Tips for Cleaning Microwave Messes

Eruptions of chili and crusty pieces of cheese are neither appetizing or sanitary in a cooking appliance. Avoid melted mischief with these tips for cleaning microwave messes.

Tips for Cleaning Your Microwave

Use the Power of Steam

Use your microwave’s superpowers to your advantage. Steam can loosen hardened food bits, cutting down on your scrub time. Skip the sponge and use common household ingredients instead.

clean your microwave with steam

What you’ll need for this microwave cleaning tip:

  • Medium microwavable bowl (should hold at least 4 cups of liquid)
  • Water
  • Vinegar or 1 lemon, cut in half


  1. Fill the microwavable bowl with 2 cups water and ¼ cup vinegar or lemon halves.
  2. Microwave on high for 1.5-3 minutes, depending on the wattage (lower watts require more time).
  3. Keep an eye on the bowl to make sure water doesn’t boil over.
  4. Once the time is up, let the bowl sit in the microwave for 3 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove the bowl using oven mitts.
  6. Use a paper towel to wipe the sides, the tray and the area under the tray. 

A Good Scrubbing

If the steam didn’t loosen all of the gunk, it’s time to surrender to the sponge. We know. – scrubbing is the worst! But, use a damp, abrasive sponge—with or without soap—to remove the leftover bits. If you let things het a little wet first, scrubbing should be easier. Think of it like letting dishes soak.

Tip: Clean your microwave regularly to keep it fresh and sanitary—about every month. After all, no one wants their morning oatmeal to smell like last night’s lasagna.

  • Pro-tip: The sooner you wipe up spots, the easier they are to remove.

Need more cleaning inspo? We love clean tips, diy projects and crafts. Use these tips to keep your closet clean, and then check out more of our content on our blog homepage!

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