How to Clean a Microwave


A microwave is pretty necessary in a kitchen.

We use ours at least twice a day, and there’s only two of us here.  That’s 14 rounds a week…14 opportunities for our microwave to become gummed up and nasty.

But, it doesn’t.  Know why?  I’ve got a really easy way to clean it AND keep it clean.  Tell your friends, teach your kids, you’re going to love this.

I too used to microwave pea soup and tomato sauce-laden pasta without regard for what happened in the aftermath.  When I was old enough to hear about it, I learned quickly how to clean the microwave, and how to avoid having to clean up my boo boos.

All you need to do is this:

  1. Cut a lemon in half, and squeeze the lemon juice into a microwave safe bowl.  Place the lemons in the bowl
  2. Fill the bowl half way with water
  3. Microwave for 5 minutes on high (for a really bad microwave, you can do more time, just make sure you have plenty of water in the bowl)
  4. Remove the bowl with a gloved hand (HOT)
  5. Wipe the microwave with a microfiber cloth or double-sided sponge (if the crud is heavy).  Ensure you get the top, sides and bottom of the microwave, and remember to clean the rotating glass dish
  6. Wipe with a clean cloth to remove residue.

All done!

What happened here, is the lemon juice and oils along with the water created a hot steam that proliferated the inner chamber of the microwave, clinging onto dirt and loosening it along the way.  Think of it as a facial for your microwave :D.  When you remove the bowl and wipe the sides down, you’ll see how easy the crud comes off.  I use the lemon water to clean the interior of the microwave with, and if you do this, make sure you are careful because the water is boiling hot.  This leaves your microwave clean and smelling fresh.

Remember to clean underneath your microwave (you’d be very surprised to see what lurks under there), and give the buttons and dials a wipe down too (major point of contact).

I love this method because it requires zero cleaning products or chemicals, is so easy and costs about 50 cents.

As promised, my secret to keeping everything clean in the microwave is this.  You don’t need to buy anything fancy, all I do is take an extra plate or bowl (matching the dish my food is on) and cover the top of the dish.  You have enough of a gap where the two dishes or bowls meet to let a bit of steam escape, but not enough space for any splashes or splatters.  I rinse the plate or bowl once I’ve finished microwaving and voila, it’s all done.

That’s my secret, preventative maintenance for literally no extra money.

What are your microwave cleaning secrets?


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Melissa Maker is the host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube, editor-at-large of, and founder of Clean My Space (a well-known Toronto-based cleaning service). She's been knee-deep in the cleaning game since 2006. Follow Melissa: @MelissaMaker on Instagram, SnapChat & Twitter!


  1. Thank you so much….my hushband let a bowl of pasta heat without covering it. You can imagine the ess and my anger. Now all is calm….sorta!

  2. be very interesting, is there a chance

    for you to use these skills as a part-time job? fortunately, there is! all you have to do is to look for online writing jobs. there are tons of writing jobs needed online and you cannot just imagine how many individuals

  3. I use a microwaveable spatter guard everytime I microwave. My micorwave is spotless. I also use your tip of cutting a lemon in half and giving the micorwave a sauna bath. :O) I love a clean microwave. But my husband once exploded an egg in the microwave..egg yolk everywhere! He had the task of cleaning the microwave that day,.

  4. How do you clean clear/white plastic containers that have been microwaved with red sauces in them, so that they are back to being clear/white?

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