How to clean your microwave with a few pantry staples
When life gives you lemons, use them to clean your microwave. When you boil lemon juice inside your microwave, the lemon-steam cuts grease and clears out old-food odors. Sounds intimidating? Think again—it’s actually one of the easiest things to do in your kitchen.
Table of contentsWhat You’ll Need:A quick internal clean in 3 easy stepsFor stuck-on greaseRemoving odorWhat to avoid
What You’ll Need:
Vinegar (distilled white vinegar or apple cider)
Citrus (lemons, limes, or oranges)
Sponge or cloth
A quick internal clean in 3 easy steps
Halve a few of the citrus fruits of your choice and squeeze them into about half a cup of water, in a microwave-safe bowl. Drop the citrus halves into the water and place the bowl in the microwave.
Alternatively, if you have vinegar or dish soap on hand, combine 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar or one teaspoon of dish soap with one cup of water.
Microwave the lemon water solution or mixture of choice for a few minutes on high power until the mixture begins to boil and the window fogs up (2-10 minutes). Stop, but leave the door closed.
Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes before opening the door. Carefully remove the bowl or container (and turntable if applicable) using oven mitts. Wipe down the interior of the microwave with a clean sponge.
For stuck-on grease
For a simple microwave window cleaning, make a cleaning solution of equal parts vinegar and water and tackle problem areas.
For a deeper clean, scrub with dish soap and water.
When food still won’t come off, make a paste of baking soda and water and spread over the stain. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then use a damp cloth to wipe off. Be sure to avoid getting any liquid in the vents.
On a daily basis, it helps to get in the habit of leaving the door open after heating up food. When simple ventilation is not enough, fill a bowl with baking soda and close the door when not in use. A deep internal clean is key to minimizing odor-causing residue. An odor-absorbing gel can help with stronger odors between uses.
Another option is heating a sponge saturated with water, a drop of soap, and a drop of the essential oil of your choice for two minutes. Carefully wipe down with the sponge after.
What to avoid
Bleach is a big no-no when cleaning a microwave. It can break down the plastics and other materials that comprise the appliance.
Cleaning a microwave may actually be one of simplest kitchen cleaning tasks to take on. It requires minimal products that you likely already have—no heavy-duty chemicals here. For everyday upkeep, wipe away splatters after heating and to avoid stuck-on residue. Don’t be intimidated: but the sooner you clean, the easier it will be.
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