title background

How to clean a smelly microwave oven: 5 easy hacks

7 minute read |

Do you put off cleaning your microwave until it’s absolutely covered in mess? It’s easy to keep microwave messes hidden when you close its door, but what about the odours and bacteria? Evaporated grease, spills, and splatters can leave mixed smells of old food that can spoil the dishes you cook in the future. 


Cleaning your microwave oven is easy. It only takes about 20 minutes, and there are a variety of methods you can try depending on the available materials you have. Electrolux Arabia provides five easy hacks on how to clean a smelly microwave oven.

1. How to clean a microwave oven with lemon 


Step 1: Prepare the necessary equipment


Here are what you will need: 

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of water
  • Microfibre cloth

 

Step 2: Loosen up the juices in the lemon


The juices in the lemon can be loosen up by being repeatedly rolled on the table or rubbed with your palms. 

Step 3: Squeeze the lemon juice into a microwave-safe bowl


Cut it in half and squeeze the juice into a microwave-safe bowl. Add one cup of water. Leave the lemon halves in the bowl too.

How to clean a microwave oven with lemon

Step 4: Run the bowl inside microwave for five minutes


Place the bowl inside your microwave and run it on high for five minutes. Once done, let it sit there for 10 more minutes so the steam coats all parts of the cavity. The lemon also acts as a natural deodoriser, removing odours and making the microwave smell fresh.

Step 5: Clean the microwave interior & exterior with lemon juice


Unplug the microwave. Carefully remove the hot bowl and the turntable. Dip a microfibre cloth in the lemon-water solution, then wipe down the microwave interior and turntable. With a clean cloth, wipe dry both the interior and exterior.


Lemon is also a popular eco-friendly fridge deodorizer. Check out our post about how to remove bad smells from refrigerator with lemon and other natural odor absorbers.

2. How to use baking soda to clean microwave oven


Step 1: Prepare the necessary equipment


Here are what you will need: 

  • 2 tbsp baking soda 
  • 1 cup of warm water 
  • Microfibre cloths

Step 2: Microwave baking soda-water resolution for five minutes


Mix baking soda and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave this on high for five minutes. Baking soda is tough enough to remove stubborn odours and loosen up grime.

Step 3: Take out all removable parts and clean with damp cloth


Unplug the microwave. Carefully remove the bowl, the turntable, and support rollers. 


Give the microwave a good wipe down with a damp cloth, including the turntable. For really stubborn grime, gently scrub them off with a cloth dipped in the baking soda solution.

Step 4: Clean the microwave exterior


Return the turntable, then wipe the microwave exterior with a dry cloth.

>>> Check out some helpful kitchen tips:


3. How to clean dirty microwave oven with white vinegar 


Step 1: Prepare the necessary equipment


Here are what you will need: 

  • 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups of water
  • Microfibre cloths 
  • Essential oil (optional)

Step 2: Microwave vinegar-water resolution for five minutes


Mix vinegar and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Don’t like the vinegar smell? Add a few drops of essential oil. Place it in your microwave and run on high for five minutes. If ever it slightly boils over, let it. Best not to pause the steaming process to effectively soften all the grime.

Step 3: Wait for 10 minutes before taking out removable parts for cleaning


When it’s done, let it sit for 10 more minutes. Unplug the microwave, and remove the bowl, the support rollers, and turntable. 


Using a damp microfibre cloth, gently wipe all parts of the microwave cavity, including the turntable. Avoid the vents.

Step 4: Clean the microwave exterior


Wipe the microwave exterior with a dry microfibre cloth.

4. How to clean inside of a microwave oven with dish soap


Step 1: Prepare the necessary equipment


Here are what you will need: 

  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Sponge
  • Microfibre cloths

Step 2: Take out all removable parts


Start the process by taking out all removable parts, including the turntable and rack, for hand washing with dish soap.

Step 3: Remove food bits and crumbs from the microwave interior


With a damp cloth, briefly wipe the interior to remove food bits and crumbs before deep cleaning it.

Step 4: Deep cleaning inside of the microwave oven with dish soap


In a bowl, mix warm water and dish soap. Agitate so it foams up, then dip your sponge. Wipe in circular motions, starting from the top then moving downwards. The warm soapy solution will absorb grease. Make sure to avoid the vents.

Step 5: Remove soapy substance & clean the exterior


With a fresh damp cloth, wipe the interior again to remove the soapy substance. Don’t forget the microwave exterior. Finally, wipe everything dry with a clean cloth. This also prevents streaking.  

5. How to clean microwave door with a window cleaner


Step 1: Prepare the necessary equipment


Here are what you will need: 

  • 1 cup of ammonia-free window cleaner
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloth

Step 2: Combine warm water and window cleaner


In a microwave-safe bowl, combine equal parts warm water and window cleaner. Dip a sponge in this solution and squeeze. It should be damp, not wet.

Step 3: Clean the microwave oven door


Wipe both the interior and the exterior of your microwave door to get rid of grease and grime. Ensure you’ve placed your microwave in an area without direct sunlight, otherwise, you might cause streaking. Wipe dry both sides with a dry microfiber cloth.

*Disclaimer: Professional oven cleaners might be required to provide the best care for your microwave oven surface.


Clean the microwave oven door

How often should you clean your microwave oven? 


On average, once-a-week deep cleans are enough to keep odours and bacteria at bay. If you frequently use your microwave or you don’t wipe messes promptly, you may need to do more. You can even clean it once a month if you practise good cleaning habits. 


Always remember: The more that you regularly clean small messes, the less will you have to stress on big ones. Never let spills sit in there for too long.


How often should you clean your microwave oven? 

>>> Check out more cleaning tips from Electrolux: 

FAQs about how to clean a microwave oven

  • How to clean a microwave without vinegar?
    Besides vinegar, you can also use lemon, baking soda and dish soap to clean a smelly microwave oven. Follow our step-by-step instruction in the above parts to get rid of bad odor in your microwave.
  • Can I use apple cider vinegar to clean microwave?
    Yes. Both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar can be used as easy hacks to clean smell out of a dirty microwave oven. However, please remember that professional cleaners might be needed to give the best care for your microwave oven surface.
  • How to clean microwave oven door?
    You can clean microwave oven door with a window cleaner. First, combine equal parts of warm water and ammonia-free window cleaner. Dip a sponge in this solution and squeeze (make sure it’s damp, not wet). Wipe both the interior and the exterior of your microwave door. Lastly, wipe dry both sides with a dry microfiber cloth.
  • How often should I clean my microwave oven?
    Once-a-week deep cleans are enough to keep odours and bacteria at bay, while once a month will do as well if you practise good cleaning habits.

Six extra tips on how to keep your microwave smelling fresh for longer 


Always cover food


With a bowl, a paper towel or a plastic microwave-safe cloche, cover food to contain splatters or airborne grease. This greatly minimises clean-ups.

Always cover food

Take note of spill- and splatter-prone food


Sauces, milk, and fatty food can easily splatter or boil over. Aside from covering them, place a plate underneath to catch spills.

Wipe spills promptly


Make this a habit by having a roll of paper towel nearby. This makes it easier for you to clean, and harder to ignore the mess.

Power down


High power settings can make food boil over or splatter. Use a lower wattage and just extend heating time.

Leave the door open


This reduces moisture and odours, especially after reheating or cooking food with strong smells.

Leave the door open

Don’t forget the exterior


Wipe down the door, handle, touchpad, the other parts outside and underneath your microwave. These can get oily if you frequently have greasy food.

Verdict: Just start 


Ever the handy kitchen appliance, a microwave oven is a time-saving appliance that you can use to conveniently cook food. Cleaning it is actually as effortless too. All you need are some pantry staples and, most importantly, the willingness to start. Now that you know how to clean stains and smells out of your microwave oven, it’s all up to you.


Check out more tips on how to choose a microwave oven for your kitchen or browse our top-selling products below:

  • Compact combination of traditional oven & microwave
  • Auto-programs ensure you always use the right power levels
  • Clear digital display
  • Different functions for defrosting, heating, grilling & cooking
  • Thoroughly defrosts your food with auto-defrost program
  • Clear digital display
  • Easy rotary control knobs
  • Sleek and flexible design to fit in vaious ketchen layouts
  • Free up your kitchen time
compare channel adviser image
Purchase

Purchase In-Store