Can You Clean a Microwave With Bleach?

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Updated August 18, 2022

If you have been using various kitchen appliances to cook meals, you may wonder if you can clean a microwave with bleach. Even the best microwaves, after all, will become dirty and gunked up with frequent use. Keep reading to find out about bleach as a cleaning agent for a microwave oven.


  • Bleach is not an effective cleaning agent for a microwave, though using bleach as a cleaner is not dangerous.
  • Bleach is highly effective at sterilization, but so are microwaves. In other words, bleaching will be relatively pointless.
  • Instead of bleach, try using vinegar and baking soda, steam, paper towels, dish soap, warm water, a damp sponge, or even citrus, such as lemon juice, to clean a microwave.

Cleaning a Microwave With Bleach

While it is not really dangerous to clean a microwave with bleach, it is relatively pointless. Why? One of the primary reasons bleach is effective as a cleaning agent is that it sterilizes items from bacteria, germs, and potentially harmful chemicals. A microwave already does this every time it operates, as electromagnetic waves will make short work out of just about anything it comes into contact with. That said, you might want to spend your time building a microwave cart instead.

Bleach is an effective stain remover that can work on ceramic or stainless steel microwaves. But there are easier and less odorous ways to remove stains from your microwave. Knowing about alternative methods of cleaning a microwave could be useful if you are trying to learn how to clean a microwave vent and similar components.

Insider Tip

A bleach solution could be used to remove stains from a microwave, but the odor could permeate some of your food items.

Alternatives to Bleach

There are many alternatives to bleach to help keep your microwave clean, so you won’t encounter any disruptions of service, which could lead to learning how to remove a built-in microwave after a malfunction.

Lemons, Oranges, and Limes

Believe it or not, citrus fruit makes a fantastic microwave cleaner. Just cut up the citrus into pieces and remove the peelings. Next, place them in a microwave-safe bowl along with around a cup of water. Microwave the bowl of water-soaked citrus for around four minutes, and then leave it sitting in the cavity for 30 minutes to 12 hours. You will find that stains are easy to remove and that offensive odors have disappeared. Lemon juice is also a good cleaning agent for a microwave. Try squeezing some onto a kitchen sponge.

Steam Cleaning

Another great way to clean a microwave is via the magic of steam. Simply fill a microwave-safe container with one cup of water or even two cups of water. Microwave the liquid for four to five minutes, or until the water boils. Then, let it sit inside the closed microwave for several minutes, to allow the steam to do its job. After that, wipe down the interior of the microwave and marvel at how well the steam loosened up food particles and related gunk.


How to clean a sponge and kill bacteria?

Use a solution made from bleach and white vinegar to kill bacteria and germs on a sponge.

Is bleach flammable or explosive?

In most instances, household bleach is not flammable or explosive. The same cannot be said for all types of bleach, however, so exercise caution.

How to clean microwave stains?

Use dish soap, lemon juice, a few tablespoons of vinegar, and a damp cloth to remove microwave stains. A bleach solution could also be used but may produce an overwhelming smell.

STAT: Revenue in the Microwave Ovens segment amounts to US$9,746m in 2021. The market is expected to grow annually by 1.32%. (source)

Lawrence Bonk Profile image