How to clean your microwave without breaking a sweat
- February 11, 2023
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It’s deep cleansing day. After vacuuming the floors, wiping down the counters, and taking out the trash, you’re feeling pretty good. You reward yourself by reheating some leftovers in the microwave, only to see the inside has taken on a Jackson Pollock splattered look from that red sauce you whipped up last week. Let’s face it: it’s time to tackle the task of cleaning the microwave, a chore that’s been put off for far too long. You can do it.
How to clean your microwave:
The good news: You probably don’t need to buy cleaning supplies — most of what you need is probably already in your pantry. To deal with the mess inside the microwave, we need to make a magic potion to dissolve and soften the wanton grease and grime. This can be done with vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda, but let’s start with vinegar. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp. white vinegar and 2 cups of water. Place this water solution in the dirty microwave and cook for 5 minutes until the concoction starts to bubble.
Leave the bowl in the microwave for 15 minutes before opening the door. You will see condensation forming which will help loosen the dirt and essentially steam clean the build. Carefully (wearing oven mitts) remove the hot bowl, glass top and turntable from the microwave and begin wiping the interior with a microfiber towel. If dirt and stuck-on food remain, dip a sponge in the cleaning solution and gently scrub; or use a damp cloth and some dish soap or diluted bleach to spot-treat particularly stubborn stains. Apply the same treatment to your turntable and glass top outside of the microwave. When you’re done scrubbing, put all the parts back together and the inside of your microwave should shine like new.
If you don’t have vinegar in your pantry (or want something else to neutralize the burnt popcorn smell), use lemon juice instead. To do this, combine the juice of 1 lemon with 1 cup of water. And if you want to spice it up with an even more neutral scent, might I suggest baking soda? The process is essentially the same: mix 2 tbsp. Baking soda with 1 cup water, heat the liquid for 5 minutes, leave for 15 minutes and scrub.
Don’t forget to clean the outside of your microwave as well. Dip your sponge, eraser, or towel in the same solution you used to clean the inside of the microwave and wipe down the sides of the microwave, including the microwave door. Dry any remaining moisture with a paper towel or a clean cloth. Step back and admire how your microwave shines.
How often should I really clean?
Let’s face it – most of us don’t wipe down our microwave after every use. However, if it’s a common kitchen appliance, you want to make sure your appliance doesn’t become a cozy home for growing bacteria. Add microwave cleaning to your weekly list. Your next soup will thank you.