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?


Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. I have tried all the cleaning tips including this, but nothing seems to work. My son badly burnt popcorn in the microwave which stained the inside of the microwave. I cleaned it as best I could and while it was cleaner, it was still stained. Shortly after, he microwaved a cheeseburger with the foil Sonic wrapper on it still. It shortly started to burn in the microwave. I tried cleaning it again with several different solutions and techniques, but now it is even more stained. It still smells every time I use it also. Is my microwave just ruined or is there a way to get the burnt stains out?

    • Try a paste of baking soda and liquid dish soap with a few drops of orange essential oil. Leave that on until dry then wipe away.

  2. Hi Melissa

    I have a question. The inside of my microwave is pretty clean as i often wipe it. But its a over the range microwave so my outside is pretty sticky and dirty. And even the glass outside looks untidy. And plus its a stainless steel finish. Any tips on how to clean that?


  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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,.

  6. 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?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here