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How to Easily Clean a Microwave in 2 Minutes {NO Scrubbing}

Have you ever wondered how to clean a microwave oven especially after a messy food explosion? Or, are you dealing with leftover food gunk that’s been lingering and you want to get rid of it now, and without using any elbow grease?

If you have, then you are in the right place!

two pictures - top one is a dirty microwave and the bottom one is a clean microwave after using vinegar to clean it.

The microwave oven is one of the most used appliances in my home but that means it also gets dirty, often.

If you find it’s the same in your household, I’ve put together the best of the best tips for how to clean a microwave without scrubbing and share tips for getting naturally squeaky-clean results in just minutes.

How to Clean a Microwave Without Harsh Chemicals

The secret to a clean microwave is so simple that you’ll never dread cleaning it again and you can do it without harsh chemicals.

My Messy Microwave Story – The Before and After

When I cook in my microwave it’s pretty much a given that I am going to overheat whatever is in there and it’s probably going to explode leaving a mess and, sometimes, even burnt stains.

Dirty black pot in a microwave with soup spilled over on the glass plate and the bottom of the microwave

Case in point ~ My youngest son was sick last week and wanted chicken noodle soup which I heated up for him in the microwave.

The package said “heat for 12 to 15 minutes” so I did EXACTLY what it said ~ I’m good like that 😉  ~ and this is what happened way before the 12-minute timer went off.   YUCK

Okay…how disgusting is this????  ⬆️

No worries, though, I’ll show you how to clean messes like this and even worse ones using the methods below.

*This post may contain affiliate links and I’ll earn a commission if you shop through them. You can read my full disclosure here

#1 How Do You Clean a Microwave with a Lemon?

Fill a microwave safe bowl (or glass measuring cup- this is the measuring cup I recommend) with approximately 1 cup of water.

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Slice a lemon in half, squeezing some lemon juice into the water. Add the lemon halves to the water as well.

Microwave on high for 3 to 5 minutes until a nice bubbling boil of the water has been achieved.

Once the timer goes off, leave the microwave door CLOSED, and set a timer for 5 minutes.

Once that timer goes off, carefully remove the glass container (either bowl or measuring cup) using an oven mitt (the container and the water will be HOT so use caution).

Yellow microfiber cloth with chicken noodle soup on it after cleaning the microwave

Use a good quality soft cloth, sponge, or microfiber cloth to wipe down the microwave and then stand back and be amazed at the results!

The nasty chicken noodle soup that had been left on the microwave tray for days (yes, days!), came right off easily.

#2 How to Clean a Dirty Microwave with Vinegar

You’ll be using the same instructions as above for the lemon option but I have included them below as well to make the process easier for you.

Fill a microwave safe bowl (or glass measuring cup) with approximately 1 cup of water.

Add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the water.

Microwave on high for 3 to 5 minutes until a nice bubbling boil of the water has been achieved.

Once the timer goes off, leave the microwave door CLOSED, and set a timer for 5 minutes.

Once the timer goes off, carefully remove the glass container (either bowl or measuring cup) using an oven mitt (the container will be and water will be HOT).

Use a good quality soft cloth, sponge, or microfiber cloth to wipe down the microwave and then stand back and be amazed at the results!

Microwave Cleaning Hack #3 – Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil can be used to clean a microwave oven in two different ways.

First, the steam technique as outlined below:

Fill a microwave safe bowl (or glass measuring cup) with approximately 1 cup of water.

Add 4 to 5 drops of lemon essential oil.

Microwave on high for 3 to 5 minutes until a nice bubbling boil of the water has been achieved.

Once the timer goes off, leave the microwave door CLOSED, and set a timer for 5 minutes.

Once the timer goes off, carefully remove the glass container (either bowl or measuring cup) using an oven mitt (the container will be and water will be HOT).

Use a good quality soft cloth, sponge, or microfiber cloth to wipe down the microwave and then stand back and be amazed at the results!

The second option is the “spray” option, details below:

Stuck on grime and stubborn stains can be cleaned by adding 1/2 cup white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), 1 cup of hot tap water, and 7 drops of lemon essential oil (Rocky Mountain Oils carries my preferred brand) in a spray bottle.

I like to use amber glass bottles so that the cleaning solution stays fresh and usable longer.

Spray the above mixture into the microwave oven, let sit 2 minutes (do not allow it to dry) and then wipe down with a damp cloth or sponge.

The homemade essential oil cleaning product mixture above can also be used to clean the glass microwave door, glass plate, and outside of the microwave as well.

More Microwave Cleaning Tips:

  • Remove the glass plate and wash with warm water and dish soap. I like to do this every few weeks or spray with the lemon essential oil solution (recipe above).
  • Clean the outside of the microwave with a damp cloth or sponge sprinkled with baking soda. Wipe clean with fresh warm water.
  • Clean the outside of the microwave door with window cleaner and a paper towel or soft clean cloth.
  • Combat microwave smell with baking soda. Between uses, keep an open box of baking soda in a closed microwave. Swap out the open box for a fresh box once a month.

So, how is your microwave looking?  If it could use some cleaning without hassle I highly recommend you check out more of my cleaning tips below and if you have any cleaning requests or recommendations, please let me know.

Another kitchen appliance that gets a daily workout is my Keurig Coffee Maker. Here are my tips for Cleaning a Keurig with Vinegar.

More Cleaning Ideas You May Find Helpful – scroll through the list and find your favorite!

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Homemade Household Cleaners that are great for keeping a clean and fresh home.

Bridgett Richard

Tuesday 3rd of March 2015

This is a wonderful product that everyone must try.

Mary Ann

Sunday 1st of March 2015

My microwave has NEVER looked like that. I have a strict rule in my house NEVER put anything in the microwave without covering it. The only thing I have to do is wipe it out with a damp sponge or paper towel.

Mary Beth

Sunday 1st of March 2015

Well, I'm not really fond of having my microwave look like that but with 3 sons and a husband sometimes it happens and as I said, I made it extra messy to show how great the product works. As far as the boil over of the soup, that would have happened even if I had it covered. I wasn't paying attention and let it heat up far too long. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. :)

Bunny Hugs Easter Craft - Skip To My Lou Skip To My Lou

Saturday 28th of February 2015

[…] have another use for all your used coffee grounds. ¬†Cleaning is one of my loves and I have an easy way to clean your microwave in just minutes that will leave your microwave sparkling with no scrubbing and if baking is your […]

Mary Beth

Thursday 12th of February 2015

I'm so glad you like my storytelling! I sort of go on and on just like I do in person ;) p.s. You will LOVE the Zep! All of their products are amazing and work so well. hugs, mb

Claire @ A Little Claireification

Thursday 12th of February 2015

We LOVE Zep over here and totally need to try it on our microwave! Pinned!