a clean microwave oven

How To Properly Clean Your Microwave

We’ve all had to deal with a messy microwave at some point. Whether it’s an accidental spillage, or food bubbling over the dish, the insides of our microwaves can end up looking as if they’ve been the filming location for a horror movie. But if we don’t end up properly cleaning a microwave, then  the amount of residue will continue to pile up – serving as a festering ground for bacteria. Of course, as we already have so much to clean in our homes, we can just end up wiping it clean rather than giving it a proper wash. But you needn’t worry about having to spend a lot of time to do it right.

In fact, you may already have what you need for the job lying around the house. That’s because there’s no need for harsh chemicals, such as bleach, as you can use products like soap, vinegar and baking soda to get rid of those difficult microwave stains. So here are three ways to clean your microwave – one for the interior, one for the exterior and one for the door.

How to clean the inside of your microwave

sparkling clean inside of a microwave oven

You’ll want to get a cup or a small bowl full of water (make sure it’s microwave safe) that has had the juice from some lime, lemon or orange slices squeezed into it. Alternatively, you can use apple cider or white vinegar with the water – just a few tablespoons should do. Put it into the centre of the microwave, just as if you were going to cook it, close the door and set the microwave to a high power cycle for a few minutes. This should make the water mixture boil over and cause the window on the microwave door to appear steamy. Once you notice this, stop the cycle and let the microwave cool for a few minutes.

After you’ve done that, open it up and remove the container of water. From here you should be able to wipe down the inside of the microwave and remove those difficult stains with ease. If there are any difficult stains left over on the turntable, you can stick it in the microwave or give it a deep clean in some soapy water. If there are any stains left on parts that aren’t removable, buy a ‘magic eraser’ cleaning sponge to finish the job.

How to clean the outside of your microwave

outside of stain-free microwave oven

This is where cleaning chemicals can help – particularly an all purpose cleaner that can be found in larger supermarkets or DIY stores. However, you may be able to make do with a good mix of soap and water. Take a sponge or a cloth and apply either your soapy mix or cleaner to the sponge and wipe the exterior down. A mistake commonly made is when people spray cleaner directly onto the microwave. The spray can end up getting into the microwave’s vents and could potentially damage your microwave – leading to people needing to get microwave repairs from the likes of Repair Aid.

When you’ve finished wiping it down, give it a rinse with a different sponge using only water. Then, finally, buff it dry to give it a nice shine.

How to clean the door of your microwave

The most problematic part of the microwave door is the rubber gasket that is used to seal the door shut. To give this a proper clean, take a slightly damp cloth or sponge and dip it into a little bit of baking soda. You should notice a small chemical reaction as the baking soda interacts with the water. Wipe the gasket with your cloth or sponge before wiping it down with another cloth or sponge that just has water. Leave it to dry. For the window, which is likely greasy, make a mix of vinegar and water (about half and half), dip your sponge or cloth in the mix and then give it a good clean. Dry it off with another sponge, cloth or kitchen towel.

Additionally, if you’ve bought an all purpose cleaner, don’t be afraid to use that on your microwave door as these cleaners are often very good at tackling grease.

So there you have it – three simple ways to clean every aspect of your microwave.

To prevent build-ups from happening, make sure to regularly wipe down the microwave – especially after you’ve used it – as this prevents stubborn stains from forming. If you do want to prevent food residue and spillages, try and keep your foods covered with a small plate.

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