Easiest Way to Clean a Microwave!

6 Materials
8 Minutes

I decided to try the “No Effort Microwave Cleaner” that you can see on Pinterest literally everywhere. It worked great but I would add some serious warnings (so be sure to read all the details) on using this steaming vinegar and lemon method.
My microwave had totally been neglected.... sorry for the grossness!

Here's what you'll need:
  • Microwavable Dish
  • Water
  • White Distilled Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice (or half a lemon)
  • Sponge or white bartender rag
  • Pot Holder

Into the mug, I measured half a cup of water, half a cup of vinegar, and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice.  For the record, I just eye balled it.  Seriously, it’s the ratio more than the actual measurements that counts.
Then I put the mug in the microwave, set the time for five minutes and pushed “Start”.
After five minutes, USE A HOT PAD and reach in to retrieve the mug. 

Keep the hot liquid, but put it off to the side.

Pull out the glass rotator dish, and the ring thingy with wheels on it. 

Grab your bartender rag and start wiping, starting at the top so you don't have to re-do any of the bottom section later.

As you can see, stuff wiped off pretty easy.  

BUT, here is my second warning:  The microwave is going to be full of fumes.  Like, you might pass out they are so bad.  Just take a breather every minute or so and you’ll be fine.
There was a spot at the front of the microwave that was a bit stubborn.  I dipped the rag in the hot water/vinegar/lemon juice mix and mildly scrubbed the spot away.

Then I continued to use the hot mix on the outside of the microwave too.  It cut through the grease on the buttons and made the stainless steel sparkle.
Scrub the plate with some soap and water at your sink, reassemble it all, and it's done!

If you love cleaning tips and easy to follow cleaning tutorials like this, then you'll love my ebook Speed Clean the Deep Clean!

Suggested materials:

  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Microwaveable Dish
See all materials

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Katelyn Fagan

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

7 questions
  • Annie
    on Jun 17, 2017

    Would this recipe work on ovens as well? How should I go about it?
    • Barb in Texas
      on Jun 17, 2017

      No it won't, the microwave heats the water much faster than the oven would.
    • Charly
      on Jun 17, 2017

      All I do is put a fairly wet couple of paper towels in the microwave. Set timer for 20 seconds and then use a long handled spoon to move the paper towel around the inside of the microwave. Total time 60 seconds! Of course I do mine every day and the #1 rule is to cover the food you are heating.
    • Karen V
      on Jun 17, 2017

      The 'no fume' oven cleaner is very good at cleaning the inside of an oven, works great, even the off brand one. And like the microwave, it needs cleaned BEFORE it gets too bad.
    • Maureen Paynter
      on Jun 18, 2017

      Something spilled over in my oven. I need to clean it but I don't know what to use. It's a self cleaning oven but I'm kind of afraid of them. Just old fashioned I guess.
  • Mema
    on Jun 17, 2017

    Will this work on a microwave with the stainless steel inside...walls, top, bottom?
    Sounds great...Thanks
    • Jane
      on Jun 17, 2017

      Yes! You can also avoid the fumes by just using water in the cup. I have done this for years.

    • Edith Siegel
      on Jun 18, 2017

      I pour a half cup of water onto the carousel plate and hit 1 minute. Then I load the dishwasher, wash the pots or whatever. By then the plate has cooled, I lay the dishcloth in it to control wave motion of the water and dump it. Rinse the cloth, wring it out,wipe it out, rinse and dry the plate, done.
    • Ardale
      on Jun 18, 2017

      I've been cleaning mine for years with just a small bowl of water! It's the steam that is doing all the work not any chemicals or strong smelling vinegar that is doing it! Run my water on high for 5 mins. and once the steam has done it's job I just take the glass tray out and wash it in the sink and take a clean wet rag and wipe out the inside of my microwave and if there are any stubborn spots on the glass in the door I just use a wet Mr. Clean Sponge (no soap or cleaners of any kind) with little effort at all and in 8 to 10 mins. tops my microwave looks brand new again.
    • Nadia Najjar
      on Jun 18, 2017

      I wipe out all the inside of my microwave oven straight after EVERY USE while there's still some steam in there.....! I've done it since day one and have NEVER seen my oven look as gross as that one....! I also use food covers over the dishes to stop splashes and wash the covers after every use. It's so simple and easy.
    • Mema
      on Jun 18, 2017

      Ladies, Jane, Edith, Ardale, and Nadia.....Thank You for our information, each one was similar and that will be my homework tomorrow morning...starting the week off right!
  • Kay
    on Jun 21, 2017

    What do you do with the hot liquid on the side?
    • Tommy Williams
      on Jun 29, 2017

      Reread the artical.
      You clean the outside of the microwave!!!!!
    • Bj
      on Jul 7, 2017

      She also used it to "gently scrub" the stubborn spot on the inside of the microwave, the stubborn spot left after fuming the interior.
  • Marnidarr
    on Jun 28, 2017

    Recipe for an awesome nonporous surface cleaner: (1/2 gal total quantity) half and half of water to vinegar, plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Fabulous on glass! Vinegar is a disinfectant too; as effective as Lysol. (You get use to the smell and it dissipates quickly). You could pour your leftovers into a spray bottle!
  • Mamacie
    on Jul 6, 2017

    I have done this WITHOUT using any heat that might cause damage or fumes. In fact you can simply set a cup of ammonia in the microwave overnight and wipe it sparkling clean overnight. Why is the heating necessary with your formula given its potential negatives?
    • Jane Grigsby
      on Jul 14, 2017

      Yeah, ammonia has no dangerous fumes.....
    • Jewellmartin
      on Jul 16, 2017

      I think the author's ebook is named Speed Clean the Deep Clean, so her focus would be on fast and effective methods. My husband won't let me have ammonia in the house and barely tolerates vinegar. But when he has a sore throat on the morning he is about to preach, he gargles with vinegar and salt. You do what you believe in. Best wishes 😇

  • Car11835626
    on Jul 9, 2017

    I only use a small dish of boiling water too. I just want to know WHY they spent $10.00 for vinegar, lemon juice and a cloth ? And where ? I don't want to shop there.
  • Helly Hardt
    on Aug 14, 2017

    Where can I buy the grout marker ?
    thank you

Join the conversation

3 of 80 comments
  • Tina
    on Aug 3, 2017

    I use a cup of water to 1/2 cup lemon juice. Microwave for 3 minutes and then let set for about another 3 minutes. Then just wipe everything out. No vinegar or ammonia stench, just lemony fresh and sparkling clean! Then I pour the water/juice mixture down my garbage disposal. Double duty.
  • Juanita
    on Nov 10, 2018

    This would be better for me as I have Asthma and I can’t take all those fumes. Thank you for this method

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