Experts weigh in on two cleaning options that actually work.

Katy Spratte Joyce
March 19, 2020
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Woman cleaning a microwave oven
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The microwave can be a quick meal savior, warming up our leftovers or nuking a frozen dinner on nights when cooking isn't an option. But cleaning your microwave is an often-overlooked part of a healthy, tidy kitchen. We've tapped two cleaning experts to find out the best ways to save time, make your life easier and keep your kitchen sanitary. Read on for our tips for how to clean your microwave, two different ways.

Lemon and Vinegar Steam

Leanne Stapf, chief operating officer at The Cleaning Authority, uses two steam processes to battle her microwave bullies. For a quick natural clean, she steam cleans the microwave with lemon juice. Instead of scrubbing down stubborn bits of food, Leanne suggests putting a bowl with one cup lemon juice and one cup water in the microwave for five minutes on normal power (you could also enlist the help of Angry Mama, a $10 microwave-cleaning tool). The steam will loosen any food remnants and eliminate odors. Once complete, remove the bowl, then use a microfiber cloth to wipe the inside clean (we like this 12-pack on Amazon, $11).

Another option is to use a solution of one cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and one cup of water in a bowl. Place in the microwave and set the time for seven minutes. Let it cool for five minutes, and complete the cleaning process by using a microfiber cloth to wipe down the microwave. Using vinegar helps break down and loosen residue in the microwave to make it easy to remove. Both of these methods use natural means to easily clean.

Dish Soap Method

Justin Carp, owner of Modern Maids, prefers to use dish soap to combat microwave germs and gunk. He trains all employees to clean microwaves using Dawn dish soap, water, a bowl and microfiber cloths. The best process to clean a microwave is use 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish soap ($5, Target) mixed into a cup or bowl of water. Set the microwave to 5 minutes to let the heat create steam. When it's finished, you can easily wipe out the microwave with a reusable microfiber cloth without any hard scrubbing.

Overall, it's easy to see that numerous experts have their preferred methods for optimal microwave cleaning. Test them out and see which is your favorite!