My microwave is one of the hardest working appliances in the kitchen. It’s used to defrost frozen items, reheat leftovers, cook vegetables and create whole family meals but, despite our best efforts, it can get dirty from splashes and spills. So, here is my microwave cleaning routine that helps keep it sparkling clean.
The simplest way to keep the microwave clean is to always cover any food placed inside. Be sure to cover everything with either paper towel, a lid with a steam vent or a loosely fitted lid that will allow steam to escape … don’t ever put a sealed container in the microwave. This will help to keep food “explosions” to a minimum. Each time the microwave is used, wipe out the inside with a damp sponge or cloth to quickly mop up any food splatter while it’s still soft and wipes up easily.
Once a week I like to give the microwave a more thorough clean which takes less than 15 minutes.
- Fill a microwave-safe jug or bowl with 1 cup of water. I use a large Pyrex jug.
- Slice a lemon in quarters, squeeze the juice into the water and drop the lemon skins into the water.
- Microwave on HIGH for 3 – 4 minutes so that the water boils and creates the steam that will work its magic. To prevent the boiling water from exploding, place a non-metallic item like a wooden spoon or toothpick in the water as it’s being microwaved.
- Once finished, leave the microwave door closed and allow the jug to stand for a further 3 – 4 minutes so the steam really loosens up any baked on spills.
- Open the door of the microwave and carefully remove the jug or bowl using oven mitts or a tea towel if needed.
- Remove the glass turntable and the rotating rack that it sits on and soak both in warm, soapy water.
- Wipe down the inside of the microwave with a damp sponge. Work from top to bottom, cleaning the roof of the microwave, then the sides, followed by the base and finally the door. Remember, also to wipe over around the seals and door edges.
- Wash the turntable and rotating rack, rinse, dry with a tea towel and return to the microwave. Be careful when handling the glass turntable, as it may be slippery.
- If you have a particularly stubborn food stain, dip a cloth into the lemon mixture or use a little bi-carb soda on a damp sponge and rub gently.
- Remember also to wipe over the keypad, which can get very dirty and greasy from sticky fingers.
- I run the leftover lemon rinds and mixture through the garbage disposal to freshen it up and leave a lovely “lemony” smell in the kitchen.
- Wipe down the outside of the microwave with warm, soapy water and if your microwave is stainless steel, you might like to polish it.
- As an alternative to lemons, white vinegar also works well using the same process and adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar to the water.
- If you don’t have any lemons in the fridge, ½ an orange will also work and leave your microwave and kitchen with a lovely, fresh, citrus smell.
As well as cleaning the inside and outside of the microwave regularly, once a month I slide the microwave to the side of the bench and clean underneath to remove any dust and crumbs. For safety reasons, I keep the microwave on non-slip matting to prevent it being pulled off the bench by little fingers so I also shake this out to remove crumbs and wipe it over at the same time.
This is also a good opportunity to wipe down the tiles behind the microwave, the cord and the powerpoint.
Every 6 months I check the vents on the microwave, which you will find on the back or the side and use either a small brush or vacuum to remove any built up dust.
So tell me, does your microwave get really dirty and how do you clean it?