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4 Simple Microwave Cleaning Hacks That Work!

Try these 4 simple methods of cleaning your microwave!  These hacks go beyond just cleaning the splatters, by also taming your super-smelly microwave.

How to clean a microwave

Home microwave ovens have been popular for over fifty years. In 1967, the Amana Radarange first went on the market. Now, it’s hard to find an American kitchen without a microwave. And it’s also hard to find an American that doesn’t have a story to tell of an exploding bowl of spaghetti, or some other similar microwave catastrophe. Do you try your best not to look around the inside of yours when you’re putting food in or taking it out? If it’s used, often or not, it more than likely needs a good scrubbing. But don’t worry, a dirty microwave is not a big deal. We’re going to show you the best way to clean a microwave using four different methods. And we’re not just talking about a surface cleaning — these hacks go beyond the splatters to tame super-smelly microwaves, too!

Hack #1: Cleaning With Vinegar

  1. Using a microwave-safe bowl or large glass measuring cup, fill it with two cups of water and two tablespoons of vinegar. You can add one drop of your favorite essential oil to lessen the smell of the vinegar, if you want. Place the container in the microwave.
  2. Turn the microwave on high for five minutes. You want it to get really steamy in there. Don’t open the door for another fifteen minutes, to make sure all the baked-on grime has softened.
  3. Carefully remove the container. Note: It might be hot.
  4. Remove the turntable, and wipe it down with a clean rag.
  5. Wipe down the sides, door, bottom and top of the inside of the microwave with paper towels or a rag, being sure to avoid getting any liquid in the vents. If spots remain, use a sponge dipped in the water/vinegar solution.
  6. Replace the turntable.

Hack #2: Cleaning With Lemon

  1. Take one lemon and squeeze it to get it a little mushy. Then, cut it in half.
  2. Place about one cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl or large glass measuring cup.
  3. Squeeze as much lemon juice as you can out of each half of the lemon into the water.
  4. Drop the squeezed lemon halves into the water, as well.
  5. Place the container in the microwave, and run it on high for five to ten minutes.
  6. Let it stand for another five minutes. Then, open the door and carefully remove the bowl. Note: It might be hot.
  7. Remove the turntable, wipe it clean with a dishcloth and then wipe all the surfaces of the inside of the microwave with the dishcloth.
  8. Replace the turntable.

Hack #3: Cleaning With Soap

The hands-on method:

  1. Put some dishwashing liquid in a bowl of warm water. Soak and squeeze a sponge in the bowl until the water gets full of suds.
  2. Remove the turntable and scrub it in the sink with the soapy sponge. Rinse it off and let it dry.
  3. Try to remove all the crumbs from the inside of the microwave with a damp paper towel or rag.
  4. Use the soapy sponge to scrub the inside surfaces, starting with the top. Using a circular motion, coat the top, sides, bottom and door with suds, being careful not to get them in the vents. Repeat with clean suds to make sure all the grime is gone.
  5. Wipe down all the surfaces with a damp paper towel to remove the suds, being careful not to get water in the vents.
  6. Now, wipe everything with a dry paper towel or rag to avoid streaking.
  7. Replace the turntable.

The hands-off method:

  1. Put some dishwashing liquid in a microwave-safe bowl and fill it with warm water. If your microwave needs to be deodorized, add a little baking soda to the mixture.
  2. Place the bowl in the microwave and run it on high for five minutes.
  3. Let it stand for another five minutes. Then, remove the bowl. Note: It might be hot.
  4. Take the turntable out and wipe it off with a damp sponge and dry it with a paper towel.
  5. Wipe down the surfaces of the microwave with the damp sponge and dry them with a paper towel.
  6. Replace the turntable.

Hack #4: Cleaning With Window Cleaner

AHS Insight: Most window cleaners contain ammonia, which should never be mixed with other household cleaners.
  1. Take a microwave-safe bowl and spray about ten pumps of window cleaner in it, or about a two-second pour, and then add about a cup of water.
  2. Spray the inside of the microwave with window cleaner –– especially on baked-on, large spills.
  3. Place the bowl in the microwave and run it on high for about five minutes.
  4. Wait about five minutes and carefully remove the bowl. Note: It might be hot.
  5. Remove the turntable and wipe it clean first with a damp paper towel, and then with a dry one.
  6. Do the same with the inside surfaces of the microwave, starting at the top and working your way to the bottom. Make sure you wipe it completely dry.
  7. Replace the turntable.

Doesn’t that squeaky-clean microwave make you proud? Now, to keep your microwave clean — and avoid stuck-on messes and smells — wipe down the inside weekly and clean up spills and splatters as soon as they happen. Want to ensure your microwave stays in tip-top shape? Get it covered with an American Home Shield® Home Warranty.

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