How to Clean a Microwave: The Ultimate Guide

Greetings, Challenger!

Are you tired of opening your microwave only to be greeted by food stains, lingering odors, and grime? A dirty microwave can be unappetizing, unhygienic and downright unsightly. Cleaning it, however, can be tricky and intimidating, especially if you’re not sure where to start.

Fear no more, as we’ve got you covered! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through all the nitty-gritty details of how to clean a microwave, so it can look and function as good as new.


Before we dive deep into the cleaning methods, let’s take a brief look at the importance of a clean microwave and why you should clean it regularly.

What Happens When You Don’t Clean Your Microwave?

Leaving your microwave uncleaned poses a handful of health hazards such as bacterial buildup, mold growth, and even insect infestations. Not only can older bits of food end up in your next meal, but they can also release harmful toxins that can disrupt your health over time. Additionally, food debris can cause fires and other safety hazards if left unattended. Finally, a dirty microwave is simply unpleasant to look at and can make your kitchen smell bad.

The Importance of Regular Cleaning

Cleaning your microwave regularly can help prevent the buildup of unwanted bacteria and food residue. This not only keeps your food tasting fresh and healthy but also extends the life of your microwave. It can also prevent costly microwave repairs or replacement over time.

The Steps to Cleaning a Microwave

To clean your microwave thoroughly, you’ll need some basic cleaning supplies, a little elbow grease, and some time. Below we have outlined the steps involved in cleaning your microwave. Also, we will walk you through various cleaning methods that you can use to tackle even the most stubborn stains.

How to Clean a Microwave

Step 1: Safety First

Before you begin, ensure that the microwave is unplugged and allow it to cool down before you start cleaning. This is vital to prevent electrocution or burns from touching hot surfaces.

Step 2: Remove Any Debris or Food Residue

Remove any food debris or spills that might be present in the microwave. Use a damp cloth to wipe the interior walls, ceiling, and door. For hardened pieces of food, try using a plastic scraper to make it easier to wipe off.

Step 3: Clean the Turntable

If you have a glass turntable or other removable parts, take them out and wash them with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and dry before replacing them in the microwave.

Step 4: Make a Cleaning Solution

When making a cleaning solution, it’s best to use natural ingredients to avoid any harsh chemicals that could damage your microwave or alter the flavor of your food. A combination of water and vinegar is perfect for this purpose. Mix one part of vinegar with two parts of water in a microwave-safe bowl.

Step 5: Microwave the Cleaning Solution

Place the bowl containing the solution in the microwave and heat it for about 2-3 minutes. This will allow the steam from the solution to soften any food stains and debris left inside the microwave.

Step 6: Wipe Down the Interior

After microwaving the solution, allow the bowl to sit inside the microwave for 5-10 minutes to cool down before opening the door. Once you open the door, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down the inside of the microwave, starting from the ceiling and working your way down to the floor. For stubborn spots, use a little elbow grease and scrub the stained areas gently.

Step 7: Clean the Exterior

After cleaning the interior, take a clean cloth and wipe down the exterior and control panel of the microwave. Be careful not to use too much water or cleaning solution as it can seep into the control panel and cause electrical problems.

Step 8: Re-assemble the Microwave

Once you’re done cleaning, replace any removable parts, the turntable, and plug the microwave back in.

Different Methods to Clean a Microwave

There is more than one way to clean your microwave. Here are some other ways:

The Lemon Method:

Items You Need: Instructions:
A lemon 1. Squeeze the juice of an entire lemon into a bowl of water.
2 cups of water 2. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat it for 5-10 minutes, depending on your microwave’s power.
A clean cloth or sponge 3. Let the steam from the solution sit for a couple of seconds before opening the door.
4. Remove the bowl, and gently wipe the interior using the cloth or sponge. Rinse the cloth or sponge, and repeat the process until your microwave is sparkling clean.

The Baking Soda Method:

Items You Need: Instructions:
1/4 cup of baking soda 1. Mix 1/4 cup of baking soda with one cup of water.
A microwave-safe bowl 2. Place the solution inside the microwave and heat on high for five minutes.
A clean cloth or sponge 3. Allow the solution to cool and remove the bowl from the microwave.
4. Dip your cloth into the solution and use it to clean the inside of the microwave. Be sure to rinse your cloth and repeat the process until your microwave is clean.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1) How Often Should You Clean Your Microwave?

It would be best if you cleaned your microwave after every use or at least once a week to prevent buildup.

2) Can You Use Bleach to Clean a Microwave?

Never use bleach to clean a microwave as it can damage the interior and create harmful fumes that can be dangerous to your health.

3) Can You Put a Dirty Microwave Turntable in the Dishwasher?

Yes, you can, but before you do, ensure that it is dishwasher safe. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for clarification.

4) How Long Should You Microwave the Cleaning Solution?

It would help if you microwaved the cleaning solution for 2-3 minutes, depending on your microwave’s power.

5) Can You Use a Magic Eraser to Clean a Microwave?

No, we do not recommend using a magic eraser to clean a microwave. The abrasive surface can damage the interior surface of the appliance.

6) What Is the Best Method to Get Rid of Odors in a Microwave?

You can use the lemon or vinegar method to get rid of odors in your microwave. The acid in both cuts through grease and helps to eliminate unpleasant smells.

7) Can You Use Vinegar to Clean a Stainless Steel Microwave?

Yes, you can use vinegar to clean a stainless steel microwave. It is a safe and natural way to remove stains and food residue from the surface.

8) How Can You Prevent Food Splatters in the Microwave?

You can prevent food splatters in your microwave by covering your food with a microwave safe lid, plate, or paper towel before heating. This reduces the risk of explosions and splatters.

9) What Can You Do If the Stains Are Tough?

If the stains are tough, we recommend using either the baking soda method or the vinegar method. These methods are proven to tackle even the most stubborn stains.

10) Can You Use Soap and Water to Clean a Microwave?

Yes, you can use soap and water to clean a microwave, but we recommend using natural cleaning agents like vinegar and baking soda.

11) How to Clean Microwave Filter?

You can remove the filter from the microwave and clean it with soap and water. Alternatively, soak the filter in vinegar and water, rinse and allow it to dry before putting it back in.

12) Can You Use Ammonia to Clean a Microwave?

We recommend you do not use ammonia to clean your microwave. It can cause fumes and irritate your eyes, nose, and throat.

13) Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Clean a Microwave?

Yes, you can use hydrogen peroxide and water to make a cleaning solution for your microwave, but make sure you dilute it properly.


Cleaning a microwave may seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be a breeze. Regularly cleaning your microwave and following the steps recommended in this guide ensures it works efficiently, lasts longer, and helps to prevent any unwanted health hazards. Get into the habit of cleaning your microwave frequently and enjoy a clean, healthy, and hygienic appliance.

Before you go, take some action today and start cleaning your microwave right away. With this guide, you’re guaranteed a bright and clean microwave in minutes. Happy cleaning!

Closing Statement with Disclaimer

Keep in mind that while cleaning a microwave is simple, you should always take proper cleaning precautions to avoid accidents or injuries. Always unplug your device and wait until it cools down before cleaning. Additionally, never use harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage your microwave’s interior surface or be hazardous to your health. The tips provided in this guide are not intended to replace the manufacturer’s instructions. We accept no liability for any damages that may result from your use of this guide. You assume any risk associated with your use of the information in this article.