Quick Tip: Use Vinegar and Baking Soda to Clean Your Microwave

Even though I only use my microwave to reheat leftovers and defrost frozen meats, after a few years of use the inside had gotten rather messy.

The microwave never got dirty enough to clean on a regular basis, so over time the occasional splatters built up. I had seen in a variety of publications that the best way to clean a microwave was to heat a solution of white vinegar. I was eager to try it.

I mixed a 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of white vinegar together in a medium bowl, then cooked it for 10 minutes on high power. I have a 1000-watt microwave, and after 3 minutes, the mixture was boiling.

The vinegar steam is supposed to loosen the caked-on food particles. My microwave didn’t get too steamy; most of the evaporated vinegar was simply vented out into my kitchen. At the end of the 10 minutes, however, the splatters were easier to scrape off.

I followed up by wiping the inside of the microwave (after carefully removing the bowl full of hot water) with baking soda and a damp sponge. This worked wonders. The baking soda was a perfect mild abrasive to help scrape off the caked-on gunk. The baking soda was also a dirt magnet and captured the sticky film on the walls of the microwave.

After a thorough wiping (no scrubbing required!) the interior of the microwave was sparkling white.



  • Sam

    I need to try this!

  • Maryellen

    This was a great tip! I just cleaned my microwave and was SO surprised how clean it got! Thanks

  • Keola

    Truthfully, this does work. Although a more, even less chemical way to clean the microwave is yet to be had. I simply boil water in a glass in the microwave. Let it sit there for a while so the moisture can reconstitute the yuckies and they come right off with a paper towel. Viola, it is done. 

    • Fiyero109

      voila :)

  • zensko

    I simply use water, I put it in for 5 minutes and when it is done I let is sit for another 5 so that the steam does the work for me, then I wipe it with a clean dish cloth.

  • Pikklls

    I use plain tap water. About 4 cups in a Pyrex measure. Microwave for 10 minutes then let sit for about 15 minutes without opening the microwave.  After that you can wipe off the hardest splatters with just a paper towel.  Although if you’ve burned something I imagine the vinegar would erase that smell so to speak.  Glad  I found your site. Lots of great tips!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sloanephr Donna Sloane

    I do this all the time…instead of vinegar, use lemon. It works the same and smells better

  • Debbie Yates

    for years and years I worked in restaurants. A quick and easy way to clean the microwave is to too put a coffee cup or bowl full of water in the microwave for 5 mins. Carefully remove the cup/bowl as it will be hot. Wipe out the inside with a dishtowel.

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