How to Clean a Microwave

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Updated August 16, 2022

Are you wondering how to clean a microwave and get it back to looking new and sparkling? A great cleaner like the Angry Mama microwave solution isn’t all you need to use. Don’t worry, we’ve got the steps to make cleaning your microwave fast, easy, and very effective. Besides, having a clean microwave makes it less dangerous to use and few bacteria can survive in a microwave that’s been thoroughly cleaned.

You don’t even need any expensive microwave cleaning products, take a look! Easy-to-clean buttons on a microwave are a handy feature that you must look for when comparing ovens. No matter what type of microwave oven you have – be it one of the best countertop microwaves, or a solo microwave, cleaning it is a breeze. What Else You Should Know?

Step 1: Steam It Up

New Microwave
That grimy food doesn’t need to stay there forever!

One of the worst parts of cleaning out a microwave that’s been neglected is all those stuck-on bits of food, many of which seem to magically appear on the sides and top of the microwave no matter what you’ve been cooking in there – even microwavable espressos.

The best way to deal with the mess is to steam it up a bit. Some steam will help loosen the particles and make them easier to wipe away. However, including a few extra ingredients in your steam can make your cleaning even better.

To start, pick out a microwavable bowl and fill it with one cup of water and a quarter cup of vinegar. Also, if you’re wondering how to clean a microwave with lemon, this is the part where that trick comes in handy: Add several splashes of lemon juice to the mix, then cook it on high for 3 minutes to create a lot of steam. Both vinegar and lemon juice are acids that will help get rid of baked-on foods, and the lemon juice helps the solution smell better (a little microwave cleaning hack to remember for next time). Keep in mind that some foods may be better off in an automatic oven rather than a microwave.

Step 2: Clean It Out

After you steam, wait for a few minutes, and then you can start to clean the microwave with vinegar and lemon juice now that the steam has softened up the food particles. You can wipe it down with a soft cloth if you want, but we prefer using paper towels that can absorb the grease and then be thrown away. This is the hardest step, because you will need to get up close in personal with all those odd corners and crannies in your microwave. You may want to keep a general household cleaner nearby to spray on some of the more scrub-resistant grease or food. We really like Mrs. Meyers since it smells great and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals.

Step 3: Focus on the Edges

Clean Microwave
If you don’t like the smell, let the microwave air out after cleaning.

Once all the surfaces are gleaming, go over the edges of the microwave door carefully. Pay special attention to the rubber gasket that surrounds the door: not only does this help seal the door properly, it also helps keep the actual microwaves from getting out – so, you know, but it’s also pretty important. Don’t use any cleaners on the gasket, just water. Also, if you’re wondering how to clean a microwave with a sponge, this is where you should break out the tougher scrubbing tools.

Read: Best Chef Knife 2016

If you think that your microwave door may be broken or loose at this point, call in a contractor to test microwave radiation. It’s not always necessary, but if it looks like something is wrong then it’s better to be safe than sorry – especially if you end up with a portable tailgating microwave.

Step 4: Dry It Out

Don’t close that microwave door quite yet! Do a final pass-through to make sure that all moisture has been wiped away. You don’t want any water left in the microwave when you close it. Additionally, if the smell of vinegar or cleaner is strong, just leave the door open for a couple of hours to fully air it out.

Step 5: Maintain

Cloth Microwave
A quick cleaning now and then can make a world of difference.

It’s always better to immediately clean your microwave right after an accident or a messy food event than to wait. A quick cleaning in times like these will help keep your microwave fresh and prevent cleaning from becoming too much of a chore. And hey, if you want an extra accessory like an automatic microwave stirrer, why not install one of those, too?

Additionally, if you find that particular food (tuna, popcorn, all the usual offenders) is really making your microwave stink, or if it looks like there’s a problem with mildew, then put a bowl of vinegar in overnight and just let it sit there.

This is also how to clean a microwave with baking soda if you’d rather not use vinegar – baking soda will absorb lingering odors. That can often help drive away the smell more quickly so you don’t get a nasty surprise every time you open the microwave. And, for fun, you might wanna check out this microwavable cloud notebook that erases when nuked.

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