#1 Home Improvement Retailer

Buying Guide

How to Clean a Microwave

Clear Removable Parts
A woman removing the glass tray from the microwave interior.
  • Remove the glass tray and turntable support ring. dish soapWash these parts separately by hand with a sponge and dish soap. Typically, these removable parts are also dishwasher safe. 
Apply Cleanser
A woman sprays cleanser on the interior surfaces of a soiled microwave.
  • Next, spray the microwave interior thoroughly with an appliance cleaner. 
Heat Up the Microwave
A woman sets the microwave to heat up for several minutes.
  • This will help remove any built-up grime and stains. 
Wipe Away Residue
A woman wipes the interior of the microwave with a sponge.

After you have run the microwave, use a soft cloth or a sponge to wipe away the cleanser and remaining residue. 

Wash and Replace Removable Parts
A woman hand washes a microwave's glass tray with soapy water in a sink.
  • Afterward, return them to their proper place in the microwave. 
Clean the Exterior
Woman wipes down the front door of a microwave with a paper towel.
  • Use an all purpose cleaner. Prevent too much cleaner from entering the microwave oven’s vents by spraying cleaner onto the cloth rather than spraying directly onto the microwave's surface.

Tip: You can also use an ammonia-free glass cleaner or diluted dish soap and a sponge for cleaning the microwave oven cabinet and exterior. 

If your microwave oven cabinet is made from stainless steel, use a cleaner specifically formulated for stainless steel surfaces. Spray the cleaner onto a cloth and rub gently in the direction of the grain. 

Natural Cleaning Solutions
A hand in a dishwashing glove reaches for a clear bottle of vinegar that sits next to baking soda, soap and a sponge.

If you do not have an appliance cleaner or prefer home remedies, use the following methods: 

You can use distilled white vinegar to give your microwave interior a steam cleaning.

  • Dilute a cup of vinegar with a cup of water in microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Tip: Add a few drops of essential oils or lemon juice to the vinegar mixture to weaken the vinegar odor. 
  • Place the container inside of the microwave, then turn it on for approximately five minutes or until boiling and the interior is filled with steam. 
  • Keep the door closed for a few extra minutes after the timer goes off to give the steam time to penetrate the dried-on messes. 
  • Use a cloth towel or oven mitt to remove the bowl from the microwave. 
  • Remove the glass tray and turntable support ring as well in order to wash these parts separately.  
  • Wear rubber gloves and wipe down the interior with a clean towel or sponge dampened with the vinegar solution. 
  • Rinse the cloth and repeat as needed. 
  • For stubborn spots, use the soft scouring pad side of a sponge. Do not use steel or stiff plastic scrubbing pads. 
  • Let everything fully air-dry before reassembling and closing the microwave door.

Alternatively, you can learn how to clean a microwave with lemon. The citric acid in lemon juice combined with steam can help loosen caked-on splatters inside your appliance.

  • Leave the glass tray and turntable support ring inside the microwave.  
  • Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a microwave-safe bowl. 
  • Place both lemon halves into the bowl and add a half-cup of water. 
  • Heat on high power for approximately two minutes or until the mixture boils and the inside is steamy. 
  • Keep the door closed for several minutes after the timer goes off to allow the steam to loosen any dried splatters. 
  • Open the door and carefully remove the hot bowl with a cloth towel or oven mitt. 
  • Wipe down the interior with a cleaning cloth, paper towel or sponge. 
  • Dip the corner of a cloth into the lemon solution and scrub any difficult areas with the soft scouring pad side of a sponge. 

Tip: Occasionally wiping out the microwave interior with a solution of baking soda and water keeps the inside of the microwave fresh and can extend the time between thorough cleanings. 

Note: Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for how to clean a microwave before trying any microwave cleaning hack.