How To Clean Inside A Microwave [A Complete Guide]

Microwaves are a convenient way to heat your foods. They save you the time and effort that cooking would consume. But, after many uses, you might have noticed that the microwave has gotten dirty! Whether it's staining from use over time or cooking accidents, you might want to know how to clean a microwave. If that's what you're curious to find out, we've discovered how to do so let's take a look! 

Cleaning the inside of a microwave is a simple process. You can do it in several ways. In general, each method will require some hands-on work, and you'll need a type of disinfectant to eliminate the bacteria in a microwave. To clean the inside you can follow these steps:

  1. Take a microwave-safe bowl and fill it with 2 cups of water. Add your desired disinfectant to the water.
  2. Place the bowl in the microwave and turn it on for 2 to 5 minutes. 
  3. Remove the bowl with the disinfectant mix; carefully, it might be hot! 
  4. Take the turntable out and wipe it down with a cloth.
  5. Wipe the sides, the bottom, and the top of the microwave. 
  6. Put the turntable back into the microwave. 

These are the general steps to cleaning the inside of a microwave. It might seem too simple. You might have stains leftover even after following the guide above. Additionally, you might want to know what's safe to use to clean a microwave. If these are some of the questions lingering in your mind, keep reading ahead to find out more. 

Girl cleaning oven in the kitchen. How To Clean Inside A Microwave [A Complete Guide]

Cleaning the Inside

Cleaning the inside of the microwave is as simple as it sounds. Though, that doesn't mean there are some precautions to take. So, let's go over the process in more detail. 

How To Clean Inside A Microwave [A Complete Guide]

1. Creating a Disinfectant Solution

The first step is to create a disinfectant solution. It involves mixing water with a disinfectant of your choice. For the disinfectant, you can choose between vinegar, lemon, or a dish soap like Dawn. Mix it into the water using a microwave-safe bowl. 

If you're using vinegar or soap, you will need 2 tablespoons of either to mix with 2 cups of water. 

Click here to see this dish soap on Amazon.

However, if you choose to go with lemon, start by squeezing it lightly. Then, cut it in half and squeeze as much juice out of both pieces. Mix with 1-cup of water. Lastly, drop the lemon halves into the mixture too! 

2. Place the Bowl in the Microwave and Turn It On

Once you have the mixture ready, place the bowl in the microwave. Run the microwave on high for 2 to 5 minutes. You want the mixture to get hot and steamy inside. As some suggest, you should be careful not to boil it over. 

After 3 or so minutes, let the mixture sit inside the microwave for an additional 4 minutes. This way, you let the steam break down any tough to scrub messes. 

3. Remove the Bowl With the Disinfectant Mix

Once you've let the bowl cool down, remove it and set it aside. For safety, you can use oven mitts to remove it if it's still too hot. 

4. Take the Turntable and Wipe It Down With a Cloth

To begin the hands-on work, take out the turntable and wipe it down with a cloth. Alternatively, you can pop it in the dishwasher for cleaning. You want to remove the turntable from the microwave to remove all the obstacles preventing you from cleaning it entirely. 

5. Wipe the Sides, the Bottom, and the Top of the Microwave

Here comes the easy part of the process. Begin to wipe down the sides, bottom, and top of the microwave. You use a soft cloth or a paper towel to do this. One thing to keep in mind, be careful not to pour any liquid into the vents. 

If there are still stains present, take a sponge and dip it into the disinfectant solution. Use it to scrub away the remaining spots. 

6. Put the Turntable Back Into the Microwave

Once you finish the steps above, take the turntable and pop it back into the microwave. If you put the turntable in the dishwasher, some suggest not using the heated drying cycle. Instead, opt to air dry it or dry it with a cloth by hand. 

If you'd like to see the guide in action, here's a YouTube video for a demonstration: 

How Do You Get Stains Out of the Inside of a Microwave?

If you've followed all the steps and still found stains inside the microwave, there's still more you can do to ensure a clean finish! Since vinegar and lemon were not enough to remove the stains, we will have to use a dish soap that breaks up grease and difficult blemishes. Use 2 tablespoons of dish soap and mix with 2 cups of warm water. 

Dip a sponge into the solution and squeeze to get the suds to develop. Begin to wash the trouble areas. Of course, take extra caution not to get the soap into the vents. Lastly, take a damp rag and wipe in a circular motion until you remove the suds. 

To finish the process, take a paper towel and dry the areas. This way, you can prevent streaking.  

What Is Safe To Clean a Microwave With?

For the inside of a microwaving, you can use an all-purpose cleaner. You can also look for appliance cleaners focused on microwave cleaning. Otherwise, you can use natural cleaning solutions like vinegar and water, baking soda and water, and lemon juice and water. 

Click here to see this product on Amazon.

Can I Clean the Inside of a Microwave With Dish Soap?

Cleaning the inside of a microwave with dish soap is a safe option. Some manufacturers even have a demonstration on how to use theirs for microwave cleaning. For example, here's a YouTube video from Dawn: 

Can I Clean the Inside of a Microwave With Bleach?

Some people would prefer to use bleach on everything! Regarding cleaning a microwave, it's possible to clean the inside with it. But, as some suggest, it's an unnecessary cleaner for this situation. 

If you are worried after using bleach inside a microwave, you'd be assured to know that it is not a big deal. As users suggest, when exposed to heat, bleach breaks down and produces sodium chloride and sodium chlorate or oxygen. To get rid of the bleach leftover, clean the inside with non-bleach cleaner and wash the plate. 

Do You Need To Clean a New Microwave?

Cleaning a new microwave isn't necessary. But, if you want to get rid of any dirt or residue from the packaging, you should clean it before use. You can use the same method above to get rid of any dust or residue. If you want a quick recap:

  1. Mix water with a disinfectant of your choice in a microwave-safe bowl. This mix will be your cleaning solution. 
  2. Cook the bowl of cleaning solution for 3-5 minutes. Let it cool and remove the bowl.
  3. The inside should not be too cool. Ideally, it should be warm. 
  4. Take the turntable and wash it by hand or dishwasher.
  5. Wipe the sides, bottom, and top of the microwave with a cloth. 
  6. Dry the turntable and place it back into the microwave.

Your microwave should be ready to use! 

Can You Use a Microwave Right After Cleaning It?

It depends on how quickly you can use a microwave right after cleaning it. If you've used a chemical cleaner, you might want to wait and rinse the inside with natural cleaner to remove any chemical residue that remains inside.

A method of cleaning in a microwave oven with water and lemon.

As others suggest, you can use the microwave right away without worries if you use non-toxic food-safe cleaners. Vinegar or a lemon solution fit in that category. 

However, that does not mean you shouldn't use chemical cleaners inside the microwave. You have to make sure the cleaner is for specific use in a microwave. Additionally, removing any residual of the solution should get you on track to using the microwave right away. 

Final Takeaway

Cleaning isn't what comes to mind all the time. But, when the microwave starts to show some grime, it's time to take some notes and clean it to the best of our ability! We hope you found the information above insightful! 

Before you go, do you have other microwave concerns? Do you want to know if you can microwave cinnamon rolls? To find out more, check out our post here

Do you have a tortilla warmer? Are you curious to find out how to use one with a microwave? If you'd like to know more, check out our post here. Until next time! 

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