Have a gross dirty microwave? Here’s how to clean a microwave with vinegar and lemon! Follow the tutorial below.
Today I am 21 weeks pregnant. And I feel like I am just now pulling out of the first-trimester fog when all I wanted to do was put my head down on any surface and sleep. As my husband says, “The business of building a baby is tough work.” (Aww, don’t you just love him?!)
Anyway, now that I can finally concentrate again I’m noticing just how grungy our house has become. It’s a bit embarrassing. Ok, it’s a lot embarrassing.
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So I’ve started to tackle the worst things one at a time. I won’t confess how many truly terribly grotesque things were on the list before the microwave because that it just mortifying. But the microwave was up there. You can read my post here about having the courage to continue. Let me tell you, I’ve needed courage to tackle my house this week!
Really it’s not the worst microwave I’ve ever seen but for my house it was soooooo bad. I typically just clean it with hot water, soap and a lot of elbow grease.
This time I decided to try the “No Effort Microwave Cleaner” that you can see on Pinterest literally everywhere. It worked great but I would add some serious warnings (so be sure to read all the details).
How to Clean Microwave with Vinegar
Microwave Cleaning Supplies
- Microwavable Dish (or those fun Angry Mama Microwave Steam Cleaner things)
- White Distilled Vinegar
- Lemon Juice (or half a lemon)
- Sponge or white bartender rag
- Pot Holder
First, I grabbed my supplies: a microwavable something: bowl, dish, mug, etc. I choose a mug but then had to alter the measurements for the instructions I found online.
I also needed water (easy), white distilled vinegar (seriously, who doesn’t have jugs of this in their home), and lemon juice. A few of the sites said to actually use half a lemon but I opted for lemon juice since that I what I had on hand.
I also needed a sponge. But I didn’t have an extra one so I just grabbed a white bartender rag. I love bartender rags. They are super absorbent, just the right size, and they have a great amount of scub-ability (you can grab a pack of bartender rags here).
Instructions on How to Clean a Microwave
Into the mug, I measured half a cup of water, half a cup of vinegar, and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice. For the record, I just eye balled it. Seriously, it’s the ratio more than the actual measurements that counts.
Then I put the mug in the microwave, set the time for five minutes and pushed “Start”.
Then I spent five peaceful minutes reading, checking emails, relaxing. Hahahahahaha just kidding. My kids were hanging all over me, whining, crying, demanding . . . . basically being my fantastic kids at their best. They were also complaining about the smell.
After five minutes, I reached in the retrieve the mug. And here is my first warning: the mug/dish/bowl will be HOT as Hades. Do not assume that the handle of the mug is safe. Or you will end up with a healthy burn. . . . like me (Sigh). So be sure to grab a hot pad and then retrieve the mug.
I kept the hot liquid which was another thing no one ever bothered to mention.
Next, I pulled out the glass rotator dish, and the ring thingy with wheels on it. Grabbed my bartender rag and started wiping.
I started at the top so I wouldn’t have to re-do any of the bottom section later.
As you can see, stuff wiped off pretty easy. So, ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! And here is my second warning: The microwave is going to be full of fumes. Like, you might pass out they are so bad. Just take a breather every minute or so and you’ll be fine.
While I was surprised to find that the pieces of food were still hard, they wiped off with little effort. It took a few passes with the rag but pretty soon the entire microwave was pretty dang clean.
There was a spot at the front of the microwave that was a bit stubborn. I dipped the rag in the hot water/vinegar/lemon juice mix and mildly scrubbed the spot away.
Then I continued to use the hot mix on the outside of the microwave too. It cut through the grease on the buttons and made the stainless steel sparkle.
Last, I poured the remainder of the mixture over the glass plate hoping it would loosen up the food stuck on it. It didn’t. I still had to scrub that with soap and water but compared to scrubbing the entire microwave, I’ll take it.
Ta-da! The finished product is pretty fantastic. I have to say I really liked this method of cleaning a microwave.
Although, using a microwave cover would totally make it so you don’t have to clean your microwave very often, as well as making sure you wipe up messes right away!
For more tips on how to clean just about everything, check out these other popular kitchen cleaning tutorials!
- How to clean dishwasher with a steam cleaner
- How to clean oven with baking soda
- How to clean and deodorize garbage disposal
- How to remove fridge odor and smells
- How to clean stove drip pans
- How to clean globe faucet handles
- How to clean copper bottom pot with vinegar and salt
- How to clean copper pot with ketchup
- How to remove scratches from dinnerware
- How to clean a Le Creuset dutch oven
- How to clean stainless steel pans
Sammy Dolan says
Great tips! I know you said you didn’t have a lemon to hand, but if you cut a lemon in half and rub it all over the microwave before steaming, it will be even easier to clean!
Gordan Ladd says
I tested the lemon + vinegar before. It does work! But that is for the easy to remove the stain. If the microwave has not been clean for a long time, some stain can be hard to come off. So I still need to use some soft scrub to clean those hard stains.
Cut a lemon in half:Place both halves cut-side down on a microwave able plate with a tablespoon of water.
Microwave for about 1 minute or until the lemon is hot and the inside of the microwave is steamy.
Wipe the inside of the microwave with kitchen paper and wash the plate.
Just used this method to clean our microwave, mainly because of the remaining aroma of the extra smoky bacon my husband cooked for Sunday breakfast. It made a huge difference! I placed the bowl of the used vinegar, water, and lemon juice mixture on the counter near the microwave, and hopefully, it will help to get rid of any lingering aromas in that area. Thanks for sharing this great tip!