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If you want to know how to clean a microwave, but don?t want to spend hours scrubbing and polishing, you?re in the right place. The microwave is an unusual beast when it comes to cleaning. Unlike your oven, it needs to get in quite a state before you notice any difference in taste or smell. Nevertheless, even if all you want from clean microwave is peace of mind in the kitchen, it makes sense to devote a few minutes of elbow grease to the task.

How Often should you Clean your Microwave?

Unsurprisingly, as with anything in the kitchen, the dirt build-up directly correlates with how often you use it. If your microwave only sees action once a month for a ready meal when you cannot bring yourself to cook, a cursory wipe when you do the other surfaces is all it takes.? On the other hand, if you have a youngster that prefers their milk warmed up, you?ll be splashing up the sides multiple times per day.

For regular family use, I?d recommend a light wipe each week to keep everything sparkling, and a deeper clean, such as those mentioned below, once each month. That will keep everything looking and smelling fresh, and a regular deep clean ? even when it might not look like you need it ? prevents any build-up.

How to Clean a Microwave with Bicarbonate of Soda

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda 454 g (Pack of 4)

When the time comes to clean something, my thoughts naturally drift toward bicarbonate of soda. I haven?t used Arm & Hammer toothpaste in years, but if it?s good enough for my teeth, it?s probably going to do a decent job in the kitchen.

What You Need

Before we get started, you?ll need four things, three of which I can all but guarantee you?ll have. If you don?t have the fourth, this is a great time to get some to keep to hand. You can pick up a box of none other than Arm & Hammer?s finest bicarbonate of soda here. From there, you need 250 ml of water, a microwave-safe bowl and an appropriate cloth. Unless I?m doing something particularly specialised, I?ll use a bulk-bought microfibre cloth for just about everything and that?s perfect for this task.

The Method

  1. Combine your 250 ml of water with two tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda in your microwave-proof bowl
  2. Microwave the solution on full power for two and a half minutes. Keep an eye on it, as you don?t want the solution to boil and spill out everywhere.
  3. Don?t fall for the buzzer. Unless you have to open and quickly reclose the door to turn the noise off, leave it closed and keep it that way for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the bowl and the microwave?s plate. Wipe all internal surfaces with your cloth of choice, then the plate. You can wipe the microwave-safe bowl too, but it?s probably going in the washing up anyway.
  5. Replace the plate and close the door. You?ve probably still got some cleaning power in your cloth, so this seems like a good time to give the outside the once over ? although you?re under no obligation.

How to Clean a Microwave with a Lemon

The bicarbonate of soda method is my favourite, but my bicarb cleaning addiction may border on the unhealthy. If you don?t have any bicarbonate to hand, and particularly if you do indeed have a lemon, this option may be the superior one.

Products you have in stock aside, the lemon microwave cleaning method has one particular advantage over the other two. This is the only one of the trio to improve odours in the kitchen actively. So, if you want a fresh, citrusy scent in the home, this one will rocket to the top of your priority list.

What You Need

Unsurprisingly, the tools and equipment for this method do not differ massively from the bicarbonate alternative. Neither does the process, although I?m going to spell it out for the sake of completeness anyway. First things first, switch out your Arm & Hammer or another choice of baking soda and replace it with a lemon. With the lemon, cloth, 250 ml of water and microwaveable bowl to hand, it?s time to start cleaning.

The Method

  1. Add the water to the bowl and cut the lemon in half. Squeeze the contents of both halves into the water and then stop, overcome the instinct to throw the lemon in the bin and throw it into the bowl instead. The juice takes care of the cleaning, and the rest of the lemon covers the scent.
  2. Put the bowl in the microwave and cook on full power for two and a half minutes. Once again, you should resist the urge to leave it to it as you don?t want your lemon water to boil over the edges.
  3. Buzzer cancelling aside, the microwave door should remain closed for 15 minutes to allow the resulting steam to get to work.
  4. Open the door, take out the plate and wipe down the interior, whether you can see any dirt or not.
  5. Clean the plate, put it back and then decide whether or not to give the outside the once over.

How to Clean a Microwave with Vinegar

Last, but not least, we have my least favourite microwave cleaning method. It gets the job done just as well as the pair of methods outlined above, but I eat far too much fried food to waste vinegar on cleaning. Funnily enough, lemons and bicarbonate of soda tend to stick around much longer. I couldn?t say why.

Nevertheless, preference and choice are always a good thing, and we can?t overlook the fact that even kitchens devoid of baking soda and lemons will usually have some white vinegar knocking about somewhere ? even if you prefer the malt variety on your food.

What You Need

If you read the two methods on how to clean a microwave above, you?ve got the idea by now. If you couldn?t wait to find out how to clean a microwave with vinegar and jumped straight to this section, the news remains good. You?ll need around 125 ml of white vinegar, along with your cleaning cloth, microwaveable bowl and 250 ml of water.

The Method

  1. Mix your ingredients (not including the cloth) in the bowl. You can give it a stir if you want to feel like you?ve contributed ? it won?t make your solution any less potent. It won?t make it any better either, but these methods are so simple you could be forgiven for seeking out ways to complicate them.
  2. Place the bowl in the microwave.
  3. Turn the microwave on at full power for two and a half minutes. Once again, you?ll want to keep an eye on it as you want the steam to do the work, not the liquid that bubbles over the sides.
  4. When your 2.5 minutes are up, give the steam 15 minutes to work on the grease and dirt.
  5. Half an episode of your favourite sitcom and two cups of tea later, open the door, remove the bowl and take out the plate too. Wipe around inside ? the chances are you won?t need to try overly hard as the steam will have done most of the work. Give the plate the once over on both sides and put it back. Close the door with the cloth and bowl on the outside, and it?s job done.

And there we have it ? three different ways to clean the microwave. Incidentally, if you?ve got the cleaning bug or its time to give the whole house the once over, you?ll get plenty of mileage out of bicarbonate of soda, lemons and white vinegar along the way. They tend to do the same job outside of nasal lemony freshness, so you don?t need all three, but you should keep one or more in the kitchen cupboard as a matter of course.

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Last update on 2020-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API