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How to Clean Your Microwave With Steam

Updated on August 3, 2013
How to Clean Your Microwave With Steam
How to Clean Your Microwave With Steam

Are globs of unrecognizable charred food parts covering your microwave walls and ceiling? Have you worn yourself out trying to coax off the caked on, dried up remnants of sauces and food so unrecognizable you aren’t even sure it was ever once food? Well look no further; here is the simple solution to clean your microwave by using very little effort, no harsh chemicals, and lots of steam.

The problem with cleaning a microwave comes from all the dried up food that has hardened. That food has more than likely been cooked over and over again, turning it into a smelly, almost impossible to remove, mess. Spraying harsh chemical into such a small place where food is cooked seems like a dangerous prospect. Fortunately, steam will soften and loosen the caked on food making it possible to just wipe down the inside of your microwave within seconds. No chemicals needed.

How to Clean Your Microwave With Steam
How to Clean Your Microwave With Steam

Supplies Needed

  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Water
  • Sponge or dishrag
  • Vinegar or lemon juice (optional)


Start by filling your bowl with water with 2 cups of water. If your microwave is particularly smelly, consider adding vinegar or lemon juice. Both will get rid of any unsavory smells. Use a half a cup of either or if you have them both around the house, you can use both. The primary function of the vinegar and lemon juice is a deodorizer. They are not necessary to get the microwave clean, but they definitely will get rid of that lingering smell in your microwave.

Next place the bowl in the microwave and cook the water on high for 5 minutes. The water needs to boil in the microwave to get the maximum amount of steam on its walls.

Does your microwave look like this on the inside?  Try cleaning it with steam.
Does your microwave look like this on the inside? Try cleaning it with steam.

Once the 5 minutes is up, let the steaming water sit in the microwave and do the hard job of loosening all the food particles covering your microwave for another 5 minutes without the oven on.

Open up your microwave; remove the bowl, being careful not to burn yourself. That bowl will be hot, and it contains recently boiling water. Remove the turntable, and either throw it in the dishwasher or wipe it down. It will clean easily since it’s been steamed along with the rest of the microwave

Now comes the easy, yet somewhat gross, part. Wipe down the microwave with a sponge or dishrag. The steam should have sufficiently penetrated any food on the microwave and the food should wipe off easily with little effort.

You will need to work quickly when wiping down the inside of the microwave. The steam will escape and it won’t take long for the food to harden up again. If you find that you can’t get the whole microwave wiped down before it starts to harden, just throw the bowl back in the microwave and start the process again.

It's so easy to clean the microwave with steam
It's so easy to clean the microwave with steam

After trying this process once, you will be amazed at how simple it is.


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