How to Clean a Microwave with Vinegar or Lemon Juice

Author: Staff Writers

Cleaning the microwave with vinegar or lemon juice on a routine basis is a good habit to acquire. It does not take long for grime and harmful bacteria to build up, especially if the microwave is used frequently.

Cleaning Methods

There are numerous ways to easily clean a microwave. You can follow the manufacturer's instructions or utilize one of these methods:

Cleaning with Vinegar

Use a damp paper towel to remove any loose particles from inside the microwave. Then mix ¼ cup of white distilled vinegar with 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe dish, and place it in the microwave. Bring the solution to a boil (on high for 1-3 minutes or until window becomes steamy). Leave standing in the microwave for approximately 15-20 minutes so it can steam clean the microwave. Then wipe off the grime with a damp cloth or sponge, and dry it off. Next, make a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water, then use it to wipe the greasy window and outside of microwave. However, for the rubber gasket, simply clean it with a cloth that has been dampened with water only. Be sure to thoroughly rinse off the glass plate.

Cleaning with Lemon Juice

Place a few drops of lemon juice, or a sliced up lemon, lime, or orange (you can leave the rinds on, if you want to) and one cup of warm water in a 4-cup microwaveable dish. Then follow the same instructions as above.

Cleaning with Bleach

To remove really stubborn stains, mix two parts of water with one part bleach in a spray bottle. Remove the plate and turnstile, and wash them with warm, soapy water. Liberally spray the inside of the microwave, and then heat it on high for 20- 30 seconds. Let sit for approximately 1-3 hours, depending on how stained it is. Then wipe clean with a clean, damp cloth. To clean the outside, dampen a cloth with white vinegar and wipe down the entire exterior.

You can also simply use a little bit of liquid dish detergent mixed with water to wipe the entire microwave. It is a good idea to wipe up any spills as soon as possible, so it does not become a harder task later. It also does not hurt to get into the habit of putting the glass plate in the dishwasher when doing a load of dishes, if it's dishwasher-safe.


Works Cited

MSU Extension
Microwave Oven Care and Cleaning

Indiana 4-H
"Microwave Safety

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"How to Clean a Microwave with Vinegar or Lemon Juice." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

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