How to Clean a Microwave: A Handful of Surefire Solutions

how to clean a microwave

Your microwave is one of the kitchen appliances that you probably use often. Yet, for some reason, many of us don’t know how to clean these devices effectively.

From baked-on food on the inside of the microwave to splashes and dirt on the outside, it’s easy to end up with a product that doesn’t look as good as it should. All it takes is a burnt bag of popcorn or a round of liquid-filled leftovers to turn a microwave into a smelly mess.

The good news is that cleaning a microwave doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. Today, we are going to provide a series of cleaning tips and ideas on how to clean a microwave to help keep your microwave oven in fantastic condition.

Keeping on Top of Microwave Maintenance

For the most part, the easiest way to clean a microwave is to just keep on top of the maintenance. A little elbow grease as soon as you notice a stain will save you a lot of time in the long-term. Whenever you use your microwave, conduct a quick check of the inside and outside.

Do you notice any splashes or food residue that needs to be cleaned up? If so, grab a wet paper towel and quickly rub the remaining mess. You don’t need to use any bleach or cleaning sprays here in most cases. Wet wipes are another excellent choice or try using a clean sponge.

If you do have some paper towels and you notice that the microwave oven has some particularly tough stains inside, dry drenching a stack of towels with water and placing them in the microwave. You can microwave these wet towels for up to five minutes. The steam should loosen any dirt on your microwave door and its interior. When you’re done, wipe down the inside to get rid of any extra steam.

How to Clean the Inside of a Microwave

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To clean the inside of a microwave, all you need is some basic household materials.

One great option is to combine one cup of water with a selection of lemon, lime, or orange slices. You should squeeze the juice from the fruits into the water but include the peels, too. If you have some apple cider vinegar or white vinegar available, add a few tablespoons to the mix.

When your mixture is ready, pour everything into a microwave-safe bowl, and put it in the microwave for about five minutes. If you notice that there’s a lot of steam inside your microwave after a few minutes, stop the process early. Keep the door closed until you’re ready to remove the bowl, to avoid having steam filling up your home.

Let your microwave cool for another five minutes before you open the door, then remove the bowl. You can use a sponge or a rag to clean the condensation from the microwave’s interior and get rid of any dirt and grime in the process.

The juice of the citrus fruits is an important extra touch because it will help to remove any baked-on food or stains. These citrus fruits will also give the inside of your microwave a pleasant fresh smell, so make sure you use plenty of lemon juice in the mixture. If you don’t have lemon juice, add lemon oil to maintain the same smell.

How to Clean Microwave Doors

cleaning a kitchen applianceIf you notice that your microwave doors have a layer of grease or smudges, then you might need to get to work on this site, too.

Using your bowl of lemon juice, vinegar, and water, steam the inside of the microwave the same way as mentioned above. Then take a damp sponge or damp cloth to the door to remove any greasy stains. You may need to steam the inside of the microwave more than once and use more than one clean rag to get rid of unwanted splatters.

If the greasy splatters on your microwave door aren’t responding to the steaming solution, try something a little tougher. A damp sponge with a little baking soda will make it easier to remove greasy foods by breaking through stubborn spots.

You can use the same method and a microfiber cloth to clean the turntable in your microwave. The turntable will often clean easily with the methods above. For heavy grease build-up, consider using a reliable all-purpose grease-cutting cleaner. You can find these in most supermarkets. Make sure you know the ingredients if you want to avoid exposure to certain chemicals.

After using a commercial cleaner, always wipe the residue away with clean water and a microfiber cloth to reduce the risk of exposure to any gasses.

How to Get a Clean Microwave Smell

It’s important to clean your microwave regularly to keep it working properly and looking great. When you clean a microwave, you prevent certain elements from becoming damaged and clogged. However, you should also clean your microwave regularly to prevent horrible smells from building up.

When your microwave interior is splattered with food and debris, it often burns and creates a terrible smell over time. If you forget to wipe down the inside of your microwave even once with dish soap and water, you could find that cleaning your microwave later becomes more of a chore.

If you accidentally burn something or you notice food in the microwave, wait for the device to cool down and leave the door open. Leaving the microwave to air out might be enough to handle small odours when there isn’t any baked-on food inside the microwave.

For strong odours, use warm water in a microwave-safe bowl, mixed with lemon and other citrus products to eliminate the smell. The combination of water and juices in the bowl will steam clean your microwave. Just make sure to place the bowl on a clean turntable. Remember to remove the bowl carefully, too, as it will get hot.

Forgetting to clean your turntable regularly is a common source of unwanted smells. To ensure you have a clean turntable, carefully remove the device from the inside of the microwave after you’ve finished steaming. Use baking soda and a sponge to carefully scrub away any stains.

Remember that circular motions are often best for cleaning any products in your home that have been exposed to grease.

Pro Cleaning Tips for Microwaves

If you can’t find a solution to your home microwave cleaning dilemma above, don’t worry. Here are some extra microwave cleaning tips that could ensure that your device lasts longer.

Use a Cleanser When Necessary

scrubbing an oven's turntableA natural solution is often the most popular choice when it comes to cleaning your microwave interior or turntable. However, if you have some tough marks to work with, then you may need to use a sponge and a commercial cleaner instead. Multipurpose antibacterial cleansers and dish soap can help you to carefully remove splashes during microwave cleaning.

Avoid Anything Too Abrasive

It’s not advisable to use abrasive materials such as rough sponges or steel wool. If you decide to use baking soda for microwave cleaning, be very careful. The sodium bicarbonate can scratch your microwave if you’re not careful. If you’re cleaning the outside of the microwave, you may prefer to use warm water and a window cleaner instead.

Clean the Outside

Cleaning the inside of your microwave with water and essential oil is a great start, but don’t forget the outside. If you’ve had your microwave on high, give it some time to cool down before you clean the exterior. You can simply use water for cleaning the outside of a microwave, and dish soap for extra power.

Rinse the Microwave After Cleaning

When you clean a microwave with vinegar, baking soda, and other ingredients, make sure that you rinse the device afterwards. Avoid soaking the microwave in water but use a cloth to remove any lingering baking soda, vinegar, or cleaning residue that might cause smells later.

Clean Regularly

It’s much easier to clean a microwave when you do it regularly. If you make a habit of using a microwave-safe bowl to wash your microwave with water and steam, then you won’t give stains the chance to bake on.

Bring Back the Sparkle

We hope this guide has been useful in learning how to clean a microwave. As with other cleaning routines, it is always easiest if you don’t let it get too bad and keep on top of it each time you use it. A simple wipe down after each use is a lot more manageable than scrubbing cooked-in stains and dealing with lingering odours.

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