The Microwave Cleaning Tricks You Should Be Using Yourself

Though invented a few decades earlier, the microwave grew quickly and substantially in popularity around the 1970s, per Quiet Home. Since then, just about every home has one. In fact, many would consider their kitchen incomplete without it. Easy to operate and versatile, it has become a useful tool for so many — especially anyone partial to leftovers.But keeping the microwave clean can be a hassle. We've all experienced the disappointment of finding splattered food upon opening the microwave door. Even when covering food with paper towels, stains can still somehow show up on the walls.

Cleaning appliances isn't exactly most people's idea of a good time. However, cleaning your microwave doesn't have to be a dreaded chore. There are quite a few hacks that will help you quickly and easily clean your microwave. The key is to use the microwave itself to aid in the process, with a few ingredients to help remove unwanted odors. Read on to find out how!

How to clean your microwave

Just about every microwave cleaning hack begins with heating up water. Of course, you'll want to use a microwave-safe bowl when you do this. Choose an appropriate bowl, fill it with water, and place it in the microwave. You'll then want to heat the water to the point where it will create steam. Oven Clean recommends heating the water for five minutes. You'll also want to keep the door closed for at least three minutes after heating. This allows the steam to soften any hardened food or grime, making it easy to wipe all mess away.

After allowing the bowl to sit, carefully remove it from the microwave. You can also remove the microwave tray and clean it in the sink with dish soap, or place it in your dishwasher. Then, you'll want to take a dampened sponge or rag and clean the inside of your microwave, making sure to also get the door. If you come across some food that just won't budge, try adding dish soap to a damp sponge and scrubbing hard. This should remove the stubborn stain.

Tips for extra dirty microwaves

Before placing the water bowl in the microwave, you may want to add some extra ingredients that can help break down food build-up and eliminate lingering odors. One popular method is to use white vinegar. As Oven Clean points out, it's cheap, natural, environmentally friendly, and will help remove unwanted odors. Simply pour 2 tablespoons of white vinegar into your bowl before heating and watch the mixture work its magic. You could also use a lemon. Like vinegar, it is an inexpensive and natural alternative, though some prefer it over vinegar for its pleasant, citrusy scent. As suggests, cut your lemon in half and squeeze the juice for each half into your water-filled bowl. Then place the rinds into the bowl and heat in the microwave. After heating up these mixtures, wiping away stuck-on food should be a breeze.

If the outside of your microwave could also use a cleaning, try using an ammonia-free glass or window cleaner. Window cleaner is a great option because it's streak free. If your appliance is made of stainless steel, consider using a stainless steel cleaner as well. Whichever formula you decide to use, The Home Depot suggests spraying it onto a rag rather than directly onto the appliance in order to prevent excess liquid from getting into the vents.