How to Clean Your Microwave So It Sparkles - From a Top Homekeeper

This post was written by a top TIDY Homekeeper, Angela M from Los Angeles.

It is embarrassing to have a family member or friend open up my microwave and see a food-encrusted mess! I clean my microwave regularly to avoid an unsightly mess, as well as to prevent the food-borne bacteria that can thrive and transfer to the meals that I serve to my family.

Some simple tips that I use to make my microwave sparkle are:

PreTreat Your Microwave.

Create steam and condensation inside your microwave so spills and grime will be a breeze to clean. I simply heat a cup of water for two or three minutes, and leave the door closed for another 10 minutes after. I carefully remove the cup and my microwave wipes clean easily. If you want to get fancy, you can use a bowl of water with some cut-up lemons or oranges in it to give your kitchen a fresh smell.Use Non-Abrasive Cleansers.

Don’t risk scratching or damaging the unit by using harsh, abrasive cleansers. Also, never spray or wipe cleaning solution directly on the touch-pad or panel that you use to set and start your microwave. I use diluted cleaners or simply a damp cloth to gently wipe these areas. Make sure to wipe the panel dry when finished.

Keep It Staying Fresh.

Start using food tents and covers to prevent splatters from soiling your microwave. These also tend to help heat food faster, so adjust cooking times accordingly. I only use those covers, lids and tenting products that are labeled for being microwave-safe and that display no metal parts. Wipe the covers and tents with a damp, soft cloth between uses and wash regularly to prevent bacterial growth.

Go All-Natural.

A completely natural and inexpensive solution that I like to use for cleaning the microwave is probably in your kitchen cabinet right now. Make a paste using white vinegar and baking soda and apply with a soft, damp cloth for stubborn grime or stuck-on food particles. I have found that an old toothbrush makes a great implement for scrubbing away tough spots!

Play It Safe.

I never begin wiping and scouring your microwave until it has been unplugged. This prevents any risk of shock to the user, as well as decreases the chance of any inadvertent damage if it is moved during the cleaning process. Also, don’t attempt to take your microwave apart to reach the interiors of the vents during cleaning; stick to simply wiping down the exterior surfaces that are easily reached.

Some things you should never do when cleaning your microwave are:

  • Never run an empty microwave in an effort to clean it. This will result in damage to the appliance, and may even cause a potential kitchen explosion.
  • Do not use steel wool or cleaning pads on your microwave, as these can leave metal particles or shavings behind.
  • Never finish the job by lining the microwave oven with any materials or placing liners on the turntable. This can interfere with cooking times and the overall performance of your appliance.

Hang on to the user’s manual for your microwave, which should outline recommendations for the best way to clean the device, as well as any warnings related to its maintenance. I share these tips as a guideline to curb the bacteria and germs that often plague my own kitchen and to help you keep your microwave sparkling clean!