Just Nuke It: How to Clean the Microwave Quickly
Microwaves are pretty handy inventions, but most people will agree that they’re an absolute nightmare to clean. They’re often coated with months’ worth of leftovers, glued to the sides and gently blowing in the breeze from the vents, threatening to drop into your bowl of soup.
Don’t let this happen to your lunch. Learn how to clean your microwave quickly, and how to keep it clean to reduce the amount of time you have to spend face-to-face with stuck-on food residue.
Note: As you know, the microwave is an electrical appliance, so it’s always a good idea to unplug it before cleaning.
How to Clean the Inside of the MicrowaveIn most cases, cleaning the inside of your microwave is fairly easy and only takes minimal effort.
- A cup or bowl of water
- Lemon juice
- Microfiber cloths
- Dishwashing liquid
- Place the bowl of water in the microwave. If you like, add a teaspoon of lemon juice, as it leaves behind a pleasant scent.
- Microwave the water for two minutes. The idea here is that the steam left behind by the evaporating water helps you clean any residue pasted to the sides of the microwave.
- Let the bowl cool enough for you to handle it without burning yourself. Remove the bowl.
- Wipe down the inside of the microwave with your microfiber cloth.
- Once the turntable has cooled, remove it from the microwave. Wash it in the sink using hot water and dishwashing liquid, just like you would a plate. If your turntable is dishwasher safe, you can wash it that way.
- Let the turntable dry completely before replacing it.
- Repeat steps 1 through 4 as needed. If your microwave still isn’t clean inside, move on to the next method.
Microwave Cleaning for Seriously Stuck-On GunkIf the inside of your microwave is so frightening that you’ve considered hosting a tiny haunted house in there, you need to break out a product with serious scouring abilities. Fortunately, it’s probably already in your pantry. That’s right…it’s baking soda.
- Baking soda
- A shallow dish
- Microfiber cloths
- If the previous method using a bowl of water doesn’t work, mix baking soda with enough water to make a paste.
- Remove the turntable and spread the paste on the inside of the microwave.
- Wipe the paste away using a microfiber cloth, scrubbing gently as you go. The combination of pressure and the baking soda should remove the most stuck-on of food bits.
- Repeat as necessary until the microwave is clean.
- Give the interior a final pass with a clean microfiber cloth to remove any baking soda residue.
Cleaning the Outside of the MicrowaveThe outside of your microwave should be kept clean, too. After all, streaks and smears aren’t very nice to look at. Additionally, microwave handles are a common touch point that can facilitate the transmission of germs, especially during cold and flu season.
- A spray bottle filled with an all-purpose cleaner or ammonia (Note: Use one or the other. Ammonia is great for cleaning glass and other surfaces, but it should never be mixed with other cleaners, unless you are certain it’s safe to do so.)
- Microfiber cloths
- Spritz your cloth lightly with your chosen cleaner. Take care not to saturate the cloth.
- Wipe the outside of the microwave down with your dampened cloth, making sure to wipe the underside of the handle and the touchpad.
- Buff any streaks or smears out with a dry microfiber cloth.
Basic Microwave MaintenanceOnce you’ve taken the time to rid your microwave of disgusting gunk and grime, you want to avoid having to go through the process again. Here are some tips that can help you do just that.
- Wipe down the inside of your microwave with a clean microfiber cloth regularly.
- Clean spills as soon as they happen. Otherwise, they’ll cook every time you use the microwave, which will make them harder to remove.
- Cover foods and liquids when you cook them.
- Make sure you follow the recommended cook times and settings for different foods to prevent those dreaded microwave explosions.
Now that your microwave is clean, you may be eyeing that dirty stovetop. You might find these tips on cleaning greasy stovetops come in handy.
And if you need help keeping the kitchen or the rest of your home clean, contact your local Merry Maids. They’re happy to help out with routine housekeeping so that you can spend time doing the things you really enjoy.
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