Microwaves have been an essential appliance in most American kitchens for half a century. They can reheat a dish, defrost ingredients, and cook an entire meal in just minutes.
However, this low-maintenance, convenient appliance still needs cleaning! Over time, food splatters and grease will build upon the interior surfaces. Besides, without proper cleaning, smells will start to linger in no time.
Even if your microwave has seen better days, you don't need to worry; cleaning this appliance can be as easy as using it. Here are three methods to clean your microwave's interior without scrubbing too much.
First, prepare for cleaning the microwave
The best hacks to clean your microwave involve steam. Although these methods don't require a lot of elbow grease, you need to consider the following before starting.
- Always start by removing crumbs: You may find loose crumbs and bits of food inside your microwave. Wipe them with a damp cloth before using the following cleaning methods.
- Keep moisture away from the vents: Your microwave might handle steam, but it's far from being waterproof. Keep the cloth just slightly damp whenever you wipe your microwave—especially around the vents.
- Handle hot surfaces with care: Things can get hot if you use steam to clean your microwave. Bringing a pair of oven mitts is a good idea.
How to clean a microwave without scrubbing
Cleaning a microwave usually means dealing with two things: the burnt-on grime and the lingering smells. However, getting rid of both shouldn't be an issue if you have the right method.
Here are three ways you can clean your microwave effortlessly.
Method #1. White vinegar
Vinegar is a great choice to clean your microwave because it's mildly acidic, which means it works as a grease and odor remover. Also, being a kitchen staple, you may already have a bottle home, and you can rest assured that it won't leave harmful residue behind.
To use this hack, you need the following supplies:
- White vinegar
- A microwavable bowl
- Two cloths, one for wiping stains and one for drying
Once you have gathered your tools and supplies, follow these steps:
- Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar and two cups of warm water in the bowl.
- Place the bowl on the turntable and turn the appliance on until steam builds up (about 3-5 minutes on the highest setting.)
- Keep the door closed for at least five minutes to let the steam loosen the grime. Then, take the bowl out with care, as it might be hot. Wearing oven mitts is a good idea.
- Take the turntable out, wipe it with a damp cloth, and put it aside. Then, wipe inside your microwave with the same cloth. Wring out the cloth as needed to keep it slightly damp.
- If a stain refuses to go, dip a small portion of the cloth in the vinegar solution and scrub the stain. Remember that the solution might be hot.
- Lastly, remove excess moisture with a dry cloth. There is no need to rinse the vinegar residue!
Method #2. A squeezed lemon
You can clean inside your microwave using lemon juice. Like vinegar, lemon juice is a mild acid that can cut through grease. However, unlike vinegar, lemon has a fresh scent that everybody loves.
Cleaning your microwave with lemon juice is similar to the previous method. You'll need a microwavable bowl, two cloths, and a lemon.
These are the steps:
- Cut the lemon open and squeeze all the juice into the bowl. You can leave the squeezed lemons in the bowl. Then, fill the bowl with warm water.
- Place the bowl inside your microwave. Then, turn the appliance on using the highest setting for about five minutes.
- Let the steam sit on the stains for another five minutes. Then, carefully, take the hot bowl from the microwave. You could use oven mitts for this step.
- Remove the turntable, wipe it with the cloth, and put it aside. Then, wipe every surface inside your microwave from top to bottom. Wring out the cloth as needed to keep it slightly damp.
- Dry the surfaces with a cloth.
Method #3. Dish soap
Cleaning your microwave with soapy water is the most standard of the methods mentioned here—and maybe the most effective too. However, the steam trick will save you scrubbing time.
Here are the steps:
- Fill a microwavable bowl with warm water and one tablespoon of dish soap. You can sprinkle a little baking soda if the microwave has a smell.
- Place the bowl inside and turn the appliance on for about five minutes or until steam builds up inside.
- Wait for another five minutes to let the steam do the work for you. Take the hot bowl out of the microwave carefully. You might need to use oven mitts!
- Take out the turntable and wipe it with a slightly damped cloth. Put the turntable aside and wipe the microwave's interior surfaces from top to bottom.
- If a tough stain remains, you can use a soft cloth dipped in the remaining soapy water to scrub it. Remember to wring out the cloth well to avoid wetting the microwave. Also, the soapy water might be hot, so be careful!
- Once your microwave seems clean, wipe it with a damp cloth to rinse any remaining soap.
- Finally, dry every surface with a clean, dry cloth.
How do you clean a microwave with stubborn stains?
If your microwave has burnt-on food residue, some stains might remain even after using one of the previous steamy methods. However, you are now closer to having a neat and spotless microwave. Here is how you can remove the remaining stains.
1. Clean the dirty turntable as any other dish
If wiping your microwave's turntable doesn't leave it spotless, you can clean it as any other dish. Scrub tough stains with your kitchen sponge. If the stains refuse to go, leave the turntable soaking.
Also, you could use your dishwasher to clean the turntable effortlessly.
2. Remove tough stains with a baking soda paste
When stuck-on grime refuses to leave your microwave, you can't wash and soak the entire appliance. However, another kitchen staple might do the trick: baking soda. Use this baking soda paste as your last resort after using one of the previous steam-cleaning hacks.
Here is how you do it:
- Make a malleable paste by mixing three parts baking soda with one part water.
- Rub it on the stain (with your finger or any applicator) and leave it sitting for about five minutes.
- Once the paste dries, wipe it off with a slightly damp cloth. Keep scrubbing the stain, and you'll notice how easily you can remove it.
Keep learning helpful tips with Rain City Maids
Are you ready to tackle your cleaning chores? Visit our blog page to learn other cleaning tips and tricks! We are a residential cleaning company in Eastside Seattle, and all our years of experience have taught us many things about cleaning.
Or, if you are too busy, why not let someone else do the chores? Rain City Maids offers convenient, flat-rate services to keep your home spotless.