How to Get Yellow Burn Stains out of a Microwave

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A pristine microwave oven is a wonder to behold. It's as if the many meals, bags of overcooked popcorn and bowls of beans that exploded never made their way into the cavity of the oft-used kitchen appliance. Removing yellow stains from a microwave takes a bit of time and patience. With a few handy household cleaning agents and minimal elbow grease, you can remove stains that can collect on the inside of a microwave.

How to Get Yellow Burn Stains out of a Microwave
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Cleaning Arsenal

The best way to clean inside of the microwave is with a few gentle abrasives and an acidic liquid. These combinations can include baking soda, Bartender's Friend cleaner or other cleaning powder. Mix these with an acid such as lemon juice or vinegar and a drop of liquid detergent, and you have a powerful paste that can eradicate the stubborn stains. Toothbrushes, soft cloths and sponges can lift the stains that have been slathered in the paste. More difficult stains may need to be left for 20 minutes or longer with a layer of paste covering over the spot. Scrub with a sponge that isn't abrasive enough to scratch the material of the cavity of the microwave.

Yellow Stain Secrets

Burnt popcorn in the microwave is a stain that is pretty common. They shouldn't be left for too long or they can leave a permanent discoloration. If the stain is caused by powders or oils that have burnt and made a stain that created a film of yellow in the microwave, there are a few ways to approach getting the entire cavity gleaming. Slice up an entire lemon, or take 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and put it in a microwaveable bowl with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 cup of water. Put it in the microwave on high for two minutes. Wipe down the microwave after removing the bowl. If the stain persists, make a paste and place it on the stain or stains, and let it sit for at least 20 minutes. Remove the paste with a gentle scrubber and rub down the microwave with a soft cloth to remove residual films.

Burn Marks in Microwave

Brownish, yellow or dark gray scorch marks look like an ugly bruise on the hard plastic. They can occur when the metal grate that came with the appliance isn't used properly. The rack has been tuned to the oven so that it won't spark while in use. However, if it comes in contact with the side of the microwave by being bumped out of its cradle accidentally or placed at an angle in the microwave, scorch marks can appear on the sides of the microwave where the metal came in contact. Other metals that are placed in the microwave, such as utensils or aluminum foil, can also cause arcs of scorch marks on the inside of the appliance. A paste of baking soda and vinegar or lemon juice can remove the scorch marks. Use a toothbrush to get into the nooks and crannies of the cavity.


Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at

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