How to Clean a Microwave? Simple Hacks You Can Do

Microwaves have always been a staple of every modern home’s kitchen. It is used to heat leftover food or make TV dinner, among many other functions. While practically everyone knows how to use it, not a lot know how to clean a microwave.

With all the different food and drinks coming in and out of the microwave being heated, food, dirt, and grease build up overtime. In addition to this, you may make potential mistakes like using materials that are not microwavable or using it for too long.

From these two instances alone, microwaves are bound to get dirty and messy. If you don’t clean your microwave after using it, a ripple effect of undesirable consequences will occur.

One, the mess made hardens and become much more difficult to clean. This will lead to bacteria growing inside your microwave and will affect the smell of your microwave. Since nobody wants smelly food, this will make your microwave unusable and will depreciate faster.

Even worse, that aroma will permeate throughout the kitchen and now the whole area smells unpleasant.

The ideal house and lot is one that is fragrant all around and considering the consequences of a messy microwave, the microwave is the best place to begin.

While it may seem like a tall order, sanitizing your microwave quickly and effectively is make possible with these microwave cleaning hacks.

Things You’ll Need to Clean Up the Microwave

Before you even begin a clean-up, you need the requisite ingredients. Here are the primary ingredients you need:

  • Lemon
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Dish soap
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Microfiber cloth or paper towels
  • Water
  • Sponge

The scenario and the severity of the situation determines which of these ingredients will be used. In some cases, only some of the materials above will be used. In other cases, they will need to be combined to effectively clean the microwave. Now, here is how to clean a microwave.

How to Clean a Microwave?

1. Using a Lemon

With the acidic nature of lemon juice, the dirt and grease inside the microwave will break down easier.

First, with a microwave-safe bowl, fill it about halfway with water. After, take a lemon out, cut it in half, squeeze half of it into the microwave-safe bowl with water, and put the lemon itself inside the bowl.

After this, place the bowl with the water and lemon mixture inside the microwave and operate the microwave for five minutes. What this does it as it heats up, the lemon juice and water will produce steam that permeates around the microwave, thereby cleaning it.

After this, you can take the bowl outside the microwave and you will notice that when you wipe the interior with either some paper towels or a microfiber towel, the dirt and grease will come off easily.

Though do not forget about the exterior. You can dip the towel in your water and lemon mixture to wipe the exterior.

Clean this with caution because you are working with piping hot items.

2. Using baking soda

If you do not have a lemon, you can use baking soda. Baking soda is the exact microwave cleaning hack used with a lemon. You can perform the exact same procedure used with lemon, just substitute the lemon with baking soda.

Begin with a microwave-safe bowl with water and baking soda. Microwave it for five minutes then take the bowl out. And now you can clean the microwave’s interior easily. For the exterior, you can dip the towel into the mixture and use that to wipe the exterior.

If the microwave itself does not need deep and heavy cleaning, you can just sprinkle the dirty area with baking soda followed by scrubbing it with a sponge. 

3. Using water and vinegar

In lieu of lemon and baking soda, vinegar and water is a third best answer to how to clean your microwave. White vinegar is best for this household chore.

The amount of dirt determines the ratio of vinegar to water. Diluting your vinegar with some water will decrease its strength. For easy stains, one tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of water will likely do the trick. If this doesn’t work for you, add more vinegar.

You can opt for as high as 2:1 ratio of vinegar to water (⅓ cup water to ⅔ cup vinegar) if the stains just will not go away, but this is mostly used for tough grease and mold. One-to-one, or more heavily diluted solutions, are much more popular options to clean your microwave.

4. Using dish soap

Nothing beats classic and traditional because it is an age-old solution.

Squirt a small amount of dish soap on the affected area, let it sit for a while before scrubbing it with a sponge.

While this may be a classic solution, it might not always work. In fact, the aforementioned microwave cleaning hacks are more effective than using dish soap.

Since it is good to have options, there are lots to try from should dish soap be insufficient.

5. Simultaneous use of baking soda, dish soap, lemon, water and vinegar

The one instance where you need to use practically all the ingredients above is when the microwave is severely messy. Perhaps you made a big mess, or the dirt and grease have built up for quite a while.

This microwave cleaning hack does not deviate from the hacks mentioned above; it involves the same procedure. The only difference now is that all the materials will be combined.

To clean an extra dirty microwave, combine vinegar and water, lemon juice and water, or baking soda and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Then, run the microwave for five minutes.

Let it sit a bit before your wipe it out. This way, you avoid scrubbing and your microwave breaks down the tough stains and grease for you.

With all the ingredients coming together, heavy dirt and tough grease can easily be cleaned and removed.

Other tips

The outside of the microwave must not be neglected. How cleanliness of the exterior has bearing on the condition of the microwave itself and the smell of its surroundings.

Every cleaning method above comes with a mixture used for cleaning. You must use that specific mixture to clean the exterior. Just dip the towel into the mixture and use that to wipe the exterior.

Another question that you may want to know is how often the microwave must be cleaned.

As a standard, cleaning your microwave once a week to once every three to four weeks avoids bacteria build-up and keeps strong smells down in your kitchen.

If you heat a lot of messy foods like sauces or gravy, you may need to clean it more often. On the flip side, if it is barely used, you can go longer than a month without cleaning it. But once again, do not leave it unattended for very long.

The verdict

While the importance of options was stressed in an earlier section of this article, the most effective method of cleaning the microwave is the lemon cleaning hack.

It only requires one lemon, a microwave-safe dish, some water, and a cloth! The microwave does all the work for you, so all you must do is wipe while the oven is hot.

Regardless, all the methods above will work if the instructions are followed, and the material used is enough to clean the dirt being dealt with. Hence, to have a sparkly clean, and brightly shined heating appliance, you should know how to clean a microwave as instructed above.

Written by Cholo Hermoso