How to Clean a Microwave With Lemon and Vinegar

how to clean a microwave
Amy Bartlam Photography

Let’s face it: No one enjoys cleaning their microwave. Food residue sticks to the walls of your microwave and repeated use makes the stains permanent. (And even if you scrub with all the strength you can muster, those unsightly stains remain intact.)

Thankfully, there’s good news. Cleaning your microwave can be an easy undertaking so long as you come armed with the proper tools. For this job, you’re going to need a couple of soft cloths, a lemon, a microwave-safe bowl, and white vinegar.

Once you’ve gathered these essential items, read on to discover the secret to making your microwave look brand-new.

Cleaning the Interior

open microwave

Getty Images/Basak Gurbuz Derman

The first thing you need to do is loosen those stubborn stains and grease accumulations inside the microwave. To do this:

  1. Fill your microwave-safe bowl with one cup of water and some chopped-up lemon.
  2. Place the bowl in the microwave and turn it on for about three to five minutes (or however long it takes to boil the water). The window of your microwave should become foggy before the job is done.
  3. Once the microwave stops, wait 15 minutes before opening it.
  4. Open the microwave and remove the bowl. The walls should be wet enough to allow you to lift those stains almost effortlessly.
  5. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a cup or bowl and then dip one of your soft cloths in the solution. Use the cloth to then scrub the interior of the microwave. Don’t forget to clean beneath the turntable tray if you have one.
  6. Use a second damp cloth to wipe down the microwave once you’ve successfully removed the stains.

Cleaning the Exterior

closed microwave

Getty Images/Vudhikul Ocharoen

Cleaning the outside of the microwave is generally much easier, but it is a twofold task. First, you’ll want to use your water and vinegar solution to scrub the door, window, top, sides, and handle. Then rinse with a damp cloth as usual.

For the door gasket, you’ll need to use a bit more caution. You can use your water and vinegar solution on all the plastic parts of the appliance, but you must be careful to use only a water-dampened cloth on the rubber gasket along the edge of the microwave. Once all parts have dried, your microwave should look good as new.

Keeping Your Microwave Clean

woman using microwave

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To keep your microwave from getting overrun with grime, it’s best to clean it at least once a week (or ideally after every use). When reheating foods, it’s also a good idea to cover them to prevent food particles from clinging to the walls of your microwave.

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