Clean a Microwave




Introduction: Clean a Microwave

I'm a creative content creator here at instructables, which means that I have the most awesome jo...

If you've had to make a mad dash to your kitchen because you think a guest is about to use your dirty microwave, this is the Instructable for you! Just Imagine that in about 5 minutes from now you can have a completely clean microwave...without using any harsh cleaning products! Soon your microwave won't have any more dirty little secrets...

Let's get started!

Step 1: Steaming

In a glass bowl, pour 1 cup of white vinegar and place into your microwave. Set microwave on hi for 4 minutes.

After the 4 minutes are over, don't open the microwave door for another 2 minutes. This will allow the entire inside to "steam" and subsequently, loosen any caked-on grime from the walls and roof.

Note: If you're microwave is a special kind of dirty, you may want to run it twice for 4 minutes.

Step 2: Scrubbing

Using the softer side of a sponge, lightly scrub the entire interior of the microwave. This step doesn't involve much elbow grease on your part. Since there is probably a good bit of condensation inside, you might need to wring out the sponge of couple times in the sink.

Step 3: Drying

After you're satisfied with the lack of gross, grab a paper towel and dry the inside completely.

You're microwave is now clean and happy to be opened by anyone!



  • Creative Misuse Contest

    Creative Misuse Contest
  • Metalworking Contest

    Metalworking Contest
  • Fix It! Contest

    Fix It! Contest

47 Discussions

I wipe the oven down whenever it has moisture from what is cooked. Also keep a clear plastic pot lid over the microwave along with a stack of coated paper plates for over and under moisture control. I have lost microwaves to moisture. from cooking

Tomorrow morning, first thing I will do.

This steaming technique for cleaning really works, well-written.

Gonna have to give this a try. Yes, we cover stuff in the nuker but as someone else said, some food is "enthusiastic." I'm not too worried about too much moisture, I've nuked wet stuff for an extended period before.

I like the idea of soaking the sponge/rag and nuking it. Makes me think of the microwave cleaning cloths that were out years ago.

A great simple idea

If your microwave craps out, as a few of the comments claim, open it up and replace the fuse inside, before trashing it.

Got to be concerned about too much moisture getting into the electrical parts.

The Magnetron and high voltage parts, connections as this will create a short circuit situation. Best off to just hand wash/wipe if you don't want to have to

replace the unit.

I have always used a bowl of water for 5 minutes on several microwaves over 20+ years, which has worked OK. Recently, my college aged children moved back home and our fairly new microwave was getting extra dirty from their constant use and no clean-up. I tried my 5minutes of water and still had some hard to wipe food & sauce spatter on the walls, so I tried 5 more minutes of water. After the 2nd - 5 minutes, the microwave no longer worked. Either the microwave tube coincidently gave up the ghost at that time or, my worry, the excessive water vapor damaged the circuitry of the microwave controls, microwave tube itself, etc.

3 replies

I make rice in my microwave all the time -and I do cook a lot more stuff in it- and have never had a problem. In fact, I never had a problem until the plastic in the back cracked... the microwave in question had been in my possession for 14 years by that time and the ammonia based prewash (I spray the ammonia based prewash all over the inside of the microwave, then, I boil water for ~10 minutes after which I let it sit for ~5. Generally, I only need a pass with a bar mop (a kind of terry cloth rag somewhere between a washcloth and a towel) and I am done!) leaked through the crack onto some terminals. Even then, if I had just waited for it to dry -and it wouldn't have been long, the other ingredients are methanol (ice cold methanol will blast grease into tomorrow) and ethanol- everything would have been fine. Sadly, I was in a hurry. Given my experiences with that microwave and the one that replaced it, I feel confident that your tube gave up the ghost at that same moment.

As my contribution to cleaning a microwave, the way I have mine -sitting on a counter that sits elevated behind the counter space used for all the normal kitchen stuff- means that I cannot reach all areas inside with just my arms without moving it. As I said previously, I cook in my microwave quite a bit so cleanliness is more important than it might be if I only warmed up coffee so I need to scrub or wipe everywhere and for that I use that "as seen on TV" keep in the glove compartment thing intended to clean the inside of the windshield -I have a different one for my microwave.

I've boiled water for up to 30 min in the nuker and never had it crap out. I think your machine just had some cross wires or something.

I've had that happen, too. It may return working when it dries out. Some of my buttons on the right side touch panel won't work on my microwave when I've made too many cups of tea, but later they will.

"...a special kind of dirty."

Nice one!

Use a cover in the microwave to stop food splattering in the walls.

Use a cover in the microwave to stop food splattering in the walls.

Have you considered that the vapour reaches parts other than the actual oven compartment? Besides, combination ovens usually have the grill elements fixed with self tapping screws which are a point of corrosion on ovens not given your treatment. Your treatment is only likely to accelerate that.
If microwaves only cost 20 bucks in your country, then why bother wasting time cleaning it. Just save energy and resources, and ditch it when it gets too grubby

Worked great. Thanks for sharing.

I'm gonna have to try this. I normally put baking soda on a wet rag and commence wiping. Works great but this sounds a bit easier and I need to get off the net and clean mine! DH makes such a mess!

Perfectly timed and nicely written.
Thank you so much. :)