How To Clean Your Microwave

Most kitchens today have a microwave but how do you clean your microwave effectively?

Once every two weeks is the suggested timeframe between cleanings. As with everything in life, little but often produces the best results. Don’t neglect your microwave and make the job more difficult than necessary. The longer you leave it, the worse the job will be. Think of it like ignoring dishes in the sink… If you take care of them regularly it’s no hassle. Leave them to mount up and it becomes a tiresome chore.

If you open the microwave door and find that unpleasant smells are seeping out then it’s time for a good clean!

There are several different methods employed for efficient cleaning.

Most of us today are time poor so let’s start with a quick hack

Microwave Cleaning Shortcut

clean your dirty microwave

Do you want the very quickest way to clean a microwave?

Simply grab a handful of paper towels. Wet them and throw them inside.

Run the microwave on HIGH for 3-5 minutes.

The steam from the towels softens the dirt and grime. Wait until they cool down adequately then use them to wipe down the inside of the microwave.

Job done!

clean microwave

 A Steaming Alternative

Steam is a superb method for cleaning any food which is stuck on to the walls and platter of your microwave.

Another line of attack is to fill a glass, heatproof bowl with water. Blast it on HIGH for 2 minutes then leave the door closed for a further 2 minutes.

The steam will have reconstituted the ingrained dirt and you’ll find it incredibly easy to wipe off.

steam cleaning

Baking Soda

baking soda

One fantastic and simple way to clean cooked-on spillages on the turntable of your microwave is to use baking soda.

Make up a paste of 1 part water to 2 parts baking soda. Apply this to the gunk inside.

Wait for 5 minutes or so while it gets to work and then use a wet cloth or a sponge. If any residue remains then get rid of it with a paper towel.


cleaning with vinegar

Here is another super-simple and chemical-free approach to cleaning your microwave.

Decant 1 cup of vinegar into a small measuring cup or bowl. Add 1 cup of hot water.

Depending on the power of your unit, run on HIGH for between 5 and 10 minutes.

An inbuilt advantage of using vinegar is that it acts as a natural disinfectant. The acetic acid will deodorize as well. Odors are removed rather than simply masked. Also, it is highly likely that you will already have some to hand so will not need to make a special purchase.

Vinegar is an environmentally-friendly choice for cleaning your microwave with many positive points!


Remove the cup very carefully using an oven mitt.

Wipe down the turntable and the walls using a wet rag.

If you are worried about the superheated liquid causing an explosion inside the microwave, take advantage of this handy hint… Place a non-metallic object inside the bowl. A wooden spoon or stir stick are ideal.

Rubbing alcohol for added shine

cleaning with rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is extremely versatile. It’s usually used for cleaning granite surfaces but it can just as simply be pressed into action to scour the grease and grime from your microwave.

Attach a spray nozzle directly to your bottle of rubbing alcohol for easy application. Buff up with a clean, dry cloth.

Not only will your microwave be sparkling clean but it will also shine!


lemon juice for cleaning

Lemon is a wonderful natural cleaning agent.

For this method you’ll need just a single lemon, a small microwave-safe bowl and a clean, dry rag or dishtowel.

Pour about 1/2 cup of water into the bowl.

Slice the lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the water and then drop both parts of the lemon into the water.

Microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes by which time the mixture should come to a boil.

If you leave the door closed for 5 minutes, as with the other steaming strategies, the scraps of stuck-on food will loosen.

Open up, carefully remove the bowl.

Begin by cleaning the top and sides of the microwave so all loose bits fall downwards. Finish off by scouring the turntable. Sweep away all the crumbs and don’t forget the door and the outside too.

Try dipping the corner of the rag into the solution to deal with any particularly stubborn areas.

Window Cleaner

window cleaner for microwave ovens

Window cleaner can be used for more than just your windows!

Mix up a cleaning solution in a bowl. Add 1 part water to 2 parts window cleaner. This should be sufficient to clean both the inside and outside.

Dip a sponge into the mixture and get to work. Clean until no spots or stains remain. Pay attention to the vents as well.

If you encounter any particularly stubborn patches then soak in the solution for 5 minutes before cleaning for maximum effect.

Commercial Cleansers

Cleaning with dedicated commercial products can certainly work wonders.

Here, though, you need to pay careful attention

One definite drawback is that powerful cleansing products meant for commercial use tend to give off extremely strong odors. These can be unpleasant and hang around in the microwave for a long time after cleaning. In some cases this can affect the taste of your food. One solution is to seek out fume-free products. Another is to leave the doors open for a short while to allow the smell to escape.

Avoid also pre-soaked scrubbing pads. These have loose particles and they can potentially catch fire inside your microwave if you use them vigorously.

Beware of unsafe chemicals which can also result in similar safety hazards.

Also, choose your tools wisely… Steer clear of steel wool. This is harsh and abrasive. You are highly likely to scratch the microwave and damage its surfaces. When it comes to removing residue that is stuck hard and fast, use a plastic scraper.


With so many easy and cheap options up your sleeve, there’s no excuse not to have a gleaming microwave which you can use to cook up some tasty and ultra-quick recipes.