How to clean a microwave

Microwave smelling funky? Here's how to clean it in just a few easy steps

Microwaves are nearly ubiquitous in American households. That’s because they’re so convenient; you can use it for everything from steaming broccoli to reheating leftovers (which is probably what most people use it for).

But when it comes to using a microwave, there’s nothing worse than heating up a piece of pizza and tasting this morning’s oatmeal or last night’s chicken and rice. You’ve probably had that experience at some point, and it can downgrade the eating experience. If you open the door of your microwave and smell pork roast from two days ago, it’s time to give that appliance a nice and thorough clean. A paper towel with warm water isn’t going to cut it this time.

The inside of your microwave should be sparkling, and if it isn’t, don’t worry: The process is incredibly easy and will only take about five minutes. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get your appliance sparkling white in no time at all.

And while you’re on a cleaning kick, you can also check out our posts on how to clean a dishwasher and how to clean a washing machine.

appliance trends kbis 2017 frigidaire gallery black stainless steel microwave
Frigidaire Gallery Black Stainless Steel Microwave Jenny McGrath / Digital Trends

Step 1 – Fill a microwave-safe bowl with water and add either a drizzle of dish soap or a tablespoon of white vinegar, whichever you have handy.

Step 2 – Let it cook for about one to two minutes depending on how strong your microwave is. You want it to get nice and steamy but not boil over or spill out of the bowl. By microwaving first, you’re letting the steam do most of the heavy lifting for you.

Step 3 – Once the time is finished, keep the door closed for about three minutes, and let the steam heat up the bottom, sides, and roof of your microwave.

Step 4 – After the three minutes are up, carefully remove the bowl. You’ll probably need a pot holder or cloth to avoid burning yourself, as it’s going to be hot.

Step 5 – Wipe off all the sides with a paper towel or cloth, and clean the rotating plate just like you would a normal plate. If need be, you can run it through the dishwasher.

Step 6 – Enjoy your beautiful, clean microwave!

One thing to note: If you don’t have dish soap or vinegar, you can cut a lemon in half, put it in a bowl full of water, and cook it for five minutes. This option is the most natural, and the warm lemon makes your kitchen smell nice for a few hours.

Whenever your microwave is starting to smell a little funky, you’ll know how to give it a thorough clean in just a few minutes. And to prolong the amount of time in between deep cleans, try adjusting your microwave to a lower power setting, particularly when heating up foods that are prone to splattering.

Smart Home

Nest gets more colorful with three new options for its smart thermostat

Nest Parent company Alphabet announced this week that its Nest Learning Thermostat will soon be made available in three new, fancier colors: Mirror black, brass, and polished steel.
Home Theater

How to make your TV squeaky clean for not much green

Not sure how to clean the LCD, OLED, or plasma display that's the cornerstone of your living room? You don't need to buy expensive cleaning solutions to clean your TV -- we'll teach you how to do it with simple household items.
Home Theater

Want to save your favorite movie? Here's how to fix a scratched DVD or CD

A scratched edition of your favorite DVD is no good, but our guide will show you how to fix a scratched DVD, whether you prefer to repair it using a smattering of peanut butter or Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Smart Home

Top-load vs. front-load washer: Which should you buy?

There's more to the top-load versus front-load washer debate than how it opens. The two types of machines clean very differently and have pretty drastic differences in terms of cleaning power, price, and efficiency.
Smart Home

Publish a new Alexa skill this month and Amazon will give you an Echo Dot

Amazon' Alexa group announced a promotion encouraging new developers to publish a new Alexa skill in any country First-time developers who publish a new an Alexa skill prior to midnight October 31, 2018, will get a free Echo Dot.
Product Review

Bigger. Smarter. Louder. The Echo Plus makes Alexa sound better than ever

Amazon’s second-generation Echo Plus speaker is the loudest, bassiest speaker in the Echo fleet. While featuring a smart hub with only Zigbee connectivity, other upgrades make this device a worthy smart speaker.
Smart Home

August Smart Lock satin nickel model comes bundled with Wi-Fi Connect bridge

The August Smart Lock--one of our favorite smart locks--is now available in a satin nickel finish. August is selling the new model in a $220 bundle with the Wi-Fi bridge needed for remote access and voice command features.
Smart Home

LG’s Colosseo smart sofa is the comfiest piece of tech in your home

LG has partnered with Italian furniture brand Natuzzi to produce the Colosseo, a connected sofa with five custom scenarios to provide maximum comfort for watching TV, reading, or just relaxing.
Smart Home

Simplisafe steps outside the smart home with its Video Doorbell Pro

SimpiSafe is pushing into the smart home market by introducing a new high-tech video doorbell that includes 1080p HD monitoring and a dual-sensor motion trigger that combines a body heat detector and a motion detector.
Smart Home

Facebook’s new Portal device can collect your data to target your ads

Facebook confirmed that its new Portal smart displays, designed to enable Messenger-enabled video calls, technically have the capability to gather data on users via the camera and mic onboard.
Smart Home

Amazon Echo vs. Echo Plus: Which should you get?

If you're trying to choose between the Amazon Echo or the Echo Plus, then this guide is for you. It compares the two Alexa-enabled speakers in cost, size, looks, functionality, and more.
Deals

Add color and subtract $50 with this Philips Hue lighting starter kit deal

If you've been on the fence about purchasing smart lightbulbs, Amazon is selling the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit for just $100. For a limited time Amazon is also offering a bundle deal of Philips Hue's White and Color…
Smart Home

Second-gen vs. third-gen Echo Dot: What’s the difference?

Amazon's third-generation Echo Dot was just released. Is it worth upgrading your second-generation Echo Dot? Here, we take a closer look at the two devices to see how much Amazon has improved its flagship Alexa voice assistant smart…