How to get your dirty microwave clean again. The good old microwave makes it easy to heat up food from the day before or quickly defrost meat that you forgot to put out before processing. But as much work as the appliance does for us, it unfortunately also does when soup splashes or food residue contaminate the interior. This not only looks bad, but also smells unpleasant and, after a while, impairs the performance of the beloved kitchen gadget.
In many cases, a cloth is sufficient to remove the dirt. However, if the residue is stuck and has long since dried up, even the best rag won’t help. And so that you don’t have to resort to chemicals right away, you can read here how to get your microwave sparkling clean again with very simple and natural home remedies.
Cleaning the microwave with vinegar
And there it is again – our friend and helper when it comes to dirt removal in a natural way: vinegar! When it is heated in the microwave with water, steam is created that dissolves even dried-on food residues and splashes, which can then be conveniently wiped out. Our tip: If the smell of vinegar is a bit too pungent for you, a slice of lemon can help, which you can simply add.
How it works:
- Pour water into a deep plate or cup and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar or vinegar essence (and optionally the slice of lemon).
- Put the plate or cup in the microwave and run it on high for 5-10 minutes
- Let everything cool down and wipe away the softened food residues with a damp cloth
Clean microwave with lemon
If you can’t stand the smell of vinegar at all, simply replace the vinegar completely with lemons.
It goes like this:
- Cut a fresh lemon into slices
- Put the slices on a deep plate and fill it with water.
- Put the plate into the appliance and turn on the highest setting for about 5 minutes.
- Let it cool down and wipe out the interior with a soft cloth and optionally some dishwashing liquid.
By the way, you can also use this trick on a clean microwave to simply provide a lovely scent.
Cleaning the microwave with dishwashing detergent
Dishwashing detergent has proven to be just as effective as vinegar or lemon against heavy soiling – and you really do always have it on hand. And even better:
The dishwashing method is the quickest among our tips and also works by steam.
- Fill a deep dish or cup with water and add a dash of dishwashing liquid.
- Heat the whole thing on the highest setting in the microwave – 1 minute is quite enough here
- Let everything cool down with the microwave door closed. Then the steam will soak in nicely.
- Remove the remains with a damp cloth or microfiber cloth
Cleaning the outside of the microwave
To ensure that the beautiful inner values of the appliance are also visible from the outside, you should also keep the microwave clean from the outside. Depending on where you have placed your microwave, a damp cloth is sufficient to wipe away dust deposits. If the appliance is close to the hob, you may also see a splash or two of grease. In this case – just like for the interior – a mixture of water and vinegar is a good solution: Dampen a cloth with the resulting liquid and wipe it over the surfaces.
Tips for long-lasting cleanliness
- The best way to avoid cleaning is to have nothing to clean in the first place! Cover your dishes with foil or a special microwave lid before heating them.
- To prevent small splashes from turning into stubborn encrustations, remove all debris quickly.
- Clean your microwave at regular intervals – as needed, but at least once a month.
- After each cleaning, leave the microwave door open so that the interior can dry properly.