How To (Steam!) Clean a Microwave Quickly & Easily

Keeping the microwave clean isn’t always easy (especially if you have roommates) and it’s usually the last chore anyone wants to tackle. It’s a time consuming, smelly task and can command quite a bit of elbow grease to get the job done.

We all know the best way to keep our microwaves lookin’ good is to wipe them down after each use, but chances are if you’re using your microwave you’re probably in a hurry anyway. This steam clean method takes just a few seconds to prep and a minute to wipe down. Add this on to your weekly kitchen cleaning regimen to avoid seriously sticky situations.


  • 1 lemon
  • microwave safe bowl
  • tap water

1. First, wipe out any loose crumbs from the interior of the microwave.

2. Fill a microwave safe bowl just under 3/4 full with tap water. Add 5-10 lemon slices to the bowl, squeezing some of the juices into the water.

3. Place the bowl in the microwave and turn it on high or full power. I set my timer for five minutes and checked in every few minutes to see if the water had started boiling.

4. Once the water comes to a boil, stop the microwave, but don’t open it. Let steam build up inside for a minute or two, then open the door and carefully remove the bowl of water.

5. Wipe down the interior of the microwave with a damp cloth, before following up with a dry cloth to remove any streaks. Remove the tray and wash it in the sink; you may have to add a drop of dish soap to remove any baked on spillage.

6. Lastly, don’t forget to wipe down the exterior of the microwave — especially the keypad.

Edited from an original post by Alec published on September 24, 2008

More great tips and tutorials: Cleaning Basics

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