How To Clean Microwave With Lemon Juice

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Here's how to clean your microwave using lemon juice, whole lemons, or vinegar. I personally prefer lemon juice because it smells better and brighter.

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The concept is quite simple really.

Use the power of steam and the acidity of the lemon to loosen the dirt and grime inside your microwave to make it easier for you to wipe it all out.

To do this, get a microwave safe bowl and fill it with a solution of water and lemon juice.

Use about a cup of water and the juice of one lemon (approximately 3 tablespoons of lemon juice). You don't have to be precise though, just eye ball it.

Next, microwave the solution, on high, for 3-5 minutes.

This allows the water to come to a boil and lets the lemony steam seep throughout the interior, loosening all the grime and food splatters.

Keep the door closed and let the steam just sit in there for several minutes to keep working.

Next, CAREFULLY (sorry to "scream" - but I don't want you to burn yourself!) take out the lemon juice solution and place to one side.

You can then take a clean sponge or rag and wipe away all the newly loosened junk to get everything clean.

A bonus is that this method also helps deodorize your microwave at the same time that it helps clean it.

You can see a similar tip below, but instead of using lemon juice the reader suggests just using the whole fruit. There other variations of this tip as well, so read on for more ideas and natural remedies.

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Top photo by SmartGoat

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Microwave Cleaning With Vinegar

by Ruth

A very simple way to clean your microwave is to use the power of steam, combined with either vinegar or lemon juice, to loosen splatters and spills and make them easy to wipe away. This cute little 'Angry Mama' microwave cleaner makes it not only simple, but fun, as she lets steam out of her head.use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
Ruth has shared a similar recipe for cleaning this appliance, but substitutes vinegar for lemon juice.

Ruth's Recipe:

  • 1 cup vinegar

  • 1 cup hot water

Heat in the microwave for 10 minutes equals 1 steamed cleaned oven!

Taylor says:

Thanks for sharing this recipe with us Ruth.

As everyone can see, the combination of the steam and the slightly acidic substance, be it lemon juice or vinegar, is what makes this cleaning method work.

You can definitely just use a bowl or cup to heat the water and lemon juice or vinegar, or you could use something a bit more fun, like this Angry Mama microwave cleaner as shown on the right, and available on Amazon at the link. The "Angry Mama" lets steam out of her head, as the water and acidic cleaner mixture heats in the microwave, making it a cute way of accomplishing the same task.

I would love to hear from people explaining whether they like to use citrus or acetic (vinegar) acid when they clean their own, and why!

In addition, there are lots of uses for vinegar around your home, and I've collected a page of them. You can click the link to find out more ways to use this versatile substance in your home, or share your own.

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Use Fresh Lemon To Clean Microwave

by Ruth
(Peterborough England)

Ruth had the same suggestion as the video above, except she suggests instead of just the juice of the lemon to add the whole fruit to the bowl. This is just a variation of the above method, but some people prefer it, so I'm adding it here.

Ruth says:

Cut a fresh lemon in half and place in a small bowl of water.

Heat the water until steam rises.

Then, turn off the microwave but leave the door shut for a few minutes.

Then wipe clean with a wet cloth.

The steam will loosen dirt and the lemon will leave your microwave fresh with no stale food smells.

Taylor says:

Thanks Ruth for sharing this tip.

I would love to hear from others to share how you clean this common appliance in our kitchens. You can share your own tips here.

Further, click here for more ideas of using lemons to clean your home.

Photo courtesy of AMagill

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Comments for Use Fresh Lemon To Clean Microwave

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Got out burned popcorn smell
by: Anonymous

I tried this as a last resort, after my husband burned popcorn in our microwave.

It worked great to clean, but also to get rid of that smell.

Thanks so much!

how to keep it clean afterward
by: Jennifer

After you get it good and clean go to Target or Walmart and buy a plastic dish topper and use religiously. You will never have to clean your microwave again or a least not near as much.

what I do
by: Shari

I use lemon juice and water in a coffee cup run it around 2 min to get steamy.

I use baking soda
by: Theresa

Baking soda in water for four to five min. Let it sit for about ten min and it wipes right off. Don't always have lemons but I always have baking soda.

no splatters
by: Tara

I just use water and it steams the inside enough so everything is loosened and easy to clean! If you have Tupperware Vent N Serve containers you can reheat food with no worries about splatters because the vented lids keep the mess in the container!!

worked great!
by: Kait

This just saved me, lol, and worked great! I could care less about the lemony smell. The fact that I could just wipe it clean in a minute or two was amazing!

by: LaLa

I use an e-cloth and am done in the time it would take to nuke the lemon solution.

plain water works too
by: Kathy

If you don't have a lemon handy, just use water plain. Works just as easily. I've cleaned my microwave for years with this method. Works great!

secret is to never let it get dirty
by: Gina

The secret it to never let it get dirty. A plate cover is $2 at Wal-Mart and it fits in the dishwasher. If someone forgets to use it (rare), then I microwave a wet sponge for 2 mins and wipe it out. It gets everything off.

I'm a housekeeper - I use plain water
by: Kelly

Just put a half mug of water in it and boil for 5 min and stuff wipes right off (I'm a housekeeper). Oh, and I clean some nasty microwaves.

add vanilla for good smell
by: Rita

Water and vanilla does great and instant air freshener.

wipe up as you go
by: Trudy

Wipe it up as it happens so you don't have a big cleaning job later.

orange or grapefruit peels
by: Sara

I use a measuring cup of water I put orange peels or grapefruit peels in the water. I spray the inside of the microwave with vinegar cleaner spray and then nuke it all for 2-3 minutes. It wipes right up.

disinfect sponge and clean microwave at same time!
by: Barbra

Just throw your wet kitchen sponge in it. Cook about 1-2 mins and every things wipes out with a towel and you clean your sponge as well.

for odors I add vanilla extract or lemon
by: Tricia

I use baking soda and water and if there are any odors then I add some vanilla extract or lemon to a pyrex measuring cup for about 10mins to get it to steam a lot.

Simpler yet if you don't have any fruit
by: Anonymous

I do this all of the time with water only. Works great!!

Less Water & Time
by: Anonymous

Use 1/2 of a cup of water in a 2 cup glass measuring cup and run for 3-5 minutes. Then let it sit in the microwave and "steam" for 5-10 minutes. I have had the water boil/explode on two separate occasions and it actually fried the microwave the 2nd time.

Allergic to Lemons!
by: Anonymous

Do you think an orange would work?

bad experience
by: Anonymous

I used the vinegar and water trick and the solution exploded. I had water & vinegar in the bottom of the microwave and coming out the door when I opened. On the bright side though the microwave was clean after I soaked up the mess with towels.

I use baking soda
by: Maria

For basic cleaning or cleaning up after a "heating explosion," I put a baking soda and water mixture in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for two minutes. The vapors make all the tough guck easy to wipe right off with a wet paper towel!

It works!
by: Grammyk653

Wow! That worked really well and the smell? Wonderfully clean! Thank you!

Baking soda
by: Anonymous

i like to use lemon juice and steam but when I am wiping out use a baking soda and water solution. This helps deodorize too.

After cleaning, do this with the hot lemon juice solution
by: J Gray

Pour the hot lemon juice solution around the sides of sinks, down kitchen and bath drains...

just use water
by: Anonymous

For years I have simply placed a bowl of water in the microwave and set the timer for 2 minutes. Leave the door closed for about 5 minutes to allow the steam to do its work. Remove the bowl of water and wipe the insides of the oven and the door glass with a clean dry cloth.

This works wonders!
by: GrammieCH

I dreaded cleaning the microwave because it had some caked-on crud inside. I couldn't remember the exact measurements when I finally decided to do it about two weeks ago, so I just added some water, one lemon (sliced) and a little bit of vinegar. I left on for about 5 minutes so it would be boiling and then kinda forgot about it until it was just slightly warm. The gunk wiped up effortlessly and smelled good too. Works wonders!!

Don't use spray cleaner directly in the microwave.
by: Linda

Years ago, after replacing a large one for a nice white microwave, I wanted to keep it clean, so I sprayed a mix of water and bleach, causing it after a short time to rust. It arced. Local repairman said he painted one inside and it blew up. So not again. We bought another. I spray only the cloth now. Learned my lesson.

removing smells in your microwave or fridge
by: Carmilla

After I have wiped the microwave out I put a mug/glass or microwave safe bowl in the microwave, put 1/2 water 1/2 white vinegar, and I microwave on high for 2 minutes. It will get rid of the smell if it's very bad.

In addition, try this a couple of times for the fridge. Keep a glass in the fridge with a little white vinegar and it will eliminate any smells.

How I clean my microwave.
by: Linda

I just put 1 c. water in for 5 mins.
Wipe out is easy. And then I put a cotton all saturated in Vanilla. Easy peasy!!

inside of mine is metal
by: Anonymous

My microwave is a connection type so has a metal interior. How do I clean it properly? I've already tried the steaming.

by: Anonymous

Am cleaning out my microwave because it smells like baked chicken. It's not awful, but it's a bit of a mystery because I have microwaved many things since the baked chicken, two weeks ago.

I had a tangerine, so I chopped up half a tangerine, peek and everything, 1 cup of water, 5 minutes in the microwave and am pleased to say that my microwave no longer smells like baked chicken!


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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.