A microwave can be the most frustrating appliance to clean in your kitchen. Fingerprints, grease, and grime appear miraculously on microwave doors and keypads, and food splatter can stick to the door, making it hard to see. This post will share the steps to safely and thoroughly cleaning a microwave – inside and out.
To clean your microwave surfaces: Spray the microwave’s exterior with a glass cleaner, and wipe with vertical motions using a microfiber towel. Next, spray the inside of the door with a glass cleaner and wipe horizontally. Finally, use a clean, damp microfiber to wipe the oven’s interior, then dry it with a clean cloth.
The material list we recommend for cleaning microwave surfaces is straightforward. Before beginning, we recommend consulting your appliance’s owner’s manual for brand-specific cleaning instructions.
Additive-Free Glass Cleaner
Though appliance components can vary, most microwave doors are made of heat-strengthened glass panels with a protective mesh slotted in between. These ovens may require a powerful cleaner to remove baked-on grime. Grime on a microwave can become baked on, and you’ll want maximum cleaning strength to address these areas.
If you need a glass cleaner, consider Invisible Glass. It is streak-free and has no added scents or dyes to linger on your microwave, and its ammonia-free formula provides cleaning strength to safely remove everything from fingerprints to food grime.
Resist the urge to use paper towels for glass cleaning. Though handy and disposable, paper cleaning products may leave streaks or lint on newly-cleaned glass surfaces.
Though standard towels will do, microfibers are more absorbent and gentle on glass surfaces. Also, microfibers require less cleaning product to do the job effectively.
It’s the fabric that gives these towels their advantages. During manufacturing, microfiber towel manufacturers use a chemical process to split microfibers and create a positive static electric charge that attracts dirt, debris, and liquids.
Spray the microwave’s exterior with a glass cleaner
Start by cleaning the microwave's surface, which will likely have less grime than its interior.
Spray a conservative amount of glass cleaner onto the door and keypad; it should be a thin, even mist. We recommend beginning with a small amount of cleanser, then reapplying as needed. The more you use, the more effort it’ll take to dry and wipe.
Wipe with vertical motions using a microfiber towel
Wipe the outside of your microwave using a microfiber towel using long, vertical strokes. Avoid using circular motions, as these can lead to pooling and streaks. You should see fingerprints and other marks lift as your cloth glides over the surface.
Once the exterior is clean and dry, move on to your oven’s interior.
Spray the inside of the door with a glass cleaner
The interior side of the door is more likely to have tougher stains, including baked-on grime or food splatters. After spraying cleaner onto your door, allow the product to sit for about a minute to penetrate any contaminants.
Wipe the door horizontally with your microfiber towel
After the cleaner has had time to work, wipe your door down using horizontal motions. If you notice some areas with baked-on grime or splatter that aren’t coming off, apply more glass cleaner and wipe again.
Why vertical strokes on the outside and horizontal on the inside? You’ll know to wipe down the microwave’s exterior. Likewise, if you notice horizontal stripes, you know they are inside. Varying your wiping pattern is a simple trick that takes the guesswork out of the finishing touches.
Use a clean, damp microfiber to wipe the oven’s interior, then dry it with a clean cloth
Because the food you cook in your microwave creates steam, you may wish to rinse the door’s interior to remove any product residue.
To do this, dampen a clean microfiber towel with water and wipe down the inside of your appliance door. You can follow with a quick wipe-down using a dry towel to prevent water spots or streaking.
That’s all it takes! Keep reading for additional cleaning hacks with your microwave.
Additional Cleaning Hacks
Use some of our trusty tips below to maintain a squeaky-clean microwave:
Don’t neglect your turntable
When cooking goes wrong, the turntable often takes the brunt of the damage. (Think boiled-over spaghetti sauce or scorched microwavable popcorn.)
Some don’t realize you can remove the turntable from the microwave. Removal makes cleaning both sides of the turntable possible and gives you more room to work inside the oven. When you need to tidy up the turntable, just pop it out and take the opportunity to wipe down your appliance’s inner walls, too.
Smells can be just as stubborn as dirt
Even when properly cleaned, smells can linger inside your microwave.
If you notice a slight odor, try to remove it by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to ½ a cup of water in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the mixture for two minutes, then allow it to sit for about 15 minutes without opening the door. After the time passes, remove the bowl and discard the liquid, then wipe down the inside of the microwave with a clean microfiber, dishtowel, or paper towel.
You can also make an odor-absorbing sponge scrub by soaking a kitchen sponge in white vinegar and then sprinkling it with baking soda. Microwave the sponge for 30 seconds, and then use the sponge to wipe the interior of the microwave, paying particular attention to any stains or food residue.
Consider getting an odor-absorbing gel for particularly stubborn odors like burnt popcorn.
Routine is key!
The more you clean, the less time it takes. Routine cleaning of your microwave will help prevent grime from building up.
If you notice a spill or splatter, wipe it up immediately with a damp paper towel or dishrag. Food residue continues to cook each time you use your microwave, so the remaining debris will caramelize and burn onto your oven’s surfaces.
In addition to promptly wiping up spills, plan to clean your microwave every week or two routinely. Clean your microwave more often if you use it frequently.
Enjoy a spotless microwave!
Cleaning your microwave will improve its appearance and performance, allowing you to cook your dishes effectively. When cleaning, spray the microwave exterior with a glass cleaner and wipe horizontally using a microfiber towel. Next, spray the inside of the door with a glass cleaner and wipe horizontally. Finally, use a clean, damp microfiber to wipe the oven’s interior, then dry it with a cloth.Celebrate your spotless microwave by making something delicious. Enjoy your newly-cleaned appliance, and whether you pop corn or create a gourmet micro meal - Bon appétit!