Microwaves are incredibly useful kitchen appliances. Almost all of us own one and, when you are in need, they can be a lifesaver. Where the issues arise, though, is how grubby they can get. A bowl of soup tipping over, a microwave meal exploding. In a short period of time,
it can look like a bomb has gone off in your microwave.
Sometimes a brief wipe-around with a damp cloth will suffice, but at other times, catastrophe has happened and a full deep clean is in need. There are a wide variety of chemical cleaning products on the market, promising to be able to get into every nook and cranny of your microwave. Some of them live up to their promises, others… not really.
It’s often trial and error as to which ones get the grub off. So, to help you save time and money, and help out the environment, here are 4 all-natural cleaning methods for your microwave. And just in case those don’t satisfy you, we’ve included 2 more using cleaning products you’ll already have at home.
How to clean your Microwave Method 1 – Salt and Lemon
For this method, you will need TABLE SALT and HALF A LEMON.
Before starting this method, remember to remove the microwave plate.
To get food residue and stains off the bottom of your microwave, sprinkle table salt on it. Then, squeeze lemon juice on top of it and, using the lemon as a sponge, scrub the salt into the residue. As a natural abrasive, the salt will remove the residue which can then be wiped off with a damp cloth.
How to clean your Microwave Method 2 – Vinegar and Water
For this method, you will need VINEGAR, COLD WATER, and a MICROWAVEABLE CONTAINER.
Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a microwaveable container. Microwave the mixture for at least five minutes on a high heat, or until steam forms. Keep the microwave door closed for at least ten minutes after the microwave cycle has finished allowing the steam to work into the grime. Remove the container and the microwave plate. Wipe down the inside with a damp cloth and return the plate. Ensure that the microwave is completely dry before using it again.
How to clean your Microwave Method 3 – Lemons and Water
For this method, you will need TWO LEMONS, COLD WATER, and a MICROWAVEABLE PLATE.
Put two tablespoons of cold water onto the plate and put it in the microwave. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze a large amount of the juice onto the plate. Put the lemon halves on the plate with the water/lemon juice mixture, ensuring the insides of the lemon halves are facing upwards. Heat on a high heat for at least five minutes, or until a large amount of steam has formed.
Leave the door closed for at least ten minutes before removing the plate. Remove the microwave plate and wipe down the inside with a damp cloth. Return the microwave plate and you’re good to go!
How to clean your Microwave Method 4 – Baking Soda and Water
For this method, you will need BAKING SODA, WATER, VINEGAR, and a MICROWAVEABLE BOWL.
Make a paste out of baking soda and water, and cover any food encrusted in your microwave with it. Let it dry. This will usually take around 5 minutes.
Mix equal parts water and vinegar in your bowl, and microwave it until steam starts to form. Keep the microwave door shut for at least 15 minutes, then open and remove the bowl and detachable parts. Wipe everything down until none of the baking soda mixture is left.
When all else fails…
If all else fails and lemon, vinegar, and baking soda just aren’t doing it for you, there are still easy ways to clean your microwave without having to go out and buy expensive cleaners.
How to clean your Microwave Method 5 – Washing-up Liquid and Water
For this method, you will need WASHING-UP LIQUID, WATER, and a MICROWAVEABLE CONTAINER.
Mix water and washing-up liquid together in your microwaveable container and microwave it until it starts to steam. Remove the bowl. The steam will have loosened any dirt so all that is needed is a wipe down with a damp sponge!
How to clean your Microwave Method 6 – Window Cleaner and Water
For this method, you will need WINDOW CLEANER and WATER.
Create a mixture of two-part window cleaner to one part water. Use a cloth or sponge to wipe down all of your microwave then leave to dry for a few minutes. After it has dried, get a cloth or sponge with clean water on it and rinse your microwave again. This helps to remove any leftover window cleaner. This method is especially good for freestanding microwaves as it can be used on the interior and exterior of the microwave.
How to clean your Microwave; Specific stains
Are you looking for a way to remove a specific food stain? Look below for our advice on which method is best for the most common microwave messes.
The bag of popcorn popped a bit too much? Got burnt popcorn glued to every square inch of your microwave?
Use Method 4 here to get every bit off. It will get into every crack that it’s pasted onto so will get the burn marks off the microwave plate and the dried popcorn off the roof of the microwave. Baking soda also absorbs smells so the debatable scent of cremated popcorn should lessen.
If baking soda isn’t up your microwave’s street, use Method 5. Due to being largely steam, it will also help clean your microwave’s vent system
It’s easy enough to cook a jacket potato in the microwave. Turn the microwave up high, prick some holes in your potato, and nuke it for 15 minutes. Done! But with too few holes, it can easily explode, covering your microwave with the remnants of your would-be dinner.
If the stains and potato are burned black onto areas of the microwave, use Method 4 to remove them from the sides of your microwave. If this fails, use Method 5 to get the last pieces off.
Like potatoes, microwave meals and ready-meals are prone to exploding if the pressure gets too high in them. This can cause a huge mess, especially if the meal has a large amount of sauce in it.
If the meal has only covered the top of the microwave, use Methods 2 or 3 to get the stains off. Method 2 will help get off the mess that has burned onto the microwave, whilst Method 3 works best for the mess that is still in liquid form or not burned on.
If the meal has covered the walls of the microwave, use Method 4.
Soup and baked beans
Soup and baked beans can cause the most mess in a microwave. Depressingly, one of the best things you can do is let it dry. Wipe an excess sauce or soup off and take out all the removable parts. Leave the microwave door open for the mess to dry.
Use Method 1 to get the mess off the bottom of the microwave and clean the removable parts. This can be done by hand or in the dishwasher. Replace the removable parts and use any other method to get the rest of the mess off the sides of the microwave.
- White vinegar is stronger for stains and can be bought in bulk online and in larger shops.
- Mixing essential oils with the vinegar mixtures can help lessen the scent of vinegar afterwards.
- Use olive oil to remove leftover stains.
- Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, absorbing smells rather than masking them like air fresheners.
Tips for sustainability
- When buying cleaning cloths, choose ones that can be popped in the wash and reused, rather than thrown out after they get too dirty.
- Cut up clothes that can no longer be worn for free dishcloths.
WARNING: Whilst lemons and vinegar are both natural antibacterials, they are not disinfectants so will not safely deal with food-borne viruses found in the kitchen.
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