Microwaves are kind of like a household hack from the 1950s, making cooking and reheating as simple as can be. Cleaning a microwave should be just as easy as they aim to make your life, although sadly this sometimes simply isn’t the case. We’ve all been there – a bag of popcorn stayed in for a bit too long and all of a sudden, you’ve got a mucky kitchen appliance on your hands as well as a burning smell in the house. Cleaning a microwave can be a breeze though, and with our microwave cleaning hacks, you won’t want to put this chore off till later anymore (or maybe just till after the film?)
You can tackle a dirty microwave in three simple steps: Clear out, clean inside, clean outside. These three steps are the easiest way to clean a microwave, but also incredibly effective. The first step is clearing out the turntable and whacking it into the dishwasher on a hot wash. You can also clear out the smell of burnt popcorn by leaving the door open to air it out while you watch your film. (So putting it off does work sometimes!)
The second step is cleaning the inside of your microwave. Grease and splashes of soup or sauce get easily crusted onto the walls, door, and ceiling of your microwave, but even a gentle cleaner such as water and bicarbonate of soda can loosen the spots. Professional cleaner is best for the tougher stuff, but make sure it’s made for kitchens and is food-safe! We’ve got a few hacks for you if the dirt thinks it is there to stay – take a look below for our top tips.
To save you from putting in too much elbow grease, however, we’ve got a sneaky microwave cleaning hack for you. Instead of scrubbing to no avail, just place a small microwave-safe bowl of hot water in your microwave and add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Run the microwave on a high setting for a few minutes until the mix boils, and then leave it for five minutes. When you come back, open the microwave door and simply wipe down the inside. Even greasy residue will be loosened up with this easy trick! To get rid of the vinegary smell, just prop the door open (and maybe crack a window.)
Now for cleaning the outside of your microwave – people don’t get to see your hard work on cleaning the inside of the microwave so let your good work shine through on the outside of the appliance. Luckily, this is also usually an easy last step. Wipe the outside of the microwave with warm water and washing up liquid, and then dry it. Once the turntable has dried you can pop that back in too, and you’re back to your pre-popcorn microwave.
If you’re faced with a real stubborn stain in your microwave, you can make a simple paste out of bicarbonate of soda and water and spread it on the area that’s worst affected. Leave it for a bit, and then try scrubbing again. If the spots are still there, try combining bicarbonate of soda with the vinegar solution mentioned above, and applying that. Professional grease-cutters might end up being your next option if these two don’t work, but store-bought solutions are great and food-safe options.
Our final hack for how to clean a microwave is for stubborn smells. If you’ve aired out the microwave, and it still smells, try one teaspoon of lemon juice in one cup of water microwaved on high for a few minutes. The lemony fresh scent should get rid of any lingering.