microwave cleaning hack

Cleaning 101: How to Clean a Microwave

Your first microwave cleaning hack? Step away from the caustic cleaners! Our guide shows you how to remove microwave smells & stains – naturally!

Stop struggling with microwave smells & stains. For easy and natural microwave cleaning hacks, look no further than our expert guide!

Since over 90% of US homes (and most workplaces) have microwaves, you’ve probably encountered some nasty ones. Not only can these appliances become bacterial breeding grounds, they can also change the flavor of whatever food is being cooked in it.

Our natural microwave cleaning hacks make the process a cinch – no chemical cleaners necessary!

How to Clean and Remove Microwave Smells and Stains

What You’ll Need


  1. Place the glass turntable and its holder in a sink of warm water and squirt of dish soap. Soak for a few minutes before breaking out a dish scrubbing brush. Place in a dish rack to dry.
  2. Using a damp microfiber towel, remove loose crumbs from the bottom, walls, and top of the microwave. While the door is open, get in the crevice where the seal meets the door.
  3. Use a paper towel and the pressure of your fingernail to loosen food stains. Steam your microwave with lemon juice to remove stubborn or smelly burnt food smells.
  4. Spray the interior with surface cleaner. For baked-on food stains, let the formula sit for at least 30 seconds.
  5. Using a clean, folded microfiber cloth, apply medium pressure in fast, overlapping passes (think a “Z” pattern). The wetness pattern will evaporate shortly after you pass over, which confirms you are cleaning correctly.
  6. Spray and wet surfaces completely with disinfectant. Let stand and remain visibly wet for 10 minutes before wiping.
  7. Spray the exterior of the microwave with an all-purpose cleaner and then wipe down in the same way. Use a light touch around the buttons.

Pro tip: Every time you use the microwave, make sure that your food and drink is properly covered. If you spot some spatters, wipe things down before heating anything else up.

How to Clean a Microwave with Lemon

Obviously, lemons can make every kitchen smell better. Their natural cleaning power lies in citric acid, making it one of our favorite everyday cleaning products in our pantry.

  1. Wash the turntable and holder with warm water and dish soap. Soak for a few minutes before scrubbing. Set it on a dish rack to dry.
  2. Cut a fresh lemon into 6-8 wedges. Place in a microwave-safe bowl with water and microwave on high until it boils (approximately 2-4 minutes).
  3. Turn off your microwave but keep the door closed for at least 10 minutes to let the steam cut through stains.
  4. Remove the bowl with oven mitts, then use a clean, folded microfiber cloth to wipe down the interior. If you still spot grease and stains, you can repeat the process with the same bowl of lemons. Or speed up the process with a multi-surface cleaner!

Pro tip: Lemons are a natural antiseptic, thanks to their high citric acid content. This makes them an excellent choice for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces as they can help in eliminating the growth of bacteria and other germs. 

The Wet-Rag Microwave Cleaning Hack

Don't have lemons at your house? Not to worry with this natural method.

  1. Dip a clean microfiber towel or rag in water then thoroughly wring it out.
  2. Place it directly on the turntable, microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, then let it sit for 2 more minutes so the steam can break down stains.

Pro tip: Use caution while handling this hot cloth to wipe down the interior (we recommend silicone oven mitts).

How to Clean a Microwave with Vinegar

Discover another natural cleaning method using white vinegar.

  1. Pour equal parts white vinegar and water into a large microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave for 5-7 minutes (or until it starts boiling), then let it sit for another 2-3 minutes with the door closed.
  3. Safely remove the bowl, then wipe the interior down with a clean, folded microfiber cloth. You can also dip a scrub brush into the solution and pay closer attention to extra-stubborn stains.
  4. Wipe down the exterior using a multi-surface cleaner.

How to Get Rid of Microwave Smells

Our microwave cleaning hacks above usually eliminate smells by removing the stuck-on food that’s creating them. But for particularly strong odors (we're looking at you, burned popcorn), try one of these microwave cleaning hacks:

  • For milder odors, leave the door open for a few hours.
  • Add a few drops of your preferred essential oil to the lemon/water method.
  • Use orange slices instead of lemons (or both).
  • Soak a sponge in white vinegar. Sprinkle the sponge with baking soda. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then thoroughly wipe down the inside with it.
  • Leave an open box of baking soda or a bowl of used coffee grounds inside the closed microwave for at least 8 hours.

Microwave Maintenance and Stain Prevention Tips


  • Regularly deodorize your microwave using natural ingredients such as lemon, vinegar and baking soda.
  • Clean up food spills as soon as possible to avoid odors and hardened stains.
  • Dishes such as bread or popcorn are most likely to leave a burnt smell in microwaves, so keep an extra eye on them to ensure they aren't left in there too long.
  • If a burnt smell is severe and long-lasting, the problem may lie in your microwave's charcoal filter, which can be replaced.

Puracy: The Best Way to Clean a Microwave

From electronics to sinks to high chairs to microwaves, our biochemists formulated Puracy Natural Surface Cleaner to be safely used on thousands of surfaces, This 99.51% natural cleaning product is your secret weapon for erasing all traces of smears, smudges, muck, grime, goo, and gunk!