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How to Clean a Microwave Using Vinegar

Say goodbye to scary splatters.

Raise your hand if you've ever been personally victimized by a disgusting microwave? It might have been that communal microwave in your office that no one will go near. Or maybe you've cracked open your own microwave only to be horrified by the sight (and smell) of food splatters all over its shiny interior. It only takes one plate of leftover lasagna to take your microwave from bright and shiny to greasy and grimy. Lucky for you, there's a simple and effective cleaning method that will make all your microwave woes go away. Read on to learn how to clean your microwave using a kitchen pantry staple: vinegar.

Lemon cleaning solution in microwave

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How Often Should You Clean Your Microwave

In order to avoid a scary microwave situation, it's best to give it a quick clean every week or whenever visible splattering occurs. While this might seem like overkill, regular cleaning will prevent you from having to do more scrubbing later. Not to mention a dirty microwave can be harboring a plethora of germs, and leftover food bits could be contaminating whatever you're nuking today. Cleaning your microwave regularly not only prevents unsightly splatters but it's also an important part of keeping your kitchen germ-free.

Here's What You’ll Need

  • Microwave-safe glass bowl or 2-cup glass measuring cup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • Several lemon or lime slices or lemon/lime juice
  • Toothpick or wooden spoon
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towel

Clean the Interior:

  1. Add water, vinegar, and citrus to a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup. The citrus fruit will help to deodorize as well as loosen grime and food bits.
  2. Place the bowl or measuring cup in the microwave. Add a wooden spoon or a toothpick to the bowl. This is a precautionary step to prevent the mixture from superheating and exploding.
  3. Run your microwave for five minutes, allowing the mixture to reach a boil and release steam. Once the time is up, allow the bowl to sit in the microwave with the door closed for another five minutes.
  4. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the bowl or measuring cup from the microwave.
  5. Remove the turntable from the microwave and hand wash it using dish soap, warm water, and a sponge.
  6. Using a damp sponge, wipe down the interior walls of the microwave (don't forget the ceiling!) and the inside of the door. If the microwave still feels greasy, dip the sponge back into the vinegar mixture and give it another wipe.
  7. Give the microwave a final wipe down using a dry paper towel and lock the turntable back into place.

Clean the Exterior:

  1. Dip a sponge in a sudsy mix of dish soap and water or spray an all-purpose cleaner directly onto a sponge. Be sure not to spray any cleaning solution directly onto the microwave, as it may get into the inner workings of the microwave.
  2. Use the damp sponge to wipe down the exterior of the microwave, including the control panel, door handle, and door.
  3. Rinse with a clean sponge or dish towel, and buff dry using a clean dish towel or paper towel.

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Melanie Fincher

About Melanie Fincher

A Georgia native eating my way through the South. When I’m not eating it I’m probably writing about it.