Did you know that microwaves are supposed to be white? If you asked my children what color their microwave was, they would probably say “yellow.” Grease, gunk, and bits of food fly around in my microwave so often that at one point I gave up scrubbing it clean in favor of just buying new one. I don’t know where all of this grease and staining comes from so quickly, but it is the one thing that I hate to clean. It’s awkward to scrub with a sponge, the corners are hard to see, and don’t even get me started on the little rolling wheels on the turn table! That is until I realized that there was an incredibly easy and quick way to clean out a microwave without tossing it out and buying a new one.
The premise behind these cleaning methods is steam. Steam builds up in the microwave and soaks through the gunk and grease quickly making it easy to just wipe clean and be done with all of it in less than 10 minutes. I didn’t believe that it was so easy to clean a microwave this way until I tried it for myself.
1. If your microwave isn’t too dirty yet, you can keep it clean by soaking a sponge in water and adding a spoonful of white vinegar to it. Just put the wet sponge in the microwave and set it for about 1 minute. The moisture from the sponge will saturate the greasy goop and loosen it from the surface of your microwave. Once the microwave stops, keep the door closed for another minute to let the steam settle. Now you can use the sponge to wipe off the surface of the microwave, and as a bonus, you’ve just disinfected your sponge! If you do this trick once a week, your microwave will stay clean (and white!) for many years to come. Who knew?
2. If you don’t have a sponge or use a scrubbing brush instead, you can wad up a handful of paper towels and soak them in water. Toss them into your microwave and set your microwave to 1 minute. As with the sponge, let the steam settle before you open your microwave and wipe it down. If 1minute isn’t enough to generate steam in your microwave, you can set the timer for a bit longer. Be sure to watch the paper towels and stop the timer before they dry out and start to burn! That burned and smokey smell is not fun to get rid of. Trust me.
3. If your microwave is a bit dirtier than just a week or two of buildup, try a more forceful method using water and a microwave safe glass bowl. Turn your microwave on for about 2 minutes until the water starts to boil and leave the door closed afterwards to let the steam settle into the gunk. Be sure not to grab the bowl directly as it may be very hot! The mess should wipe out quickly and cleanly with one pass of a sponge or cleaning cloth!
4. If you have a really dirty microwave, you might want to try this step first. Utilize the antibacterial properties of vinegar to really give your microwave a deep cleaning! In a microwave safe bowl, add 1 cup of water and mix in 1 large spoonful of vinegar. Microwave the bowl with the mixture for 3 – 5 minutes until the water starts to boil and steam. Leave the door closed and let the steam and vinegar really get into the build up. Open the microwave and wipe away all of the grime! If there is still gunk left over, move on to the next method.
5. You’ve tried everything to get that crusty stuck-on gunk to lift but it’s just not budging! That’s okay, this method will help you get rid of it in no time at all! Mix baking soda and water to create a think paste. Cover the tough spots with this paste and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes. The nasty gunk should come right off after being under the baking soda mixture!
Congratulations! Your microwave will be beautiful as new in less than 10 minutes! Enjoy your beautiful, clean microwave and clean it with one of the methods above once a week to keep it perfect and grease free!