How To Clean Your Microwave

How to clean your microwave using 5 different methods and how to deodorize your microwave using 5 different methods.

Cleaning the microwave has never been my favourite task. In fact, my father-in-law would clean it himself whenever he came for a visit to our home. Because it is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind cleaning project, I simply didn’t think about it often enough, I also rarely use the microwave in the house, so cleaning the microwave is just a thing I often forget to do.

Maybe you’re the same? Whatever reason you have for a dirty microwave, they are food warming machines that are bound to get dirty. The really yucky thing is that because we are dealing with food splatter, we also need to think about mold growth, and how that could affect the health of our families.

Since I’ve adapted to cleaning the microwave more often, I have noticed I’m even starting to use it more! Like did you know that you can make a “baked potato” in 5 minutes in the microwave? I honestly thought it was just for reheating but it’s also for cooking! Well, you learn new things in your 30’s every day.

Without further ado, here are 5 different ways to clean and 5 different ways to deodorize your microwave oven.

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Different Ways To Clean Your Microwave

Clean You Microwave With Dish Soap

Dish soap is my favorite method of cleaning the microwave. I use dish soap for everything! Here is how you can use your dish soap to clean your microwave.

  1. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tbsp. of dish soap to a microwave-safe bowl and mix it all up.
  2. Heat up the mixture for 2-3 minutes, until the water starts to steam.
  3. Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe the inside of the microwave. Notice how the dirt comes off easily not that it is looser from the steam.

Clean Your Microwave By Steaming

Steam is an effective cleaning tool when it comes to dislodging food from the microwave. It loosens up the old food particles so that you can wipe it clean.

  1. Fill a microwave safe bowl halfway with water.
  2. Heat the bowl of water for 4 minutes.
  3. Let the bowl sit in the microwave for a few minutes after it has finished heating up.
  4. Remove the bowl using oven mitts and use a damp cloth to wipe the inside of the microwave oven. Remember to clean the walls, the top and bottom and underneath the turntable too.

Use A Lemon To Clean The Microwave

I love using lemons to clean around the house. Due the acid properties of lemons, it is easy to remove grease from a microwave oven with one.

  1. Add one cup of water to a microwave-safe bowl. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze all of the lemon juice into the bowl of water. Add both sides of the lemon to the water as well.
  2. Heat the bowl for 3 minutes.
  3. Allow the bowl to sit in the microwave for 5 minutes after it has finished heating.
  4. Use oven mitts to remove the bowl out of the microwave.
  5. Use a damp microfiber cloth to clean the inside of the microwave.

Use Baking Soda To Clean Microwave

You can use baking soda to clean the microwave oven effectively without the need for scrubbing by simply heating it up.

  1. Make Solution. Add 3 tbsp. of baking soda to 1 cup of water into a microwave safe bowl and mix it well.
  2. Heat. Heat the mixture for 4 minutes.
  3. Remove. Use oven mitts to remove the baking soda water mixture from the microwave.
  4. Wipe. Use a damp microfiber cloth to clean the inside of the microwave. Be sure to get the walls, top and bottom, cracks and crevices and the turntable too.

Using Apple Cider Vinegar To Clean Your Microwave

Apple cider vinegar is a very useful tool in the kitchen and in the cleaning cupboard. Due to it’s acidic nature, using apple cider vinegar is an effective way to cut through built up dirt and grime in your microwave oven.

  1. Fill A Bowl With Apple Cider Vinegar. Fill a microwave-safe bowl halfway with 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water.
  2. Heat. Turn the microwave on for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Remove Bowl. Use oven mitts to remove the bowl from the microwave
  4. Wipe Microwave. Use a damp microfiber cloth and wipe the inside of the microwave. Ensure to get all of the corners and creases, as well as the turntable and all of the walls.

Ways To Deodorize A Microwave

Sometimes strong smelling foods like curry and spaghetti can cause odors to linger, even after you have cleaned the microwave well. Here are some methods you can use to deodorize a microwave oven.

Baking Soda And Vinegar

To use baking soda and vinegar to deodorize a microwave, simply heat up some vinegar in a microwave safe bowl and spray the warm vinegar inside the microwave. Follow this step by sprinkling the microwave with baking soda. Wipe the baking soda and vinegar off with a damp cloth and watch the odors disappear.

Lemon Juice

To use lemon juice to deodorize a microwave, simply heat up lemon juice in a microwave safe bowl and heat the bowl up for 2 minutes. Allow the lemon juice to sit in the microwave for 5 minutes after you have heated the microwave and then remove the bowl with oven mitts.

Vanilla Extract

To use vanilla extract to deodorize a microwave, simply add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to a bowl half full of water. Heat the bowl up to 4 minutes and allow that mixture to sit in the microwave for 30 minutes after heating. This will eave your home smelling like a bakery.


To use cloves to deodorize a microwave, add some cloves to a bowl and place the bowl in the microwave with the door closed. Allow the cloves to sit in the microwave for 6 hours, or overnight.

Baking Soda

To use baking soda to deodorize a microwave simply add baking soda to a container, and leave the container in the microwave with the door closed for 6 hours or overnight. Baking soda will absorb all the bad smells from your microwave.

Removing Hard Stains From The Microwave

Stains are common in microwaves especially from spaghetti sauces and other colors of food. To remove hard stains from your microwave there are a few methods you can try. Any of the above microwave cleaning methods should be used first, and then you can try these methods after.

Warm Vinegar

Spray warm vinegar all over the microwave and let it sit for 5 minutes before wiping it off with a kitchen cloth. This should help remove tough stains. If stains still appear, add some dish soap to the warm vinegar and spray it on the microwave again. This time leave it for 10 minutes and then wipe it down well.

Basking soda Paste

Make a paste with baking soda and water and apply it to the tough stains on the microwave. Allow the paste to sit on the stains and dry up in about 5 minutes after applying. Wipe the baking soda off, and watch the stain disappear.

What To Do If You Have Mold In The Microwave

You can use any of the methods mentioned above to clean mold from the microwave. My favorite way to remove mold from a microwave is to use the lemon method, but with one step further.

  1. Use a microwave-safe bowl and fill it halfway with water.
  2. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice from the lemon into the bowl. Add the lemon halves to the bowl.
  3. Heat the bowl for 3 minutes.
  4. Allow the bowl to sit for a few extra minutes in the microwave after it has finished heating.
  5. Take the bowl out of the microwave using oven mitts.
  6. Use the half lemon piece to rub the inside of the oven with the lemon flesh, making sure to cover the mold spots well.
  7. Wipe all of the mess off with a damp microfiber cloth.
  8. Dry the microwave fully before calling it a day on the clean.

Why You Should Clean Your Microwave

Your microwave oven needs cleaning regularly, and this is an essential task if you want to keep your family healthy. Even a cleaner looking microwave can have bacteria hiding inside.

When spills and splatters happen inside the microwave, those uncleaned spills grow germs and bacteria fairly quickly due to the warm environment of a microwave. Stuck on food in the microwave can also be difficult to clean off, which makes the platform for bacteria growth even more so appealing to the bacteria. Each time you heat your meal that stuck-on food that now has mold, bacteria, and germs on it, is getting another kick start to grow more mold and bacteria. That’s just pretty gross, and it makes me want to clean my microwave again, even though it’s already pretty clean!

If your good food comes into contact with the moldy, germy food inside the microwave you can get food poisoning symptoms and feel rather ill. Salmonella and E.coli are the most common bacteria found in a dirty microwave, which are very serious illness-inducing bacteria.

This is why you should clean your microwave daily after use and then do a deep clean once a week.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning the Microwave

Can you clean the inside of a microwave with Clorox wipes?

You can use Clorox wipes to clean the inside of a microwave. I would allow the moisture from the wipe down with a Clorox wipe to dry and then use a damp cloth to remove any chemicals that the wipe left behind once everything has disinfected.

Can you clean a microwave with chemicals?

Please do not use harsh chemicals such as bleach to clean your microwave. Baking soda, lemons and vinegar are all acceptable products to clean the microwave with.

How often should you clean your microwave?

You should clean your microwave every time you use it with a damp cloth, and then do a deep clean on it once a week.

Is a dirty microwave dangerous?

A dirty microwave is very dangerous for your health and your home. Not only does bacteria grow on leftover food particles in the microwave, but those food particles can also catch fire when you’re making your next meal.

Can an old microwave make you sick?

An old microwave that has all the proper seals and is clean will not make you sick. A dirty microwave can make you very sick.

Should you leave microwave door open after?

It is a good idea to leave the microwave door open after use so that all the moisture and condensation can leave the environment of the microwave and you will have less chance of bacteria growing in there.

How To Keep Your Microwave Clean

Prevention of mess is the best way to keep your microwave oven clean all the time, but it’s not always so easy to do. Here are some habits you can put into practice that could reduce the dirt in your microwave significantly.

  1. Always cover your food. When you’re heating your food, pop on a microwave cover like this to prevent splatters and sauce explosions. This is the best thing you can do. If you do not have a cover, like in an office or shared microwave, then use a paper towel to cover the plate and then heat. It’s not as good at preventing splatters but it helps.
  2. Wipe the microwave often. After you use the microwave and have waited for it to cool down enough, wipe it out with a damp kitchen cloth. Make sure to wipe the walls, top, bottom, and turntable.
  3. Heat slower. When you heat up your food, use intervals and don’t expect your food to heat up in one go. Food that gets overheated is more likely to splatter than food that is slowly heating up. Just like boiling water!
  4. Leave the microwave door open after heating. Leaving the microwave door open after you have used it allows any moisture and condensation to dry off, which helps reduce bacteria growth in the first place.

Wrapping up How To Clean Your Microwave

I really hope you got some good tips for cleaning your microwave oven in this article. Honestly, this is one of those things in my house that I ignored simply because it is out of sight and out of mind. But just like the dust under the bed, and grease in the oven, these out of sight, and out-of-mind areas are very important to clean in order to maintain a healthy house.

Remember that regular cleaning, and wiping will help you keep the microwave clean as well as using a cover and intervals when heating. Prevent your family from food poisoning and keep that microwave nice and healthy.

How To Clean Your Microwave

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