The easiest way to clean a microwave

how to clean a microwave
The easiest way to clean a microwave ovenPhotographer, Basak Gurbuz Derman - Getty Images

Whether you're heating up the cup of tea that went cold before you had the chance to drink it or cooking a speedy meal after a long day, a microwave is a useful kitchen appliance. They're quick, versatile and energy efficient, using less than 2p of electricity for every five minutes of use*.

But over time, your microwave can end up covered in dried-on food stains and odours can linger. Fortunately, cleaning your microwave could not be simpler.

How to clean a microwave

To remove smells and loosen dried-on stains, add some slices of lemon or 2 tablespoons of white or cider vinegar to 500ml of cold water, making sure the bowl is no more than half full. Heat on high until the water boils and the window gets steamy.

how to clean a microwave
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Leave to cool

Leave it to cool for about 15 minutes before opening the door. Wipe dry with absorbent kitchen paper or a damp microfibre cloth. Don't forget to wipe down the dials and knobs and the top of the microwave, if they are exposed.

Be gentle

If you have a microwave with an acrylic or painted interior, wipe it out with a cloth and a solution of warm water and washing-up liquid. Never use anything abrasive.

GHI Tip: Always disconnect the microwave before cleaning.

Cleaning combination microwaves

Combi microwaves generally have stainless-steel interiors and as such can get coated in burnt on grease like any conventional oven. Regular surface cleaners will clean the inside of your microwave, but will leave behind a fragrance which can mingle with your food, so if you’ve got one of these, we recommend using a specialised microwave cleaning spray. Make sure to spray on to a cloth first to avoid it getting into the vents.

Clean the glass turntable regularly – these can usually go into the dishwasher but check the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific model. Make sure the kitchen is well ventilated while you're cleaning your microwave.

how to clean a microwave
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Clean microwave seals with bicarb

Don’t forget to clean the rubber seal with a damp cloth, as dirt and grease can become trapped. Dip the damp cloth in bicarbonate of soda and rub gently over the seal. Wipe off any residue with damp kitchen paper.

How to prevent future messes

Do cover any liquids which are likely to spit and make a mess as you cook them, such as soup. Just make sure whatever you use lets the air vent. You could buy a dedicated cover that’s dishwasher safe to make life a little easier, such as CozyKit 2 Pack Collapsable Microwave Covers.

If you do make a mess in the microwave, be sure to clean any residue as soon as it’s cooled. Otherwise, it will be all the more stubborn to remove. It can lead to unwanted smells too.

If your microwave still smells after you've cleaned it, simply leave a small bowl of bicarbonate of soda in there to deodorise (you don’t need to microwave it!). Bicarb is great for deodorising small spaces.


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