How to clean a microwave: from lemons to vinegar, discover the expert cleaning methods to get your microwave spotless
Cleaning your microwave can seem like a laborious task, meaning it is never at the top of our to do list. However, keeping on top of food spillages and splatters frequently is the best way to maintain your microwave and prevent stubborn stains or bad odours – and it is a lot easier than you may think.
The everyday cleaning products you have at home should be enough to keep your microwave clean, but you can also turn to eco-friendly and incredibly effective alternatives such as lemons, vinegar and baking soda to get the appliance pristine.
What is the quickest way to clean a microwave?
The quickest way to keep your microwave clean is to wipe it down with a microfiber cloth after every use, to prevent any food spillages from drying on. You could also add a little bit of washing-up liquid on your damp cloth to keep the appliance clean and smelling fresh, but be careful not to use too much water as it may damage your microwave.
SHOP: 7 best kitchen appliances from £20 that will save you money on meals
How to clean a microwave with lemon
Lemons are incredibly effective at cleaning microwaves
One quick and eco-friendly way to get your microwave sparkling again, according to expert organiser Nicola Lewis, aka This Girl Can Organise, is by using lemon.
Simply place some slices of lemon in a bowl of water and add a toothpick to prevent it from boiling over. Pop the bowl in the microwave and set the time for three to five minutes. This will loosen all the grease and grime and make it super easy to wipe away with a cloth, and is a cleaning hack that could save you a lot of time and effort.
RELATED: 15 best air fryers with top reviews in 2022: From Ninja to Salter, Philips & more
This is also reportedly a cleaning method that has the royal seal of approval, and was used by Barbara Allred, former head housekeeper at the Sandringham Estate, to clean the late Queen's microwave.
Cleaning your microwave regularly takes less effort than you may expect
How to clean a microwave with vinegar
White vinegar is another multi-purpose natural cleaning essential that is just as effective on microwaves as it is when cleaning a fridge. The acidity in vinegar means it is great at eliminating grease and grime, with the benefit of being inexpensive and natural, with no chemicals or fumes to contend with.
Similarly to cleaning with lemon, all you need to do is add two tablespoons of white vinegar to a jug containing 500ml of water, and microwave on full power for five minutes. Carefully remove the jug when the time is up, and then use a sponge to wipe the inside of your microwave, starting from the top and down to the bottom, not forgetting the inside of the door and turntable.
MORE: How to clean an oven like a pro
READ: The Queen of Clean reveals her top Amazon cleaning buys that are worth their weight in gold
How to clean a microwave with baking soda
Baking powder is another good natural way to clean a microwave
The same method as above can be used to clean your microwave with baking soda. First pour water and a sprinkle of baking soda into a microwave-safe bowl or jug and mix thoroughly before running the microwave on full power for five minutes. As with vinegar and lemon, the stains should be easy to wipe off with a cloth, but if not try repeating the process to gradually lift any burnt-on grease or grime.
How to remove bad smells from your microwave
Strong food smells and bad odours can linger in the microwave after cooking, so it's best to try and get rid of them quickly. For light odours this can be as simple as leaving the door open, or using the baking soda method above to both clean and deodorise the microwave in one step.
RELATED: How to make your house smell nice all the time
For stronger odours, the natural cleaning methods including lemon and vinegar can be effective, while coffee also makes a great natural air freshener you likely already have at home.
Put two tablespoons of coffee in a microwave-safe mug with half a cup of water and heat for two to three minutes at a time, making sure that the solution doesn't boil. Often, the smell is removed within ten minutes of heating the coffee, but if it is still lingering, repeating the process should help.
What should you not use when cleaning a microwave?
Never use harsh or abrasive chemicals to clean your microwave, such as bleach, as it may weaken the plastic interior and damage the appliance.
Like this story? Sign up to our HELLO! Mail newsletter to receive all the latest royal and celebrity news straight in your inbox.