You Can Clean Your Microwave Using These Three Simple Pantry Items

Built-up grease and grime from using your microwave every day? Here’s how to clean it using three pantry items.

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Is your microwave grunged-up with grime from everyday use? Is it spotted with stubborn stains? Besplattered with baked-on bits? Cleaning the microwave is a job most people approach with trepidation and an armful of cleaning products. But there is another way.

If you’re wondering how to clean a microwave and restore it to pristine cleanliness, without damaging the environment, here’s how you can use common pantry items to do it.

What pantry items can I use?

To clean a microwave naturally, you can use baking soda, dish soap and vinegar (white or apple cider). Although bleach is sometimes recommended, this isn’t a good option. A microwave isn’t likely to be stained enough to require bleach, and not only can bleach harm the environment, but it might also damage your microwave’s plastic parts.

How to clean a microwave interior

Take one cup of water and add lemon, lime or orange slices. Squeeze some of the juice into the water. Alternatively, you could use several tablespoons of vinegar instead.

Put in a microwaveable bowl and place it in the microwave. Heat on full power for several minutes until the liquid boils and you can see the window is steamed up. Allow it to cool for five minutes before opening the door to allow the steam to do its work.

Then open the door, remove the bowl, and use a soft cloth to wipe the interior clean.

And here are 12 things you should never-ever microwave.

If you’d like to inject a little fun into cleaning your microwave, check out this Angry Mama!

How to clean the microwave door

Take a damp sponge, dip it in baking soda and use it to remove grime and greasy build-up from the rubber gasket around the door. Rinse with a damp cloth or sponge. If the window still harbors grease, use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water and clean with a dishcloth, then dry it off.

Commercial microwave cleaners will also do the job, such as this one from Easy-Off.

How to clean the exterior

All-purpose cleaner is also good for cleaning the outside of your microwave, or use dish soap and warm water. If you’re using a spray, be careful not to get it into any of the vents or controls, because there’s a risk of damage if the liquid comes into contact with any electrical parts.

How to clean stubborn spots

You can tackle stubborn spots with a magic eraser (and this is why a magic eraser is an essential part of your home cleaning kit). Removable parts like the turntable plate can be taken out and washed in warm, soapy water, before drying and returning.

How to keep your microwave clean

You can prevent grease and grime building up in your microwave by covering food when cooking or reheating and by cleaning your microwave oven regularly.

Check out our kitchen cleaning checklist.

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Elizabeth Manneh
Elizabeth is an experienced freelance writer, specializing mainly in digital health & transformation, health & wellness, and education & learning. She's been published on,, The Family Handyman, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and The Good Men Project. She was also a regular contributor to Love Live Health and Daily Home Remedy. Elizabeth is a retired primary school principal and education consultant, with a continuing passion for education and learning.