How To Clean A Microwave: A Step by Step Comprehensive Guide

Learn how to clean a microwave with this guide. Get step-by-step instructions on the best products and methods for spotless, sanitized microwave!


A microwave is one of the most-used appliances in the kitchen. It makes life easier and faster, allowing you to heat up your food or prepare a meal in a matter of minutes. But with frequent use comes the accumulation of food splatters, stains, and bad odors that can be unhealthy and unappealing.

A dirty microwave can also affect the quality of the taste of your food. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of keeping your microwave clean and how to do it effectively.

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies: What You'll Need

Before we proceed with the cleaning process, it's important to gather all the necessary cleaning supplies.

Cleaning Supplies
  1. Dish soap: A mild, non-abrasive dish soap for general cleaning.
  2. Sponge or microfiber cloth: Soft, non-abrasive materials for wiping and scrubbing surfaces.
  3. An old toothbrush or small scrub brush: Useful for reaching tight corners and crevices.
  4. Paper towels or clean, dry cloths: For drying the microwave after cleaning.
  5. White vinegar: A natural cleaning agent that helps remove grime, grease, and odors.
  6. Lemon or lemon juice: Another natural cleaner with a fresh scent that can help to loosen food particles and eliminate odors.
  7. Baking soda: A gentle abrasive that can help remove stubborn stains without scratching surfaces.
  8. Glass cleaner: For cleaning the microwave door and any glass surfaces.
  9. Rubber gloves: Optional, but recommended for protecting your hands from hot surfaces and cleaning agents.
  10. Spray bottle: For mixing and applying homemade cleaning solutions.
  11. Microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup: For heating water, vinegar, or lemon juice to create steam in the microwave.
  12. Wooden spoon or spatula: For gently scraping off any hardened food particles.

With these supplies on hand, you'll be well-equipped to tackle any microwave cleaning task and maintain a sparkling clean appliance.

Softening Stubborn Grime: The Power of Steam

The first step in cleaning your microwave is to soften the food splatters and stains by utilizing the power of steam. Fill a microwave-safe container with water and add a few slices of lemon.

Place the bowl in the microwave and heat it for 2-3 minutes, or until the water boils. The steam generated by the water and lemon will soften the grime and make it easier to wipe clean. This method is especially useful for stubborn stains and food particles that have been baked onto the walls or bottom of the microwave.

After steaming, carefully remove the bowl with oven mitts or a kitchen towel. Open the door to let out any remaining steam before wiping away the softened grime with a damp cloth, sponge, or damp paper towel.

You can remove the microwave turntable to get the grime buildup underneath and use the scrub brush or an old toothbrush to reach any tight corners.

Washing dishes

Natural Cleaning Solutions: Vinegar, Lemon, and Baking Soda

Once the gunk has been softened, it's time to start scrubbing the microwave interior. For a natural and cost-effective cleaning solution, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the vinegar mixture generously inside the microwave and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen tough stains.

Another effective method is using a paste of baking soda and water to scrub off hardened spills and food residue. Simply mix baking soda and water until it forms a paste and then apply it to the stains. Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a microfiber cloth. Rinse with warm water afterward.

You can also use lemon or lemon juice for a refreshing smell and the added cleaning power of citric acid. Squeeze a lemon into a microwave-safe bowl with water and heat it on high for 1-2 minutes to produce steam. Use this solution to wipe down the interior of the microwave, taking extra care with hard-to-reach areas.

Finally, use a glass cleaner or damp microfiber cloth to clean the exterior of the microwave door and handle. Make sure to dry off any surfaces that got wet during the cleaning process so that they don't develop rust over time.

With these tips, you can keep your microwave looking and smelling fresh.

Tackling Tough Stains: Step-by-Step Guide

While most stains and spills can be removed using a combination of steam and natural cleaning solutions, some may require a bit more elbow grease.

For tough stains that just won't come off, try using a plastic scraper or a toothbrush. Apply some vinegar to the tough stain, let it sit for a few minutes, then use the scraper or toothbrush to gently scrub the area.

Removing Odors: Freshening Up Your Microwave

Bad odors can accumulate in your microwave and make it unappealing to use. To remove any lingering smells, place a small bowl of vinegar inside the microwave and heat it up on high for a minute or two. The vinegar will absorb the odors and leave your microwave smelling fresh and clean.

You can also use baking soda to neutralize odors. Just mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with warm water in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it up for 3 minutes or until the mixture boils. The baking soda will absorb any remaining odors, leaving your microwave smelling fresh.

Cleaning the Exterior: Don't Forget the Outside

While the inside of the microwave is the most important part to clean, don't forget the exterior. Wipe down the outside of the microwave with a damp clean cloth and natural cleaning solution. Be sure to remove any food stains or fingerprints to maintain a sparkling clean appearance.

Maintaining a Spotless Microwave: Tips for Regular Care

To keep your microwave spotless, it's important to practice regular maintenance. Wipe down the inside of the microwave after each use to prevent baked-on stains. Cover your food when heating to prevent splatters and spills. And, of course, always clean up any spills or messes as soon as possible after use.

Pro Tip: To make sure your microwave is always in tip-top shape, give it a deep clean every few months. You can also us a microwave splatter guard to protect your microwave while you use it.

Common Microwave Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

While it's important to keep your microwave clean, there are some common mistakes that people make when cleaning that can be harmful or ineffective.

Some of these mistakes include using abrasive sponges or brushes, using harsh chemicals, and forgetting to rinse off cleaning solutions properly. Always use gentle cleaning products and follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your microwave.

If you want to know how to clean a towel warmer, fireplace glass or even prefinished hardwood floors we have a resource for you!

Conclusion: Enjoy a Sparkling Clean Microwave

Keeping your microwave clean doesn't have to be an arduous task. By utilizing the power of steam and natural cleaning solutions, you can effectively remove food stains and bad odors. Remember to maintain regular cleaning habits and avoid common cleaning mistakes to keep your microwave spotless and in top working condition. With these tips and tricks, you can enjoy a sparkling clean microwave and healthy food every time you cook.