How to clean a microwave oven

Washing dishes is simple, but cleaning a microwave is the real buster. You could not just unplug it and throw it in the dishwasher much as you do with other dishes. But washing a microwave oven does not need to be hard or complicated. While a lot of us go ahead and buy expensive and perfumed microwave cleaning solutions, not a lot of us realize that it is not worth it. 

You can perfectly clean your microwave with simple household ingredients and at the same time, save money, time and most importantly, improve the hygiene of your microwave. With a few steps, tips and a couple of tricks, it is as easy as making maggie in it. 

Before we jump in and let you in on the secrets of how you clean your microwave, let us gather our supplies. You’ll need them in order to get started and use any of the following methods we are going to mention. 

  • Paper Towels, 
  • Baking Sods
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Household Vinegar
  • Cleaning solution
  • Dish soap or normal handwash solution
  • Citrus or lime solution

Different methods to clean a microwave oven:

1. Cleaning a microwave with Paper Towels: 

You could go for a paper towel roll or just a few paper towels. They are super helpful in absorbing grease and other oil-based stains. This is also perfect for clearing out hard stuff that sticks onto the walls and the windows of the microwave oven.

One of the simplest methods to clean your microwave is to place a couple of wet and soaked paper tissues or towels. Now all you gotta do is to turn on the microwave to the highest power and let it be like that for about 5 minutes. The steam from these towels will loosen the caked-on grease and other titbits. 

After the towels have cooled down, you can use them to wipe off the interiors as well. 

2. Simple Baking Soda Method

In order to remove any spills of the cooked-on food in the interior of the microwave, you can use baking soda and water. Take a bowl and make a baking soda paste by adding two portions of baking soda and one portion of water. Now apply this paste to the parts of the microwave interiors where the spills have hardened. 

You do not need to turn on the microwave but all you need to do is to wipe off the baking soda cream with a wet sponge or a rag cloth. You can also use a paper towel to remove the residue. 

After this, place a small bowl of water in a microwave bowl and turn up the machine for about 5 minutes. As the steam gets on the windows, turn off and use paper towels to wipe away everything. 

3. Vinegar with Water

Similar to the method above, all you need to do is a microwave-safe bowl and fill it with water up to the halfway mark. Now add about one or 2 tablespoons of white vinegar. Place this bowl in the microwave and steam it at the highest power for about 5 minutes. 

All of the internal walls will get steamed and this will loosen the caked gunk. After you remove the bowl from the microwave, wipe down the slimy gunk with a paper towel or a cotton cloth. Also, take out the turntable for a quick wash manually or through the dishwasher.

4. Baking soda with Vinegar

Take a bowl of lukewarm water and add about 4 tablespoons of baking soda to it. Mash it up and stir vigorously until the baking soda powder dissolves completely. Now dip a sponge or a rag cloth in the bowl and wipe it on the insides of the microwave. 

After this, let the microwave sit for a while. In the meanwhile pour about 3 parts of water and 3 parts of white vinegar in a bowl (take a microwave-safe bowl). Place it in the microwave and turn on the high power for 3 minutes (with the baking soda wiped interiors). After the water has boiled to hot, let it sit for about 10 minutes so that the formed water steam will stick to the gunk and loosen everything. 

Now open the door and remove the bowl along with the carousel and the turntable. You may soak all the removable parts in a bowl of hot soapy water. Let them sit while you wash away the interior of the microwave with vinegar and water solution. 

Dry the interiors by blotting it with a dry paper towel. Repeat the process till all of the gunk is removed.

5. Citrus/Lemon juice

You can take a lemon or an orange or a lime fruit. Cut it in half and place both of the halves with their side down on the turntable microwave plate. Add about a tablespoon of water. 

Set the microwave for medium for about 1 minute or till you observe that the lemon inside the device is hot whereas the interiors of the oven are steamy. Take out the lemon and wipe off the insides with a bunch of paper towels. Additionally, you can take the hot lemon and squeeze its juice onto the interior walls as you wipe down with a dry paper towel for greater and pristine glass.

6. Dishwash or Handwash Soap

Take a small bowl of water and add generous amounts of dishwashing or handwash soap to it. Transfer the contents into a microwave-safe bowl and set the microwave settings too high and the timer to one minute or until you can see that the water is in a hard boil and steam forming around the interiors of the microwave. 

The steam shall loosen all of the dried gunk debris on the walls and on the window. Now turn off the machine, take a bunch of paper towels or a rag cloth and start wiping the windows and the walls of the machine. Alternatively, you can also add some baking soda to the water. This will help in removing any bad odour that was sticking in the machine before.

7. Window Cleaner Solution with water

This method is similar to the one mentioned above with the Dishwasher soap. You can go for this one for more small or watery stain marks and most importantly, splash marks. It is not exactly ideal for dried up gunk but is good for greasy or oily marks.

Take a small bowl and mix 2 portions of window cleaner solution with 1 portion of water. This will dilute the cleaner enough to clean not just the interiors but also the exteriors of the microwave. 

Take a sponge and soak it in the mixture. Start wiping off the interior of the microwave and also the windows. You can also remove the carousel and then dub down the microwave base with it. Take a cloth and try cleaning out the microwave vents with this mixture as well. After scrubbing on the tough stains for about 5 minutes,  dip a new rag in clean water. Now clean off the soaped up areas neat and clean. Repeat it till the splash stains are gone for good.

If any stubborn stains remail, dab some olive oil on it or on the rag cloth and clean it with that. After the unit dries out, wipe it out further with dry cloth pieces. If you observe any smell of the cleaner inside, wipe it again with a fresh watered cloth and then wipe it down with a dry cloth.

Tips and Precautions to take while cleaning your microwave

  • While cleaning the exteriors of the microwave oven, make sure you are not letting any water get into the backside of the microwave. This will damage the microwave. 
  • Also, make sure you are unplugging the microwave if you are to clean the exterior with a wet cloth. Cleaning it with a wet cloth while it is plugged in could be dangerous. 
  • Make sure you are also turning off the microwave while cleaning the insides of the microwave.
  • Only plug in the microwave when you are placing something inside it and microwaving it. 
  • While doing any of the above-mentioned methods to clean your microwave, you may experience strong smell at the end of the cleaning. In that case, you can microwave a small bowl of water with a teaspoon of baking soda in it. This will remove the strong odours. 
  • As a rule of thumb, wrap smelly foods before you microwave them. (like fish or eggs with shells or maybe processed meats) This will prevent any smelly occurrences or preserve the hygiene of your microwave. 
  • In cases of internal splashes and spills, do not directly go ahead and rub off the spillage. Let the interiors cool down before using any wet cloth of paper towels to clean it.

Wrapping it up:

Apart from the above-mentioned home remedies, there are a lot of ready-made commercial oven cleaning solutions as well. Apart from being pricey, a lot of them also may leave a strong smell inside the oven after you clean it. While they may smell good at first, after you start using the microwave for heating some food or liquid, your food may end up having the taste or the smell of these cleaners. 

So it is strongly suggested that you go ahead with a home remedy. If you happen to have any further questions regarding cleaning your microwave or any other kitchen or home appliance (or furniture as well), feel free to write to us in the comments section below. Our team of experts will write back to you as soon as possible.

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