The smarter way to clean your microwave

How to clean your microwave

It’s easy to ignore what goes on behind closed doors. Precisely why the average microwave has a habit of becoming a breeding ground for all-things unpleasant in no time at all.

Of course, the best way to keep a microwave clean and hygienic is to give it a good wipe after every use. If we’re being perfectly honest, this is good advice that is rarely heeded! Instead, it’s the norm to leave the microwave for days or even weeks on end, before addressing the horrors that lurk within. By which time, it could be in a pretty sorry state to say the least.

But here’s the thing – restoring your microwave to (almost) showroom condition can be surprisingly simple. As proven in a set of tests carried out at the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, there’s a DIY hack that ‘tricks’ even the grubbiest microwave into cleaning itself.

Cleaning a microwave’s interior

This marvellous microwave cleaning method has been tried and tested. It’s also 100% safe and involves no potentially harmful cleaning products whatsoever. Here’s how it works:

  1. Place approximately 250 ml of water in a microwavable bowl and squeeze in the juice of a few lemon or lime wedges. Feel free to toss the wedges into the water too, for good measure. If you’ve no fruit to hand, you can use a couple of tablespoons of spirit vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead, though the resulting fragrance isn’t quite as appealing.
  2. Pop the bowl in the centre of the microwave and warm on the highest setting, until it boils and fills the whole cavity with steam.
  3. Turn the microwave off, but leave the door closed and sealed for at least 5 minutes. 
  4. It’s then simply a case of removing the bowl and giving the interior surfaces a quick wipe with a sponge.

The way the steam gets to work on even the most stubborn grease and grime really is something else. With nothing more than a quick wipe, you’ll be looking at a microwave that’s practically as good as new.

degreasing a microwave’s exterior

You’ve restored the lustre to the interior of your microwave, but it’s still greasy, sticky and unpleasant outside. Not to worry, as there’s an equally simple method for giving the outer casing and window a thorough clean.

  1. All you need is a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar, along with a suitable cleaning cloth or sponge. Give the less problematic areas a quick wipe to restore
    their shine, allowing any built up dirt to soak a little longer in the mixture.
  2. If the rubber seal inside the door is looking a little worse for wear, simply sprinkle a damp sponge with a bit of baking soda and give it a gentle scrub.
  3. After which, you’ll be able to wipe away the remaining residue with a clean damp cloth.