All-Natural Clean: 3 Ways to Wash a Microwave

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Microwaves are notorious grim collectors, and the results are often gross and frightening. But luckily, the cleaning process doesn't have to be. Once or twice a month, take it upon yourself to use one of our three easy (and all-natural!) microwave cleaning ideas. They're sure to de-stress your microwave woes, and you'll love the end result!


The vinegar-water technique is very popular for its ease and lack of harsh chemical cleaners. Fill a microwave-safe bowl half full of water, and add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the mix. Place it in the microwave, and run the microwave for five minutes straight. The steam from the water solution will condensate on the walls of your microwave, loosening dried-on gunk and preventing you from having to scrub. When it's done, carefully remove the glass container. Use oven mitts, as it will be extremely hot.

Wipe down the inside of the microwave with a clean towel or paper towel to remove the softened debris on the sides. Take out the glass tray/turntable and wash it in your sink like you would a dish. If you have time, then you can run it through the dishwasher instead. Dry it completely before placing it back in the microwave to avoid mold or mildew buildup underneath.


Cut a lemon in half, and place both halves facing cut-side down on a microwavable plate, along with a tablespoon of water. Run the microwave for about one minute, or until the lemon is hot and the inside of the microwave is steamy. The acidity of the lemon will work as a natural astringent on your microwave walls, loosening gunk and producing a natural clean. Remove the plate and the turntable and wash them thoroughly after use. Wipe the inside of the microwave with paper towels or a lint-free towel.

You can also eliminate odor in your microwave with a lemon. Simply pour some lemon juice mixed with equal parts water in a bowl, and microwave for a couple minutes, until the water starts boiling. Let it stand for a few minutes, and enjoy the clean smell!

As an added bonus, the hot and squishy lemon from your cleaning project is ideal for clearing out smelly garbage disposals. Simply cut the lemon halves into smaller pieces and drop them into your disposal. Run the disposal until all chunks of lemons are completely grated. Then flush it thoroughly with water. Now your entire kitchen will have a natural lemon-fresh scent, and you've hardly broken a sweat.

Dish Soap

Fill a microwave-safe bowl with warm water, and add dishwashing soap liberally as you think is needed. Place the bowl in the microwave and run it for one minute, or until the microwave starts to steam. Carefully remove the bowl, and wipe the inside of the microwave with a fairly damp sponge. The steam from the dishwater solution will have loosened all the gunk from the interior walls, so they should be easier to clean. After any microwave cleaning technique, leave the microwave door open for a few minutes afterward, to let it dry and air out inside, avoiding mold and mildew buildup later.

So, rather than risking your health and nostrils with some intense chemical cleaner this time around, consider these three all-natural and chemical-free approaches to getting your microwave clean. You'll feel better knowing that your health and your appliance are as clean as a whistle.

Last Updated: July 22, 2011
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About Emelie Battaglia Emelie Battagila is a contributing writer for

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