The Easiest Way to Clean a Microwave

Many methods work if you need to clean a microwave, but if you want to clean it fast, use steam.

If you get a lot of use out of your microwave, chances are, it gets dirty quicker than you’d like. It’s common for food to splatter or bubble over while cooking, leaving a dried-on mess. 

The Easiest Way to Clean a Microwave

Here’s the good news – even if your microwave has caked on food and grime, you can get it clean without much effort. Here’s the easiest way to clean a microwave.

The Easiest Way to Clean a Microwave: Step by Step

Before cleaning your microwave, start by knocking all loose crumbs into your hand or a paper towel and throwing them away. Then, follow these steps.

Step 1: Fill a Cup with Vinegar and Water

Fill a microwave-safe coffee mug or bowl with 1 cup of water and three tablespoons of white distilled vinegar. Microwave the mug for five minutes.

As the water and vinegar mixture boils, it will release steam into your microwave.

Step 2: Leave the Microwave Door Closed for Five More Minutes

After running the microwave, leave the door closed for an additional five minutes. The extra time will allow the steam to loosen stuck-on food and debris.

Step 3: Wipe down the Inside of the Microwave

Take a microfiber cloth and wipe the inside of your microwave. The stuck-on food should wipe off.

If there are problem spots, dip your microfiber cloth in the mixture of water and vinegar and use it to clean them. (Be careful, the solution may still be hot.)

After wiping the area clean, dry it with a fresh towel.

Step 4: Hand Wash the Glass Plate

Remove the glass plate and hand wash it with soapy water. Rinse well and put it back in place.

Step 5: Wipe the Outside of the Microwave

You can use the vinegar and water solution to clean the exterior of your microwave. Dry with a fresh towel.

(If your microwave is stainless steel, use a soft microfiber cloth so you don’t scratch the surface.)

How to Clean a Microwave without Vinegar

While using vinegar is an easy way to loosen stuck-on food and grime, it’s not the only method that works. If you don’t like vinegar or don’t have any on hand, use one of the techniques below.

Clean Your Microwave with Lemon Juice or Sliced Lemons

Lemon juice is acidic like vinegar, making it a good substitute. Here’s how to use it to clean a microwave:

  • Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup of water
  • Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice or sliced lemon to the bowl
  • Microwave for five minutes
  • Allow the solution to sit with the microwave door closed for another five minutes
  • Remove the bowl, turntable, and glass plate
  • Wipe the interior of the microwave with a microfiber cloth
  • Hand wash the glass plate and return it to the microwave
  • Wipe down the exterior door

Clean Your Microwave with Dishsoap and Water

If you don’t want to steam the microwave, a simple solution of dish soap and water can get it clean. 

Start by knocking all loose crumbs from the microwave. Then, remove the glass plate and turn table. Next, wipe the inside of the microwave with a hot, soapy sponge using circular motions. Afterward, wipe with a paper towel.

Repeat these steps until the microwave is clean.

Hand wash your turn table and glass plate in the sink. Put them back in the microwave once dry.

How to Get Rid of Bad Odors in the Microwave

If you’ve burnt food or cooked something with a strong odor, it can linger in your microwave. 

The top way to remove unpleasant smells is by steam cleaning the microwave with vinegar and water. To do this, fill a mug with one cup of water and three tablespoons of vinegar. Microwave for five minutes, then let the cup sit with the door for another five minutes. 

After letting the solution sit, wipe down the interior of the microwave. 

If the smell persists, leave the door open so the microwave can air out. You can also set a bowl of baking soda in the microwave overnight to absorb foul odors. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How do you clean the inside of a microwave door?

The easiest way to clean the inside of your microwave door is to steam vinegar and water in the microwave. The steam will loosen up debris, and you’ll be able to wipe it clean.

How do you use baking soda to clean a microwave?

You can use baking soda to clean your microwave by creating steam. Fill a bowl with one cup of water, add 1 tbsp of baking soda, and microwave for five minutes. Wait another five minutes, and then wipe the inside of the microwave with a microfiber cloth.

When should you clean your microwave?

Clean your microwave as needed. Wipe up food messes as you see them and deep clean whenever the microwave becomes soiled with dried food or grease splatters.

Final Thoughts

Using water, vinegar, or lemon juice to steam your microwave is the easiest way to remove stuck-on food and grease. The steam loosens all debris, making it easy to wipe away.

To keep your microwave clean going forward, spot clean as needed. Any time food boils over, wipe it from the microwave before it hardens. Time spent preventing dried-on messes will make deep cleaning easier going forward.

Discover more ways to clean with vinegar: 18 Household Items You Can Clean with Vinegar