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Think about which kitchen appliance gets the most use in your house and I bet the microwave is right up there. Whether or not you have the best microwave of 2022 or even our top choice for an over-the-range microwave, the appliance’s speed and convenience make it a go-to option for making anything from popcorn to the perfect omelette .
However, thanks to its heavy workload and the types of food cooked inside it, the microwave also requires regular cleaning to keep it in tip-top shape. But, let’s be honest, time gets away from all of us and the mess that builds up behind a closed microwave door often gets forgotten. What started out as a small mess transforms into a massive battle against stuck-on food.
Before you think you need to replace your microwave, stop and take a breath. There are a number of handy ways cleaning experts recommend using to get your microwave looking practically brand new, no matter how gross it is at the moment.
We’ve scoured the internet to find the best microwave cleaning tips for you so you can make light work out of what could be an annoying job.
1. Vinegar + Water = Magic Microwave Cleaner
It’s a formula that seems too easy to be true, but it’s a go-to method for many cleaning experts, including Leslie Reichert, aka The Green Cleaning Coach, who shared it with NBC’s “Today.”
You only need four things to get that grimy mess out of your microwave using this method: water, white vinegar, a microwave-safe bowl and a sponge or microfiber cloth.
From here, a two-step process of heating the bowl full of water and vinegar and then lightly wiping the mess away will get your microwave interior looking neat and tidy. Reichert promises no hard scrubbing is needed, as the heat from the microwave reacting with the solution will do most of the work for you.
2. When Life Gives You Lemons … Use Them To Clean Your Microwave
Another way to clean your microwave without using store-bought chemicals and lots of elbow grease comes from the fruit section of the grocery store.
TheKitchn.com shares both written instructions and a video for this simple trick using lemons and water to steam clean your microwave. In addition to the water and lemon, you’ll want to have a microwave-safe glass measuring cup and a sponge or cloth.
3. Dishwashing Soap Works In the Microwave, Too!
The dishwashing liquid sitting by your sink might be just what you need to get your microwave sparkling clean again. American Home Shield recommends putting a few squirts of dishwashing liquid into a bowl, adding water, and getting the mixture all sudsy with a sponge.
This process is pretty simple but does require a few steps before you really get into scrubbing the stuck-on stuff. The experts at AHS advise removing any loose crumbs and food items before the deep clean to prevent an even bigger mess. Also, you’ll want to remove the microwave’s turntable and give that a good washing in the sink, too!
4. Use Baking Soda
The Maids know all about getting things clean! The foolproof method to microwave mess cleaning from this website is making a paste out of water and baking soda.
The paste acts as a natural abrasive for stubborn stains inside your microwave when you scrub it off with a sponge. Also, if you have some areas that are particularly hard to clean, let the baking soda paste sit on there for about five minutes and let it soften the food residue before wiping.
5. Mr. Clean’s Clean Freak Mist Works Wonders
If you’re looking for a good all-purpose cleaner that also works well for tackling microwave messes, give Clean Freak mist from Mr. Clean a shot. We love a cleaner that is up to multiple tasks around the house and this one is up to all the jobs.
Clean Freak mist somehow manages to be gentle enough to clean smooth stovetops yet has the cleaning power to remove difficult stains from inside the microwave. Trust me, I’ve got personal experience with it!
My mom recommended this product to me a while ago and it wasn’t until I was at her home and used it that I became a believer. I had to clean the microwave after an unfortunate food explosion (sorry, mom!), and this stuff really worked.
You can pick up a 16-ounce spray bottle of Clean Freak and a 30.9-ounce refill bottle together on Amazon for less than $12 total.
Of course, the best way to keep your microwave clean is to wipe up the spills as soon as they happen. But, in those times when you have to walk away, it’s nice to know you have some options to restore your microwave with minimal effort!