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How to clean a microwave oven: 5 easy hacks

Taste | 7 minute read |

Do you put off cleaning your microwave until it’s absolutely covered in mess? It’s easy to keep microwave messes hidden when you close its door, but what about the odours and bacteria? Evaporated grease, spills, and splatters can leave mixed smells of old food that can spoil the dishes you cook in the future.

Cleaning your microwave oven is easy. It only takes about 20 minutes, and there are a variety of methods you can try depending on the available materials you have. Electrolux Philippines provides five easy ways on how to clean a microwave oven.

1. How to clean a microwave oven with lemon

 

Step 1: Prepare the necessary equipment

 

Here are what you will need: 

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of water
  • Microfibre cloth

Step 2: Loosen up the juices in the lemon

 

The juices in the lemon can be loosen up by being repeatedly rolled on the table or rubbed with your palms.  

Step 3: Squeeze the lemon juice into a microwave-safe bowl

 

Cut it in half and squeeze the juice into a microwave-safe bowl. Add one cup of water. Leave the lemon halves in the bowl too.

Step-by-step guide to using your microwave oven

 

Step 4: Run the bowl inside microwave for five minutes

 

Place the bowl inside your microwave and run it on high for five minutes. Once done, let it sit there for 10 more minutes so the steam coats all parts of the cavity. The lemon also acts as a natural deodoriser, removing odours and making the microwave smell fresh.

Step 5: Clean both the interior and exterior with the lemon-water solution

 

Unplug the microwave. Carefully remove the hot bowl and the turntable. Dip a microfibre cloth in the lemon-water solution, then wipe down the microwave interior and turntable. With a clean cloth, wipe dry both the interior and exterior.

Lemon is also a popular eco-friendly fridge deodorizer. Check out our post about how to deodorize a smelly refrigerator with lemon and other natural odour absorbers.

2. How to clean a microwave oven with dish soap

 

Step 1: Prepare the necessary equipment

 

Here are what you will need: 

  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Sponge
  • Microfibre cloths

Step 2: Take out all removable parts

 

Start the process by taking out all removable parts, including the turntable and rack, for hand washing with dish soap.

Step 3: Remove food bits and crumbs from the microwave interior

 

With a damp cloth, briefly wipe the interior to remove food bits and crumbs before deep cleaning it. 

Step 4: Deep cleaning the interior with dish soap

 

In a bowl, mix warm water and dish soap. Agitate so it foams up, then dip your sponge. Wipe in circular motions, starting from the top then moving downwards. The warm soapy solution will absorb grease. Make sure to avoid the vents. 

Step 5: Remove soapy substance & clean the exterior

 

With a fresh damp cloth, wipe the interior again to remove the soapy substance. Don’t forget the microwave exterior. Finally, wipe everything dry with a clean cloth. This also prevents streaking.  

3. How to remove the smell from a microwave with baking soda


Heat the food

 

Step 1: Prepare the necessary equipment

 

Here are what you will need: 

  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Microfibre cloths

Step 2: Microwave baking soda-water resolution for five minutes

 

Mix baking soda and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave this on high for five minutes. Baking soda is tough enough to remove stubborn odours and loosen up grime. 

Step 3: Take out all removable parts and clean with damp cloth

 

Unplug the microwave. Carefully remove the bowl, the turntable, and support rollers. 

Give the microwave a good wipe down with a damp cloth, including the turntable. For really stubborn grime, gently scrub them off with a cloth dipped in the baking soda solution.

Step 4: Clean the microwave exterior

 

Return the turntable, then wipe the microwave exterior with a dry cloth.

4. How to get rid of microwave smell with white vinegar

 

Step 1: Prepare the necessary equipment

 

Here are what you will need: 

  • 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • Microfibre cloths
  • Essential oil (optional)

Step 2: Microwave vinegar-water resolution for five minutes

 

Mix vinegar and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Don’t like the vinegar smell? Add a few drops of essential oil. Place it in your microwave and run on high for five minutes. If ever it slightly boils over, let it. Best not to pause the steaming process to effectively soften all the grime.

Step 3: Wait for 10 minutes before taking out removable parts for cleaning

 

When it’s done, let it sit for 10 more minutes. Unplug the microwave, and remove the bowl, the support rollers, and turntable. 

Using a damp microfibre cloth, gently wipe all parts of the microwave cavity, including the turntable. Avoid the vents.

Step 4: Clean the microwave exterior

 

Wipe the microwave exterior with a dry microfibre cloth.

>>> Read more: How to use a microwave oven effectively and safely


5. How to clean microwave oven door with a window cleaner

 

Step 1: Prepare the necessary equipment

 

Here are what you will need: 

  • 1 cup ammonia-free window cleaner
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 2: Combine warm water and window cleaner

 

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine equal parts warm water and window cleaner. Dip a sponge in this solution and squeeze. It should be damp, not wet.

Step 3: Clean the microwave oven door

 

Wipe both the interior and the exterior of your microwave door to get rid of grease and grime. Ensure you’ve placed your microwave in an area without direct sunlight, otherwise, you might cause streaking. Wipe dry both sides with a dry microfiber cloth.

*Disclaimer: Professional oven cleaners might be required to provide the best care for your microwave oven surface.

How to clean microwave

 

How often should you clean your microwave oven?

 

On average, once-a-week deep cleans are enough to keep odours and bacteria at bay. If you frequently use your microwave or you don’t wipe messes promptly, you may need to do more. You can even clean it once a month if you practise good cleaning habits.

Always remember: The more that you regularly clean small messes, the less will you have to stress on big ones. Never let spills sit in there for too long.

How to clean microwave

 

>>> Check out more cleaning tips from Electrolux:

5. FAQs about how to clean a microwave oven

  • 1. How to clean microwave oven door?
    You can clean microwave oven door with a window cleaner. First, combine equal parts of warm water and ammonia-free window cleaner. Dip a sponge in this solution and squeeze (make sure it’s damp, not wet). Wipe both the interior and the exterior of your microwave door. Lastly, wipe dry both sides with a dry microfiber cloth.
  • 2. How often should I clean my microwave oven?
    Once-a-week deep cleans are enough to keep odours and bacteria at bay, while once a month will do as well if you practise good cleaning habits.
  • 3. How do I know if my bowls are microwave-safe?
    The proper utensils which can be used for microwave cooking are those that have a statement printed “microwave safe” at the base of the utensils. Metal utensils and utensils with metallic trim should not be used in the microwave, unless specifically recommended for microwave use.

Six extra tips on how to keep your microwave smelling fresh for longer

 

Always cover food

 

With a bowl, a paper towel or a plastic microwave-safe cloche, cover food to contain splatters or airborne grease. This greatly minimises clean-ups.

 

Step-by-step guide to using your microwave oven

 

Take note of spill- and splatter-prone food

 

Sauces, milk, and fatty food can easily splatter or boil over. Aside from covering them, place a plate underneath to catch spills.

 

Wipe spills promptly

 

Make this a habit by having a roll of paper towel nearby. This makes it easier for you to clean, and harder to ignore the mess.

 

Power down

 

High power settings can make food boil over or splatter. Use a lower wattage and just extend heating time.

 

Leave the door open

 

This reduces moisture and odours, especially after reheating or cooking food with strong smells.

 

Step-by-step guide to using your microwave oven

 

Don’t forget the exterior

 

Wipe down the door, handle, touchpad, the other parts outside and underneath your microwave. These can get oily if you frequently have greasy food.

 

Verdict: Just start

Ever the handy kitchen appliance, a microwave oven is a time-saving appliance that you can use to conveniently cook food. Cleaning it is actually as effortless too. All you need are some pantry staples and, most importantly, the willingness to start. Now that you know how to clean your microwave oven, it’s all up to you.

Need something easier? This 23L grill microwave oven from Electrolux UltimateTaste 300 series you do quick work of keeping it fresh with its built-in deodoriser function. After every use, remove odours with the push of a button and voilà — you’re ready to cook your next dish.

Explore more high-quality microwave ovens from Electrolux:

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  • 8 pre-set programs expertly cook a range of foods.
  • Wide turntable for cooking larger dishes.
  • Defrost setting for quick and even food thawing.
Learn More
Discover now

Check out more tips on how to choose a microwave oven for your kitchen.

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