Helpful Tips for Cleaning Your Microwave Oven

Jen Hammond

July 8, 2021

Last updated on November 30, 2021


Microwave ovens are incredibly useful in our daily lives. They can heat up our food in a matter of moments, turn our movie night into a proper experience with warm popcorn and heat up last night’s leftovers, saving us time and energy!

Yet another reason why they are so useful is the fact that they are very easy to clean! In fact, as household appliances go, they are one of, if not the easiest to clean! Usually, any standard cleaning product that you have under the sink should do the trick, but there are a few top tips out there for an extra easy, extra efficient clean.


Some people recommend using vinegar, others say to use lemons, whereas others prefer to stick to regular cleaning products and soap. For a full microwave cleaning guide, keep reading…

What is the best way to clean the inside of a microwave oven?

Being that there are multiple ways to clean a microwave oven, the best way really depends on your own personal preference.

An easy way of doing it is to just use a regular cleaning wipe and wiping it all around. The cleaning wipes will do the job but you may find that they still leave a greasy layer on the inside of the microwave.

Some stubborn food that has seemingly become a part of the appliance will probably not come off easily with a cleaning wipe. Sure, you could try a hard sponge, but even then it will take you a fair bit of time and energy in order to get it just right.

Over the years, people have come up with certain hacks for cleaning your microwave oven in a quicker and cleaner way, including Mrs Hinch who’s prime favourite is to use vinegar and a lemon to clean a microwave.

3 stepts to clean a microwave with vinegar and lemon?

  1. Simply squeeze the juice of a whole lemon into a microwave-safe dish, then add a few tablespoons of vinegar (apple cider vinegar preferably), and place it in the microwave, heating it for a few minutes.
  2. Once the liquid is seeming to boil, and the microwave glass is steaming up, then it is safe to turn off your oven. Leave it for a few minutes, letting it cool down before opening the door.
  3. Once it is cool enough, you will find that the hot steam has removed most of the grease from the walls of the microwave and all you need do is wipe down the inside with a damp cloth or paper towels. The mixture will then be easy to drain and the job is done!

This is a great method that requires only a few ingredients that you probably already have in your home! It’s efficient and doesn’t leave an off-putting, lingering smell.

What are the steps to cleaning a microwave?

If you are using a method that requires heating it before cleaning inside the microwave, then do make sure to let it cool down before you start to clean! It will be very hot in there and whatever components you have put inside will need time to cool down before you can touch them.

Anything from vinegar and water, to lemon juice and essential oils will heat up quickly with the microwave on high, but will not necessarily cool down as fast! Just keep the microwave door closed for a few moments, maybe five minutes, before starting the cleaning process.

Remove the bowl before cleaning and if you do leave it to cool down, remember to take out anything that you left before cooking something else!


Can you use bleach to clean the inside of your microwave oven?

It isn’t wise to use bleach to clean your microwave oven.

Some people do choose to use it but it is rather pointless. Bleach is a strong chemical that is great for killing bacteria but isn’t really suited to a microwave oven.

Given that built-in microwave ovens heat at very high temperatures, bacteria tend to not last in there for too long! Maybe you mistakenly left some food in there that is now growing new parts and you are naturally worried about any unwanted bacteria!

Simply using a lemon, some vinegar and a wipe after running the oven for a few minutes, will kill the bacteria and get rid of any unwanted smells.

Bleach is really not something that should be used needlessly, so maybe keep it for other appliances and surfaces! It’s also seriously unsafe to use on the inside of your microwave – so make sure to swap out for vinegar, baking soda and lemons. At worst, grab a few cleaning wipes!

What are The Best Wipes to Use Inside a Microwave Oven?

Most cleaning wipes are good for cleaning the inside of a microwave oven, no matter if the microwave is a standard, convection, combination, built on or compact. Any anti-bacterial wipe that you usually use in your kitchen should do! It is better if they aren’t bleached, but any other cleaning wipe should suffice.

Using them directly on the inside of the oven whilst its cold, will wipe it clean for sure, but it won’t be a very deep clean. For a deeper attack, try putting the wipes on the tray and leave them in with the microwave on for a few minutes.

The steam from the hot wipes will help remove the grease and food particles for the sides of the microwave oven. Just be sure to let it cool down before opening the door and beginning to wipe!

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