How to Clean a Microwave in Under 10 Minutes

It has seen everything from explosive TV dinners and volcanic bowls of chili to cake mug spills and pasta sauce catastrophes — our microwaves have been through a lot, and it leaves us puzzled by the question: How to clean a microwave? It takes a lot more than an antibacterial wipe or a wet paper towel to get all the drips and drops that have accumulated through the weeks (okay, maybe months) of meals it’s heated. Maybe you’ve used a sponge and soap or perhaps you’ve tried powerful cleaning chemicals in an effort to get it spotless, but there’s a much easier way to clean microwave ovens. It's a method so easy that you probably won’t even need a shopping trip to get the components.

The Best Way to Clean a Microwave

The easiest way to clean a microwave consists of two simple ingredients and a bowl of water. By mixing lemon and vinegar in with the water, you can steam clean microwave ovens and make 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 shown in the video above, halve two lemons and squeeze the juice into a bowl of water. Then add a half cup to one cup of vinegar to the mixture. Microwave the solution for three minutes, but leave it in for another five minutes before removing, for a total of eight minutes. Wipe off the light stains with a paper towel first, then go back through with a paper towel dipped in the solution you made 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 only vinegar too.

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 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 also work wonders when it comes to the best way to clean a microwave. You can use the same method above, minus the vinegar, using these natural deodorizers.

Slice a lemon in half and place its halves 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 and wipe the microwave down.

How to Clean a Microwave With Baking Soda

Whether you’re looking for a new method to clean a microwave or you need a quick, simple fix that doesn’t include the above ingredients, you have quite a few options. It’s possible to clean a microwave with only baking soda and water.

Make a simple paste by combining a half cup to a cup of baking soda (depending on how much of the mixture you need) 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. 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 Easiest Clean Microwave "Hack"

You can also purchase several types of cleaners and cleaning tools to help disinfect and beautify your microwave. You'll save a lot of time and energy with these cleaning hacks.

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! Scroll down to see the best products to clean your microwave.