Microwave Food Splatter and How to Prevent It

What Causes the Splatter?

Splatter is awful; it’s messy, unpleasing to the eye, and it’s so time consuming to clean up. Countertop microwave ovens work by using microwave emissions as a means to heat the core of your food in a short amount of time. As food reaches boiling point, it becomes so hot that it begins to bubble, splatter, or in some cases explode – all over the inside of your countertop microwave oven. It’s the absolute worst. Do you clean it up now while your food gets cold? Do you leave it for later while you eat knowing that it will harden into an impossible residue resembling concrete? How about we just learn how to prevent EVER having to deal with microwave splatter again? Think about it before you put the next thing into your microwave.

Microwave interior

Preventing the Mess in the First Place

Preventing the messy food splatter is pretty simple. Depending on what you’re cooking, there are a few easy methods to prevent the splatter from ever occurring. Make sure to always cover whatever you’re re-heating. Leftover pizza? Throw a paper towel over the plate. Splatter be gone! Reheating a bowl of soup? Placing a plate over the top of the bowl upside down will accomplish the same goal. If you’d like a more permanent and ever-ready solution, home-goods stores often sell plastic ventilated covers made specifically to be placed over a bowl of plate of food. Let's look at two such covers below:

The Nordic Ware Microwave Plate Cover, 11-Inch, is a simple and safe way to prevent splatter from dirtying your microwave.

  • It protects against food splatter while cooking and keeps food warm after cooking
  • Fits dinner plates up to 11 inches in diameter
  • BPA and Melamine free plastic
  • Top rack dishwasher safe
  • Made in the USA

The Tovolo Collapsible Microwave Cover is another good cover.

  • Multiple lid perforations allow steam to escape, which keeps food moist while splatters and messes are contained; it also has finger grips making it easy to lift
  • The microwave safe cover expands to 3.5 inches but collapses to 1 inch for easy storage; Use thumbs to easily "pop up" and press to flatten
  • It can be used expanded or flat on bowls; reduce waste and movement of paper towels or other wraps in microwave
  • Heat Resistant up to 600 degrees F
  • The large 10.5″ size fits most plates and bowls, is BPA free and dishwasher safe

Tips for Easy Clean-Up

The only thing worse than food splatter all over the microwave is having to clean it up once it has been burned on and dried to the sides, ceilings, and door of the microwave oven. I mean, the stuff is like concrete and it feels like you need a chisel to effectively chip away at the rock-solid debris- what a tedious task. Fortunately, you’re now armed with easy and effective ways to avoid the mess all together, however, should these tried and true methods fail, here are a few tricks to make clean-up a little less painful.

· Household degreaser: Any all-purpose cleaner sprayed on and left to sit for a minute or two makes the clean-up much easier. Splatter begins to dissolve and release from the sides of the microwave making the debris much easier to wipe off.

· Not a fan of the toxic chemicals often found in household cleaning products? We don’t blame you one bit. Grab a microwaveable bowl, add two cups of tap water, add two tablespoons of white distilled vinegar, and if you so desire, a couple of drops of citrus scented essential oil for a pleasant, clean, non-toxic smell of clean. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, then let sit for 7 minutes. Open the microwave and effortlessly wipe off the splatter. Piece of cake!

· For the really tough stuck on splatter, use baking soda and a sponge or a rag to gently polish off the thick stuck on food splatter for a squeaky-clean microwave that looks just as good as new.