your microwave

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Like vinegar, lemon is another great, natural disinfectant for a microwave oven, Just cut one lemon in half and place the cut side down on a microwavable plate. Add a few teaspoons of water and put the plate in the microwave until it produces steam. Remove the plate and wipe off the excess liquid inside the microwave, that’s it, it's really that simple. Again, be sure to wipe down the inside and outside of your microwave door.

Diluted window cleaner for microwave doors

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Although you may not notice this enough, your microwave’s door also needs some tender loving care. Good thing that a diluted window cleaner will work wonders for both the inside and the outside of the microwave. Use a rag or a sponge and dip it in the solution and start scrubbing the interior and exterior of your unit. Repeat the process to make sure that the microwave is thoroughly clean. If the smell of the window cleaner bothers you, just use a clean cloth dipped in water and scrub it for one more round.

Commercial Cleaners

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If you don’t want to risk using other disinfectants to clean your microwave and using lemon, baking soda or vinegar just won't do the trick, then it’s time to buy readily available commercial microwave cleaners.

One thing you must remember though is to choose a commercial cleaner that won’t leave a bad smell or fumes in your unit that can affect the smell and taste of the food your cooking.

Easy Off Microwave Cleaner is a good choice for a fume-free cleaner but there are other products out there. Just go to your local grocery or hardware store and ask for microwave specific products.  Always be sure to read the instructions and air out your microwave for at least 30 minutes before cooking again.

Safety Reminders & Tips

  1. Properly turn off and unplug your microwave before cleaning to avoid any untoward accidents, unless you need to use the heat to clean your device.
  2. Never put any metallic object inside your microwave. Do not use metallic brushes and the like when cleaning your microwave.
  3. Be careful when using water. Microwave units are electric machines and you might end up damaging your device if you are not particularly careful when using water to clean your device.
  4. Takeout and clean your microwave’s turntable from time to time. It’s perfectly safe to wash it by hand like any other plate or toss it in the dishwasher. Just be sure to let it completely dry before using again. And never forget to put it back before someone else uses the microwave.
  5. Always use lids when heating up food or drinks in your microwave. It reduces spatter incidents which maximizes time in between your next unit cleanup.
  6. If possible, maintain a low setting when using your microwave to reduce chances of spattering or burning food. Remember to use your microwave properly not just to make cleaning easier but also to avoid accidents in the kitchen.
  7. Avoid using strong chemicals when cleaning your microwave. Remember, you are heating up food or beverages in your unit and you don’t want to accidentally consume those chemicals.
  8. No amount of cleaning will fix an internal issue of your microwave. Better call an expert if your machine suddenly stops working. But it does help keep your machine working in tiptop shape if you regularly clean it.

So there you have it, a simple yet effective guide on how to clean a microwave. If you can't find the time to keep your kitchen and microwave cleaned, we offer regular cleaning services, you'll never have to worry about cleaning your microwave again. For more information on all things kitchen cleaning, do make sure to check out our cleaning blog.

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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