Are You Cleaning Your Microwave Wrong? Here's the Right Way - Home & Texture
Kitchen Microwave Cleaning

You're Probably Cleaning Your Microwave Wrong—Here's The Right Way To Do It

Although your microwave is something that's easy to overlook, there's definitely a right way to clean this beloved kitchen appliance.

January 8, 2024 at 10:21 PM PST

If you’re using bleach or toxic sprays to clean your microwave, you might want to rethink your cleaning routine. Some commercial cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to your health and potentially damage your appliance. Chemical residues from these cleaners can be left behind, even after thorough rinsing.

When you heat your food in a microwave that has been cleaned with such chemicals, there’s a risk of these substances leaching into your meals. Notes of all-purpose lemon cleaner in your leftover lasagna? No thank you! Additionally, using abrasive or chemical-laden cleaners can harm the delicate surfaces inside it They can strip away the protective coatings and cause the interior to deteriorate faster.

The Dirty Truth

So, why does it get dirty in the first place? It’s not just a mysterious occurrence; it’s a result of our daily culinary escapades. Spills, splatters, and the occasional food explosion all contribute to the grimy build-up inside. The combination of warmth and humidity within creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

Photo credit: Howard Bouchevereau

Gathering Your Cleaning Supplies

Before you get started on cleaning your microwave, you’ll want to get some simple supplies together.

1. Dish Soap

Dish soap is your ally when it comes to breaking down grease and food residues. If possible, go for one that’s all-natural and non-toxic.

2. White Vinegar

White vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. It will help clean your microwave and leave it smelling fresh and free from any lingering odors.

3. Lemon

A lemon isn’t just for adding zest to your recipes. It also plays a major role in cleaning. It helps cut through tough stains and imparts a refreshing scent.

4. Microwave-Safe Bowl

You’ll need a microwave-safe bowl to create a powerful cleaning solution that will help you tackle even the most stubborn stains.

5. Microfiber Cloth or Sponge

Select a microfiber cloth or sponge to wipe down the interior of your microwave. These materials are gentle yet effective at removing dirt and stains.

Photo credit: Basak Gurbuz Derman

The Step-by-Step Microwave Makeover

Now you’re ready to give your microwave a thorough cleaning.

Step 1: Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

  • Fill a microwave-safe bowl with a cup of water.
  • Add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the water.
  • Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the bowl.

Step 2: Microwave It

Place the bowl in the microwave and heat it for 3-5 minutes. The goal here is to create steam inside the microwave, which will help soften the grime and make it easier to clean.

Step 3: Wait and Let It Steam

After heating, keep the microwave door closed for a few minutes. This allows the steam to work its magic, loosening the dirt and stains.

Step 4: Wipe It Down

  • Carefully open the microwave door and remove the hot bowl using oven mitts or a towel.
  • Use your microfiber cloth or sponge to wipe away the loosened dirt and stains. You’ll be amazed at how easily the gunk comes off.

Step 5: Clean the Exterior

Don’t forget about the exterior of your microwave. This includes the control panel and any buttons. To tackle this, use a damp cloth with a bit of dish soap to remove fingerprints, spills, and any grime that may have found its way outside.

Step 6: Final Touch

For that extra fresh scent and a final touch, wipe the interior with a lemon wedge or a damp cloth soaked in lemon juice. This not only adds a pleasant aroma but also helps in removing any remaining stains.

Proper Maintenance

To prevent future messes and minimize the need for deep cleaning, use these tips.

  • Always cover your food with a microwave-safe lid or a paper towel when heating. This prevents splatters and keeps the interior clean.
  • Make it a habit to give your microwave a quick wipe after each use, focusing on any visible spills or stains.



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