Scenic Erie Station Village

The Easy Way to Clean Your Microwave

Man wiping down the outside of a microwave oven. Image credit: Rodnae ProductionsMarch 2022


Your microwave is probably one of the most used appliances in your apartment. But since microwaves heat food so quickly, things can splatter or boil over before you know it. And if you’re not great about cleaning those messes, after several heating cycles they become much harder to remove. Luckily, all you need is a small bowl, some water, and lemon juice to effortlessly clean your microwave.

Just place one cup of water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Add a thick slice of lemon or three tablespoons of bottled lemon juice. If you don’t have either, you can add one-half cup of white vinegar to the water, but know that your kitchen will end up smelling like a salad.

Place the bowl in your microwave and turn it on high. Let the microwave run until the mixture comes to a rolling boil and the interior surfaces have been covered in steam. Shut the microwave off but leave the door closed for about five minutes. Then remove the bowl, being careful if it’s still hot.

The lemon water steam will have loosened any food particles, so you can just wipe them off with a damp sponge. Be sure to wipe down all surfaces, especially the ceiling, which often gets the most splatters. Don’t forget the inside of the door. Then remove the turntable, wash it in your sink, and return it. Finish up by cleaning the outside surfaces of your microwave with a spray cleaner and sponge.

And when it comes to avoiding new messes, always cover foods when heating them.