A microwave is a great appliance in the kitchen and a fantastic investment for home cooks young and old. Unfortunately, your microwave’s interior can get dirty quickly and become very unsanitary after repeated use.
Microwaves, over time and even in an instant, can build up grease, grime and dirt inside. If cleaning, in general, isn’t your forte, don’t worry as we’ve got your back! The good news is that cleaning microwaves isn’t exactly backbreaking work – from spaghetti sauce splatters to baked-on crumbs, you can make it look new in no time.
The following are some tips on how to clean your microwave interior properly:
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How to Clean a Microwave with Vinegar
White vinegar has to be one of the few unsung heroes of the home. Not only can it make food taste better, but its acidity is just the solution needed to get rid of any grease or dirt to clean a microwave.
To begin, ensure you have these tools on hand:
- Warm water
- White vinegar
- Microwave-safe bowl or glass
- Microfiber cloth
- Lemon or Essential Oil (Optional)
Pour two cups of water into a microwave safe bowl with two tablespoons of vinegar, then mix. Both the water and vinegar must be incorporated in equal parts, as this will allow the mixture to penetrate deep into the microwave’s grime. If you can’t handle the smell of vinegar, include a drop of essential oil or lemon to mask the smell.
Place this bowl/glass in your microwave, and turn it on for five minutes on high. This will allow the steam and heat to loosen up any stains that’s built up in your microwave.
After 5 minutes are up, carefully take out the bowl and turntable as both will be hot, then use the microfiber cloth to wipe down your microwave. Be sure to wipe the sides, bottom and the top of your oven, along with the door. For residue, dip your cloth in vinegar and wipe clean.
How to Clean a Microwave with Dish Soap
If you’re looking for a quick way to clean your microwave, then dish soap is the answer. Dish soaps are designed to get rid of grease and grime in general, which makes them the perfect multi-purpose cleaner for your microwave.
Before you start, make sure to have the following:
- Clean cloth
- Dish Soap/Liquid Dishwasher Detergent
- Microwave safe bowl
Fill one bowl with a half cup of water and add two tablespoons full of your dish soap. Ensure that the mixture is well blended before placing and heating in your microwave for one minute. This will allow the steam, heat and soap to loosen up any gunk that’s built up in your microwave.
After this is done heating, use a clean cloth to wipe down your microwave’s interior. If you want to go the extra mile and clean its exterior, spray some alcohol onto a microfiber cloth and wipe clean.
How to Clean a Microwave with Wet Paper Towels Method
If you’re limited on supplies and paper towels are all you have on hand, then this is the method for you.
First, place some wet paper towels with warm water into your microwave and turn it on at high power for five minutes. Similarly to the two methods above, the steam, heat and moisture will soften any dried up gunk latching onto your microwaves interior.
Once this time is up, wait until the paper towels are cool enough to touch and use them to wipe your microwave. Be sure not to leave any wet spots, as this can cause your microwave to rust.
How to Clean a Microwave with Lemons
If you’re looking for a natural way to clean your microwave, then lemon works wonders. Lemons have a natural acidic quality that will help cut through greasy stains, making them perfect for the job.
To begin, cut a lemon in half and then place both halves into a microwaveable plate with some water. Turn on your microwave for one minute, and allow the steam from the water and lemon to soften grime. Proceed to carefully remove your plate from the microwave and use a clean cloth to wipe away food buildup.
If you want to eliminate any lingering lemon scent in your oven’s interior, mix a tablespoon of vinegar in a microwave safe bowl with half a cup of water. Heat for a couple of minutes and keep the microwave door shut for another 15 minutes. This will allow the vinegar smell to disperse and absorb any unwanted odours.
How to Clean a Microwave with Baking Soda
You’ve probably noticed by now that all supplies used in these methods are either natural or non-toxic, which is why baking soda makes a perfect ingredient. Baking soda’s abrasive nature helps to eliminate baked-on food – just be careful not to scrub too hard or you could scratch the inside of your microwave.
To begin, combine one part water with one part baking soda to make a paste. Apply this paste onto any stains or stuck-on food, wait for five minutes and then wipe clean with a damp cloth. If residue remains, wipe it away with a paper towel.
Using a Diluted Window Cleaner to Clean Your Microwave Oven
Ok, window cleaner’s certainly aren’t natural, but this method works to comprehensively clean your microwave’s interior and exterior nonetheless. A window cleaner’s high concentration of alcohol helps to disinfect surfaces and kill off any bacteria that may be lurking.
To begin, mix two parts window cleaner with only one part water. Using this mixture, clean your microwave’s base and walls with a sponge or rag, letting the tougher stains soak for a few minutes. After you’re done with the interior, wipe the exterior with the same solution.
Once more, if you want to get rid of the window cleaner’s scent from your microwave, use a paper towel to wipe down areas with some vinegar and water. Doing so will help absorb any unwanted odours that may linger inside your oven or on its exterior.
How to Clean a Microwave with Commercial Cleaners
If you don’t have the time, patience, or supplies to clean your microwave with natural ingredients, you can purchase many commercial cleaners. Just be sure to follow the directions carefully and keep an eye out for any chemicals that may cause damage to your microwave, such as bleach or ammonia.
Commercial cleaners also let off a strong odour that can be difficult to get rid of. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of removing these remaining fumes, try buying a fume-free cleaner. Once you’re done wiping, always leave the microwave door open to allow any leftover fumes to dissipate.
Remember, the chemicals in some products are extremely strong and should only be used sparingly.
General Safety Tips when Cleaning a Microwave
Cleaning microwaves is a reasonably straightforward process once you get the hang of it, but there are some necessary safety precautions that you should always keep in mind. Let’s go through some of them so you can best prepare yourself.
- Wear rubber gloves if you’re working with any chemical cleaner.
- Never microwave your cleaner – this will produce toxic fumes that can be harmful to inhale or ingest.
- Always unplug your microwave or turn off the power before beginning to clean – this applies to any appliance with exposed parts that could cause an electric shock.
- Never use a metal sponge on your appliance, as this could scratch and damage any coating that may have been applied.
- Always wipe away the excess cleaner with a paper towel – you don’t want it seeping into other areas of your oven’s interior because once residue dries up, it’ll be much harder to remove.
- If you’re using a rag for cleaning, make sure that it isn’t too wet, as the excess liquid could cause damage to your microwave’s control panel.
- Do not use any of the methods in this article if your microwave’s door is broken or its hinges are loose – doing so could cause the door to detach while you’re cleaning and seriously injure yourself.
Now that you’ve read our cleaning guide, you should be well on your way to having a squeaky clean microwave. But remember, always use caution when cleaning microwaves – you don’t want to hurt yourself or cause damage over something so minor. Meanwhile, here are some Microwave Maintenance Tips and Hacks you might just find useful.
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