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How do you clean a filthy microwave oven

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?

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

      1. 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. 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. 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

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

                    2 Replies
                      1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

                                    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. 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.

                                      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.

                                      1. re: BIGGUNDOCTOR

                                        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.

                                      2. SOS pad. tried the boiling water/steam effect but that doesn't work for 5 years of caked on splatters with high heat.

                                        at the end of cleaning and during use a dry paper towel to wipe blue stuff away so you can see what you removed. be careful around venting to avoid getting the blue stuff caught inside.

                                        it still took a little elbow grease but it didn't scratch my interior or leave chemical smell.

                                        1. Get Crud Cutter from a hardware store. It is great stuff.

                                          1. Our break room mw gets epically disgusting - when its everyone's job it's no one's job!

                                            Boiling water with lemon juice (we happen to have a lemon tree at work!) works wonders.