During a family movie night, where multiple bags of microwave popcorn have been popped and consumed, it’s hard to say what’s scarier – the climax of the movie where all looks lost for the good guys, or the inside of the microwave.
Actually, at our house anyway, it’s not hard at all. The microwave wins that contest, hands down. But there’s a microwave-cleaning hack that is not only completely natural, it’s completely easy. It’s a game-changer, through and through. Gone are the days of scrubbing for 10, 20, even 30 minutes to make the inside of your microwave sparkle. Use this tip every time you need a clean microwave, and you’ll be on your way.
Materials you’ll need to clean the microwave:
- 1 fresh lemon
- 1/2 cup water in microwave-safe bowl
- 1 clean dish towel
How to clean a microwave:
Put 1/2 cup water into a microwave-safe bowl.
Tip: Although this tutorial shows a 2-cup glass dish, I would recommend using a quart-sized glass bowl if possible, because the water will boil over the edge during the cleaning phase. This doesn’t harm the cleaning results, but it does create more water to soak up on your turntable later on.
Cut your lemon in half and squeeze all the juice out of both halves into your water dish. Don’t worry about seeds.
Place both rind halves into the bowl with the water and lemon juice. Would you believe it if I told you you’re practically done? You are.
Place your lemon-treated dish into the center of your microwave. The lemon juice is an excellent natural cleaning agent, so boiling it inside the microwave will cause condensation on the inside walls and door of the microwave, which in turn loosens and dissolves the caked-on food.
Cook it on high power for three minutes. Tip: If the outside of your microwave looks as scary as the inside, you can multitask and use this time to wipe off the exterior. Otherwise, get yourself a beverage and a magazine and relax for a few minutes.
When the microwave is done, leave the door CLOSED for another five minutes. This allows the steam and condensation to further work on the crusty, cooked-on mess inside. Don’t you love it when something virtually cleans itself?
After the five minutes of waiting (a total of eight minutes since you put the lemon dish into your microwave), open the microwave door. At first, it may not look all that different from when you started – just a bit moister inside. But wait.
Carefully remove your turntable glass (especially use care if your lemon dish boiled over during the three-minute cook time). Grab your towel and wipe it off.
The beautiful thing is, what would before have required a bunch of soap and elbow grease to remove, now comes off with a simple swipe of your clean towel. This photo shows half the turntable where I literally wiped once on the left and not on the right. So easy!
Use your dish towel to wipe the inside of your microwave door. Here’s a shot of before I started wiping mine.
Here’s a shot of a quick swipe right after. Lemon juice is magical!
While the turntable is out, wipe down all inside surfaces – the ceiling, walls, and floor of the microwave interior. This will likely take you less than a minute.
Place the clean turntable back into your clean microwave.
You’re done! It probably took about 10-12 minutes from start to finish, and the vast majority of that time was letting the microwave work itself. I just love a clean microwave, don’t you?