People use microwaves to heat food, melt ingredients, or make mug cakes. It’s one of the most versatile kitchen appliances. Unfortunately, even if you’re careful, your microwave will catch a lot of food crumbs, stains, and grease, which is why cleaning your microwave oven regularly is crucial. Do you know how to clean a microwave oven, though? It may sound easy, but there’s more to it than rubbing its surface with a sponge. Don’t worry. This post highlights the ins and outs of cleaning a microwave oven, the supplies you need to use, and how often you should do it.
How to Clean the Interior of Your Microwave Oven?
Cleaning the interior of your microwave oven is the most important part of the process, as it’s where most of the food crumbs and greasy stains reside. You need to take specific, deliberate steps to clean it properly.
Use Appropriate Cleaning Supplies
There are different ways to clean your microwave, but your supplies depend on the method you want to follow. We decided to use the classic water and vinegar method for this guide. It’s convenient because it doesn’t require fancy supplies. You might already have everything you need in your house right now, namely:
- Microwave-safe bowl
- White vinegar
- Your favourite essential oil
- A clean piece of cloth
- Baking soda
Prepare Your Microwave
When you decide to clean your microwave, your first instinct might be to open its door and cleaning. That’s a recipe for failure, though, as there are a few precautionary measures you need to take to ensure it’s safe to clean:
- Unplug your microwave to avoid electrical shocks. Remember, you’ll be using water and different liquids during cleaning. It’d be dangerous if they hit electrical parts.
- Take out any removable parts inside the microwave, like turntables, guides, and support rings. Not only will they hinder your cleaning, but you must also clean them separately.
- Do a quick scan of the stains inside your microwave, as different stains might require specific cleaning supplies.
Mix Your Cleaning Supplies
Add water and vinegar to your bowl and mix them. There isn’t a specific amount to use here, as it depends on the size of your microwave. On average, add one tablespoon of vinegar for every cup of water. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add two drops of essential oil to balance it.
Now that your microwave and cleaning mixture are all set, it’s time to start cleaning.
- Put the bowl in the microwave and let it heat for 5 minutes.
- Once it’s done heating, let your mixture rest for 10 more minutes without opening the microwave door. The excess steam will soften stubborn stains.
- Open the door and use oven mitts to take the bowl out.
- As an extra step, dip the cloth in your water-vinegar solution and wipe the inside of your microwave for deeper cleaning.
- Use a dry cloth to wipe the food crumbs and stains off the interior’s sides, top, and bottom.
- For any stubborn stains, sprinkle some baking soda and a splash of vinegar and wipe them.
- Lastly, wipe the interior with a damp cloth, then dry it with a paper towel.
How to Clean the Turntable of Your Microwave Oven
There’s no point in cleaning the interior of your microwave if you’re not going to clean the turntable. After all, it gathers as many food crumbs and stains as the interior walls of the microwave. You’ll be happy to know that cleaning the turntable doesn’t take long. You can do it while your cleaning solution is steaming inside the microwave. All you need to do is:
- Soak the turntable, the guide, and the support ring in warm soapy water to remove excess stubborn stains.
- Let the turntable rest for a bit. If you wash it with cold water while it’s too hot, the contraption would break it.
- When ready, wash them with a kitchen sponge and liquid soap.
- If your turntable is dishwasher-safe, put it in the bottom rack, and let the machine do its work.
- Rinse them with warm water, then wipe them with a dry cloth or paper towel.
How to Clean the Exterior of Your Microwave
While cleaning the exterior surface of the microwave isn’t as pivotal as the interior, a microwave with a greasy outer surface isn’t pleasant to use. Besides, you’re already in cleaning mode, so you might as well.
Do the Prepwork
Before you clean the exterior of your microwave, there are a few steps you can take to make the process easier:
- Place your microwave on the counter so it’s easy to clean from every angle.
- If your microwave has a control lock, turn it on to avoid activating any buttons
- Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing liquid soap, a mild cleaner, and two cups of water.
Whether you use a soft cloth or a sponge, dip it in your solution and rub every corner of the microwave exterior surface. Most people don’t consider cleaning the microwave’s bottom side. It’s probably the dirtiest side of the microwave. So, don’t forget to turn it upside down. As for the vent, it’s easier to take it off and clean it separately. If it’s too greasy, you can use a different cleaning solution. Mix one cup of water, one tablespoon of baking soda, half a lemon, and put the mixture in spray. Once you spray it, let it sit for 15-25 minutes, and the grease will come off. You can also use a soft brush to take excess grease off.
How Often Should You Clean Your Microwave?
There isn’t a definitive answer to that question. It depends on how often you use the microwave. On average, though, clean your microwave once every 1-3 weeks. Remember, the more frequent the cleaning, the easier it is, as you’d prevent strong stains and smells from building up.
Now that you know how to clean a microwave oven, you know better than to let grease and stains sit in it for too long. So, clean it as frequently as possible. Before cleaning it, remove the internal components to ease the cleaning process. Whether you clean the interior or exterior side of your microwave, you can do it with common cleaning supplies in most homes.