How To

How To Clean A Microwave


How To Clean A Microwave

Share this article
How To Clean A Microwave

How To Clean A Microwave

How to Clean a Microwave: A Comprehensive Guide with Tips and Troubleshooting


Microwaves are a staple in most modern kitchens, providing convenience and efficiency in reheating, cooking, and defrosting. However, like any appliance, they need regular cleaning to maintain optimal performance and hygiene. A dirty microwave can harbor bacteria, odors, and food splatters, which can compromise the quality of your food and create an unpleasant cooking environment.

Cleaning a microwave may seem like a daunting task, but it’s a fairly simple process that can be done quickly and effectively. With the right cleaning solutions and techniques, you can keep your microwave sparkling clean and germ-free.

Materials You’ll Need

  • Soft cloths or sponges
  • Microwave-safe bowl or cup
  • Dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Lemon (optional)

Step-by-Step Cleaning Instructions

1. Turn Off and Unplug the Microwave

Electrical safety should be your top priority. Before cleaning the microwave, always turn it off and unplug it from the power outlet. This will prevent any electrical shocks or damage to the appliance.

2. Remove the Turntable and Plate

Most microwaves have a removable glass turntable and plate. Carefully lift them out and set them aside in the sink or on a clean surface. These components can be washed with warm, soapy water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that can scratch the surfaces.

3. Wipe Down the Interior

Using a soft cloth or sponge, wipe down the interior surfaces of the microwave, including the ceiling, walls, and floor. Use a mixture of warm water and a few drops of dish soap to effectively remove food splatters and grease. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the appliance’s interior.

4. Tackle Tough Stains and Odors

For stubborn stains or odors, create a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Fill a microwave-safe bowl or cup with the solution and microwave it on high for 5-7 minutes. The steam will help loosen the grime and neutralize odors. Once the microwave has cooled slightly, wipe down the interior again using the vinegar solution.

5. Deodorize with Lemon

If you prefer a more natural deodorizing method, you can use lemon. Cut a fresh lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a microwave-safe bowl or cup. Add a splash of water and microwave for 3-5 minutes. The refreshing citrus aroma will help eliminate any lingering odors.

6. Clean the Exterior

Using a damp cloth, wipe down the microwave’s exterior surfaces, including the door, handle, and keypad. For any grease or smudges, you can use a mild detergent solution.

7. Replace the Turntable and Plate

Once all components are clean and dry, reassemble the microwave. Place the glass plate back on the turntable and return both to the appliance.

8. Clean the Filter (if applicable)

Some microwaves have a removable filter that traps grease and moisture. If your microwave has one, remove and clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help improve the appliance’s ventilation and performance.

Frequency of Cleaning

The frequency of cleaning your microwave depends on how often it’s used and the types of foods you cook. As a general guideline, it’s recommended to clean it at least once a month, or more often if you frequently use the microwave to cook greasy or splattering foods.

Troubleshooting Common Microwave Problems

1. Microwave Not Heating

  • Check if the microwave is plugged in and turned on.
  • Ensure that the door is closed properly.
  • Inspect the magnetron, which is located behind the waveguide cover. If it’s damaged, replace it.

2. Arcing or Sparking Inside the Microwave

  • Remove any metal objects from the microwave, including foil, utensils, or cookware.
  • Clean the interior thoroughly to remove any food particles or grease.
  • Inspect the waveguide cover for damage. Replace it if necessary.

3. Microwave Not Turning Off

  • Reset the microwave by unplugging it for 30 seconds and plugging it back in.
  • Check if the door switch is functioning properly.
  • If the problem persists, contact a qualified appliance repair technician.


Q: Can I use ammonia to clean the microwave?

A: No, ammonia should not be used to clean a microwave. It can damage the appliance’s surfaces and release harmful fumes.

Q: Is it safe to clean the microwave with bleach?

A: While bleach can be effective in removing stains and odors, it’s not recommended for regular cleaning. Bleach can damage the microwave’s interior and release toxic fumes. Use vinegar or lemon as safer alternatives.

Q: Can I put dish soap or detergent in the water when microwaving it for steaming?

A: No, adding dish soap or detergent to the water when microwaving it for steaming is not recommended. These products can create suds or foam, which can damage the microwave. Simply use plain water.

Q: How can I prevent food from splattering in the microwave?

A: Cover dishes loosely with paper towels or plastic wrap to prevent splattering. You can also use a microwave cover designed to fit over the turntable.

Q: Why is there condensation on my microwave’s door after cooking?

A: Condensation is normal and occurs when steam from the food evaporates and collects on the cooler surface of the door. Wipe it off with a clean cloth after use.


Cleaning a microwave is an important chore that contributes to maintaining a clean and efficient kitchen. By following these step-by-step instructions and troubleshooting tips, you can effectively remove stains, odors, and grease from your microwave, ensuring its longevity and optimal performance.