How to Clean Even the Dirtiest Microwave


Microwave ovens that see a lot of use are rarely clean. Often, the extent of their dirtiness is not fully grasped until you look all the way inside at the ceiling, the inner walls, and even the inside of the microwave door. Soup, beans, and tomato will splatter. Oatmeal and rice boil over. And sometimes, you don’t even know what has exploded inside the microwave to leave the mess that is found.

Microwaves can get pretty horrifying, especially if that splattered food is cooked onto the surfaces over and over again. So it’s no surprise you might be looking for a guide on how to get that nightmare clean before trying to cook safe, edible food inside. Today, we’re here to share some smart tips on how to clean even the dirtiest microwave 

1) Soak the Plate and Rollers

The best way to give yourself a head-start is to soak everything that can be soaked. You can’t soak the microwave appliance because it is large and electrical. But you can soak the plate and the rollers it spins on. Remove both and set them into a sink or tub of hot soapy water. Anything caked-on will begin to dissolve. The time you spend cleaning the rest of the microwave will give the plate and roller time to do much of their scrubbing work for you.  

2) Sweep Out the Crumbs

With the plate and rollers out of the way, the first step to microwave scrubbing is to sweep out the crumbs. Use a sponge or paper towel to seep any crumbs or loose food debris out into the trash. Use the scrubby side of the sponge and quick dry strokes to free up any bits that would have fallen and become debris with the first scrubbing efforts. 

3) Spray the Inside Thoroughly with Degreaser

If you’ve ever cleaned an oven or a really dirty stovetop, you may already be familiar with degreaser. Degreaser of the kitchen variety is a type of soapy spray that foams up as it works it’s way into the grease and food residue cooked onto any surface. Degreaser cleaner is a fantastic solution for most of your toughest kitchen cleaning jobs.

Just like the oven, spray until the microwave surfaces are coated, then close the door and let it sit for a few minutes foaming. This, like soaking the plate, will seriously reduce the amount of scrubbing you have to do. 

4) Scrub with a Soaked Soapy Sponge

Once the degreaser has foamed for a while grab a super-soaked soapy sponge and get to scrubbing. Start by sweeping the degreaser foam out and rinsing the sponge thoroughly with every few swipes. The degreaser is now, unsurprisingly, full of grease and food leftovers and the bubbles are actually containing the mess.

You’ll find that the layers of cooked-on gunk inside the microwave wipes away and scrubs away much more easily after the foamy soak. To make further progress, keep your sponge very wet and moderately soapy as you scrub every internal inch of the microwave for remaining cooked-on gunk. You might be surprised how easily it comes up now.

Scrub, rinse your sponge, and keep scrubbing until the vast majority of the microwave actually looks clean. 

5) Scrub the Soaked Plate and Rollers

Now that you’ve given it some time, you’re ready to scrub the plate and rollers. Grab your soapy sponge and make sure that there is no lingering sign of soups or oatmeals long-past still crusting to the top of the plate. Make sure that tiny crumbs or hairs are not stuck in the rollers. Here, you will notice how much difference a  hot soak can make to accelerating a tough cleaning process. 

6) Wipe Everything with Surface Cleaner to Finish

Finally, you’re ready to polish the entire now-clean microwave and maybe even take pictures of what a great job you did. The inside of the microwave and the plate should be pristine, and any remaining smudges or crumbs should be easy to clear away. Use a quick spray of a surface cleaner on a paper towel, then neatly wipe the surfaces to perfect cleanliness as your finishing touch.

—Whether you’re finally tackling the much-abused break room microwave or facing the music about the microwave explosions in your own house, knowing how to keep a microwave clean is surprisingly essential to maintenance and care. If you want your microwave to last longer, and for food to smell just like the one microwaved food when you cook, keeping your microwave clean is your best possible bet. And with these tricks, even the dirtiest microwave could be scrubbed clean and put back into trustworthy use.

—For more interesting facts, tips, and advice on appliance repair, contact us today! And if you need a professional to come to deal with your appliance troubles, we can do that, too, and would be happy to have you!

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