A Safe & Simple Way To Clean Your Microwave

Clean Your Microwave

{Welcome to “Save My Sanity Saturday” at One Good Thing By Jillee….where I attempt to avoid having a nervous breakdown by actually giving myself a day off from blogging once a week! So pull up a chair and sit back and enjoy an “oldie but goodie” from the One Good Thing By Jillee archives.}

Originally posted January 4, 2013 —

Several months ago I did a post on How To Clean and Shine Your Microwave. This is how I have been cleaning my microwave for years!

However, there were some readers that were concerned about superheated liquid causing explosions in the microwave (something that is completely avoidable if you follow the directions in the post!), while others simply didn’t like the smell of vinegar.

Well, recently my friend Natali told me how she cleans her microwave, and I, of course, had to give it a try! Guess what? It worked every bit as well as my original method, eliminated any risk of superheated liquid, AND it smelled better too. :-) I was immediately converted to “The Natali Method” and couldn’t wait to share it with all of you.

A few other “pros” of using this method…it’s simple…and completely non-toxic.

Here is what you will need:

  • water
  • a sponge
  • a spray bottle
  • lemon essential oil


Clean Your Microwave

Start by getting your sponge wet. You want it completely saturated.


Clean Your Microwave

Place it in the microwave.


Clean Your Microwave

Then fill your spray bottle with a couple of ounces of water and approximately 3-5 drops of lemon essential oil. The ratio is completely up to you. If you want a stronger smell of lemon use more…or less if you want a subtler scent.


Clean Your Microwave

Spray the inside of your microwave with the lemon water. Make sure you spray it all over. Top, bottom, sides. Get it really wet! Then set the timer on the microwave for approximately 2 minutes (this will depend on how powerful your microwave is…2 minutes was just right for mine) and turn it on.


Clean Your Microwave

After the microwave turns off, leave the sponge inside with the door closed until it’s cool enough to handle and then use it to wipe out the inside. You have effectively just “steam-cleaned” your microwave.


Clean Your Microwave


You can also use the same sponge to wipe down the outside of the microwave as well…and anything else in the general vicinity that could use a little touch-up.


Now your microwave is clean AND fresh-smelling!



Remember to use the coupon code “jillee” to receive 10% off any Spark Naturals essential oil order!



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  1. Shari says

    I have used a orange or lemon. Cut it in half squeeze juice from both halves into a bowl of water about 1/2 cup. Put bowl in microwave and you can set the fruit halves in bowl microwave for 2 to 3 minutes the heat will bring the oils out of the rinds of fruit and also steam the inside. Open door and wipe with cloth. Take any left over water and fruit peels and put down garbage disposer. Now microwave is clean and smells good and garbage disposer smells good. I love essential oils but they can be costly if used frequently so using the fruit is cheaper and serves 2 purposes.

  2. STACEY says

    The best way to KEEP your microwave clean is to use a silicone dome cover. It keeps splatters from covering your insides. You need to throw it in the dishwasher often and clean the plate (inside the micro) but only once in a great while do you need to clean the cavity. I find this saves me time and is more sanitary. Anyway, I do think the lemon spray and sponge is a good idea when you need to clean it…….

    • CTY says

      We only microwave item if the have a lid (loosely placed for steam) to keep splatters in check. For plates we use a Pyrex pie plate on top, it has ridges so air escapes and goes in the dishwasher for cleaning; sadly, it gets way more use this way them making pie.

  3. Karen Moore says

    Can anyone tell me how to clean the inside of a stainless steel microwave/convection oven? I have an Advantum and I love it but I am having trouble getting the spots of food off the stainless. Any help would be so welcome! Thanks,

  4. says

    ok, I also have a stainless steel microwave. Before using the essential oil method, I have found that vinegar really is a great way to make it super easy to clean and I have four kids who NEVER cover their food, especially tomato products! ugh! So, even though I HATE the smell of vinegar, I get a cereal bowl and fill it with half water and half white vinegar. I would microwave it for 10 minutes. After, I use a clean wash cloth and using the hot liquid in the bowl for dipping it into, I will wipe the entire microwave down from top to bottom without even having to scrub, which you shouldn’t ever really scrub a stainless steel. This hot steam method softens the built up food particles that have hardened and dried over time. It’s a miracle working cleaning method and super fast. Hope that helps

  5. Joe says

    Clean stainless appliances with WD-40. I did not believe it either. There is a bonus. Fingerprints don’t show up as easily. I used the recommended cleaner when I bought the appliances at ABT and it created a smear job and every touch left a mark.

    First, clean stainless to get rid of stuff. Then polish with WD-40.

    I’ve only done this once a few weeks ago and just remove the gunk from dirty hands and have not needed to polish again, so far.

    • Sarah says

      DON’T clean the INSIDE of a microwave with WD-40, can you even imagine how awful the smell would be when heated, let alone what you’re vaporizing and releasing into the air and then breathing??? EWW.

  6. Jan Kuester says

    You need to make certain you put a microwave safe container inside with water, as a minimum to prevent destroying your oven’s magnetron. I use a glass bowl with water and some essential lemon oil which I get from Spark and love.

    Read reference below.

    Running a microwave oven with nothing it is hard on the magnetron that produces the microwaves:

    The magnetron creates microwaves that travel into the cooking chamber and should be absorbed there. If there is no food (or rather no water-containing food), those microwaves will not be absorbed and will eventually find their way back to the magnetron. Eventually the magnetron will absorb as many microwaves as it emits. This situation is hard on the magnetron, which works best when it has very little radiation returning to it. That is why you should never run a microwave empty.”

    “Microwave Ovens” (March 20, 1995)
    Physics 106N – How Things Work [University of Virginia]

  7. Lisa Lauzis says

    I learned this technique on a PBS show in the late 80′s called “The Microwave Master” Donovan Jon Fandre was Chef host. I even have his cookbook. He felt any chemical was a bad idea in the microwave.
    How to safely clean your microwave. You will need
    Large microwavable bowl * I use a Pyrex 8 cup measuring cup*
    fill it with about 6 cups of water add a cup of lemon juice
    place in microwave uncovered cook on high for 6-7 minutes
    when cook time is over DO NOT OPEN DOOR for 20 minutes at the very least
    an hour if it is very dirty open door and wipe down with paper towels or a clean dry cloth / towel. I start with ceiling of oven then sides mine has a turntable I take that out after and put it in the dishwasher. wipe floor of oven last it will be very wet. That is it, if it is still smelly, repeat and keep door closed longer before you wipe it down.
    Eco friendly also
    Just wanted to help

  8. silverdust says

    To keep microwave splatter to a minimum, I started ‘waving everything for twice the time but at 50% power. You still get your food fast, but it warms at a slower, lower temp, so no pops and mess.


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