HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What's your latest food quest? Share your adventure

How do you clean a filthy microwave oven

Jpan99 Apr 11, 2013 09:33 AM

Yes, too many spills and explosions and I'm not a good cleaner-uper.

What can I do now to get my microwave looking like new?

  1. scubadoo97 Apr 11, 2013 09:41 AM

    You can put a bowl of water in and let it come to a boil for a while to steam and soften the stuck on mess.

    A degreaser is often times useful as well to help break down oily substances.

    1. rockandroller1 Apr 11, 2013 09:41 AM

      You just have to clean it. Elbow grease and whatever cleaner you use. I use Mrs. Meyer's clean day for mine.

      1. sarinaL Apr 11, 2013 10:21 AM

        Microwave 1:1 white vinegar and water until you see it bubbling. The vapors will soften up debris--just wipe it down with a slightly soapy scrub sponge after that..

        2 Replies
        1. re: sarinaL
          juliejulez Apr 11, 2013 11:53 AM

          This is what I do.

          1. re: sarinaL
            Jpan99 Apr 11, 2013 12:57 PM

            That sounds good, thanks!

          2. h
            Hobbert Apr 11, 2013 10:22 AM

            A bowl of water with some lemon juice should do it. Just nuke it for a few minutes and it will loosen any gunk.

            1. earthygoat Apr 12, 2013 04:24 PM

              I take a smelly sponge, soak it and put in a few drops of dish detergent. Run it on high for about a minute. This not only loosens all the gunk, but disinfects the sponge into a non-smelly sponge.

              1 Reply
              1. re: earthygoat
                corneygirl Apr 14, 2013 10:34 AM

                I do something similar. Get a dishrag wet and ring it out. Zap for a minute or two and then leave the door closed for 5 or 10 minutes. The steam softens all the gunk and it will wipe clean quite easily. If it is really bad it might take 2 or 3 rounds.

              2. Kat Apr 13, 2013 06:06 AM

                I was helping a client move once and the inside of her microwave was pretty bad. I nuked a bowl of water for a couple minutes to try and soften things up in there, but then it was just scrubbing. I used a Brillo pad because it was still pretty crusty in there and that worked. In the future, use a paper towel to cover food while nuking to contain the mess in case of spills.

                1. s
                  sparky403 Apr 13, 2013 10:01 AM

                  I occassionally have the same problem - I spray it with 409 or what ever - let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes to get the intial gunk off.

                  Then I break out my Steam cleaner - to blast all the gunk from tiny places - works like a charm...


                  Mine is similar to this.

                  1. i
                    INDIANRIVERFL Apr 13, 2013 10:41 AM

                    Donate to Salvation Army. Check out store daily until you see your spotless microwave for $5 to $10. Worth every penny.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                      seamunky Apr 15, 2013 04:06 PM

                      hahah! That's a creative solution.

                    2. b
                      bocadeb Apr 15, 2013 04:15 PM

                      put a bowl of water in the micro and heat to boiling - let it boil for a minute or two - carefully remove the bowl - then use a damp sponge or papertowel to wipe off the debris. If its really caked on you may have to do this more than once. good luck!

                      1. iL Divo Apr 15, 2013 04:46 PM

                        I clean mine when it's had a blow up/out with the concoction of the supposed miracle cleaner.
                        mix up a batch-keep it in clearly marked spray bottle-spray liberally leave 5 minutes then with scrubby + sponge tackle it-spray water in there next wipe with paper towels.

                        1. Kajikit Apr 16, 2013 05:23 PM

                          Our microwave was really gross especially on the roof (because you can't even see it unless you contort yourself, so it doesn't get cleaned nearly as well as the door and the bottom) and I was desperate enough to spray it with the new Scrubbing Bubbles lemon cleaner. It worked like a charm! Then I cleaned it again with plain water just to make sure it didn't leave any residue...

                          1. mcf Apr 16, 2013 05:36 PM

                            I endorse the heat a cup or bowl of water and wipe it all down, but with a HUGE CAUTION: water can and does become superheated and explosive in a microwave. I thought this was just an urban myth until it happened to me. Had I not been pouring it away from me, my injuries, mostly to my face, would have been severe. Just place a plastic or wood spoon or fork in anything you boil in the microwave to break the surface tension. I safely boiled stuff in the microwave for years until the die it wasn't safe: http://www.snopes.com/science/microwa...

                            1. d
                              daeira Apr 16, 2013 08:03 PM

                              I second (or is it sixth) the boiling water with lemon method, allowing the water to sit and steam the inside for some time. For really tough stains, you can sprinkle baking soda and spritz with vinegar to create a bubbling froth. Scrub with a brillo or similar pad.

                              For those pesky smells, what I've found that works is spritzing newspaper with vinegar and placing in the microwave overnight or longer if need be. The vinegar newsprint removes the smell quite effectively.

                              1. s
                                sueatmo Apr 17, 2013 03:08 PM

                                I think the water and vinegar steam method is clever. But I just spray Fantastik or some such on the inner surfaces, let it sit for a bit, then clean with paper towels or a wash cloth.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: sueatmo
                                  mcf Apr 17, 2013 03:11 PM

                                  Any time I looked at instructions, I think they said not to. But anyway, I never get dried on crud, cover everything with a paper towel or wax paper.

                                  Oh, there was that time the spaghetti squash exploded...

                                2. Terrie H. Apr 17, 2013 03:29 PM

                                  I've cleaned some pretty dirty microwaves by just putting 2 cups of water in a microwave-proof container (pyrex measuring cup, in my instance) and putting on high for 10 minutes. It's amazing how easily it cleans with just a wipe of a sponge dipped in dishwater with Dawn. Almost no elbow grease needed.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Terrie H.
                                    dixiegal Apr 20, 2013 04:39 AM

                                    I do the same. Heat up water and let it sit in the microwave to steam. It softens everything and I can wipe it off. I don't use chemicals in the microwave. I don't like the smell it leaves behind. The smell mixes with the food smell the next time I use it.

                                  2. BIGGUNDOCTOR Apr 17, 2013 05:47 PM

                                    Buy a new microwave

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR
                                      Jpan99 Apr 18, 2013 10:34 AM

                                      Ha! I already do that with my toaster ovens. They get so gross I just toss and buy a new one! I'm terrible at cleaning.

                                    Show Hidden Posts