How to Clean a Microwave with Chemical-Free Cleaners

Are you frustrated with the grime and gunk build-up and wondering what the best ways are on how to clean a microwave? It actually is also our fault. We are supposed to cover dishes when placing them in the microwave. We should also have cleaned it before all the build-up appeared.

We use the microwave when we are in a rush. We toss the food inside, set the timer, and have food heated in no time then off we go! Seldom do we bother to clean the microwave regularly. I am guilty of that.

It caught me by surprise. Well, actually, not exactly. I use the microwave every day and I see it dirty and overly smelly. I decided it was time to give it a deep clean and start cleaning it regularly afterwards. I discovered that we can venture into how to clean a microwave without the usual harsh and abrasive cleaning agents.

How to Clean a Microwave with Chemical-Free Cleaners

Don’t just clean; How to Clean a Microwave with Lemon

The acidic nature of lemon makes it a perfect cleaning agent. Lemon, combined with steam, will be able to loosen grime and gunk that has been stuck inside the microwave. Lemon will not just clean your microwave it will deodorize it as well.

What You Will Need

  • Lemon, a few slices
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Sponge or Dish towel

What You Need to Do

  1. Pour water into the microwave safe bowl.

2. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice into the bowl and toss the rind.

3. Place bowl on the microwave and set on high for 3 minutes to allow liquid mixture to boil.

4. After 3 minutes, leave the microwave closed for another 5 minutes to allow trapped steam to loosen grime and gunk.

5. Wipe off the loosened grime and gunk in the interior, rubber gasket and door with a damp dish towel or sponge.

clean microwave

How to Clean a Microwave with Vinegar

Vinegar is a multi-purpose cleaning agent. Vinegar makes your dishes taste great, but it is also a biodegradable and non-toxic cleaning agent. It also disinfects and deodorizes. Apple cider, white or any other vinegar contains about 5% acetic acid making it an effective cleaning agent.

Steam clean the tough dirt in your microwave with vinegar and it will loosen without much effort.

What You Will Need

  • Vinegar,1 cup
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Stirring Stick
  • Mitts
  • Dish cloth  or paper towel

What You Need to Do

1. Pour vinegar and water into a microwave-safe bowl. Place the stirring stick into the bowl. This is just a precautionary measure to avoid possible explosions.

2. Place the bowl in the microwave and set it for 10 minutes.

bowl microwave

3. When done, leave the microwave close for another 3 minutes to allow steam to circulate more inside.

4. Remove the bowl. Use a mitt because the bowl can be very hot.

5. Dip the dishcloth or paper towel into the water-vinegar solution and wipe off the loosened dirt. With only a few wipes, all the dirt will quickly be released.

How to Clean a Microwave with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a very effective cleaning agent because of its mild alkali properties. When baking soda is applied on the surface, grime and even grease will easily liquefy making them easy to remove. Baking soda is a gentle and non-toxic cleaning agent, making it safe to use in your microwave.

Baking soda can also neutralize the bad odour that has settled inside your microwave, thus also making it an effective deodorizer.

What You Will Need

  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Damp cloth

What You Need to Do

1. Add just enough water to baking soda to make a paste.

2. Dip a damp cloth to get a small amount of the paste.

3. Rub the damp cloth on the dirt.

4. Wipe away the paste with a clean cloth

The Wet Paper Towels Technique

Using a few pieces of wet paper towels is the fastest and easiest way of ridding your microwave of the all those splatters that have stuck to the walls and turntable of your microwave.

What You Will Need

  • Paper Towels, 4 pieces
  • Dish Soap
  • Scrubbing Pad, non-abrasive
  • Rubber Gloves

What You Need to Do

  1. Thoroughly wet the paper towels and bundle them together.

2. Top the soaking wet paper towels with a drop or two of dish soap.

3. Place the paper towels inside the microwave and set on high for 1 minute.

4. Leave the paper towels inside the microwave for another 5 minutes to allow the steam to loosen the tough dirt.

5. Wipe the inside of the microwave with the paper towels. Make sure to wear rubber gloves as the towels can get to be really hot.

6. Use the non-abrasive scrubbing pad for any stubborn stain.

7. Wipe off steam residue with dry paper towel.

Tips from the Pro

Professionals will always say that prevention is better than cure. To prevent dirt from sticking into your microwave, always make sure to use a cover on anything you cook or heat on the microwave. It will not only prevent splatters which form as grime and gunk, but it will also prevent possible explosions that will definitely surprise you.

However, since using a cover is often forgotten, the professionals recommend that you should make it a habit to immediately wipe off spills to prevent them from getting stuck on the microwave. Watch a tutorial about what they have to say on how to clean a microwave.


A dirty microwave is a disgusting sight to look at, plus it has an awful smell. If tough dirt has already stuck to your microwave, do not delay the cleaning. Choose from among the methods on how to clean a microwave that were presented above. The more you delay, the tougher the dirt will be as you use your microwave almost every day.

I tried all the cleaning agents and methods I presented above. I like the baking soda paste the most. It is fast, and easy to prepare. It removes tough splatters as effectively as the rest of the food ingredients/ cleaning agents. Sometimes, I sprinkle baking soda directly on the turntable and wipe it off with a damp cloth and it works just fine, too.

Have you tried any of the methods I shared? Which one did you find the easiest to use? Which one worked for you? Do you use any other methods to clean your microwave? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section.  We should never leave our microwaves for long periods of time. Let us make the methods on how to clean a microwave a regular routine.

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