How to Clean a Microwave

It is important to keep your microwave oven clean at all times. An unclean oven can cause bad odors, taint cooking food, and reduce cooking efficiency. There are many recommended ways to clean your microwave oven, in this article we share some of our favorites.

Always try to clean spills and spatters from your microwave as soon as they happen. Leaving them until later makes them harder to remove, mainly if the oven is used in the meantime.

Three popular and frugal ways to clean the inside of a microwave oven use vinegar, lemon juice, or washing up liquid coupled with the effect of steam.

You should be aware when using these methods of the effects of ‘super-heating’. When a microwave oven heats liquid or granulated materials they may boil or explode out of their container, potentially causing serious burns. Sometimes even moving the container, for example, to remove it, can cause boiling.

Vinegar can be used in a 50/50 solution with water. Place the mixed liquid in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for two minutes. Wait for a couple of minutes before opening the microwave oven door, to help steam fill the unit and to allow the solution to cool slightly. When it is safe to do so, dip a sponge in the liquid and use to wipe off excess mess from inside the unit. The food should wipe off quickly and easily with no need for ‘elbow grease.’ This cheap and easy way to clean your microwave oven also negates the need for harsh chemicals which are not only expensive but detrimental to the environment.

Lemon juice can be used in the same method as the above vinegar solution, or by using the lemon itself. Some people prefer to use lemons over vinegar due to the smell created by each. An alternative is to cut a lemon in half and place flat sides down on a safe microwave plate. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the plate. Microwave cook the lemon until it is hot and the inside of the microwave oven is steamed up. Do not open the door straight away, allow the steam time to work into the caked on food. After a few minutes wipe the inside of the oven clean and put the lemon in the bin – it will also help cleanse the smell of the bin.

Washing up liquid can also be used by adding the same amount of washing up liquid to a microwavable bowl of water as you would to an average sink load of washing up. Washing up liquid also leaves a more pleasant scent behind, especially if you are not a fan of citrus. Again, allow steam to build up, wait to cool and clean with a sponge.

After any form of cleaning it may be beneficial to leave the microwave oven door open for a few minutes to allow the inside to dry out. We always recommend cleaning your microwave 1-2 times a month as well as for as and when spills occur.