What Not to Do When Cleaning a Microwave? Tips

The most common mistakes when cleaning a microwave are using harsh chemicals, neglecting the vent, getting the control panel too wet, and using abrasive tools. These errors can damage your microwave, reduce its efficiency, and contaminate your food. To avoid these pitfalls, follow these simple tips on how to clean a microwave safely and correctly.

Why You Should Clean Your Microwave Regularly

Your microwave is one of the most frequently used appliances in your kitchen. You probably use it every day to heat up leftovers, defrost frozen food, or make quick snacks. But do you clean it as often as you should?

A dirty microwave can harbor bacteria, mold, and unpleasant odors that can affect the quality and safety of your food. According to a study by NSF International, a public health organization, microwaves are among the top 10 germiest places in the kitchen. The study found that microwaves can contain salmonella, E. coli, and other harmful microbes that can cause food poisoning and infections.

Cleaning your microwave regularly can prevent these health risks and also extend the lifespan of your appliance. A clean microwave will run more efficiently and evenly, saving you time and energy. It will also look more appealing and smell fresher, making your kitchen more inviting.

How to Clean Your Microwave the Right Way

Cleaning your microwave doesn’t have to be a chore. You can use natural ingredients and mild cleaning solutions that you already have at home, such as vinegar, lemon, and baking soda. These substances can create steam and fizz that can loosen and remove the dirt and grease from your microwave. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Unplug your microwave before cleaning and let it cool down for a few minutes.
  • Fill a microwave-safe bowl with water and add a tablespoon of vinegar, lemon juice, or baking soda. Place the bowl in the center of the turntable and microwave it on high for 5 minutes. This will create steam that will soften the stains and splatters inside the microwave.
  • Leave the door closed for another 5 minutes to let the steam work its magic. Then, carefully remove the bowl with oven mitts or a kitchen towel. Be careful not to burn yourself with the hot water or steam.
  • Wipe down the interior of the microwave with a damp microfiber cloth or sponge. You can also use a toothbrush or a cotton swab to reach the corners and crevices. If there are any stubborn spots, you can apply some baking soda paste and scrub gently.
  • Remove the turntable and wash it in the sink with dish soap and water. Rinse and dry it well before putting it back in the microwave.
  • Wipe down the exterior of the microwave, especially the door, the handle, and the control panel. Use a damp cloth or sponge with a little dish soap and water. Do not spray any liquid directly on the control panel, as this can damage the electronic components. Dry the exterior with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Plug your microwave back in and enjoy your sparkling clean appliance.
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How Often You Should Clean Your Microwave

The frequency of cleaning your microwave depends on how often and how heavily you use it. As a general rule, you should wipe down your microwave with a damp cloth or paper towel after each use to remove any crumbs or spills. This will prevent them from drying and hardening, making them easier to clean later.

You should also deep clean your microwave at least once a month, or more often if you notice any stains, residue, or odors. This will ensure that your microwave is hygienic and efficient, and that your food is safe and tasty.


Cleaning your microwave is an important task that you should not neglect or postpone. By avoiding the common mistakes and following the simple tips in this article, you can clean your microwave safely and correctly, using natural ingredients and mild cleaning solutions. This will help you keep your microwave in good condition, protect your health, and improve your cooking experience. Happy microwaving!