Cleaning 101: How to Clean a Microwave

This posts shows how to clean a microwave the easy way – simply use vinegar and water! 

This posts shows how to clean a microwave the easy way - simply use vinegar and water! 

Welcome to this summer's blog series! Over the next 10 weeks, I'll be breaking down some of the most common cleaning questions I've received over the years. Sometimes, it just helps to see a cleaning task broken down into simple supplies and steps. That's exactly what I'll be doing with some of my biggest tutorial requests.

This posts shows how to clean a microwave the easy way - simply use vinegar and water! 

First up is the microwave! When it comes to cleaning things that get really hot, I don't love using heavy chemicals or cleaners. Sometimes, the simplest cleaning supplies are the most effective. When it comes to my microwave, I use one incredibly simple ingredient:

This posts shows how to clean a microwave the easy way - simply use vinegar and water! 

…plain vinegar. I actually keep a big bottle of vinegar with the rest of the cleaning supplies under my sink. It's a great all-purpose cleaner when diluted with a little water, and can be super effective for disinfecting, cutting grease, and making surfaces shine.

Here's how I use it to clean my microwave!

Start (obviously) with a dirty microwave. This is what mine looks like – not terrible, since I schedule in a microwave cleaning once a month during kitchen week of Journey to Clean. But it needs a little TLC at this point.

This posts shows how to clean a microwave the easy way - simply use vinegar and water! 

Fill a microwave-safe bowl (no special tools needed!) with about 1/2 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup water.

This posts shows how to clean a microwave the easy way - simply use vinegar and water! 

Set your microwave for around 6 minutes – you want to give the vinegar mixture plenty of time to boil and let off steam. Once the microwave stops, don't open the door for an additional 5 minutes or so (again, to give that steam lots of time to break up dirt and grime).

Once you open it up, everything will be nice and steamy. From there, your spills and gunk should lift very easily.

Now, wipe! Get all of the steam off of the inside surfaces of the microwave. I love these reusable kitchen cloths for everyday cleaning. The microfiber is much more effective at scrubbing than paper towels and they're reusable – simply throw in the washer once they get dirty.

Take your turntable out and wipe it down well. Check your microwave manual to see if yours is dishwasher-safe – mine is. I'll throw it in the dishwasher if it's especially dirty, but normally a good wipe-down is all it needs.

This posts shows how to clean a microwave the easy way - simply use vinegar and water! 

And just like that, your microwave is clean and shiny until next month's cleaning. It takes just a few minutes to maintain each month. I also recommend using a microwave-safe cover like this one to keep monthly cleaning to a minimum.

Catch up on the rest of the Cleaning 101 series with the links below!

How to Clean a Microwave (you're here!)

How to Clean Cast Iron

How to Clean a Top Loader Washing Machine

How to Clean Stainless Steel Appliances

How to Clean a Dishwasher

How to Deep Clean a Dryer

How to Clean Upholstered Furniture

How to Clean an Oven

How to Clean a Mattress

How to Clean Grout

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4 Comments

  1. Leslie, Thank-you for the exact measurements for this vinegar mix. I have been cleaning my microwave with full strength vinegar for months. I believe vinegar is my only cleaning solution that I keep on hand. I rescue cats so I need to be somewhat cautious when it come to cleaning supplies. This is a great help.

    1. You are so welcome, Donna! Glad it could help.

  2. Looks simple and easy! I’m going to try this.

    1. Super simple – hope it works for you!