Easy, Earth-Friendly Way to Clean a Microwave Oven!

Today is the Spring Cleaning Tips edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, and I’m hardly an expert cleaner . . . but I actually went on a little kitchen-cleaning binge last night and utilized a tip that I want to share! I believe I originally saw this in “Hints from Heloise.”

When the interior of your microwave oven is splattered with cooked-on food, simply place a cup of half white vinegar and half water in the microwave and heat it to a rolling boil. (2:22 is the right amount of time in my microwave. Watch it through the window until you see significant bubbling.)  Then turn off the microwave, wait about 5 minutes, take out the cup (careful, it’s hot), and use a cloth to wipe the interior of the oven.  The vinegary steam does an excellent job of loosening the gunk! Most of it will rub right off; some will need a little scrubbing.  You’ll probably need to rinse and wring out your cloth every so often.

In 15 minutes or less, you will have a nice, clean, deodorized microwave.  There’s no need to worry about residue of this cleaner getting into future food, since vinegar is a safe food!  This technique costs only pennies, creates no harmful fumes or environmental pollutants, won’t scratch surfaces or damage paint, and uses a versatile household product that’s also great for killing germs, deodorizing smelly laundry, and washing your hair!

And then when you’re done cleaning the microwave, you have this nice cup of warm vinegar-water all ready for cleaning other things!  It’s great for the outside of the microwave, refrigerator shelves, and similar areas where bits of old food form a gummy residue.  I worked on our stove top last night, and while I didn’t manage to remove all the burned-on yuck under the gas burners, it looks about 70% better than it did.

Happy spring!  Check out the cleaning tips at Mums Make Lists!

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5 thoughts on “Easy, Earth-Friendly Way to Clean a Microwave Oven!

  1. I have some reservations about this method. The acetic acid from the boiling vinegar can be corrosive to parts of the oven. In particular, acetic acid attacks copper. The vent fan of the oven extracts the vinegar vapor from the cooking chamber, but it pulls that air across electronic components which have some elements made of copper. So you may be shortening the lifetime of the microwave oven by using this method of cleaning.

    • Hmmm, maybe it would become a problem if we cleaned it more than twice a year! 🙂

      For more frequent cleaning, plain water heated to steam might work pretty well. The vinegar really helps dissolve baked-on food, though.

  2. I found this article very helpful. Thanks for sharing and for the discussion below. Great post!

    Best Regards! New Malden Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  3. Pingback: Cleaning Products to Avoid if You Have Allergies | The Earthling's Handbook

  4. Pingback: Go Green in 2017: How to Clean | The Earthling's Handbook

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