Kitchen Tips: Microwave Cleaning (Part 1 of 2)
The microwave is a frequently used appliance, and thus very likely to get very dirty very fast. In addition, splatters tend to bake onto the walls of the microwave, making them hard to remove. But, for every problem, there’s a solution, and caked-on microwave crud is no exception. Just follow these tips, and your countertop or built-in microwave will look brand-new in no time.
General Microwave Cleaning
To clean the inside of the microwave, use a glass cleaner, mild dish soap, or baking soda. The rotating glass tray can be hand-washed or cleaned in the dishwasher. Never use commercial oven cleaner, since it may damage the plastic and/or cause a hazardous chemical reaction. Avoid using harsh abrasives or metal scouring pads, since they may damage the internal surface as well.
To remove baked-on food stains, soften them up by boiling a water & vinegar solution:
- Fill a microwave-safe glass bowl or measuring cup halfway with water.
- Add 1-3 tablespoons of white vinegar.
- Set the timer for 3-5 minutes, depending on the power of the microwave and the extent of the stains.
- To speed up the boiling process, it’s a good idea to add a non-metal spoon, stirrer, or stick to the bowl.
- Wipe off the softened stains with a damp cloth or sponge.
For really tough stains that do not come out with the above method, or completely burned-in / scorched areas, see the next part of this article.
Removing Burnt / Scorched Stains
When you have a “burned” or scorched microwave stain on which regular cleaning and steaming don’t work, try one (or more) of the following methods:
- Use a Mr. Clean ® “Magic Eraser” ® pad and some vigorous scrubbing.
- Wear away the stain with a bit of regular toothpaste on a toothbrush.
- Fold a square of paper towel into a shape slightly larger than the stain, and moisten it with bleach. Don’t dilute the bleach, but don’t make the paper towel soaking wet either – it should be moist but not dripping. Stick the paper towel onto the stain and leave it on for 3-5 hours, then remove it and attempt to scrub off the stain.
In the next part of this post, we’ll show you how to remove odors from microwaves, and provide some tips on microwave safety.