Here’s How to Deep Clean Your Microwave in 10 Minutes Flat

These seven easy steps make the whole process super simple.

It is so easy to skip over the microwave when cleaning up your kitchen. By the time the dishes are done and the counters are clean, you are left with little energy and little ambition to tackle that mess. Luckily, we're here to share how to clean your microwave in just seven simple steps.

I am not sure about you, but I find that everything is going well with my microwave, and then one day I open the door and see that one of my kids made their pizza rolls explode all over the place (or maybe that was me?) and now the sauce has crusted over into an unremovable compound.

And I am left with no choice but to clean it up. UGH!

However, cleaning your microwave is really only a 10-minute job, and half of that is just boiling water. Sound too good to be true? Not at all!

After reading through these easy-to-follow instructions (pictures included!) you might just remember to include it in your weekly, instead of your monthly (or…cough, cough…only in desperation) schedule.

How to clean your microwave in 7 easy steps

1. Assemble the items you will need to clean the microwave

Items needed to clean your microwave.
Items needed to clean your microwave.
  • 2 cup glass measuring cup or microwaveable bowl

  • Measuring tablespoon

  • Vinegar (my favorite) or lemon juice

  • Dishcloth or sponge (scrubber if it’s really bad!)

  • Glass cleaner

  • Paper towel

Related: 10 TikTok Cleaning Hacks That Actually Work (We'll Never Think About Toothpaste the Same!)

2. Add one cup of water to the measuring cup or bowl

Measure 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into your 1 cup of water.
Measure 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into your 1 cup of water.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to your water

You can use one or two slices of lemon instead of juice if you would like.

Pro tips:

  • If your microwave smells like a 20-year-old, mildew-ridden Tupperware container, just add a tablespoon of baking soda slowly to your water mixture (especially if you chose vinegar, because they make lots of bubbles together!). Just know the baking soda will splatter out onto your microwave during the 5-minute boil. I tried it and there was a film created, but it wiped off easily enough, and the overall cleaning was not affected by it.

  • I have never had a problem with flash boiling in all of the years I have done this using a measuring cup that is twice the size of the amount of water you are using (2 cups), but it is possible this could happen. If you want to side on the err of caution, add a wooden spoon or skewer to the cup or bowl, and remove the chance of it happening altogether.

4. Put the microwaveable container with your solution into the microwave

Place water mixture in the microwave and set time to five minutes.
Place water mixture in the microwave and set time to five minutes.

Set the time to five minutes, on high temp. This will give enough time for the water to boil, creating a steam that will loosen all of the crusties.

Bonus Time: You have an extra 5 minutes to yourself (hopefully) while the magic happens. Pour yourself a little wine or crack a beer—you deserve it!

5. Remove the turntable and wheels

Pull out the turntable after the water mixture is done boiling and place it in the sink.
Pull out the turntable after the water mixture is done boiling and place it in the sink.

Once your time is up, take the mixture out and remove the turntable and wheels. These can be cleaned up in the sink with some soap and water. But do it after you scrub the microwave—you’ll want to get at it while everything is still moist and loose.

6. Wipe down the top, sides and bottom with your cloth

Wipe down all sides of your microwave with a sponge.
Wipe down all sides of your microwave with a sponge.

Make sure to clean the outside too. Then take some paper towels to finish drying everything.

Related: Hold Up—These Surprisingly Effective Home Cleaning Hacks Use Ketchup, Mayo and What Else?!

7. Wash the turntable and dry it

Clean the turntable with warm soapy water and dry it before returning it to the microwave.
Clean the turntable with warm soapy water and dry it before returning it to the microwave.

Place it, and the wheels, back inside the microwave.

Tips for stubborn stains:

If you have some stubborn stains, like a little yellow discoloration in a white microwave, use a little nail polish remover. Soak a cotton ball or a small piece of paper towel with some acetone and rub on the stain until you no longer see it. Then wipe off the chemical with some warm water.

Tips for scorch marks:

Happens to the best of us—we leave a bag of popcorn unattended and BOOM! Burnt popcorn. And man, it can leave some ugly marks on a microwave. All you have to do is sprinkle some baking soda over the rough side of a sponge or scotch pad, and then scrub the mark with the baking soda until it lifts. Wipe the mixture off and you are good to go.

Tips for making the outside shine:

Spray down with glass cleaner.
Spray down with glass cleaner.

Since you have already wiped the outside down (don’t forget the crevices of the handle!), everything should be looking new again.

If you would like that extra shine (especially for stainless-steel microwaves), then just spray it down with some glass cleaner, wiping it down with a paper towel.

You’ll be left with a streak-free shine that may only last as long as it takes your kids to heat something up, but hey, at least you saw it!

Wipe off with a paper towel for a squeaky-clean finish!
Wipe off with a paper towel for a squeaky-clean finish!

Don't forget to wipe down the topside of the microwave too, especially the over-the-stove types. Those seem to collect an amount of dust equivalent to a ceiling fan. Mix that with grease splatters and, if left too long, they become gross and nearly impossible to remove!

Look at that shine!
Look at that shine!

Although they get nasty quickly, you now know how to clean just about anything that splatters, overflows and crustifies in your microwave in under 10 minutes flat!

Next, This Step-by-Step Guide Shows How To Clean an Oven Yourself Using a Natural, Homemade Paste