I’m sure that my microwave oven doesn’t turn into a disaster area overnight, but sometimes it seems that way! Once in a while, I’ll go to use it, only to be greeted by a microwave interior full of splatters, smears, and baked-on food messes. And have you ever tried to scrub that stuff off? Elbow grease is hard work!
Luckily, I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve that makes cleaning microwave gunk a breeze. I have not one, but TWO methods that you can use to clean your microwave with little to no effort and free of harsh chemicals. And they both work using the power of steam!
Creating a steamy environment in your microwave oven helps to loosen the super-stubborn food messes that tend to accumulate inside. Once the steam works its magic, those messes can easily be wiped up using a damp sponge, soft cloth, or paper towel. There’s no better or quicker way to clean a microwave!
So today, I’ll be sharing my microwave cleaning hack with you because it’s always nice to have options, especially when your dirty microwave has gotten the better of you.
The first method uses vinegar, which is one of my all-time favorite natural cleaners. It cleans, sanitizes, and deodorizes all at once! But I know that some people (my husband and sons included) can be sensitive about the scent of vinegar, so that’s why I’ve included a second cleaning method as well.
The second method uses water and lemon oil to clean and sanitize your microwave inside. I think both ways work equally well, so choose whichever one appeals to you most (or whichever method you have the supplies for!)
How To Clean A Microwave
Method #1 – Steam Clean With Vinegar
- White vinegar
- Warm Water
- Glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl
- A wooden skewer or wooden spoon
- Microfiber cloth
- Rubbing alcohol (optional)
Step 1 – Prep
Pour one cup of white vinegar into a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, along with one cup of warm water. Place the cup or bowl into your microwave, then place a wooden spoon into the liquid.
(This step helps ensure that your vinegar and hot water mixture won’t get overheated and accidentally explode. It may not be necessary, but it’s an easy precaution to take!)
Step 2 – Microwave
Set your microwave for 5-10 minutes (depending on how powerful your microwave is) and turn it on. When the time is up, CAREFULLY remove the bowl or cup from the microwave using an oven mitt.
Step 3 – Wipe The Inside
Next, grab a clean cloth (paper towels will work too) and wipe the microwave door and the rest of the inside clean. The steam from the water and vinegar will have loosened up any splatters and spills, so you can wipe the surfaces clean without any scrubbing!
Bonus Step – Shine The Outside
If you want to go the extra mile with your microwave, here’s a simple step to make the outside shine! Grab your microfiber cloth and some rubbing alcohol (or window cleaner), and pour a bit of the alcohol onto the fabric. Use the damp cloth to wipe and buff the outside of your microwave to a sparkly-clean shine!
For those of you who would instead use a vinegar-free method, never fear! :-) I’ve got a second microwave cleaning method to share today. This one uses water and essential oils, and it’s just as simple as the first method. Here’s how to do it:
Method #2 – Steam Clean Without Vinegar
- Lemon essential oil (or lemon juice)
- Spray bottle
Step 1 – Prep
Start by getting your sponge wet. You want it to be as saturated as possible! Then place your wet sponge in the microwave.
Next, fill your spray bottle with a couple of ounces of water and about 3-5 drops of lemon essential oil. (If you want a stronger lemon scent, use a few more drops, or a fewer if you’d prefer a subtler scent.)
Step 2 – Spray
Spray the inside of your microwave with the water and lemon oil mixture. Ensure you spray it liberally all over, including the top, bottom, and sides of your microwave.
Step 3 – Microwave
Then set your microwave for approximately 2 minutes and turn it on.
Step 4 – Wipe Clean
After the time is up and the microwave turns off, leave the sponge inside the microwave with the door closed for a few minutes until the sponge is cool enough to handle. Then grab the sponge and use it to wipe the inside. Watch in amazement as all the gunk and grime slides off easily!
You can also use the same sponge to wipe down the outside of the microwave as well. Enjoy your clean AND fresh-smelling microwave!
What’s your best tip for cleaning kitchen appliances?