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Best Way to Clean Microwave: DIY Tips & Tricks

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Best Way to Clean Microwave

We’ve all gotten used to warming up and cooking food in our microwave ovens. With all that use, the inside of your microwave can get pretty gross – especially if you don’t know how to clean it. 

Don’t worry – the professional cleaners from Upstairs Downstairs are sharing their tips for the best way to clean microwave.

What Do I Use to Clean My Microwave?

Brown wood kitchen

Whether you have a countertop microwave, convection oven, or built-in microwave, there are many different things you can use to clean the microwave. You probably already have some good options on hand that you use to clean other things in your house. No matter what you choose to use to clean the microwave, you’ll still need to use something to wipe down the microwave. Paper towels, sponges, and microfiber cloths are all good choices.  

All Purpose Cleaner

Most of us probably have a bottle of kitchen cleaner under our sink. These are perfectly fine to use inside of your microwave. To make sure you don’t put too much liquid into the microwave, spray your cleaner on a microfiber towel, then wipe out the inside. 

A kitchen degreaser may also be helpful if you’ve got some grease stains inside your microwave. Spray the degreaser right onto the stains and scrub them with a sponge or rag.

Disinfecting Wipes

Using things like Lysol wipes, Clorox wipes, or another type of disinfectant wipe to clean your microwave is an easy way to keep up with the messes that happen. 

Grab one to wipe out the inside of a microwave if something spills. They’re also great for a quick wipe-down of the microwave door handle and buttons to keep germs at bay. 

Dish Soap

One of the most common ways to clean your microwave is to use soapy water. You can mix a few drops of dish soap into some warm water and dip a towel or rag in it to wipe out your microwave. 

For tougher stains, you can put a couple of drops of dish soap right onto the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before you scrub and wipe it away.

Baking Soda

Fill a microwave-safe bowl halfway full with water. Add two tablespoons of baking soda to the water and mix it together, so the baking soda dissolves. Put the bowl into the microwave and let it run for three to five minutes.  

When the time’s up, carefully remove the bowl of baking soda and hot water from the microwave and wipe down the inside of the microwave. You can also use this mixture to wipe down the outside of your microwave too. Be very careful as the baking soda water mixture will be very hot when it comes out of the microwave.


If you’ve got tough stains inside your microwave that you need to remove, use a 2:1 vinegar to water ratio to make a cleaning solution. A good example of that mixture would be using ⅓ cup water and ⅔ cup vinegar. 

Put the mixture into the microwave on high for five minutes. When the time’s up, leave the microwave door closed for 15 minutes to let the steam work to remove stuck-on food and stains. This will make it easier to wipe out the inside of a microwave.

You can also add the vinegar and water solution to a spray bottle to spray it right onto tough stains in the microwave or just use it right out of the bowl you mix it in. Dip your rag into the white vinegar and water mixture and use it to scrub the stains to get rid of them.

Lemon Juice

Have you ever tried cleaning your microwave with lemon? It’s a great trick! Fill a small microwave-safe bowl with water. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice into the water. Place the bowl of water and lemon juice into the microwave and turn it on high for five minutes. Use hot pads to remove the bowl from the microwave and wipe out the inside of the microwave with a microfiber cloth. 

What Not to Use When Cleaning a Microwave

Just like there are some things you should use to clean your microwave, there are some things that you should not use to clean it if you want your microwave to continue working properly. 


Be careful when cleaning your microwave to make sure that you’re not using bleach. Many manufacturers warn against using it while cleaning a microwave oven. 

Too Much Water

Your microwave is an electrical appliance, so using too much water could not only damage your microwave but also hurt you in the process. Wring out any towels or rags you’re using to clean with to make sure to remove any extra water. 

How Do I Clean My Microwave?

cream wood kitchen

Now that you know the different things you can use to clean your microwave, it’s time to start the cleaning. But where do you start? Don’t worry! We’re going to share exactly how to clean a microwave. The simple methods will make those microwave messes and unpleasant fumes things of the past. You won’t want to overlook these microwave tricks in your kitchen cleaning routine.


To start cleaning your microwave, start with the microwave interior. Even if you’re not adding anything to it, put a small microwave-safe bowl filled with two or three cups of water inside and turn the microwave on for about five minutes. Use oven mitts when removing the bowl from the microwave, or you could burn yourself!

Doing this will help loosen up anything stuck inside your microwave and make it easier to clean up with a damp cloth. It will also give you time to wipe down the outside of your microwave. 

Door and Outside

While the microwave is running with the bowl of warm water, you can start wiping down the door and outside of the microwave. Make sure to wipe down the handle, buttons, and outside of the door. All those spots you touch should be cleaned off. 


Take the turntable out of your microwave so you can give it a good wipe down and clean underneath. If it’s really dirty, throw your dishwasher-safe turntable into the dishwasher during your next load, or hand wash it with your dishes.

Once the turntable and inside of the microwave are clean, put the turntable back in and make sure everything works. If you have a lot of crumbs in your microwave that have been brushed out, you may also need to wipe off your stove top or counter if your microwave is over it.

How Often Should I Clean My Microwave? 

Your microwave should get a quick clean every time you use it – especially if you spill something inside while you’re cooking. This can be a really quick cleaning that doesn’t have to take too long. 

Every week or so, it’s a good idea to do a little more deep cleaning to keep your microwave looking its best. Add it to your cleaning routine so you’ll focus on the microwave, too, when you’re cleaning your kitchen.

How Do I Get a Smell Out of My Microwave?

We get it – you throw a bag of popcorn into the microwave so you can have a snack while you’re watching a movie and get distracted. Before you know it, the popcorn’s burnt, and you have a smelly microwave. So how do you get rid of that burnt popcorn smell? 

Let It Air Out

If the smell isn’t too bad, leave your microwave door open for a little while and let it air out to eliminate the burnt smell. Leaving it overnight is a good option to make sure the smell’s gone before you use the microwave again. 

Absorb the Smell

For smells that are a bit stronger, put some baking soda into a bowl and put it inside your dirty microwave, and close the door. The baking soda will absorb the smell for you. Activated charcoal or coffee grounds will also help absorb the burnt smells.

Get Help Keeping Your Microwave Clean from the Professionals 

Need help keeping up with the daily cleaning of your microwave and the rest of your house? Upstairs Downstairs can help with regular housekeeping services. If you need help with a deep cleaning to get yourself started on the right foot, Upstairs Downstairs can help with that too. Contact us for a free quote for the cleaning services you’d like to start using for your home. 

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