How To Clean A Microwave With Vinegar & Steam

Clean a microwave in minutes! All you need is vinegar and water, no scrubbing required!


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!

how to clean a microwave with vinegar and steam

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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!

Want some other great cleaning tips?! Check these out!

How To Clean A Microwave With Vinegar

Tools

Materials

Instructions

I made a video to show you just how easy it is to clean a microwave with vinegar and steam!

1. Put water and vinegar in a microwaveable bowl

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.

how to clean a microwave with vinegar and steam

2. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. 

Put the bowl in the microwave, shut the door, and run the microwave on high for 5 minutes.

3. Let it steam for a few 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.

4. Remove the bowl and turntable.

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.

5. Wipe the microwave down with a sponge

Take your sponge and wipe down the inside of the microwave; the dirt and food will come right off!

how to clean a microwave with vinegar and steam
how to clean a microwave with vinegar and steam

How To Clean A Microwave With Vinegar & Steam

4.73 from 11 votes
Clean a microwave in minutes! All you need is vinegar and water, no scrubbing required!
Active Time 5 mins
Additional Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Equipment

  • microwaveable bowl
  • sponge

Materials

  • 2 C water
  • 2 T vinegar
  • toothpick
  • essential oils optional

Instructions
 

  • Fill a microwaveable bowl with 2 cups of water and add 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Drop a toothpick in the bowl. [mv_img id="24809"]
    how to clean a microwave with vinegar and steam
  • Put the bowl in the microwave and turn it on high for 5 minutes.
  • Leave the door shut for 2-3 more minutes so the steam can loosen up caked on bits of food, and the vinegar will help eliminate any odors.
  • Remove the bowl and turntable (be careful, it will be hot!) and wash the turntable in the sink.
  • Wipe down the inside of the microwave with a damp sponge; the dirt and food will come right off! [mv_img id="24810"]
    how to clean a microwave with vinegar and steam

Video

Notes

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.

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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!

how to clean a microwave with vinegar and steam

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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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Priscilla says

    5 months ago

    Loved this tip. And would love to subscribe to have emails sent for more hacks like this fantastic one!

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 months ago

      Hey Priscilla, sorry I didn’t see this comment sooner! I’ve subscribed you to the email list so you should be getting your first email from me soon. Just click the big “Join Us” button in that email to confirm your subscription.

  2. Janet C Fowler says

    2 years ago

    I regularly use the 2 cups hot water then run for a few minutes.
    But nothing is working on the darker spots on the ceiling. I tried scrubby too but they are still there.

    I could try to add some vinegar – if that doesn’t dislodge the spots then I’ll give the darn thing away.

    Thanks!

  3. Rochelle says

    2 years ago

    I always just put plain water in a coffee cup and put it going in the microwave for 3 minutes, let it sit for 15 minutes and wipe it out! No smells whatsoever! …now I wish that worked for the oven!

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      2 years ago

      Awesome idea! Usually plain water does the trick, but if you need the extra odor-eliminating power, vinegar works great! (By the way, I’m going to be sharing a post about how to clean the inside of your oven soon! Check back in a week or two!)

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