How to Clean a Microwave With Steam

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Updated February 13, 2023

If you have been using your kitchen to make a lot of meals, you may wonder how to clean a microwave with steam. Even the best microwaves can become absolutely grody with consistent use. Keep reading to learn how to use steam to clean a microwave oven.


  • A steam clean can be highly effective when it comes to cleaning the interior of microwave ovens.
  • Mix together white vinegar and one cup of water or two in a microwave-safe bowl, heating it in the microwave until it boils.
  • Allow the mixture to sit inside the microwave for a few minutes, then remove it and clean the interior with a sponge or dishtowel.

Using Steam to Clean a Microwave Oven

Once you’ve learned how to place a microwave and have been using it for a while, it will likely become dirty. Don’t worry, as it is a relatively simple process to steam clean a microwave. Steam can also help Kasher a microwave for religious purposes. But remember as you clean your microwave, don’t place anything in it that might damage it.

Insider Tip

Another option is to use a simple vinegar and water mixture as a cleaning agent.

STEP 1 Gather Your Ingredients

  1. For this process, you will need distilled white vinegar, two cups of water, and a microwave-safe container.
  2. You will also need a damp sponge or a dishtowel for the actual cleaning process.
  3. Feel free to use any-sized container, as long as it is truly microwave-safe, as you will be using it to boil water.

STEP 2 Boil the Mixture

  1. Place the container with the vinegar and water into your microwave and shut the door.
  2. Microwave on high until the liquid boils and steams, which should be around four to five minutes.
  3. This time will vary depending on the power and design of your microwave oven.

STEP 3 Let it Sit

  1. Let the boiling liquid sit in the microwave for a few minutes to release steam throughout the interior.
  2. This will loosen up any gunk, making the rest of the cleaning process easier.
  3. Do not open the microwave door during this process.

STEP 4 Remove the Container

  1. Open the microwave door and remove the container that includes the water/vinegar mixture.
  2. Exercise caution, as the container may be hot as it was heated for several minutes.

STEP 5 Clean the Interior

  1. Now the fun part. Use a wet sponge or a sturdy dishcloth to wipe down and clean the interior of the microwave cavity.
  2. Any accumulated gunk or food debris should wipe clean off, thanks to the loosening power of steam.
  3. If you are having trouble removing persistent pieces of gunk, repeat the above process. Performing this process twice can also be useful when learning how to remove a fish smell from the microwave.

STEP 6Dry it Off

  1. Use a paper towel or a dry dish towel to wipe down the interior of the microwave.
  2. You can also take this time to clean and wipe down the exterior of the microwave, including the door handle.


How to remove stuck-on food from the microwave’s interior?

Clean microwave with vinegar, baking soda, and water, to remove stuck-on food. You can also use steam cleaning.

Why is vinegar the secret to a clean microwave?

Vinegar is a great way to keep your microwave clean, thanks to the unique properties of the liquid. Vinegar is highly acidic, which assists with cleaning. Additionally, vinegar and related liquids are not harsh chemicals, which is nice.

How to wash a microwave turntable?

Many of these turntables can be placed in the dishwasher for a wash with soapy water. Otherwise, use a mixture of vinegar and water to wipe it down, along with a soft cloth. You can also use a spot of lemon juice for this task.

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

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