How to deep clean your microwave in minutes

Remove baked-on grime without resorting to harsh chemicals.
Shania Shegedyn

If the inside of your microwave has begun to resemble a dark and scary cave, with grime, pasta sauce and other unidentified food remnants forming stalactites and stalagmites, it’s probably a sign to give the appliance a deep clean. But how do you clean a microwave? 

You can’t get out the scourer, as scrubbing too vigorously can damage the non-stick surface of the interior. You don’t want to bust out the heavy-duty cleaners either, as these chemicals can hang around and potentially end up in your food. 

The trick is to use the appliance’s heating function to your advantage and stick to natural cleaning products that will cut through grime and banish offensive odours. If you have white vinegar in the pantry (or a whole lemon in your fruit bowl) you can quickly clean your microwave and have it looking new and smelling fresh. 

Here’s how to clean a microwave in minutes.

Shaker style modern kitchen with built-in wall microwave
Cleaning a microwave is easy if you harness the power of steam and white vinegar. (Credit: Photography: Claire McFerran | Styling: Alex Carter)

What you’ll need

  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup white vinegar (or peel of a whole lemon)
  • Damp cleaning cloth or paper towel
  • Dishwashing liquid


  1. Remove the microwave glass turntable and wash with hot soapy water. Rinse and allow to dry. Place back in the microwave.
  2. Add vinegar (or peel of a whole lemon) and water to bowl and heat the mixture on high in microwave for 5 minutes. The steam and vinegar will soften baked on grime, making it easy to wipe clean.
  3. Remove bowl from microwave *caution – bowl and contents will be hot
  4. Wipe surfaces with a clean, damp cloth or paper towel.

Repeat once a week to keep your microwave fresh and food free.

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