Of the myriad kitchen tools that have sparked joy through utter convenience, the microwave ranks pretty high up there. You can cook almost anything in a microwave, from popcorn to steak, (though we don't necessarily recommend the latter).
So, why are they so hard to clean? While simply using a damp paper towel may seem like an easy way to remove the zapped-on grease from heating up hundreds of Hot Pockets, it's not. There are actually several innovative ways to clean a microwave that'll leave it looking as good as new.
The Scrub Method
- Start by taking out the glass tray and turntable support ring. These can be washed by hand in the sink with dish soap and a sponge or run the tray through the dishwasher.
- Vinegar is the great mess equalizer. With the power to thoroughly eviscerate dirt and debris from all your household objects, it's no surprise that vinegar works wonders on microwaves. Using a spray bottle, spritz the inside of your microwave with vinegar or the appliance cleaner of your choice.
- Now simply wipe down the interior of the microwave with a sponge or heavy-duty damp paper towel. Make sure you remember the inside of the door — that part can get especially greasy.
The Steam Clean Method
- Using a microwave-safe bowl or glass, combine 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar and place inside the microwave.
- Close the door and set your microwave on high for five minutes.
- Once it's done, keep that door closed for another 15 minutes — the steam will cut through grease and make cleaning a heck of a lot easier.
Pro-tip: This same method works with a lemon. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into a microwave-safe bowl of water, drop the two halves into the water, and run on high for 10-15 minutes.
Combination Baking Soda and Vinegar
- Combine 4 tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of water.
- Once it's completely dissolved, dip a sponge into the mixture and liberally apply it to the inside your microwave.
- Let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it down.