Written by 3:40 pm Cleaning Guides

DIY Solutions for Cleaning and Deodorizing Microwave Ovens

An illustrative scene of two open microwave ovens. The one on the left appears dirty and grimy with splatters of food residue, while the one on the right is sparkling clean. Various DIY cleaning tools are scattered around: a toothbrush, a cloth, a bowl of vinegar water, some baking soda and a spatula. Another key focus of the image is a lemon being squeezed into a bowl of water, indicating a natural deodorizing solution. The atmosphere should be bright and fresh, indicating cleanliness, with no brand names or logos visible.

Understanding the Importance of a Clean Microwave Oven

If you’ve ever reheated a meal only to be greeted by the lingering smell of last week’s leftovers, you might be facing the common conundrum of a soiled microwave oven. It’s a minor annoyance that can turn into a major irritation, especially if strong odors and baked-on splatters become the unwelcome norm.

As a cornerstone of convenience in the kitchen, keeping your microwave clean not only helps in maintaining a fresh-smelling cooking area but also ensures the longevity and efficiency of this indispensable appliance. It’s all about making your kitchen a healthy place where food can be enjoyed in its best form.

Natural Cleaning Agents You Can Find in Your Home

Before we consider store-bought solutions, let’s explore some DIY methods using natural ingredients you likely have in your pantry. Vinegar, for example, is a powerful natural cleaner with deodorizing properties, perfect for tackling that microwave funk.

Lemon, an all-natural freshener, when combined with warm water, becomes a steamy solution that loosens up grit and grime, making it easier to wipe off. Both ingredients are not only effective but also non-toxic, ensuring a safe food heating environment without leaving harmful residues.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning with Vinegar

To get started on the vinegar-based cleaning method, you’ll need white vinegar, water, a microwave-safe bowl, and a clean cloth. Begin by mixing one cup of water with two tablespoons of vinegar in the bowl. Place it in the microwave and run it on high power for five minutes.

This process will steam up the walls of the microwave, loosening the debris. After the time’s up, carefully remove the bowl (it will be hot!) and take a cloth to wipe the interior clean. For stubborn spots, dip the cloth in the solution and scrub gently until they’re gone.

Leveraging the Freshness of Lemons

Now, let’s use the natural acidity of lemons to cleanse and deodorize. Just cut a lemon in half and squeeze its juice into half a cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Drop the lemon halves in there too and microwave the concoction for about three minutes, or until boiling.

Again, leave it to stand for a few minutes after the microwave turns off to let the steam do its magic. Then, remove the bowl, and you’ll find that not only have food spills softened up for an easy clean, but there will also be a pleasant lemon scent wafting through the air.

Scouring with Baking Soda

Baking soda isn’t just for baking; it’s also an excellent cleaner. If your microwave has a turntable, remove it and create a paste of baking soda and water. Apply it to the microwave floor, focusing on any areas with splatters. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub away.

For the walls, sprinkle a cloth with baking soda and get to wiping. This mild abrasive is perfect for removing stubborn messes without scratching your appliance’s surface. Plus, its natural deodorizing properties will help get rid of any persisting smells.

Reviewing a Top Microwave Cleaning Product: Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner

Among the standout products for microwave cleaning, the Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner has caught the attention of many. It’s a cleverly designed plastic figure that you fill with water and vinegar, then microwave to steam-clean the inside of the appliance.

Users have shared that this tool makes microwave cleaning almost effortless. The steam comes out of the Angry Mama’s head, softening all the gunk inside your microwave. After the steam does its work, a simple wipe-down is all that’s needed.


  • Eco-friendly and does not require chemicals
  • Reusable and easy to use
  • Fun design that makes cleaning a bit more enjoyable


  • May not be as effective on very old or tough stains
  • Sometimes requires a run or two for optimal results
  • Vinegar smell during the process can be strong for some users

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Combining Vinegar and Baking Soda for a Deep Clean

While vinegar and baking soda are strong cleaners on their own, combining them can provide an extra punch for those stubborn microwave messes. To harness their combined cleaning power, start by sprinkling baking soda on the tough spots in your microwave.

Then, soak a cloth in a mixture of warm water and vinegar and place it over the baking soda. The chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda will help to break down stuck-on food, making it easier to wipe clean after a few minutes.

Tips for Preventing Splatters and Odors

Maintenance is key in keeping your microwave clean and odor-free. Covering food with a microwave-safe lid or a paper towel can significantly reduce the number of splatters and spills you’ll have to contend with.

Regularly wiping down the interior after use also prevents residue build-up, which ultimately means less time spent on deep cleaning sessions. It’s simple habits like these that can maintain the cleanliness of your microwave without much effort.

Commercial Deodorizers: When DIY Isn’t Enough

For times when a DIY approach doesn’t cut it, there are commercially available deodorizers specifically formulated for microwaves. These products are designed to be easy to use and typically require just a few sprays inside the appliance followed by a good wipe-down.

One such product is the Fridge-n-Freezer Odor Absorber by Arm & Hammer. This deodorizer works by neutralizing odors with its baking soda-based formula, preventing them from lingering. It’s a straightforward solution for anyone looking for an alternative to homemade remedies.

Importance of Regular Cleaning Schedules

Consistency in your cleaning routine can greatly impact the effectiveness of your efforts. Establishing a regular schedule ensures that splatters and odors never have a chance to settle in, keeping your microwave in tip-top shape.

Ideally, you should aim to clean your microwave once a week or more often if it’s used frequently. Not only does this make the process easier each time, but it also contributes to better-tasting food and a more welcoming kitchen space.

Ensuring Safety When Cleaning Electrical Appliances

When dealing with any electrical appliance, safety must be a priority. Always ensure that your microwave is turned off and unplugged before attempting any sort of cleaning, especially when using liquids.

Furthermore, be cautious of hot steam or containers when opening the microwave after using the steam-cleaning method. Safety measures like these prevent accidents and ensure a safe cleaning experience.

Final Thoughts on Microwave Maintenance

Regular maintenance and occasional deep cleaning are crucial for a fresh and functional microwave. Utilizing both DIY solutions and commercial products can give you a well-rounded approach to tackling stubborn stains and odors.

With the right techniques and consistent effort, you can maintain an appliance that supports your culinary endeavors and contributes positively to your kitchen’s overall atmosphere. Just remember to be safe, and don’t be afraid to combine methods for the best results.

When to Opt for Professional Cleaning Kits

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the DIY approach might not yield the results we hope for in cleaning our microwave ovens. In those instances, professional cleaning kits could be a worthwhile investment.

Consider a product like the Glisten Microwave Cleaner with Foaming Power. This is a heavy-duty cleaner designed to tackle grease and burnt-on food. Users have reported that it’s quite effective, leaving the microwave sparkling clean with minimal effort.


  • Powerful grease-cutting action
  • Easy to use and requires minimal scrubbing
  • Leaves a pleasant, clean smell


  • More expensive than DIY solutions
  • Not a natural product; contains chemicals
  • The foam may require several applications for thick grime

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Addressing Rust and Paint Peeling Inside Your Microwave

If you come across rust or peeling paint inside your microwave, it’s a sign that you should take action immediately to prevent further damage. Cleaning is essential, but make sure to use gentle cleaners to avoid exacerbating the problem.

For peeling paint, you might need a microwave cavity paint like the QB Products Microwave Cavity Paint. This product is formulated to cover up spots that have lost their coating. It’s crucial to address these issues promptly as exposed metal can spark and damage your appliance further.

Odor-Absorbing Gadgets: A High-Tech Solution

Besides cleaning, there are gadgets designed to absorb odors over time, such as the Eau de Microwave, an innovative product that sits in your microwave, absorbing odors around the clock. It contains a compound that reacts with odor-causing molecules, neutralizing them effectively.

While not a replacement for cleaning, such gadgets can be a helpful addition to the kitchen for people who frequently cook strong-smelling foods. They help maintain a neutral smell in between cleaning sessions.

Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Microwave After Cleaning

A clean microwave is not only pleasant to use but also operates more efficiently. Ensuring that the vents are unobstructed and the interior is free from food buildup allows for better heat circulation. This means your microwave will work more effectively and could even reduce your energy consumption.

Moreover, regular cleaning can prevent wear and tear on the microwave’s components, potentially saving you from costly repairs or replacements in the long run. It’s a simple task that pays off with reliable performance.

Conclusion: Achieving a Spotless and Odor-Free Microwave

In summary, keeping your microwave oven clean and deodorized is an achievable task with the right approach. Whether you utilize household items or specialized cleaning products, the goal is a hygienic and high-functioning kitchen appliance. Making the effort to clean regularly, using either natural solutions or store-bought cleaners, will ensure your microwave remains in great condition.

Remember, a clean microwave contributes to the overall cleanliness of your kitchen, making it a healthier and more inviting space to prepare your meals. So roll up your sleeves, choose your method, and give your microwave the attention it deserves. With these handy tips and tricks, you’ll enjoy a cleaner, fresher microwave oven in no time.

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