Imagine coming home after a long day, ready to heat up that tasty lasagna from yesterday. As you open your microwave, you’re hit with splatters of spills and stains from countless meals. What can you do? In this article, “Microwave Cleaning Hack,” you’ll learn a quick and easy trick to get your microwave sparkling clean without spending hours scrubbing. With just a few household items, you’ll be able to whip your microwave back into shape, transforming it from a messy eyesore to a clean, efficient machine in no time!
Understanding the Need for Clean Microwave
It’s often easy to dismiss cleaning the microwave. After all, you might think, it’s just used for heating up food. But the importance of a clean microwave cannot be understated.
Importance of a clean microwave
A clean microwave is not only essential for hygiene purposes, but it also improves the function of your appliance. It will work more efficiently and last longer if regularly cleaned. This is due to the fact that build-up of food particles can cause damage and even become a fire hazard.
Various problems with a dirty microwave
A dirty microwave can harbor bacteria and other germs, which can contaminate your food. It can also cause unpleasant odors to linger in your kitchen and can potentially cause health concerns if not rectified on time.
Preventative Cleaning Measures
To keep ahead, it’s a good idea to follow some preventative measures to mitigate the mess.
Routine after-use cleaning
One of the most effective ways is to clean up after each use. Wipe down the interior walls and glass tray with a damp cloth or sponge. Avoid letting food particles and splatters build up.
In addition to after-use cleaning, you should also deep clean your microwave every couple of weeks or at least once a month, depending on use. This is more necessary if there have been spills or noticeable stains.
Common mistakes in preventative cleaning
While cleaning, avoid using harsh abrasive tools or cleaners that can scratch and damage your microwave. Also, don’t forget to clean the sealing areas of the door and the exterior of the microwave.
Getting Ready for Microwave Cleaning
Before cleaning, ensure you have everything you need.
Gather necessary cleaning materials
This includes, but not limited to, a clean cloth or sponge, a microwave-safe bowl, vinegar or lemon juice or baking soda, and a dish soap.
Prepping the Microwave for cleaning
Unplug your microwave before cleaning for safety. Remove turntable or any other removable parts.
Safety measures during microwave cleaning
Avoid using metal scrubbing tools as they can create sparks, leading to a fire hazard. Always ensure your microwave is unplugged while cleaning.
The Vinegar Cleaning Hack
One of the most popular methods involves using vinegar.
How to use vinegar to clean a microwave
Simply fill a microwave-safe bowl half-full with water and 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar. Microwave it for five minutes, then allow the steam to settle before opening the door. The steam helps to loosen dried-on food, making it easy to wipe away.
Benefits of vinegar cleaning
Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that has strong antibacterial properties. It’s excellent for cutting through grease and loosening tough stains.
Potential drawbacks of using vinegar
However, vinegar can leave a strong smell. It might also not be effective for very stubborn stains, so you may need to use it in conjunction with other cleaning agents like baking soda.
The Baking Soda Cleaning Hack
Another effective method of cleaning your microwave is using baking soda.
How to use baking soda to clean a microwave
Combine two parts of baking soda with one part water to form a thick paste. Apply this paste to the inside of the microwave and leave it on for a few minutes, then wipe clean.
Benefits of baking soda cleaning
Baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive that can tackle stubborn stains without scratching your microwave’s surface.
Potential drawbacks of using baking soda
While baking soda is a great cleaning agent, it can leave a lingering taste in your food if not rinsed off thoroughly.
The Lemon Juice Cleaning Hack
Lemon juice is another great way to clean your microwave.
How to use lemon juice to clean a microwave
Fill a microwave-safe bowl with one cup of water and squeeze a whole lemon into it. Microwave for around three minutes and let it stand for 5 more minutes. The steam from the lemon water will loosen any grime and food debris.
Benefits of lemon juice cleaning
Lemon cleans and has a strong disinfecting action that can destroy food-related bacteria. It also leaves a fresh, citrus scent in your microwave.
Potential drawbacks of using lemon juice
However, using lemon juice might require a bit of scrubbing for tougher stains. Also, like all citrus fruits, it can sting if it comes into contact with cuts on your hands.
Commercial Cleaning Products Hack
Commercial microwave cleaners are also useful and convenient.
Recommended commercial cleaning products
There are quite a few products available in the market like Goo Gone, Mr. Clean, and Easy-Off that work well.
How to use commercial cleaning products safely
Always follow manufacturer instructions – apply the cleaner, let it sit, and then wipe away.
Hidden issues with commercial cleaning products
While they may be convenient, some commercial cleaners may contain harsh chemicals, causing health and environmental concerns.
Maintenance After Cleaning
Cleaning is only half the battle. It’s also important to maintain cleanliness.
Post-cleaning maintenance tasks
Always ensure you wipe down the interior of the microwave after every use. Keep the exterior dust-free and clean as well.
Daily habits for clean microwave
Develop a habit of covering your food with a microwave-safe lid or a paper towel to avoid splatters. This will significantly reduce the mess in the first place.
Microwave Cleaning Hacks for Specific Stains
Some types of food leave a more stubborn stain than others, but there are ways to tackle them.
Cleaning burnt popcorn stains
Burnt popcorn stains are hard but you can try a mixture of baking soda and water. Apply to the stain, leave it for a few minutes, then scrub off.
Cleaning curry and turmeric stains
Curry and turmeric stains can be difficult due to its vibrant color. Soak the stain in a bowl of water with a bit of vinegar and microwave for a few minutes. The steam should help pulling the stain.
Safety Issues during Microwave Cleaning
Safety is key when cleaning your microwave.
What to avoid while cleaning
Avoid using abrasive scrubbers that could scratch the surface or harsh chemical cleaners that could damage the microwave’s interior.
Managing microwave cleaning safely
Always ensure your microwave is unplugged during cleaning, and remember never to use metal in the microwave as it might spark or cause a fire.