cleaning the microwave

5 Simple Hacks for Cleaning Your Microwave

From reheating leftovers to preparing quick meals, microwaves are heavily relied upon by many Filipino households. However, with regular use, microwaves can quickly accumulate dirt, grime, and food stains, which not only affect their appearance but also pose potential dangers if left unaddressed. Microwaves that aren’t regularly cleaned can develop unpleasant odors and flavors that transfer to the food you’re heating or cooking. They also become favorable environments for the growth of bacteria and other organisms, which can compromise food safety and increase the likelihood of foodborne illnesses. 

Moreover, a dirty microwave may not function as efficiently as a clean one since food residues can affect the distribution of heat, resulting in uneven heating or cooking. With these in mind, it’s no wonder why cleaning your microwave or microwave oven is paramount. 

Nevertheless, cleaning your microwave and ensuring that it stays clean can be a bit challenging. If you use the wrong cleaning method or aren’t careful during the cleaning process, chances are that you’ll end up damaging your microwave. Fortunately, in this article, we’ll explore six simple hacks for cleaning your microwave correctly and effectively.

Lemon and Water Method

Lemons make great cleaning agents because they contain citric acid. This organic compound is naturally found in citrus fruits, and it has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. As such, you can use the cleaning powers of lemons to remove stains, eliminate odors, and sanitize your microwave. Here’s how:

  1. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Add a cup of water to the bowl.
  3. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat on high for 3 minutes.
  4. Let the steam sit for a few minutes to loosen the grime.
  1. Carefully remove the bowl, and wipe the interior of the microwave with a damp cloth or sponge.

Baking Soda Paste

Baking soda is a versatile and effective cleaning agent that’s ideal for tackling tough stains and stuck-on food residue in your microwave. This is because baking soda is abrasive, so it has the grit to easily dislodge particles and stains in your microwave. Baking soda is also basic in terms of composition, and with most odors being acidic, this kitchen staple can absorb odors and neutralize them. Here’s how you can make the most of baking soda’s microwave cleaning capabilities: 

  1. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to form a paste.
  1. Apply the paste to the interior surfaces of the microwave, focusing on areas with stains or residue.
  1. Let the paste sit for 10-15 minutes to work its magic.
  1. Dampen a cloth or sponge with water and use it to scrub away the paste and grime.
  1. Rinse the cloth or sponge and wipe down the interior of the microwave to remove any residue.

Vinegar and Water Solution

vinegar and lemon for cleaning

Vinegar is another kitchen staple that makes for an excellent cleaning agent. Like lemons, vinegar is acidic, so it can get rid of scum, grime, grease, and other icky buildups quickly. There are several types of vinegar you can find in the supermarket, from balsamic to apple cider vinegar. When it comes to cleaning, however, you have to use white distilled vinegar because it doesn’t contain any coloring agents that can stain your microwave. If you want to make sure that vinegar won’t leave a strong odor in your microwave, follow these instructions:

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine equal parts of vinegar and water.
  1. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat it on high for 5 minutes.
  1. Let the steam sit for a few minutes to loosen the grime.
  1. Carefully remove the bowl and wipe down the interior with a cloth or sponge.

Quick Wipe-Down Method

The quick wipe-down method is the simplest one on this list. However, this requires you to incorporate it after each use of your microwave. Doing so can help prevent the buildup of dirt and stains. To make sure that you’re applying this method properly, follow these steps:

  1. After each use, dampen a cloth or sponge with water.
  1. Wipe down the interior surfaces of the microwave, paying attention to any spills or stains.
  1. For tougher stains, add a small amount of dish soap to the cloth or sponge.
  1. Rinse the cloth or sponge and wipe down the interior once more to remove any residue.

Soaking Method (For Microwave Grease Filters)

If you own an over-the-range microwave, chances are its grease filter is riddled with grime. Since it’s located underneath your microwave, it traps grease particles and odors to prevent them from settling within the hood. Over time, the filter gets dirty, affecting the performance of your microwave. Here’s what you should do to clean it:

  1. Unplug your microwave.
  2. Locate the grease filter and carefully remove it from the appliance.
  3. Soak the grease filter in hot water and dish soap for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Scrub the filter with an old toothbrush or coarse dish sponge to remove particles and debris.
  5. Thoroughly rinse the grease filter.
  6. Dry the filter with paper towels or let it air dry.
  7. Secure the grease filter back into its slot in the microwave.

Neglecting to clean your microwave not only affects its appearance but can also lead to potential dangers such as fire hazards, reduced efficiency, and the growth of harmful bacteria. As such, cleaning your microwave regularly is essential to maintaining a clean and hygienic kitchen environment. By trying out these simple hacks, you can keep your microwave sparkling clean with minimal effort.

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