Skip to main content

21OAK may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How to properly clean your microwave

Microwaves are one of the most-used small appliances in a typical kitchen. Though you may not cook your whole dinner in them like people did when they first came onto the scene, they are still used frequently to warm up pizza, melt butter, boil water, and more. Using a kitchen item so often means it needs to be cleaned frequently, but no one likes to clean their microwave. It has hard-to-reach corners and can be tough to get that stuck-on food off the door and ceiling of the appliance. Don’t worry, though, we have some tips and tricks for you to make cleaning your microwave quick and easy.

Microwave Kitchen
Dane Deaner on Unsplash

Method One: White Vinegar

The first tried-and-true method for cleaning your microwave utilizes one of my favorites (thanks, Mom) cleaning products — white vinegar, says The Kitchn. If you can handle the smell of the vinegar, it is one of the best cleaners for everything from carpet stains to windows and glassware. Simply pour one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water into a microwave-safe bowl. Place the container in the microwave and set the time for 5 – 10 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave. When the time is up, use a potholder to remove the bowl from the microwave — the bowl will be super hot.

Recommended Videos

Next, use a microfiber cloth to wipe the inside of your microwave clean. The steam that the water and vinegar mixture created will have loosened up the cooked-on food splatters, making it easy to wipe them clean. If your microwave has a glass turntable, you can take that out and run it through the dishwasher or wash it like you would any other dish.

MediaProduction / iStock

Method Two: Lemon Juice

If you can’t handle the smell of white vinegar, fear not. This second method uses the leftover lemons that you have already squeezed the juice out of (you can use a not-squeezed lemon instead if you want). Take the lemon and cut it in half, if it is not already, and place it on a microwaveable plate. Add a tablespoon of water to the plate. Microwave for 1 – 2 minutes or until the lemon is hot and the inside of the microwave is steamy. When the time is up, use a potholder to remove the plate from the microwave — the dish will be super hot.

You can now use a microfiber towel or paper towels to wipe away all of the mess that was inside the microwave. Again, the power of steam combined with the natural essential oils from the lemon will have loosened up the stuck-on food, thus making it easy to remove with little to no effort at all.

Bonus Tip 1

To get the outside of your microwave as shiny and clean as the inside now is, pour a bit of rubbing alcohol onto a microfiber cloth or paper towel. Use the cloth or paper towel to buff the outside of the microwave until it shines like new.

Bonus Tip 2

Used lemons are a fantastic and natural way to disinfect and clean your garbage disposal. Cut the lemon you used to clean the microwave into smaller pieces put them in the disposal. Run really hot water down the drain while the disposal is running. This will clean the drain and leave it smelling fresh.

Bonus Tip 3

The Spruce suggests using baking soda. Mix baking soda and vinegar and you have a natural, powerful cleaning agent. It’s not only used for making volcanoes erupt in science class.

Editors' Recommendations

Deb Goncalves
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Deb's work has appeared on Moms, Babygaga, and WorldAtlas. When she's not working (that's hard to say about a Capricorn), she…
How to soundproof a room: What you need to know
Address excess noise levels in your space with these effective soundproofing methods
Woman closing blackout curtains

Whether you're a light sleeper trying to catch some z's during noisy hours or a musician seeking solace for practice, soundproofing your space can significantly enhance your quality of life. But where do you start? From walls to windows, doors to floors, and even ceilings, there are various methods to dampen unwanted noise. In this guide, we'll explore effective strategies for how to soundproof a room, ensuring a quieter and more peaceful home environment for all.
How to soundproof a room: Walls

When it comes to blocking out noise, the walls of your room play a crucial role. For those seeking a more official soundproofing solution, specialized materials are the way to go.
Try mass-loaded vinyl
Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) is a dense, flexible material that effectively blocks sound transmission through walls. By adding a layer of MLV between drywall sheets, you can significantly reduce noise infiltration.
Install acoustic panels
Acoustic panels are designed to absorb sound waves, preventing them from bouncing off walls and creating echoes. These panels come in various shapes, sizes, and designs, allowing you to customize your space while enhancing its soundproofing capabilities.
Install acoustic foam
Acoustic foam is another effective option for soundproofing walls. Its unique structure absorbs sound waves, reducing reverberation and minimizing noise transmission. Install acoustic foam panels on your walls to experience quieter surroundings.
Use soundproofing drywall
Soundproofing drywall, also known as gypsum board, is a specially designed type of drywall that blocks sound transmission. Its dense composition effectively absorbs and dissipates sound waves, making it an excellent choice for soundproofing walls.
How to soundproof a room: Doors

Read more
How to unshrink clothes: You don’t need to add them to the donate pile
Save your favorite garments with these simple methods
Clothes drying on a line next to a white chair and wicker basket

It's happened to the best of us. You toss your favorite sweater into the wash, only to find it two sizes smaller when it comes out. Before you resign yourself to adding your favorite piece to the donate pile, take a breath. You might be able to rescue that beloved garment. Learning how to unshrink clothes isn't as daunting as it seems — with a few simple methods, you can reverse the effects of shrinkage and reclaim your wardrobe favorites.
Why do clothes shrink in the first place?

Before diving into how to unshrink clothes, it's important to understand why clothes shrink. The primary culprits are heat, agitation, and water. Natural fibers like wool and cotton tend to constrict when exposed to heat, and synthetic fibers can also shrink due to their reaction to hot water or dryers. The fibers in these materials are twisted tightly during the manufacturing process. When they encounter heat, they loosen and then re-tighten, often in a smaller size. Understanding this can help you take the right preventive measures moving forward.
How to unshrink clothes with gentle shampoo or conditioner

Read more
How to clean your dishwasher (including the one step everyone forgets)
Do this to keep this essential kitchen appliance in tiptop shape
Open dishwasher in kitchen with clean dishes inside

Did you know that it’s recommended to clean your dishwasher once a month? This is because dishwashers are one of the most used appliances in the home, and over time, they gather a lot of grime and funky dishwasher smells, which can lead to poorly washed dishes.

Moreover, many homeowners forget one of the most vital steps when it comes to cleaning a dishwasher! So, if your machine needs a little TLC, we have a super simple step-by-step guide on how to clean your dishwasher.
How to clean a dishwasher

Read more