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How To Clean The Microwave

Common Microwave Cleaning Questions

How Often Should I Clean The Microwave? 

Microwaves tend to accumulate odors and buildup quickly, especially with regular usage. It’s best to immediately wipe down spills and “explosions” in the microwave with a damp cloth, or with dish soap and warm water to avoid the food or drink from “baking” into the walls of the microwave. The longer spills and food debris are left to accumulate in the microwave, the more difficult they will be to clean down the line. One easy trick to keeping the microwave fresh is to place the microwave turntable in your dishwasher regularly for a deep cleaning. Most microwave turntables are made of glass, and thus are easy to clean in the dishwasher along with other cookware and dishes. It’s also important to regularly clean the microwave exterior, especially to clean greasy microwave doors from messy hands opening and closing them during cooking. If your microwave sits above your oven’s range, take care to also wipe down the underside portion in order to remove residue from food, steam, and smoke. With these methods integrated into your cleaning routine, you’ll be able to avoid frustrating messes resulting from neglect. 

How To Clean A Microwave Screen? 

The microwave screen or “window” can easily be cleaned using your favorite glass cleaner. We recommend selecting an ammonia-free cleanser to avoid unwanted odor and fumes. To remove heavy grease buildup on the screen, clean with dish soap and water, using dish brush to scrub as needed. This method also works well to clean greasy microwave doors, including the stainless steel or metal portion. Then, apply glass cleaner and buff out streaks. A pure white vinegar and water solution in a 1:1 ratio can also be used to treat filmy buildup on your microwave screen. Spray over the screen, buff out with a clean damp cloth, then dry thoroughly. To prevent greasy messes in the first place, take care to wipe down the microwave screen regularly when food spills occur. 

How To Deodorize A Microwave?  

Got a stinky situation on your hands? Wondering how to get a burned smell out of a microwave? Frustrated by lingering popcorn smells? One easy way of deodorizing the microwave is to “neutralize” it after microwaving foods with strong aromas.  

Step 1: Grab a cup of water, and place a few lemon slices inside (Don’t have lemon? You can substitute any citrus fruit here, or combine a few tablespoons of bottled lemon juice and water). Make sure to use a microwave safe bowl or cup for your mixture.  

Step 2: Place inside the microwave, and run on a high setting until the water boils and creates enough steam to fill the microwave, around 2 minutes. Turn off the microwave, but avoid opening the door for at least five minutes. The steam will work to loosen residue from inside the microwave and remove odors.  

Step 3: Taking care to wear oven mitts in case your bowl or cup is still hot, remove it from the microwave. Dip a cloth or sponge into the water and lemon solution, and wipe down the microwave interior. This should lift any lingering smells and odors.  

This quick 10 minute microwave cleaning method will help you keep your microwave fresh for longer in between deep cleans. 

How To Clean A Microwave With Vinegar? 

For stronger burned-on smells and residue, cleaning the microwave with vinegar can be a very effective method. White vinegar is an extremely versatile home and laundry cleaner that you may already have in your cleaning repertoire!  

Fill a microwave safe bowl or cup with a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water, and place in the microwave. You can add a few citrus peels or a drop or two of essential oils to combat the vinegar fragrance, if you like. Run on a high setting until the solution starts to boil and create steam, about 2 minutes. Let sit for about five minutes before removing (while wearing oven mitts of course). Dip a cloth or sponge into the warm solution and wipe down your microwave interior and exterior, scrubbing to remove any caked-on residue.  

Just like the lemon water solution, vinegar will also work to neutralize odors while cleaning food residue. Any remaining solution can also be used to clean the microwave oven exterior! 

How To Clean A Microwave With Baking Soda? 

Baking soda is another extremely versatile cleaner that can easily be used to remove burned and caked-on residue in the microwave. The easiest method to use baking soda is to combine 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda with water in a microwave safe bowl or cup. Microwave the solution of baking soda inside on high for a few minutes until the mixture creates steam. Let sit for about 5 minutes before removing, using oven mitts for hand protection. Take a sponge or cloth, dip it into the baking soda mixture, and wipe down the microwave surfaces. Residue should melt away! 

For tough messes, combine baking soda and hot water to make a paste. Apply the baking soda paste to the mess inside the microwave and let sit for a few minutes before scrubbing or wiping. For extremely tough residue, you can also lightly spritz a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar and water over the mess, causing the paste to foam. Let the foam subside before wiping or scrubbing away baking soda residue. Always finish by wiping the microwave down with a clean, damp cloth. 

How To Clean A Microwave Filter? 

Curious how to clean your microwave filter? If your microwave has a removable stainless steel mesh filter, you can easily clean it using dish soap and water. Remove the filter from the microwave, and submerge in a basin or sink filled with hot water and dish soap. Let soak for at least 15 minutes before scrubbing down with more dish soap as needed. Rinse thoroughly and let dry completely before placing back on the microwave.