How to Deodorize a Microwave

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Updated August 18, 2022

If you have been using your kitchen to whip up tasty meals for friends and family, you may want to learn how to deodorize a microwave. Even the best microwave ovens, after all, will begin to smell with repeated use, especially if you are cooking items such as fish. Keep reading to learn about the various deodorization processes for a microwave oven.


  • Remove bad odors from a microwave by giving it a thorough cleaning with baking soda, white vinegar, or your favorite cleaning solution.
  • You can also try to steam clean the microwave by boiling water and vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Another option is to use lemon. Just microwave it for a few minutes as it is immersed in water, then leave it in a closed microwave for 12 hours.

Why Deodorize a Microwave?

The primary reason to formally deodorize a microwave oven is to remove lingering odors from the interior, as these odors can seep into other ingredients down the line as you continue to use the microwave. Plus, keeping a microwave properly maintained and cleaned will help it to last longer, if you are wondering how long does a microwave last.

Insider Tip

Keep a dry dishtowel handy for easy microwave cleaning and odor removal.

How to Remove Smells From a Microwave

There are several fairly simple methods to remove foul odors from a microwave oven. Here are just a few.

Clean the Microwave Thoroughly

Keeping a microwave oven clean will enhance its lifespan, so you won’t have to replace it right away. This also means cleaning off the grease from an OTR microwave, which can get plenty of grease splashes. This is a good idea for those learning how to mount a microwave on the wall, as installing some microwaves can be time-consuming. Additionally, knowing what size microwave fits a dinner plate can help with preventing accidental messes.


Grab your favorite cleaning supplies, along with a dishtowel, a dedicated scrubber, and whatever else you typically use to keep a microwave clean.


Clean the microwave thoroughly and carefully, paying attention to the interior, the handle, and the exterior.


Allow the microwave oven to dry on its own, or help it along with another dry dish towel or even a paper towel.

Steam Clean the Microwave

Steam cleaning is an effective odor-remover and is a fairly simple process to pull off.


Mix two cups of water and two cups of distilled white vinegar into a microwave-safe bowl.


Place the container in your microwave and heat at high power until the liquid boils.


Let the container stand in the closed microwave for three minutes or so, to give the steam trapped inside time to loosen up any debris.


Remove the container carefully as it may be hot and clean the interior with a dishtowel or sponge.

Use a Lemon

Lemons and other citrus fruits make fantastic deodorizers.


Cut a lemon in half and fill a bowl with one cup of water or two, adding the lemon peels and pieces.


Microwave for four minutes, though keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.


Let the bowl rest inside the microwave with the door closed for 30 minutes to 12 hours.


How do you clean a microwave with vinegar and water?

You can mix vinegar and water and use it as a simple cleaning solution, or you can place it in a bowl of water and boil it until it steams. That should clean it and remove any microwave smell.

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

Remove stubborn stains and bad smells by using a scrubber to go at food debris and steaming the interior before beginning the cleaning process.

How do you clean a really dirty microwave?

You should use a combination of all methods to clean a really dirty microwave and remove bad smells.

STAT: Revenue in the microwave ovens industry amounted to US$9,746m in 2021. The market is expected to grow annually by 1.32%. (source)

Lawrence Bonk Profile image