I originally published this tutorial on how to clean a microwave years ago when we lived in our apartment, but it’s been such a popular cleaning tip that I’m sharing it again! We’ve never been good at remembering to cover food when we microwave it, so I end up cleaning our microwave this way a couple times a month, and it works every time! I even made a video so you can see just how easy it is!
Have you ever exploded pizza sauce in the microwave? Today’s post will show you how to clean a microwave using only water, vinegar, and steam! It’s easy to do, only takes a few minutes, and it works great!
I was able to clean off dirt and grime I didn’t even realize was there!
I love simple cleaning solutions like this. I made a homemade grout cleaner with just baking soda and bleach and it worked WONDERS! And we’ve been using a homemade borax free laundry soap for almost a year now and we love it! It’s cheap, non-toxic, and cleans better than commercial detergent! And when we moved into our new house and the washing machine was horribly dirty, I learned how to clean a washing machine with just two wash cycles, and it’s sparkling clean now!
This tip for cleaning a microwave is just as simple as the other two homemade cleaning products; it only requires water, vinegar, and about one minute of elbow grease to get a sparkling clean microwave!
How To Clean A Microwave With Vinegar
- 3 minutes (time spent doing stuff)
- 7 minutes (time spent waiting around)
- 10 minutes (total project time)
- a microwaveable bowl or glass measuring cup (you can also use the Angry Mama microwave cleaner)
- a toothpick
- a sponge
I made a video to show you just how easy it is to clean a microwave with vinegar and steam!
Or if you’d prefer written instructions, here they are.
Fill a microwaveable bowl with 2 cups of water and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Add a drop of essential oil if you want to mask the vinegar smell. 🙂
Drop a toothpick into the bowl of water to help keep the water from boiling out over the edges of the bowl.
NOTE: Liquids can get superheated in a microwave and “explode”. It isn’t common, but it can happen. Bubbles can’t form on a smooth surface, so if you’re microwaving liquid in a perfectly smooth container no bubbles will form (i.e. the liquid won’t boil) until it is jostled. This can cause it to “explode” into boiling when you open the microwave or try to remove the bowl. But don’t worry too much; most consumer bowls and cups are not perfectly smooth. Even things like glass that feel smooth to the touch still have minor imperfections in the surface that will allow bubbles to form. Also, the turntable in the microwave should jostle the liquid enough to allow it to boil while the bowl rotates in the microwave. But it never hurts to be safe, so drop a toothpick in your bowl; bubbles will be able to form on the wood, causing the water to boil without exploding.
You could also use the Angry Mama microwave cleaner to steam clean your microwave, which eliminates the “smooth surface” problem of a glass bowl. Plus she’s cute, and only a couple bucks!
Whether you use Angry Mama or a bowl, put it in the microwave, shut the door, and run the microwave on high for 5 minutes.
When the timer goes off, don’t open the microwave right away. Leave the door shut for 2-3 more minutes to let the steam continue to work. The steam will help loosen up caked on bits of food, and the vinegar and lemon oil will help eliminate any odors.
When you open the door, be careful pulling the bowl out; it will be very hot! Remove the turntable tray (carefully, it will be hot as well) and wash it in the sink.
Take your sponge and wipe down the inside of the microwave; the dirt and food will come right off!
Another way to clean your microwave is to get a sponge soaking wet, pour about a teaspoon of vinegar on it, and then microwave the sponge. However, this method doesn’t create as much steam as microwaving a bowl of water, so if your microwave is really dirty, use the bowl instead.
Do you have any other tips for cleaning a microwave? I was thrilled with how easy this was! What other kitchen cleaning tips have you tried?
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