Our microwaves go through a lot — everything from explosive TV dinners and volcanic bowls of chili to cake mug spills and pasta sauce catastrophes. That amount of cooking action can leave us puzzled by one nagging question: How do you clean it?
It takes a bit more than a wet paper towel to get all the drips and drops that have accumulated through the weeks (okay, maybe months) of heating meals. Maybe you’ve tried powerful cleaning chemicals in an effort to get it spotless, but there are much easier ways to clean your microwave. In fact, some methods are so simple, you probably won’t even need a shopping trip to get the supplies.
The easiest way to clean a microwave involves a simple mixture of lemon and vinegar in a regular bowl of water. This helps you steam clean microwaves and makes the pesky task of getting every speck of food off much easier. Thanks to the acidity of the vinegar and lemons, removing dirt and bacteria becomes a breeze. Watch our video below for a step-by-step guide to getting those hard-to-remove spots off.
As the video shows, you start by squeezing the juice of two lemons into a bowl of water. Then add a half to one cup of vinegar to the mixture. Pop the solution into your microwave and let it heat for three minutes — and sit in there for another five minutes after. Wipe off the light stains with a paper towel first, then go back through with a paper towel dipped in the solution to get heavier stains off. Once this is finished, pour the remaining solution on the glass plate, then wipe off with a paper towel. Your microwave is now good as new in under 10 minutes!
How to Clean a Microwave With Vinegar
What if you don’t have lemons? Don’t worry! If you have any other citrus fruits, such as oranges or limes, those will work just as well. But if your fruit drawer is empty, you can easily clean your microwave with just vinegar.
Fill a bowl up with water and add about a half cup to one cup of vinegar. Microwave for three minutes, then keep it in for another five. Once you remove the bowl, take a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe out the inside of the microwave. Similar to the lemon and vinegar solution, you can dip the cloth in the mixture for extra cleaning power against the pieces that are really stuck on the walls. (If you want to learn how to clean your Keurig, it’s a little more complicated — but you can still do it with vinegar!)
How to Clean a Microwave With Lemon
No vinegar? Lemons can get the job done on their own, too. You can use a similar method as above with these these natural deodorizers.
Slice a lemon in half and place both pieces open side down in the microwave. Put a small bowl or cup of water inside the microwave alongside them. Microwave for five minutes, and leave in for another five to seven minutes, so the inside can marinate in the steam. Carefully remove the lemons and water, then wipe the microwave down.
How to Clean a Microwave With Baking Soda
Whether you’re looking for another quick, simple fix that doesn’t include any of the ingredients we listed above, you still have quite a few options. For example, it’s possible to clean a microwave with only baking soda and water.
Make a paste by combining a half to a cup of baking soda and about three tablespoons of water. Stir until it becomes a thick, gritty paste. Spread the paste around the inside of your microwave, then place a bowl of water inside and heat for five minutes. You can also include vinegar and lemon in the water for extra cleaning power.
After heating the microwave, leave everything in for another five to seven minutes, so the steam can kick in. Wipe off the remaining grime and grease with a paper towel dipped in the warm water. This same method works for cleaning your oven and stove top too. (If you want to clean your deep fryer, you’ll need a little more elbow grease!)
The Best Microwave Cleaning Products
Of course, there’s no shame in using a pre-made cleaning product or a fun little steamer that will do most of the work for you! You can purchase several types of tools to help disinfect and beautify your microwave. Just like the DIY methods above, they will definitely help you save a lot of time and energy.
Keep scrolling to see the best products to keep your microwave clean.
Easy Clean Microwave
Angry Mama Microwave Oven Cleaner
We love the adorably funny steam cleaner. She’s a convenient little tool that replaces the bowl used for steaming your microwave, and she’s small enough to store away in a kitchen drawer. Simply add water and vinegar (or even just water), and microwave for seven minutes. She makes cleaning easier — and a lot more fun.
Where to buy: $7.99, Amazon
Clean Microwave With Vinegar
Weiman Microwave & Cook Top Wipes
This cleaning product is perfect to use when guests are coming over or you need to whip out a speedy scrub. With one swipe, these seemingly magical wipes will remove any grease, food, or unknown “objects” from your microwave and stovetop. Even if you haven’t given them a good clean in quite some time, these wipes will still make miracles happen in front of you.
Where to buy: 4-Pack for $27.30, Amazon
Clean Microwave With Lemon
Safe Solutions TweetMint Enzyme Cleaner
For an all-natural option that comes already made, this enzymatic cleanser will work wonders. This 16-ounce bottle of biodegradable, pH balanced mixture works on all surface types, including wood, glass, ceramic, and carpet. It has a refreshing mint scent and is non-toxic to people, pets, and plants.
Where to buy: $35, Amazon
Best Microwave Cleaner
Glisten Microwave Cleaner with Foaming Power
It may look like an ordinary sponge, but this is a double-whammy cleaning tool. Instead of grabbing a paper towel or rag to wipe up the stains after steaming your microwave, this sponge acts as both the steamer and the scrubber.
Where to buy: $6.50, Amazon
Tovolo Vented Collapsible Microwave Cover
If you're looking to stop microwave stains before they even start, this handy cover is the perfect solution. You can keep it inside the microwave so it's always ready to keep any food you're heating up from splattering all over the place.
Where to buy: $7.99, Amazon