When was the last time you gave your microwave a good clean? If it’s a chore you’ve been dreading, I’ve got great news: it’s SO easy to do and doesn’t require any icky chemicals! Here’s how to clean your microwave (naturally!).
The microwave is one of those spots that can get dirty quickly, but it’s easy to ignore. At least, that’s the case for me. (I’m not proud of it, but I admit it!) Luckily, there’s a quick, all-natural way to do it. I’ll show you how to clean a microwave with vinegar and a few other simple ingredients.
An Easy Microwave Cleaning Hack
Food splatters and a lingering odor – sound familiar? The microwave is arguably the hardest-working appliance in the kitchen, and it shows. Food splattering and spilling over occurs frequently, despite our best efforts.
Not only that, but the splatters are microwaved again and again as you cook other foods, causing them to cake onto the sides. They start to smell really funky, and no one wants the chore of cleaning it up!
That is…until now. This microwave cleaning hack takes advantage of the power of your microwave, and it basically cleans itself! My kids will sometimes fight over who gets to clean the microwave instead of doing another cleaning chore—it’s that easy.
I’ve got two methods for you today, and both are sooo simple. You can either clean a microwave with vinegar or use a special scrub cloth. If it’s reallllllyyy caked on, you may find a combination of both to be helpful!
Is your stovetop in need of a good cleaning too? Check out my post on How To Clean A Glass Stove Top to get started.
How to Clean a Microwave Without Vinegar
Here’s the first method I recommend. If you aren’t a fan of vinegar or don’t have any handy, this is a fantastic method!
As you’ll see below, this way of cleaning the microwave is incredibly easy!
Watch the Video
I know it seems hard to believe how simple that is, so I even filmed a quick tutorial so you can see it with your own eyes.
Isn’t it amazing what a few drops of soap and the right cleaning tool will do?
Step by step directions
Now, onto the step by step directions.
Okay but first, I have to show you my dirty microwave.
It’s gross. And really needs a good scrubbing.
The secret sauce for this method is this incredible scrubbing pad. As many long-time readers will know, I’m pretty frugal. And I’ve got to say that this Skrubba scouring pad is worth every single penny!
I love that this is just as (if not more so) effective as traditional scouring pads, but it’s totally scratch-free. I honestly have no idea how they do it, but I use it for cleaning all over the house.
My favorite way to use it? The microwave!
Simply soak the pad in water with a few drops of soap.
Then, remove the glass plate.
Now, wring out the Skrubba pad, and start gently scrubbing! Thanks to the cloth itself, you don’t have to use a TON of elbow grease. Just a light scrub will do unless the food is thickly caked on.
I find that the pad gets into the corners just fine, but if you need something even smaller, I recommend using an old toothbrush.
Once you are done scrubbing, simply grab a paper towel or clean cloth and give it a good wipe.
Don’t forget to do the door too!
See how amazing it looks? And this literally took me less than 5 minutes!
How to Clean a Microwave with Vinegar
This is one of those why-didn’t-I-think-of-that-before cleaning hacks. Once you clean your microwave this natural way, you’ll never go back!
Supplies for Cleaning the Microwave
In fact, you probably already have all the ingredients around. All you need is a few basic items:
Let’s break down the two main ingredients (vinegar and lemon juice) and talk briefly about the role each plays.
Why You Should Clean a Microwave with Vinegar
Vinegar may seem like an odd choice for cleaning, but it’s a highly effective one.
Because it’s super acidic, vinegar can fight against build-up and dissolve messes way better than water on its own.
I recommend using white vinegar for this microwave cleaning hack. It’s inexpensive and works the best, so I keep a big jug of it on hand at all times!
Why You Should Clean a Microwave with Lemon
If you don’t have lemon juice, you can skip it. However, I highly recommend you use lemon to clean the microwave if you can.
It helps neutralize the strong vinegar smell, which is reason enough, but it has additional all-natural cleaning power.
Lemon adds even more acidity to the vinegar-based cleaning solution. It also can act as a natural bleach, which is perfect for getting your appliance squeaky clean.
How to Clean the Microwave with Vinegar and Lemon
First, fill a large microwavable bowl (I recommend glass) with about a cup of water. Tap water will work just fine for this cleaning hack.
Next, add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of vinegar. This isn’t an exact science, and I kind of eyeball it. If the microwave is really gross, I’ll add a bit more.
Next, add in a bit of lemon juice. About two tablespoons is a good starting point, but again, you can add more if it’s extra gross. Just keep the ratio of vinegar to lemon juice higher.
Heat the Mixture
Now that your cleaning solution is all made, it’s time to put it to work.
I can’t believe I’m actually posting this for all the world to see, but here it is – my very dirty microwave before cleaning. Eek!
Gross, right? Not for long, thanks to this microwave cleaning hack. 🙂
Next, put the bowl of vinegar mixture into the microwave.
Heat for 3-4 minutes. Then let it sit for 2-3 minutes undisturbed. This process will produce steam that will help clean the gunk off of your microwave for you.
Remove the bowl. The water mixture will be really hot, so be careful not to burn yourself.
Wipe Down the Walls
Now take your cleaning rag (or paper towel) and wipe down the walls. The vinegar and steam have already helped to loosen food & grime, so for the most part, all you need is a quick wipe.
For tougher spots, you can dip your cleaning rag into the hot vinegar water (carefully!) and then wipe the area down with the wet rag.
You can also put the vinegar/water bowl back into the microwave and heat again for 1 minute at a time to add more steam if your microwave is really dirty (like mine) and it takes longer to wipe out.
Use a Toothbrush to Get Cracks and Corners Extra Clean
Another tip – use a toothbrush for the little cracks and corners. Just dip it into the bowl of solution and clean the microwave with vinegar by scrubbing the corners.
Wipe Down the Outside
While you have the cleaning solution and a rag handy, go ahead and wipe down the outside of the appliance too.
Now check out your nicely cleaned microwave! And you didn’t have to buy expensive cleaners with chemicals either!
(My microwave isn’t sparkling clean, but it’s also 10 years old.)
With such a simple, natural way to clean your microwave, you can do it regularly. It usually takes me just a couple of minutes to heat up the vinegar and 30 seconds to wipe it out. Easy!
Which one of these methods will you try first to get your microwave squeaky clean?
Pin the image below to find the instructions later!