Whether it’s remnants of last week’s spaghetti dinner or a spillover of this morning’s coffee, accidents and food explosions happen daily in the microwave. Crumbs, grime, grease, food build-up, and mold can leave your microwave looking and smelling less than fresh. But don’t give up on stubborn microwave stains and smelly odors. There is one surefire cleaning method that will have your appliance sparkling in under 30 minutes.
How to Clean the Outside of a Microwave
Wiping down the outside of the microwave is the easiest part. For this, use a clean cloth and wipe down all sides, the handle, and the buttons with a cleaning solution of your choice or a mixture of hot water, dish soap, and lemon juice or vinegar. To avoid electrical damage, never spray anything directly onto the control panel. Lingering stains can be removed with a non-scratch pad, such as Scotch-Brite, Magic Eraser, or a dish brush. Do not use anything metallic, such as steel wool — it will instantly scratch your microwave. Wipe the exterior with a dry cloth, and your microwave will look as good as new.
How to Clean the Inside of a Microwave
The inside of the microwave is where the dirty work really begins. Start by removing any loose food crumbs with a damp cloth. Next, move on to the more stubborn messes. For this, creating steam works best. Add the juice of one lemon and 1/2 cup of water to a microwave-safe bowl and turn on the microwave for two minutes. Allow the steam to sit for five minutes.
Next, take a cloth dampened with white distilled vinegar and wipe down the inside. Any remaining residue should slide off with ease. Don’t forget to remove the turntable and wipe underneath it. You can either hand-wash the turntable with hot, soapy water or pop it in the dishwasher. (Double-check to make sure it’s dishwasher safe.) Wait until the inside of the microwave is completely dry before reinstalling the turntable.
How to Remove Stubborn Odors From a Microwave
Seafood, broccoli, eggs, and burnt popcorn — these foods are frequent offenders of smelly microwaves everywhere. If an odor just won’t leave your microwave, try wiping the interior with a clean cloth soaked in vinegar and water. Then, place a small bowl of vinegar or baking soda in the microwave overnight. It should soak up the lingering odor.
How to Clean an Over-the-Range Microwave Grease Filter
Over-the-range microwaves have grease filters that should be cleaned regularly. After removing the filter, soak it in hot, soapy water for 10 minutes. (Add 1/4 cup of baking soda for major clean-up sessions.) If any gunk or debris remains, use a dish brush to scrub it out. Rinse off the suds, let it dry, and pop the filter back into place. Do this monthly to ensure clean air circulates through your kitchen from the microwave’s exhaust fan.
All featured products and deals are selected independently and objectively by the author. Better Report may receive a share of sales via affiliate links in content.
Featured Image Credit: ilkermetinkursova/ iStock