How to clean a microwave the safe and easy way

Try these easy tips to remove grease and smells in your microwave

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Do you use your microwave regularly? If you’re looking into safe and easy methods for cleaning your microwave, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you use it for thawing meat, popping popcorn, warming up lunch or leftovers, it’s easy to neglect proper care for the appliance, especially if you’re always on the go. 

Holding back on regular cleaning of your microwave can lead to cross-contamination and the spreading of bacteria. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to get dirt out of it, plus there are various ways you can go around the clean. 

Always wipe down the microwave walls

Microwave walls are often the most targeted area of those pesky splatters and stains, which inevitably retain the smells of the food you heat. 

For a quick and easy clean, wipe down the interiors with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm water. Do this after each use to minimise the need for more frequent, thorough cleans.

How to clean the inside of a microwave quickly

closeup hands, putting bowl of sliced lemon in microwave to clean and deodorise it

If you’re not able to wipe down the walls as often as you can, and some crust has formed around the splatter, you can opt for a stronger mixture that will effectively help soften the dirt.

Here’s a microwave cleaning hack with lemon or vinegar.

What you’ll need:

  • Your main ingredient

    • Option 1: One lemon (can be substituted with lime or orange)

    • Option 2: Two tablespoons of vinegar

  • Two cups of water

  • Microwave-safe bowl

  • Sponge or cloth

  • Detergent

  • Warm water


  1. Mix your ingredients. In your microwave-safe bowl, combine the ingredients of water and your chosen main ingredient (fully squeezed lemon or two tablespoons of vinegar).

  2. Heat your cleaning solution. Set the bowl at the centre of your microwave’s glass plate or turntable. Turn it up on high power for three minutes or until the concoction comes to a boil, effectively steaming the window. 

  3. Let it cool. Allow the mixture to cool in the appliance for another five minutes. Then, take out the bowl.

  4. Wipe clean. With your sponge or cloth, wipe down the sides, scrubbing at any hardened splatters in the process. Don’t forget to get the turntable, floor, and door of the interiors.

  5. Sanitise. Afterwards, sanitise with your detergent and rinse out with warm water.

How to deep clean your microwave

deep cleaning a microwave, removing microwave turntable to wash it

When there’s a little more gunk than you can manage with a quick heat and a wipe down, it may be time for a more thorough clean of your microwave. 

What you’ll need:

  • Paper towels

  • Sponge

  • A bowl of warm water

  • Dishwashing liquid

  • Cloth


  1. Take out the removable pieces. Remove your microwave’s turntable and rack if they’re removable. Wash them normally, as you would glassware.

  2. Do an initial dry clean. With a kitchen paper towel, scrape away any crumbs, splatters, and hardened dirt. This initial wipe should make the next step easier.

  3. Mix your cleaning solution. Add a drop of dishwashing liquid to your bowl of warm water. Dip your sponge in, then stir and squeeze until suds start to foam in the bowl. 

  4. Scrub the microwave. Using your cleaning solution, scrub the walls, top, bottom, and door of the microwave interiors until sufficiently soapy. Buff in circular motions for best results and hard-to-remove dirt. With the same solution, clean the exterior of the microwave. Take care in going over the buttons.

  5. Do one final wash. Once done, rinse away with a damp cloth until free from soap.

  6. Return any removable pieces. As an added layer of cleanliness, dry all the microwave surfaces with another paper towel before returning your turntable.

How to clean your microwave door

wiping microwave oven door with microfibre rag

Sometimes, microwave doors can catch a lot of dirt and grease. It’s important to check for dirt or grease at least once a week to clean.

What you’ll need:

  • Water

  • Baking soda

  • Sponge or cloth

  • Vinegar

For dirty doors:

  1. Prepare your solution. Dip your dampened cloth or sponge in baking soda. 

  2. Wipe thoroughly. Make sure to cover the whole door and its edges where you’ll find the seal.

  3. Rinse with water. No need to go too intense with water; wiping with a clean damp cloth should be enough.

For greasy doors:

  1. Combine your mixture. Create a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. 

  2. Wipe thoroughly. Cover both the front and back windows of your microwave doors.

  3. Rinse with water. A damp cloth should be enough to rinse before wiping the doors dry.

How to keep your microwave clean

Proper care and maintenance for your microwave are easy and don’t require too much effort. 

Putting a paper towel or microwave-safe plastic cover over your food before heating will go a long way in minimising splatters and stains. You can also opt to use a lower wattage when using the appliance to avoid rolling boils spilling over during heating times.

If your schedule is too tight to do regular cleaning, you can always hire a professional cleaner to clean your essential kitchen appliances, from microwaves to ovens or even other areas of your home, in one go.

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FAQs on microwave cleaning

In general, you should thoroughly clean your microwave at least once a week. But you may have to clean it more often if you frequently use your microwave. A good practice is to wipe the interiors with a paper towel after each use to avoid dirt buildup.

Heating lemon in a bowl should help get rid of the smell. You can also opt to clean out the microwave and leave the door open for the day. If the smell persists, you can look into finding odour control services to get the task professionally done.

Microwaves can be cleaned in several ways, depending on your concern.

  • For regular, everyday cleaning, a paper towel should suffice. 
  • For weekly cleaning of stains and splatters, you can use vinegar.
  • For odour control, lemon is your best bet.
  • For deep cleaning, you can opt for dishwashing liquid or window cleaners. Note that you cannot mix these two liquids.
  • For greasy windows, baking soda or vinegar can degrease your microwave.

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