Microwaves are all about convenience. Got something you need to heat up? Pop it in the microwave and it’ll be warm in seconds. Given its purpose as a kitchen timesaver, it’s easy to forget to actually clean it. This means that there’s a good chance your microwave is pretty gross.
Fortunately, there’s a way to make cleaning it a little easier, courtesy of the experts over at The Kitchn—and it doesn’t involve harsh chemicals.
The process requires only a lemon, water, a microwave-safe bowl and a dry towel:
Pour water in the bowl: Measure about a half cup of water into the bowl.
Squeeze the lemon: Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Drop the lemon halves into the bowl.
Microwave for 3 minutes: Place the bowl in the microwave. Microwave on high power for three minutes so the liquid comes to a boil.
Let stand for 5 minutes: Do not open the microwave door. The steam trapped inside will help loosen food gunk. Let stand for five minutes.
Wipe the microwave clean: Open the door and carefully remove the bowl with the lemons. If your microwave has a turntable, lift it out and wipe it clean. Wipe the inside of the microwave clean starting with the ceiling and the sides. Finish with the floor, sweeping any crumbs into your hand. Don’t forget the door!
Cleaning stubborn spots: If you come across stubborn spots that won’t easily wipe away, dip the corner of your dishtowel in the lemon water and scrub until the spot comes away.
So why does this work? It all comes down to the citric acid in the lemons, which helps to kill bacteria, mould and mildew as well as breaking up caked-on food and removing stains.
Does your microwave require more hardcore assistance? You might want to try baking soda and water, scraping the gunk off with an old credit card, or steaming it with vinegar.