Cleaning your microwave is an essential task in weekly kitchen maintenance to help avoid tough to clean, caked on messes and prevent potential mechanical issues caused by soil build up. Regardless if it’s splattered with pasta sauce, encrusted with burnt-on cheese or slick with oil from leftover fries, learn how to clean your microwave’s interior and exterior in three easy steps.
How to clean your microwave
The tools you’ll need to clean up quick
- Microwave-safe container
- Mild dish soap
- Soft cloth or sponge
- Vinegar or lemon juice (optional)
- Appliance cleaner (optional)
Step 1: Clean the inside of your microwave
Loosen hard to remove spills and splatters
Fill a microwave-safe container with 1 cup of water and set the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes to help steam and loosen the stuck-on gunk. Allow to cool, then remove the container and wipe down surfaces with a damp soft cloth or sponge.
Wipe down the microwave cavity
Clean the interior walls with a dilution of mild dish soap and water on a soft cloth or sponge. If you have a model with a stainless steel cavity wipe in the direction of the grain to avoid damage.
Remove soap residue and dry
Wipe down the interior using a damp cloth to rinse surfaces, and dry thoroughly with a microfiber cloth.
Step 2: Clean the microwave turntable
If recently used, allow the turntable to cool
Always start with a cool turntable before removing and submerging in water, as a heated one may break from the sudden change in temperature.
Remove turntable and wash
If coated heavily in grime, soak the turntable in mild dish soap and warm water, then use a non-abrasive sponge or dishcloth to hand wash. Some turntables can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but always check your microwave manual before doing so.
Thoroughly dry and put back in place
Once air-dried or wiped with a microfiber cloth, replace the turntable inside the microwave before its next use.
Step 3: Clean the microwave exterior
Clean exterior surfaces with mild dish soap and water
Wipe down the handle, control panel and exterior with a dilution of water and mild dish soap. Rinse surfaces with clean water and dry with a microfiber cloth. If you have a stainless steel microwave, use the above method or clean with a stainless steel appliance cleaner, like affresh® cleaners. Learn more about how to clean your stainless steel appliances.
Use glass cleaner for window smudges and fingerprints
Spray glass cleaner directly onto a paper towel, then wipe the glass window and glass control panel if you have one, until dry.
Clean your microwave grease filter monthly
If you have a microwave hood combination you’ll find the grease filter on the underside of your microwave oven. Grease filters should be removed and cleaned with mild soap and water or washed in a dishwasher, as instructed in your microwave manual.
How to clean your microwave with vinegar to remove burnt smells
Mix a dilution of water with lemon juice or vinegar
Heat 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or vinegar in a microwave-safe container for 2 to 5 minutes in the microwave oven.
Dry with a microfiber cloth
Once cooled, remove the container and wipe down the interior.
Learn more about cleaning your appliances
How to Clean a Washing Machine: Step-by-Step Guide Some washing machines can self-clean, but most washers need regular cleaning. Learn how to clean your washing machine with this step-by-step guide.
How to Easily Clean Your Oven Find out how to clean your oven in a few quick steps with this guide. Learn how to clean different parts of the oven, and how often you should clean your oven.
How to Clean a Refrigerator Learn how to clean your fridge inside and outside with our guide. Our step-by-step instructions will show you how to clean your refrigerator so it looks great.