How to Rid Bad Microwave Oven Smells


August 2, 2021

Last updated on November 30, 2021


Is your microwave kicking up a stink? You’re not alone. Keep reading, and we’ll let you know how to get rid of smells in a microwave oven.

Microwaves are amazing appliances. They’ve revolutionised speedy cooking for good! There’s nothing quite like popping a quick snack in the micro and waiting a couple of minutes before tucking in.

However, that burnt smell lingering through your kitchen can really grate after a while. You might need to clean a microwave thoroughly to get rid of the worst stenches – or, it might just be a case of upping your maintenance.

With that in mind, there are actually a few great ways you can get rid of bad smells that stink up your kitchen via the microwave. You might not need to clean deeply inside the microwave just yet! natural-microwave-cleaners-deodorise-microwave-smells.

How to Get Rid of Smells in a Microwave Oven After Burning Food?

Getting the burnt smell out of your microwave might be a simple case of running a microwave safe bowl of water and/or lemon for a short while.

One of the worst smells to get out of a microwave is the smell of burnt food. Suddenly, that pungent odour manages to make all food taste burnt, even when it isn’t! You can of course buy specific microwave cleaning products, but thankfully, there is an even easier solution to this, that just involves water. Keep that baking soda on standby for now!

Chances are that there could be some extra food grime left inside of the microwave and at this point, it may be quite difficult to get off. If that is the case, then one great cleaning solution is to simply pour some water in a microwave safe bowl, mug or other container and turn the microwave on for a few short minutes (3 or 4 minutes should do the trick).

The idea here is that the hot steam from the cup of water will help unstick any remnants from a previous meal or snack. At the end of the cycle, all you need to do is wipe the inside of the microwave with a cloth and you should be good to go!

If the odour seems to be particularly stubborn, then the same steam method with a bit of lemon juice should definitely help. You can easily add a teaspoon full of lemon juice to a small water container, and then wipe out the steam, as usual, with a cloth at the end of the cycle. VeronicaFlaver has a lovely video demonstrating how to remove odours from microwaves using this method.

Some may recommend you clean a microwave with baking soda, for example, if you want to keep your oven smelling fresh. That’s not always essential, but if you’re absolutely set on cleaning with natural products, a box of baking soda is likely to be a miracle worker. You may need to sprinkle this across your microwave cavity, and wipe down with a cloth. If you have the time and resources, it’s worth a look.


Why Does My Microwave Smell Weird?

There are a few reasons why your microwave may be smelling a little odd.

First of all, you may have cooked something in there that left quite the pungent odour. Another reason why your microwave may be smelling a bit strange could be due to you leaving food in there for too long, or that there may be bits of food still stuck to the interior.

Even the smallest piece of food can make smells worse over time, as it will eventually burn and linger. The best thing to do, again, is to clean out your oven – perhaps even steaming it using a bowl of water to help unstick any stubborn burnt bits.

Finally, when actually cleaning the inside of your microwave, do remember to do all of it. That includes removing the glass plate in the centre, cleaning it on both sides and remember to clean the microwave door, too!

Many of us do tend to forget just how much that glass plate holds – how dirty it can get on top and how many stains can be found underneath! Remember that any juices, overflowed food or crumbs generally find their way underneath the glass hot plate and are left there until we finally take the time to take it out and clean it!

What Can You Put In The Microwave To Make Your House Smell Good?

There are all kinds of things you can put in your microwave to help your kitchen smell good. A popular choice is coffee, just run your coffee grounds for a few minutes, or even warming up your cup of morning coffee for 30 seconds.

Alternatively, fill a microwave safe container with some water and then add some vanilla extract or lemon extract. Should you be lacking both of those things then actually filling with physical lemon juice or lemon slices should help. It won’t be as strong as lemon extract of course, but it will definitely help!

Vanilla extract, too, is a popular choice. You can heat this up in your microwave and the bad smells from heated leftovers will disappear very quickly.

Popcorn, too, can smell great after running in your microwave for a while. However, while that classic popcorn smell will definitely propel around your kitchen, it will not necessarily last very long, but you will have a tasty snack to enjoy in the process, you could try using Relaxdays Silicone Microwave popcorn maker!

Therefore, again, use this as a brief guide – and do try a mixture of these tips and see how you get on.



It’s surprising how much of a stink your microwave can kick out through the vent holes – and more often than not, it’s worth taking a sponge to it to give it a good clean.

However, why not heat up some coffee grounds or lemon juice? Short of going really deep into your kitchen appliances to go for a deep clean, using a bit of natural extract might be all you need to get those microwave smells up and away.

Trusty dish soap, baking soda, vinegar, you name it – all are good for helping you to clean a microwave, and how to get those stenches covered up. As always, however, make sure you use a microwave safe bowl, and for deeper cleaning inside the microwave, take the plate out first!

No one likes having to clean a microwave – but sometimes, it’s a necessity! Wave goodbye to burnt popcorn smells in no time flat and if you liked this article on removing horrible smells from your microwave, you might like our Top Tips For Cleaning Your Microwave Oven article.

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