How to Clean a Microwave with Lemons

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Updated February 12, 2023

If you have been using your kitchen appliances to cook large meals, you may wonder how to clean a microwave with lemons, especially if you want to get rid of the fish smell in a microwave. Even the best microwaves, and microwave oven cooking accessories, can become dirty with frequent use. Keep reading to learn about how citrus and lemon water can help keep your microwave oven clean and ready to go.


  • Citrus fruits, including lemon, are a great cleaning agent, thanks to their acidic nature.
  • Start by placing a halved lemon in a microwave-safe bowl filled with ½ cup of water.
  • Microwave on high for three minutes and let stand for five minutes. Then, clean with a dishtowel.

Why Clean a Microwave with Lemons?

Lemons and all citrus fruits are fantastic cleaning agents, as they are free from harsh chemicals and naturally acidic, making them excel at loosening dirt and debris. If you are wondering how long microwave ovens last, they can function up to around seven years so long as you keep them properly cleaned and maintained. In other words, clean them with lemons regularly.

Insider Tip

Other alternative cleaning agents for a microwave include white vinegar, baking soda, and warm water.

How to Clean a Microwave with Lemons

This process is incredibly simple, requiring no tools and just a few minutes of your time. You will spend exponentially more time learning how to install a built-in microwave in a cabinet, for instance, than how to clean a microwave with a lemon.

Tools Needed: One lemon, microwave-safe bowl, dishtowel, scrubber (optional)

STEP 1 Gather Your Tools

  1. You won’t need a lot to get started here.
  2. Just grab a whole lemon, a microwave-safe bowl, a dishtowel, and a scrubber (if you have one.)
  3. You should also prepare ½ cup of tap water or bottled water.

STEP 2 Begin Preparation

  1. Slice the lemon in half and place it in the microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Pour the water over the lemon halves.

STEP 3 Microwave and Let Sit

  1. Microwave on high power for around three minutes or until the liquid comes to a boil.
  2. Let the bowl and lemons sit inside the microwave for around five minutes.
  3. Do not open the microwave door as it sits, so the steam can help loosen any gunk.

STEP 4 Clean the Microwave

  1. Remove the bowl with lemons carefully, using a paper towel, dishtowel, or gloves to avoid getting burned.
  2. Take out the turntable and clean it on its own via whatever method you prefer.
  3. Clean the microwave with a dishtowel thoroughly, starting with the ceiling and sides.
  4. If necessary, use a scrubber to remove stubborn spots.
  5. Allow the microwave oven to dry or help it along with paper towels or another dishtowel.


How do you clean a microwave with vinegar and water?

White vinegar makes a great alternative to traditional cleaning agents, as it can help keep your microwave clean. Simply mix with warm water and apply to a dishtowel, then scrub away stubborn stains.

How to clean a microwave with baking soda?

For a clean microwave, use baking soda, water, a cleaning rag or damp cloth, and a scrubber. Mix baking soda with one cup of water. Apply the hot water mixture via dishrag.

How do you clean a really dirty microwave?

For a microwave filled with food gunk and tough stains, use a combination of fresh lemon juice, dish soap, and a damp sponge.

STAT: More than 90 percent of American households own a microwave oven. (source)

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