For several years now I’ve been using this fast and frugal method to easily clean my microwave. In fact it’s one of those things that’s so simple that when I first wrote about, I debated on whether it was too simple of a strategy to even share!
But so often it’s those really simple things that can come in the most handy and that we find ourselves using over and over again. And that’s been totally true for me when it comes to this homemade microwave cleaner.
When I first started using this way to clean a microwave I always did it with vinegar and water. This works great and I sometimes still do it this way. But as time went on, I more often started using lemon juice and water just because the lemon juice doesn’t smell quite as strong when heated. Both vinegar and lemon juice have the acidic properties to help with the cleaning, and either way is fast and simple too.
Using Steam To Clean The Inside of a Microwave
To use this microwave cleaning hack, you simply combine equal parts of water and lemon juice (or vinegar). The bottled lemon juice works fine, but if you have fresh lemons around and want to use them, that works fine too. I often do 1/4 cup of water plus 1/4 of lemon juice or vinegar. Sometimes I pour the ingredients into a microwave safe bowl, and other times I just use my glass measuring cup.
Once you have the water and lemon juice combined, you will need to put it in the microwave and heat it to boiling. I usually heat it for 2 minutes. Then comes the most important part:
Let it just sit in the microwave with the door closed for a few more minutes and steam. That steam is what will make your cleaning job so much easier!
The steam will create moisture and condensation on the inside walls of your microwave (and that moisture will also contain the extra cleaning boost of the lemon juice or vinegar). After you’ve been patient for two or three minutes, you can then remove the mixture from the microwave, and then wipe down the inside walls with a damp sponge or a soft cleaning cloth. You should find that the moisture has helped to loosen and soften those dried bits and splatters and you can now clean them away with almost no effort at all.
Even though I always try to cover things that I heat in the microwave, sooner or later I still need to give my microwave a good thorough cleaning and this method has become my favorite and quick way to get it done. It always works!
So once again, no harsh chemicals are needed. No fancy store bought cleaners are needed. A homemade solution of just two simple ingredients and the power of steam will get the job done.
Homemade Microwave Cleaner
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/4 cup Lemon Juice (or vinegar)
- Combine the water and lemon juice in a microwave safe bowl or in a glass measuring cup.
- Place the mixture in the microwave and heat to boiling (I usually do 2 minutes).
- Let the heated mixture sit in the microwave for a couple minutes longer with the door closed, so that the mixture can steam and create condensation on the inside walls of the microwave.
- Then remove the mixture from the microwave and wipe down the inside of the microwave. You should find that the dried splatters have been loosened and softened and come off much easier thanks to moisture and the condensation of the lemon/water on the walls.
- Either bottled lemon juice or fresh lemon juice will work fine for this recipe.
- If using vinegar, a few drops of essential oil can also be added to temper the scent of the heated vinegar.
- This mixture can be made in any size, just use equal parts of water and lemon juice (or vinegar).