Best Way to Clean a Microwave – 5 Easy Steps

What is the best way to clean a microwave? Microwaves are so convenient. You just press a button, and it quickly heats your food. But you still have to remember to clean it out every now and then. In this article, I’ll describe how to clean your microwave quickly and effectively.

The best way to clean a microwave is by following these 5 easy steps:

  1. Steam the Interior
  2. Scrub the Interior
  3. Polish the Exterior
  4. Get Those Stubborn Stains
  5. Maintain It with Regular Cleaning

Read on to learn more about the best way to clean your microwave, including some useful tricks and hacks.

Best Way to Clean a Microwave

Yes, it needs to be done – your microwave oven will need cleaning sooner or later! All the food bits and splatter are a health hazard as they attract bacteria and germs.

The mess inside your microwave can also reduce its heating efficiency. The 5 steps below will help you clean your microwave in no time.

1. Steam the Interior

Cleaning with Vinegar and Baking Soda

Steaming an oven or microwave has been known to loosen dirt, crusts, and stains. A good steam solution is one that uses vinegar. And if you have a smelly microwave, add some baking soda. For your steam solution, you’ll need a cup of water and one tablespoon of vinegar. Any type of vinegar will do (e.g., white or apple cider).

If your microwave is smelly, adding one tablespoon of baking soda will help get rid of the smell. The baking soda absorbs odor as the water heats up. You may use a microwave-safe bowl to hold the steam solution and run the microwave on high for 5 to 10 minutes.

You can try the funny Angry Mama Microwave Steamer. This cleaning tool works as a holder for your steam solution. The steam solution doesn’t spill, and it adds fun to a chore that isn’t that fun to do.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

To steam clean your microwave with vinegar in a bowl, check out the below video for how easy it is:

Cleaning with Lemon

Take one lemon and squeeze it unpeeled to get it a little mushy. Cut the lemon in half. Pour one cup of water in a microwaveable bowl, large glass bowl, or steamer solution holder. Squeeze the lemon and get as much juice as you can out of each half.

Also, place the squeezed lemon halves into the water. Place the container in the middle of the microwave and run it on high for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Cleaning with Window Cleaner

Yes, you can use a window cleaner to clean your microwave! Most window cleaners contain ammonia, which is effective in breaking down household grime like grease and food stains.

In a steamer solution holder, put five teaspoons of window cleaner and one cup of water. Spray the interior of the microwave with the same window cleaner, concentrating on large stains or splatters. Put the steam solution holder in the center of the microwave and run on high for about 5 to 7 minutes.

You can follow a similar cleaning procedure for cleaning your computer screen. Just be extra delicate with a computer screen so that you don’t scratch it.

Cleaning with Dishwashing Soap

If your microwave isn’t that dirty and doesn’t have tough stains or splatters, just using dishwashing soap will do. In a steam solution holder, put one teaspoon of dishwashing soap (use a lesser amount if you’re using a dishwashing soap concentrate) and one cup of water.

You may also include one to three slices of any citrus fruit into the solution to make it smell better. Place the holder in the middle of the microwave and run on high for 5 minutes.

Moreover, whatever steaming solution you choose to use – vinegar with baking soda, lemon or window cleaner, or dishwashing soap, always wait up to five minutes before you open the microwave door. This method allows the steam to stay in the microwave and loosen all that grime. Also, if you open it right away, you can get hurt with its scorching steam.

2. Scrub the Interior

Remove the steam solution after steaming your microwave. Lift the turntable from its rack and take it out from the microwave. Wash both sides of the turntable with dishwashing soap and warm water. If the turntable is very greasy or has stains, soak it for about 10 to 15 minutes in the sink with hot water and dishwashing soap.

Before returning the turntable to the microwave, scrub the interior of the microwave with a sponge or a soft, non-abrasive wipe cloth. Food usually splatters in every direction, so chances are, you’ll have food stains everywhere. You can use the steaming solution you used earlier to clean the microwave’s interior.

best way to clean a dirty microwave

Dip a soft cloth or rag in the steaming solution and rub the interior clean. I personally use these Scotch Brite Dobie All-Purpose Pads, and they work really well in cleaning my microwave. They’re easy to hold and cleans and scrubs without scouring the interior and exterior of the microwave. These foam sponges are covered with a soft, plastic mesh.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

If the interior is very greasy, you can use a microwave cleaner. I recommend the Miracle Spray for Microwave and Cooktop.

Click here to see this spray on Amazon.

This spray quickly removes grease, stain, water residue, grime, and fingerprints and leaves the microwave with a brand-new shine. Also, it comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle. Be sure to wipe the interior of the microwave dry with a fresh, dry towel.

3. Polish the Exterior

The outside of your microwave is just as important to keep clean as you do the inside. The best way to clean a dirty microwave – the exterior – is simply with soap and water. Fill a bowl with soapy water (dishwashing soap will do to make the soapy water) and soak a soft cloth in the bowl. Make sure that the entire cloth absorbs the water. Wring the cloth until it isn’t dripping wet anymore.

Wipe the outside of your microwave with the wet cloth. Make sure to get the top, sides, display panel, and buttons or dial (if your microwave has one). The dial and buttons can get sticky as they are the most frequently touched parts, so make sure that you get all of the sticky grime removed. Don’t forget to wipe down the handle, too.

After wiping down everything with the soapy cloth, wipe it down again with a clean wet cloth. You can wipe it down with water twice, and the second time, use warm water. This way, the soap gets thoroughly rinsed out and ensures that it won’t leave marks and residue on the microwave. You may choose to wipe it down with a disinfectant, too.

4. Get Those Stubborn Stains

There will be times when you get tough stains on your microwave. You can try the three remedies below to get rid of stubborn stains.

  • Use a Baking Soda Paste – Mix two parts baking soda with one part water and then rub the paste to the stain. Let the baking soda paste sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then wipe away with a clean cloth.
  • Use Nail Polish Remover for Yellow Stains – If you’ve had your microwave for a while, chances are it will have yellow stains inside. Soak a cotton ball with nail polish remover and rub it on the yellowed surfaces. Make sure to wipe it off with water afterward.
  • Use Vinegar and Baking Soda for Scorch Marks – Scorch marks are inevitable. You’ll get them every now and then in your microwave after popping some microwavable popcorn or heating your favorite chicken dinner. You can combine vinegar and baking soda and wipe it on the scorch marks. Soak a sponge in vinegar and sprinkle baking soda on one side of the sponge. Use this method to wipe off and remove scorch marks.

5. Maintain It with Regular Cleaning

Deep cleaning your microwave is recommended every week if you use it often. But to avoid the build-up of food particles, dirt, and grime, you should wipe it down every day. Simply wiping the interior and exterior with a wet paper towel every day will lessen the build-up of dirt. Daily cleaning also reduces the build-up of bad smells in your microwave. It will be easier to do a weekly deep clean as well.

Remember that keeping your microwave clean not only ensures delicious tasting food but also makes the machine stay in good working condition for a longer time.

A Few Tricks and Hacks to Keep Your Microwave Clean

best method to clean a microwave oven

Although it’s a must to clean the microwave regularly, don’t worry as we have a few tips that can make it a less frequent chore.

The key here is to reduce food splatters so that your microwave doesn’t get filled with bits of food, stains, and grease. The best way to minimize these splatters is by covering your food while it is cooking. However, always remember to let the steam escape.

There are special microwavable containers with lids that have tiny vents for steam to escape. If you don’t have these microwavable containers with vents, use any microwavable dish and cover with cling wrap. Pierce the cling wrap with a fork to create a vent. Also, always remember that if you’re cooking or heating vegetables, the skins should be pierced with a fork before cooking.

Basically, if you follow the steps above for the best way to clean a microwave, you should now have a perfectly clean, shiny microwave. Here are some tips to keep your microwave fresh smelling and clean all the time:

  • Always cover any food you heat or cook in the microwave. It doesn’t matter if you’re reheating food for 20 seconds or cooking for 5 minutes. Using a cover not only prevents splatters in your microwave but also for safety measures.
  • Wipe the exterior of your microwave as often as you clean your kitchen counter. Chances are your microwave is sitting on your kitchen counter or is mounted just above it. Go the extra mile and wipe down the microwave, too. 
  • Try to avoid microwaving food items that are too greasy or anything that you know will leave a lingering smell in the appliance. If you can’t avoid this, use a microwavable container with a lid. But if it still leaves a smell, do a quick clean and steam clean of your microwave. 

Conclusion – Best Way to Clean Microwave

So, to recap, what is the best way to clean microwave? To clean your microwave, follow the easy steps below: 

  1. Steam the Interior
  2. Scrub the Interior
  3. Polish the Exterior
  4. Get Those Stubborn Stains
  5. Maintain It with Regular Cleaning

Keeping your microwave clean and splatter-free will ensure that the food you heat or cook will end up tasty and clean. It also means that your microwave will stay in good condition for a longer time.