3 Effective Ways to Clean a Microwave

Last update: 6 months ago

3 Effective Ways to Clean a Microwave
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Have you ever had food explode while reheating it in the microwave? Maybe it was pasta sauce or popcorn. Cleaning a dirty microwave might feel tedious, but it’s necessary – especially after an accidental food explosion.

Beyond the unsightliness and unhygienic aspects, food remnants in your microwave can prolong cooking time by absorbing microwave energy. Additionally, they might even reduce your oven’s lifespan. Fortunately, cleaning your microwave using readily accessible, natural household ingredients isn’t that difficult.

Below, we lay out 3 effective, easy-to-follow cleaning hacks from our practice in microwave maintenance in Australia that extend appliance life and improve kitchen hygiene. Find the solution to how to clean your microwave in the following lines.

Steam cleaning with water and vinegar

Steam cleaning with water and vinegar
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That is an effective natural cleaning solution you can quickly try on your own. Steam cleaning efficiently tackles grime and odours in the microwave without harsh chemicals, promoting an eco-friendly cleaning approach. Steam helps loosen and soften stubborn food stains, making it easier to wipe them away. Even oven cleaning specialists approve of it as a safe microwave cleaning method.


  1. Always handle hot liquids with caution to prevent accidents and injuries.
  2. Ensure bowls for hot fluids can withstand high temperatures without breaking or melting.
  3. Protect your hands using oven mitts or towels when handling hot containers or transferring liquids.
  4. Keep a safe distance from hot liquids to avoid accidental spills or burns.

How to clean microwave with vinegar

Before delving into cleaning using the vinegar steam technique, make sure you have:

  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Spray bottle
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Wooden spoon
  • Oven mitts (recommended)
  • Microfiber cloth

Ready to make your appliance sparkle? Follow these easy steps for eco-friendly microwave cleaning and have it shining in no time!

  1. Pretreat stubborn stains and spills. For tough stains in your microwave, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, then spray generously on the stains and spills.
  2. Make a vinegar-cleaning mixture. Fill your microwave-safe bowl with two cups of water and two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar. Put a small wooden spoon in the bowl to help bubbles form against the wood, preventing sudden boiling caused by superheating.
  3. Boil the mixture by heating it. Place the mixture in the microwave, close the door, and heat on high for four minutes until it boils. Keep the door closed for an additional 15 minutes to let the microwave get extra steamy, breaking down stubborn stains.
  4. Remove the bowl and wipe away the food debris. Open the door, use oven mitts to take out the bowl, and swiftly wipe away the softened debris with a damp cloth.
  5. Clean the microwave turntable. Remove the turntable and any other removable parts, then give them a wipe-down.
  6. Dry the microwave using a towel. Use a clean cloth to dry all surfaces, then put everything back in the microwave.
Tip: If you have some extra vinegar left, it’s handy for cleaning other appliances in your kitchen. That includes the electric kettle, toaster, stainless steel stove, smelly dishwasher, oven and any other appliances you might have.

Lemon juice microwave cleaning method

Lemon juice microwave cleaning method
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To tackle persistent cooking odours in your microwave and for a fresh-smelling kitchen, turn to the power of lemon, the beloved citrus natural deodoriser. The citric acid in lemons is a natural and powerful cleaner. It breaks down grime by weakening the bonds between the dirt particles and the surface they’re stuck to. When heated, the steam from the lemon-infused water helps loosen and dissolve the grime, making it easier to clean.

How to clean microwave with lemon

What you will need for the lemon clean method:

  • 1 lemon
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Clean cloth or paper towels
  • Oven mitts (recommended)
  • Dish soap
  • A sponge

For a natural microwave cleaning using lemon juice, follow these easy steps:

  1. Make a lemon-cleaning solution. Squeeze all the juice from one lemon into a microwave-safe bowl and mix it with the 1/2 cup of water.
  2. Put the solution inside. Place the bowl with the lemon mixture inside the microwave and heat it for five minutes. Leave it with the door shut for another 15 minutes to let the steam work its magic. The steam helps loosen stubborn grime, and as a bonus, your microwave will be left with a lovely lemon freshness!
  3. Clean the inside of the microwave. After heating, let the microwave cool for 30-60 seconds before removing the bowl. Remember to use oven mitts and be careful, as it might still be warm. Wipe down all surfaces inside with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  4. Hand-wash the microwave turntable. Clean the microwave turntable in the sink using hot, soapy water and a sponge. Dry it with a clean towel before returning it to the now-clean microwave.

Tips on utilising leftover lemon

These waste-free cleaning hacks will help you use leftover lemons effectively while enjoying their fresh scent around your house.

  • All-purpose cleaner – Create a natural all-purpose cleaner by infusing leftover lemon peels in white vinegar. Place the peels in an old jar and cover them with vinegar. Let it sit for a few weeks, then strain and use it as a surface cleaner.
  • Create an air freshener – Dry the used lemon peels and grind them into a powder. Put this powder in small sachets or bags and place them in drawers or closets as a natural air freshener.
  • Garbage disposal freshener – Grind leftover lemon peels in the garbage disposal to deodorise and freshen it up.

Commercial microwave cleaner products

Commercial microwave cleaner products
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If you lack the time, patience, or green cleaning supplies like lemon or vinegar won’t do the trick, consider purchasing tough stain removal products available in the market. Ensure you follow the product’s application techniques precisely and watch out for chemicals like bleach or ammonia that might harm your microwave.

Important: Commercial cleaners often leave strong odours that are difficult to eliminate. To avoid dealing with these lingering fumes, consider purchasing a fume-free cleaner. Once cleaned, keep the microwave door open to let any remaining fumes dissipate.

How to choose the best microwave cleaner

When selecting safe and effective chemical solutions for cleaning your microwave, consider the following:

  • Non-toxic ingredients – Opt for cleaners with non-toxic or natural ingredients. Look for labels indicating eco-friendly or plant-based formulas.
  • No harsh chemicals – Avoid cleaners containing harsh chemicals like chlorine, ammonia, or strong acids, which might emit harmful fumes or leave residues.
  • Certifications and labels – Look for certifications like “Green Seal” or “EcoLogo” to make sure the product is environmentally safe.
  • Read labels carefully – Thoroughly read product labels to understand the ingredients, usage instructions, and any warnings.
  • User reviews – Look for user reviews or testimonials to gauge the effectiveness and safety of the product based on others’ experiences.
  • Testing on a small area – Before total usage, test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility and check for any adverse reactions.

By considering these factors, you can choose a commercial cleaning product that effectively cleans your microwave and ensures safety for you and your family.

How to clean a microwave with commercial cleaner products

What you’ll need:

  • All-purpose grease-cutting cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Non-scratch pad
  • Rag
  • Clean cloth

To tackle heavy grease build-up and stubborn splatters using a commercial cleaner, follow that careful cleansing process:

  1. Choose a suitable cleaner. Select an all-purpose grease-cutting cleaner such as Mr. Clean Deep Cleaning Mist. Read and adhere to the instructions provided on the cleaner’s label.
  2. Clean the microwave interior. Spray the cleaner on a sponge to prevent it from seeping into the vent holes, and wipe down inside the microwave, ensuring coverage on all surfaces.
  3. Tackle the heavy grease build-up. Scrub using a non-scratch pad like Scotch-Brite, if necessary, to remove the stubborn accumulation of grease. Let the cleaner sit for the recommended duration to loosen dirt and grime.
  4. Wipe down all surfaces inside. Use a slightly damp rag to wipe away in a circular motion until no dirt and suds remain. At the end, use a dry, clean cloth to polish.


  • Ensure you use safe microwave cleaning methods to avoid damaging your appliance.
  • Steam cleaning with water and vinegar is a timeless, versatile, and natural cleaning solution that effectively removes stubborn stains and grime.
  • Cleaning with lemon juice is a natural, effective, and eco-friendly way to maintain a clean and fresh-smelling microwave.
  • Choose a commercial cleaner that won’t leave lingering odours or fumes in your microwave, as this could affect the smell and taste of your food.
  • Keep your microwave clean after every use to save time and unnecessary hard work later.
  • Regular maintenance prolongs the microwave’s lifespan and enhances its functionality.

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Have you tried any of the methods? Tell us in the comments below!

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