How to Clean a Microwave
If you’re like most busy people, you probably use your microwave on a fairly regular basis. After all, microwaves are great for heating up quick meals without the hassle of firing up the stove or oven. When was the last time you actually took a look inside your microwave, though? If you go and take a look right now, there’s a good chance you’ll find all kinds of nasty crumbs, splatters, and debris. It’s easy to overlook the messes inside our microwaves because once the door is closed, they’re out of sight (and out of mind!).
Still, if you haven’t cleaned your microwave recently—or if you legitimately can’t remember the last time you cleaned your microwave—it’s time to set aside 20 minutes of your time for this important cleaning task if you don’t have a maid service that does it for you!
Reasons to Clean Your Microwave
Nobody enjoys cleaning a microwave any more than they enjoy any other tedious household cleaning tasks, but it’s important for both the longevity of the appliance itself and your health.
Over time, the inside of your microwave can accumulate crumbs and food debris. It is also common for sauces and other liquids to splatter in the microwave, leaving crusted-on stains throughout the interior. If your microwave gets dirty enough, this could even begin to affect the flavor of your food (yuck!). Taking the time to clean your microwave as needed will ensure that your food tastes like it should, that you minimize bacteria growth inside your microwave, and that this important kitchen appliance is properly maintained.
How Often to Clean Your Microwave
The frequency with which your microwave needs to be cleaned will depend on a few factors, such as how often you use it and how messy you get with your microwave use! If you use your microwave daily to heat up messy foods, such as pastas and other dishes that are likely to leave crumbs/splatters, then you’ll need to clean it more often. If you don’t use your microwave as frequently or tend to use it for foods that don’t leave much of a mess, you may be able to get away with a deep-cleaning only every few months.
Generally, it’s best to get into the habit of wiping down the inside of your microwave each time you clean your kitchen. From there, a monthly or bi-monthly deep-cleaning may suffice.
Best Methods For Cleaning Your Microwave
There are several effective methods for cleaning a microwave that don’t involve the use of harsh chemicals. While store-bought kitchen cleaners can be used to clean a microwave, it’s generally best to avoid using these unless all other attempts have failed. After all, harsh chemical cleaners can leave residue that could affect the taste of your food.
Wet Paper Towels
If you don’t have a lot of caked-on residue inside your microwave, try this easy method that involves soaking several paper towels with water and wringing them out. Then, place the damp paper towels inside your microwave and run the appliance for a few minutes under close supervision. This will create steam that will help to loosen debris from the inside of your microwave. From there, you should be able to easily wipe the interior clean and throw away the paper towels after you’re done.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
For more difficult debris and splatter, vinegar and baking soda can be an extremely effective microwave cleaner. Begin by adding two tablespoons of baking soda to two cups of warm water. Once this is dissolved, use a sponge to wipe down the interior of the microwave before moving onto the next step involving white vinegar.
Add equal parts warm water and white vinegar to a microwave-safe bowl before placing it in the microwave and running it for about three minutes. After time has run out, leave the microwave door closed for about 10 minutes; this will allow the steam, baking soda, and vinegar to really get to work.
After 10 minutes, open the door and wipe down all the inside components of the microwave. Even the most difficult of caked-on food debris should wipe right away!
Lemon Juice and Water
A little lemon juice can go a long way in cleaning your microwave, too. Start by slicing a whole lemon in half and placing both sides down on a microwave-safe plate. Add about a tablespoon of water to the plate before microwaving it all for about a minute. This will produce a steam that will not only make wiping down the inside of your microwave easier, but will leave it smelling fresh as well.
Once you’re done cleaning your microwave, you can toss the lemons down your garbage disposal and run it for a few seconds to refresh and deodorize it as well!
No matter which of these methods you end up using to clean the inside of your microwave, you should also take measures to clean your microwave’s exterior as well as any removable components. Many microwaves, for example, have a removable dish that sits on a carousel inside for even cooking. It is best to remove this and wash it in your dish washer or by-hand to remove caked-on food.
You can also wipe down your microwave’s exterior using a clean sponge and a mixture of warm water and dish soap. This is usually the best way to remove grease and other debris, even from stainless steel microwaves. If you have a stainless steel microwave, you may also want to use a stainless polishing wipe for added shine.
Some microwaves have built-in range hood filters, and these should be cleaned out regularly as well to cut down on odors. Check your owner’s manual to find out how to remove your filter, then soak the filter in a mixture of hot water and dish soap for 30 minutes. From there, use a scrub brush or sponge to wipe away any remaining residue and dry completely before putting the filter back in place.
Ready to Spend Less Time Cleaning?
Cleaning your microwave typically won’t take more than 20-30 minutes of your time, but if you’re already bogged down with cleaning tasks and other household chores, that 20-30 minutes can seem like a lifetime.
Hiring a professional cleaning company to handle the bulk of your household cleaning can free up valuable time so you can spend it doing things you enjoy. Plus, professional house-cleaning is more affordable than you might think. Maid Sailors offers a wide range of cleaning services to suit your exact needs with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so book your service today or contact us to learn more!