Microwaves are an essential appliance in most modern kitchens. They are convenient, efficient, and versatile, making them a go-to option for busy individuals who want to heat or cook their food quickly.
However, with frequent use, microwaves can quickly become dirty and greasy, making it challenging to maintain their hygiene and functionality. Therefore, it’s crucial to learn how to clean your microwave properly.
In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of cleaning your microwave step-by-step, using easy-to-find ingredients and household items. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a microwave novice, this guide will help you keep your appliance spotless and in good working condition.
Why should you clean your microwave
- To reduce odors and prevent them from lingering in the microwave.
- To improve the aesthetic of the kitchen.
- To prevent the spread of bacteria and other contaminants that cause food borne illnesses.
- To increase the efficiency of the microwave and reduce energy consumption.
- To prevent the buildup of grease and grime which can lead to fire hazards.
- To extend the life of the microwave.
- To maintain the safety of the food being cooked.
- To prevent dust and dirt from contaminating the food.
How often should you clean your microwave
It is recommended to clean your microwave at least once a week to prevent the buildup of food debris, stains, and odors.
However, if you use your microwave frequently or if you notice any visible spills or splatters, you may want to clean it more often, ideally right after you notice that it’s dirty.
How to clean your microwave: The process
Read microwave users manual
Different models of microwaves may have different cleaning instructions or requirements. The manual will provide you with specific guidance on how to clean your particular microwave safely and effectively, and may also include warnings or precautions to follow to prevent damage to the appliance or injury to yourself.
Gather cleaning tools and supplies
- Liquid dish soap
- Distilled white vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Baking soda
- Essential oil (optional)
- Toothpick or wooden spoon
- Potholders or oven mitts
- Sponge or scrubber
- Lint-free cloth
- Microfibre cloths
- Microwave safe bowl
“There was no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.”Quentin Crisp
Make a cleaning solution
Vinegar water solution: Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a microwave-safe bowl. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to help mask the vinegar smell.
The vinegar solution will help to loosen any stuck-on food or grease and neutralize any odors.
Lemon solution: Cut a lemon in half and squeeze out the juice into a microwave-safe bowl. Then, drop the lemon halves into the bowl as well. Fill the bowl with water until it is about 3/4 full.
The lemon solution will help to freshen up the microwave and remove any stains or odors.
Baking soda and water solution: Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir the mixture until the baking soda dissolves.
The baking soda solution will help to remove any stubborn stains or grease buildup and deodorize the microwave.
Microwave the cleaning solution
Pour the cleaning solution of your choice into a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for a few minutes or until it steams. Heat it only for as long as you would to heat a cup of coffee or tea; heating water for too long, in some cases, can cause the liquid to become superheated and erupt.
The created steam will help you remove the grease and fat.
Leave the solution inside the microwave for another 10 minutes to work the grime and dirt and to cool down a little bit.
Be very careful when opening the microwave. The accumulated steam might burst out and burn you.
Add a small wooden spoon to the bowl or place a toothpick in the mixture. This will allow bubbles to form against the wood as the water heats up, preventing the water from getting superheated and “exploding” into a boil.
Clean microwave interior and removable parts
Remove the glass plate and all the other removable parts from inside the microwave.
Use a damp soapy cloth to wipe the interior of the microwave and the parts you previously removed.
Be careful not to get any liquid on the microwave vents. This might damage the oven itself.
Clean microwave exterior
Use warm soapy water to clean the exterior of the microwave, control panel, door handle as well as the edges of the microwave door.
Use a damp cloth to wipe down both sides of the door seal, taking care to get into any crevices or corners. Pay special attention to any areas that show signs of staining.
If there are hard to get stains, dip your cloth into the vinegar solution and gently scrub the stain until it is removed.
Clean stove top microwave filters
The microwave filter helps to trap grease, smoke, and other particles that are produced when cooking in the microwave. Over time, the filter can become clogged with grease and food debris, which can reduce the efficiency of the microwave and create unpleasant odors. Here are the steps to clean a microwave filter:
- Locate the filter: Most microwaves have a filter located on the underside of the appliance. Consult the user manual if you’re unsure where the filter is located.
- Remove the filter: Depending on the model of your microwave, you may need to twist, slide, or lift the filter to remove it from the microwave. Be careful not to damage the filter or the microwave.
- Soak the filter: Fill a sink or a large bowl with hot water and add a few drops of dish soap. Submerge the filter in the water and let it soak for 10-15 minutes. This will help to loosen any grease or food debris stuck to the filter.
- Scrub the filter: After soaking, use a soft brush or sponge to gently scrub the filter, paying extra attention to any areas with stubborn grease or stains. Avoid using abrasive sponges or brushes, which can damage the filter.
- Rinse and dry the filter: Rinse the filter thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue. Shake off any excess water and let the filter air-dry completely before re-installing it in the microwave.
- Re-install the filter: Once the filter is dry, carefully re-install it in the microwave, following the instructions in the user manual. Make sure the filter is securely in place before using the microwave again.
How to remove microwave food smell
Microwaves can sometimes develop unpleasant odors from the food that is heated or cooked in them. Here are some steps to remove food smells from your microwave:
Use activated charcoal: Activated charcoal can help absorb odors from the microwave. Place a small bowl of activated charcoal inside the microwave and leave it there overnight. The charcoal will absorb the odors and leave your microwave smelling fresh. You can find activated charcoal at most home goods stores.
Use baking soda: Baking soda is another effective odor absorber. Place a small bowl of baking soda inside the microwave and leave it there overnight. The baking soda will help absorb any lingering odors.
Use coffee grounds: Coffee grounds can also help absorb food odors from the microwave. Place a small bowl of dry coffee grounds inside the microwave and leave it there overnight. The coffee grounds will help neutralize any food smells.
Air out the microwave: After cleaning and deodorizing your microwave, leave the door open for a few hours to allow fresh air to circulate and any remaining odors to dissipate.
How to maintain your microwave
Maintaining your microwave is important to ensure that it functions properly and lasts for a long time. Here are some tips on how to maintain your microwave:
- Do not put metallic objects inside your microwave: Metallic objects can cause sparking and damage to your microwave. Use microwave-safe containers and utensils.
- Be careful when using water: Microwaves are electric appliances, and water can damage the internal parts. Use a damp cloth to clean the exterior and wipe up spills immediately.
- Use lids when heating food: Using a lid or cover reduces spatters and messes, making it easier to clean your microwave.
- Use low power settings: High power settings can cause food to spatter or burn, making it difficult to clean your microwave. Use lower power settings for messier foods.
- Avoid using strong chemicals: Chemicals can leave behind harmful residues and affect the taste of your food. Use gentle cleaning solutions, such as vinegar or baking soda.
- Don’t ignore internal issues: No amount of cleaning can fix an internal problem with your microwave. If your microwave stops working, call an expert to diagnose and fix the problem.
- Wipe up spills immediately: Wiping up spills immediately prevents them from hardening and becoming difficult to clean.
- Leave the microwave door open: Leaving the microwave door open between uses helps to reduce moisture and odors. This can prevent the growth of bacteria and mold inside the microwave.
- Avoid amonia and bleach: Avoid using cleaners containing ammonia or bleach, as they can make the plastic parts of your microwave brittle over time.
- Avoid abrasive materials and supplies: Don’t use an abrasive scouring pad or sponge to clean the microwave, as you could scratch the metal. Instead, use a soft cloth or sponge and a mild cleaning solution to wipe down the interior of the microwave.
- Don’t put the grease filters in the dishwasher to clean: Instead, hand wash them with warm soapy water and let them air dry before placing them back in the microwave.
By following these tips, you can maintain your microwave and ensure that it functions properly for a long time.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article on how to clean microwave. We hope you found our tips and tricks helpful in keeping your kitchen clean and safe. Remember to incorporate regular microwave cleaning into your kitchen maintenance routine for a cleaner, safer, and fresher cooking environment.
If you have any questions or need help with house cleaning, please do not hesitate to contact us.