Homemade Microwave Cleaner

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.

How to clean your microwave the easy way. This homemade solution is frugal and works great!

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.

How to clean the inside of your microwave using cheap homemade ingredients.

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.

Related Reading:

Homemade Microwave Cleaner

Clean your microwave quickly and effortlessly with this homemade strategy that uses the power of lemon juice (or vinegar) and steam.
Keyword: Homemade Cleaner
Author: TheMakeYourOwnZone.com


  • 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).

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  1. Since sponges are harbingers of germs, I microwave mine regularly. If you put your damp sponge into the microwave with the “cleaner” and heat it all up at once, you manage to disinfect your sponge while cleaning the microwave at the same time.

  2. Fantastic tips! My advice is to put lemon in vinegar. It will make your microwave smells fantastic.My mom is soooo fond of eco-friendly ways of cleaning.I will show her your post. Thank you for sharing it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. You're right Kathryn, granite is very popular for countertops now. I will have to do a little more investigating on what can be used on granite and what cannot. I still love my butcher block countertop and don't plan on changing to granite any time soon.

  4. The only downside to natural cleaners (vinegar) is that you can't use it on granite countertops. We don't have granite and don't plan to, but it is the big thing now.

  5. Hi Rachel – this method would not work in a regular oven. If you want to clean a regular oven with a homemade product, you could try a paste of 1/4 cup baking soda, 3 tablespoons vinegar, and a few drops of a liquid soap like castile soap or dishwashing liquid. You would spread this paste on the dirty areas of the oven, let it set for 10 minutes or so, and then scrub and clean with a damp sponge. This method should only be used for a regular oven, and not a self cleaning oven. This is a recipe and I found in a book I have not tried it personally. However it certainly sounds like a method that would not have the nasty fumes of the store bought oven cleaners.

  6. A friend of mine sent this to me and she asked if this could be modified to clean ovens. I have heard of using it in the microwave before, but I wasn't sure about the oven. Do you have any idea if this would work this way in the oven, or know of anything kind of like this that would?