Add It To The Kids' Chore Chart

How Often Should You Clean Your Microwave? Brace Yourself

Plus, the tips you need to get rid of all that gunked-up crud.

Close up housemaid cleaning microwave oven inside with sponge in the kitchen.
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Oops! You're supposed to clean your microwave on a regular basis? Um, who has the time? Most of us don't clean that cruddy abomination until a bowl of chili — or something equally messy — explodes, leaving food shrapnel everywhere. Then, you have no choice but to scrub down the inside of your meal zapper to get it squeaky clean. Afterward, though, you can't beat the satisfaction you feel. You can feel that same sense of accomplishment more often if you add cleaning the microwave to your regular chore schedule. So, how often should you clean your microwave? Hint: Probably more than you're doing it right now.

But don't worry; you'll find all the cleaning details below, including cleaning hacks that will make your microwave look brand new. You don't need to buy any expensive cleaners or fancy tools — you can get your microwave spic and span with items you probably already have in your home.

When it comes to reheating leftovers or getting a meal on the table fast, your microwave is a workhorse you don't want to be without. Keep it clean and maintained with a few simple steps.

How often should you clean your microwave?

We'll start with the most pressing question. How often should you clean your microwave? Most experts suggest cleaning your microwave once a week. If that sounds like a lot, don't despair. It's a quick and easy task that you can check off your to-do list in the time it takes your coffee to brew.

Of course, that's not to say you shouldn't clean messes as they happen. If food splatters or spills, wiping it up right away will save you time and effort down the road. Gunk, grime, and funky smells are more likely to happen if you aren't cleaning as you go. As for a deeper cleaning, once a week is totally sufficient.

What supplies are needed to clean your microwave?

Good news! You can clean your microwave with a few inexpensive supplies you already have on hand. Here's a quick list to get you started.

  • Sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar

If you have a few of these items handy, you've got what it takes to get your microwave clean and shiny. You should note that any cleaners used on your microwave must be food safe.

How do you clean your microwave?

Here's a step-by-step guide to cleaning your microwave fast.

  • Fill a microwave-safe bowl or mug with half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of water. Microwave the mixture for two minutes or until the inside of the microwave steams up.
  • Pop the turntable into the dishwasher (check your owner's manual to be sure it's dishwasher safe) or hand-wash it in the sink.
  • Let the vinegar and water mixture cool before removing the bowl or mug from the microwave. Once cooled, wipe the inside of the microwave with a damp sponge or microfiber cloth and clean up any food splatters or spills.
  • If you have stubborn gunk in your microwave, add a sprinkle of baking soda to your sponge or cloth to make an abrasive cleaner that is good for breaking loose tough grime.
  • You can also try dish soap, known for its degreasing properties, for extra oomph to tackle those stubborn stains that won't come out otherwise.
  • Make sure you remember to clean the exterior of the microwave as well. You can do this with a dampened sponge or microfiber cloth.

When you finish, you'll realize what an easy task this is to add to your regular chore rotation — or, better yet, add to your kids' chore chart.

And remember, you can do all of this in the time it takes your coffee to brew. So, go now and pour yourself a cup of that delicious magical bean juice and take a minute to enjoy the satisfaction of having a shiny clean microwave (at least until the next time your kid detonates a Hot Pocket in there).