Is your microwave gross? Are you looking to clean your microwave quickly but hate cleaning? Did you know that you can easily clean your dirty microwave with vinegar, water, and steam with no scrubbing required?
In this post, you’ll learn how to safely clean your microwave with vinegar. Using this green cleaning method, you can steam clean a microwave matter of minutes.
Using vinegar to clean a microwave is part of our How To Clean A Microwave: Eight Easy Ways. Spoiler: vinegar is the best way to get your microwave clean.
With this microwave cleaning hack, there is no need for harsh chemicals.
Using our microwave cleaning hack, you won’t need to use any elbow grease to scrub away the gunk and grime. Just let the vinegar and microwave do most of the work.
This article will explain how to clean the microwave with vinegar. We included a video showing the process of cleaning a microwave with vinegar.
Table of Contents
How to Steam Clean Microwave with Vinegar
Have you ever had something explode in the microwave? A bowl of soup? Pasta sauce?
What a mess! I try to cover most of my food, but sometimes the paper towel comes off, or food sneaks through anyway. You can clean it with just water and vinegar in a few minutes.
Did you know you can easily clean your dirty microwave with vinegar and steam?
It only takes five minutes to clean your microwave oven, and I was amazed at how great it worked. Yes, vinegar is fantastic. There are more than 50 other uses for vinegar.
As parents of 3 little kids, Force of Nature is our go-to all purpose cleaner. It's nontoxic but is EPA approved for use against Covid-19.
We love vinegar, but we use Force of Nature every day.
What You Need To Steam Clean A Microwave
- a small microwave-safe bowl or any microwave safe container
- paper towels
- 1- 2 cups of water
- 2 Tablespoons of vinegar
- toothpick or wooden spoon
- optional – a drop or two of essential oil to diminish the vinegar smell. I used lemon oil. (deals on essential oils). A few drops of lemon juice, orange juice, or lime juice also mask the vinegar odor. This is also a great way to get rid of any lingering burnt popcorn smell.
How To Steam Clean Your Microwave Using Vinegar
- Microwave the water, vinegar, oil, and toothpick* in a microwave-safe bowl for five minutes.
- Keep the microwave door closed for five more minutes allowing the steam to do its work.
- While you are steaming your microwave, clean the front of the microwave with a wet paper towel or a damp sponge.
- Open the microwave door and carefully remove the bowl of hot liquid. Use oven mitts to be safe.
- Use a sponge or clean cloth to wipe the debris out of the inside of the microwave. Don’t forget about the ceiling.
- To clean the microwave plate, run it in your dishwasher. The turntable ring can also be cleaned in the dishwasher. If the glass plate is too large for your dishwasher, or if you don’t have one, you can hand wash it in the sink with soapy water.
You will be amazed at how easily the food particles, gunk, and grime are removed from the microwave’s interior. Even caked-on food and stubborn stains should wipe away with a damp paper towel or wet cloth.
*The toothpick is to keep the liquid from exploding. In certain containers, the liquid can get super-heated and “explode.” See the next section.
The reason this works so well is the acidic steam breaks down the residue in your microwave interior without the need for harsh cleaning agents.
How to Steam Clean Your Microwave in 5 Minutes-No Scrubbing
- Dirty Microwave
- Glass Bowl
- 5 drops Essential Oil Helps eliminate Vinegar Smell
- 2 TBSP White Vinegar
- 1-2 C Water
- In glass Bowl mix Water, vinegar, Essential Oil
- Drop toothpick in the bowl
- Microwave on high for 5 minutes
- While waiting- wipe the front of the microwave clean with a wet paper towel or damp sponge
- Leave the bowl in the microwave for 5 minutes
- Open Microwave and carefully remove bowl *use an oven mitt
- Using a damp sponge or wet paper towel wipe debris out of the microwave. Don't forget about the ceiling.
How To Clean Microwave With Vinegar Video
We created this how to clean a microwave with vinegar video to quickly walk you through the steps…and show that using vinegar to clean a microwave works.
Can Vinegar Explode In A Microwave?
Yes. Vinegar can explode in a microwave.
****Caution – Please do this at your own risk. It worked fine for me, but everyone’s microwaves are different. Always keep an eye on the microwave and remember contents will be hot. Because liquids can get super-heated and explode, know that vinegar can explode in the microwave.
Although this is uncommon, you will still need to keep a close eye on the vinegar. Setting a toothpick or wooden spoon in the vinegar should keep it from exploding.
Steam Clean A Microwave With Vinegar And A Sponge
In addition, you can use a similar method to steam clean your microwave using a sponge.
Soak a sponge in the vinegar, water, and vegetable oil mixture. Set the sponge on the turntable. Then microwave the sponge for 2 minutes. This creates a small amount of steam and works well for simple cleanups and disinfecting your sponge. The sponge will be hot.
Clean Your Microwave Turntable
The above methods will clean your microwave turntable too. But sometimes, you may want to clean the turntable. The easiest way is to put your turntable in the dishwasher with the rest of your dishes.
If it doesn’t fit, you can soak your microwave turntable in your sink overnight with warm water and vinegar. Soaking in dish soap with water also works but may require a little more scrubbing than using vinegar.
Did you know you can also clean your dishwasher with vinegar?
Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner
Amazon sells these cute little angry mama kitchen gizmo microwave cleaners.
Here are Angry Mama microwave cleaner directions.
It’s super easy! All you have to do is add vinegar and water and microwave for 7 minutes. Then, steam comes out of the Angry Mama head to soften dirt and stains for easier cleaning. Conveniently, you can buy these microwave cleaners on Amazon, and they are currently on sale, though prices change often.
Are you tired of dirty microwaves? Need to get rid of grease and gunk? We have just the right solution for your problem.
- Effective results
- Our kids enjoy playing with it when we aren't using it!
- You can do the same thing with a bowl of vinegar
- Boiling liquid can cause burns
- 2% of customers reviews say that the arms melt in the microwave while heating
For only a couple bucks you can have a sparkling clean microwave using white vinegar.
How To Clean The Exterior Of a Microwave
Steam cleaning is great for the interior of your microwave, but what about the exterior? Just use your favorite glass cleaner. Window cleaners and a soft cloth or sponge to wipe the fingerprints and smudges away.
Last Resort For A Clean Microwave Oven? Buy A New Microwave Oven!
If you don’t feel like cleaning your microwave oven, you could just buy a new microwave. If you are looking for deals on new microwave ovens, then Amazon has microwaves here.
How to Steam Clean Your Microwave
- Microwave Safe Bowl
- Measuring Cups and Spoon
- Sponge or Wet Cloth
- 1 Cup Water
- 1-2 T Vinegar
- 1 Toothpick optional but helps to prevent science (explosion)
- 5-10 drops Essential Oils (scent of your choice) Citrus scents are amazing. This helps to mask the vinegar smell
- Paper towels, or cleaning cloth
- Combine all the wet ingredients in a microwave safe bowl
- Add tooth pick- this helps prevent the vinegar/water solution from exploding.
- Microwave for 5 minutes
- Allow bowl to stay in the microwave for 5 additional minutes
- Wipe Clean with paper towels or wet rag.
More Cleaning hacks
- How to Clean A Keurig Coffee Maker with Vinegar – Easy and Quick Video Tutorials
- How to Clean Your Oven with Vinegar and Baking Soda – Green Cleaning Method
- How to Clean an Instant Pot – Comprehensive Guide
- How to Clean Your Dishwasher With Vinegar Or Cleaning Tablet
- How to Clean Your Washing Machine with Vinegar and Baking Soda (Front Load and Top Loading)
Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.