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How to Clean a Microwave with Vinegar, Lemon, Steam & Baking Soda

Are you looking for easy and effective ways to clean a microwave? Basic cleaning not only removes dirt and grime, it also improves appeal, increase efficiency and prevent diseases which are caused by breeding of microorganisms.

You may have noticed a build-up of food splatter and a bad smell if you have not cleaned it in a while. Fortunately, it is now possible to get it a sparkling clean without using harsh chemicals. These simple natural methods are not only easy but also cheap. Here are the best and safest ways:

There are many ways of cleaning a dirty microwave which may not be as effective. You can create your own fast and easy hacks will help you to effectively get rid of burnt, smelly and hardened pieces of food. If you do not have the time to do it on a daily basis, you may still find it necessary to do so after spills, splatter from explosions and to get rid of oily grime after burning popcorn. Furthermore, it should be done both on the inside and outside.

How to clean a microwave

While cleaning food particles and oil is easy, you may find it a little harder especially after a fire. Overcooking food in a microwave and food burning can easily start a fire. The soot and odor from a fire call for serious cleaning. It leaves yellow stains on the interior and a smoky smell that bumps on you every time you open the microwave door. You may have to use the methods discussed below several times before you get the desired results.

What to use

While there are many commercial products that are specially made for this purpose, using natural products ensures that your food environment is free from contamination with chemicals. These DIY methods are cheap and easy to use.

The easiest way is using a bowl of water with a sponge. As it will be discussed below you can make a few adjustments when you want to scrub or remove bad odors. You can also buy Easy Off microwave cleaner packets from your local store. They are easy to use- just heat one in the microwave as instructed. Allow it to sit for 3 minutes as it cools down. Remove the towel from the package and use for the sides, ceiling, and floor of the microwave.

Best and Easy

What is the best and easy way to clean a microwave?  To be honest, the process is not always easy especially if you have long-standing sticky grime on the interior and awful smell caused by food spills and splatter.

There are many liquids and solutions specially made for this purpose, the best and easiest way is using natural home cleaners such as lemon and vinegar.  They are non-toxic, environmentally friendly and leave it smelling fresh.

With Vinegar

Vinegar is not only great for salad dressing. It is wonder cleaning agent that makes sure you keep things around your home clean without worrying about chemical contamination- it contains no harmful ingredients. It has antimicrobial and natural bleaching properties which disinfect and also bleach. Using vinegar removes tough stains and those distinct food odors. You can either use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Here is how to go about it when using vinegar

  1. Pour equal parts of vinegar and water into a microwave-safe bowl- ½ a cup to 1cup of each is good enough.
  2. Heat the bowl for 5-10 minutes depending on how dirty it is.
  3. When the timer goes off, wait for about two minutes before opening it to allow the vinegar steam to work- the steam will loosen hard food particles and the vinegar will get rid of the odor.
  4. Take the bowl out with heat safe mitts- like those used in the oven.
  5. Dip a sponge in the how vinegar water and use it to scrap off the now softened grime and food bits starting with the ceiling, the sides not forgetting the door. You will find the dirt comes off easily
  6. Remember to remove and wash it in the sink or dishwasher

Alternatively, if it is not as dirty you can clean it without using the vinegar steam. Rather, you can simply wet a sponge and pour a teaspoon of vinegar on it. Steam in the microwave. While this may not create as much steam, it is enough to remove stains and get rid of the odor.

Make a vinegar spray by mixing equal parts of vinegar and water. Spray the solution inside it and allow it to sit for a few minutes before wiping off.

With Lemon

Can you use with lemon? When there isn’t much to scrub off and remove, you can use lemon juice and a few slices to get rid of the awful smell. Lemon is a natural cleaner and disinfectant with a great smell. It has a low PH and antibacterial properties which make it a great cleaning agent. You will find the use of lemon real simple but effective. Here is how to make a microwave smell fresh with lemon

  1. Pour half a cup of water into its safe bowl
  2. Squeeze lemon juice into the water and drop into the sliced halves
  3. Place the bowl with lemon water in the microwave and turn on high power for about three minutes
  4. Wait for a few minutes before opening its door. Trapping the lemon juice steam inside will help loosen the hard stains.
  5. Open the door and carefully remove the bowl.
  6. Wipe it and wash the turntable tray in the sink

Remember to also clean the outside by wiping it down with a regular cleaning spray.

How to use baking soda

There are many non-toxic home cleaning agents. Closely following vinegar and lemon is baking soda. Baking soda is a natural scourer and deodorizer that can be used in place of harsh chemicals

  1. Place two tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl
  2. Add a cup of water
  3. Microwave the solution for 3 minutes
  4. The baking soda will absorb the odor and while the steam loosens the hardened foods and removes oil stains from its wall
  5. Remove the bowl and wipe the inside with a piece of cloth or paper towel

Alternatively, you can make a solution with one quart of water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Dip a sponge in the solution and use it to scrub the interior part.

Using steam

Sometimes foods with oils and sauces may burst up in the microwave and most of the time you will find yourself pushing the cleaning for another day. By the time you realize,  it will be all messed up with tough stains. If it does not have unpleasant odors, you can heat a bowl with plain water and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen hard food particles making it easier to remove. Remove the tray and clean it separately.

Steaming with water is one the easiest ways to get rid of gunk and grime from your microwave. While you can steam with plain water, an addition of vinegar, lemon juice or baking powder helps to get rid of the odors too. These products also act as antimicrobials that and bleaching that gets rid of stubborn stains.

Do not forget the exterior parts.

More trick and tips

Although the process is easy, you can make it even easier by following these simple microwave cleaning tips.

  • Prevent spills by covering food loosely when using it
  • Wipe it daily
  • It is best to clean up spills right away
  • Clean your microwave at least twice a month
  • Leave its door open for a few minutes to allow it to air dry
  • Leave a dish of vinegar inside it overnight to get rid of stubborn odors

Cleaning the vent and filter

Most of the time we clean the interior and outside of the microwave and forget on the very important component. Heating greasy foods and oily liquids can cause the exhaust vents to clog which can reduce the efficiency of your microwave making regular cleaning very necessary.

  1. Wipe off any surface grease with a clean cloth
  2. Dampen a cloth with white vinegar and wring out the excess
  3. Use the soaked cloth to wipe surface grease and poke the edges of the cloth between the vent spaces until clean
  4. Use a clean cloth dampened with warm water to wipe any vinegar residue

Note: steaming water can cause serious burns- use a bowl with a wide opening to allow steam to escape to prevent explosions. Stand clear of the microwave door while steaming water. Use oven mitts to hold the bowl of hot water from the oven.

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