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How to clean a microwave

Are you always making good use of the microwave? Discover the right way to clean your favourite kitchen appliance with this guide full of tips & tricks.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

how to clean a microwave

We all know how important it is to keep a high standard of hygiene around food. While microwave cleaning can seem like a chore, it is something that should be done on a regular basis to keep appliances energy-efficient and germ-free. With microwaves, it’s easy to just close the door and forget about stains and smells, but burnt-on food can cause electrical sparking and affect the microwave’s performance. Here’s how to clean the microwave and keep it in great condition.

Want a clean, fresh smelling microwave? Use a lemon! Fill a bowl with water halfway. Cut a lemon in half. Then squeeze the lemon juice into the water and drop the halves into the bowl. Put the bowl in the microwave and heat for 3-5 minutes, or until boiling. Keep an eye on the microwave during this process. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Keep the microwave door shut, as the steam inside will help to loosen food particles. Carefully remove the bowl and use a warm, damp sponge, or cloth to wipe the insides of the microwave ­– don’t forget the door! Any food stains should now wipe off easily.

How to Clean a Microwave the Traditional Way

When it comes to cleaning your own machine, it’s a good idea to check what the manual says before attempting any of the methods below. Most manufacturers recommend a method similar to the following steps for cleaning a microwave:

  • Prevent splatter by loosely covering food with microwavable plastic film or other items like a lid or paper towel when using the microwave.

  • Avoid explosions by ensuring covered containers allow steam to escape, and are made of microwavable materials.

  • Never put metal, wood or certain plastics into a microwave.

  • Clean up any spills straight away.

  • Clean regularly with water, a good quality detergent, and a soft, non-abrasive cloth. Check labels to choose a product that is suitable for the microwave, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the best results and avoid damaging your appliance.

  • Consult the manual for specific care instructions.

clean the oven

While it’s easy to find homemade cleaning solutions for microwaves online, always take caution with these, as natural cleaners will not necessarily be safe to use in a microwave. Always consult your microwaves manual for guidelines, or opt for a commercial cleaning product specially designed to clean appliances.

How to Clean a Microwave: Easy Steam Cleaning

There are three different ways you can steam-clean your microwave. Each ‘cooks’ a different item containing water for a specific length of time, so steam is produced. It’s vital when cleaning a microwave with this method that you watch the process, as continuing to heat your cloth or bowl once the water has evaporated can be unsafe.

The Poll

What’s most important to you when it comes to cleaning?

0 Votes

1)             A paper towel

  • Soak a folded paper towel in water.

  • Lay it on the glass turntable.

  • Microwave on ‘high’ for 60 seconds until steam is produced. Pay attention to this process – do not walk away from the microwave.

  • Leave for 5-10 minutes to cool.

  • Use the paper towel to wipe down the inside of the microwave.

2)              A cotton dishcloth

  • Be sure that your dishcloth is made of cotton and remains wet throughout the process or it could melt or catch fire.

  • Soak the cloth in water and place it on the glass turntable

  • Microwave on ‘high’ for 3 to 4 minutes

  • Pay attention to this process – do not walk away from the microwave.

  • Wait for 5 to 10 minutes for the dishcloth to cool down and be careful removing it from the inside of the machine.

  • Use the dishcloth to wipe down the inside of the microwave.

3)              A cup or bowl of water

  • Fill a microwave-safe bowl with warm water and dishwashing liquid, such as Sunlight Dish. You don't need much dish soap, but it's safe to eyeball your guess.

  • Place it in the centre of the glass turntable.

  • Microwave on ‘high’ until the water reaches a rolling boil (2 to 3 minutes on most machines).

  • Pay attention to this process – do not walk away from the microwave.

  • Wait for 5 to 10 minutes while the water cools down.

  • Carefully remove the cup or bowl from the machine and use a cloth or paper towel to wipe down the interior.

  • If there is any stubborn areas that you are struggling to lift the dirt, use an all-purpose cleaner such as Handy Andy, spraying the cleaner directly onto the cloth or sponge and rubbing down the tough areas

With a range of methods available for cleaning a microwave, you’ll be sure to find one that works for you. After the job is done, sit back and admire your immaculately clean, hygienic microwave!

Cleaning the exterior:

  • Use an all-purpose cleaner such as Handy Andy on the exterior. Make sure you spray the cleaner directly onto the cloth or sponge you are using to wipe off the outside, as spraying directly onto the microwave can cause some cleaner to get inside the vent holes.

Originally published