Many people rely heavily on their microwave ovens. Whether it is for full meal preparation, heating up quick meals, warming snacks or reheating leftovers, microwaves are an important and useful kitchen appliance. With heavy use, a microwave often becomes odorous and stained.
Keep both the microwave oven and the microwave door clean to ensure that everything continues to operate safely and efficiently. A clean oven not only looks great but it is more pleasant to use. Although it's best to clean messes and spills immediately when they happen to prevent foods and liquids from hardening, it's easy to forget this. So if you find your microwave oven in need of a good cleaning, Prevention recommends reaching for a lemon.
Step 1: Cleaning With Lemon Juice
Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice from both into a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, adding both halves of the lemon as well. Add 1/2 cup of water to the container and place it in the microwave. Turn the microwave on and cook the lemon water until it boils, which typically takes three minutes. Leave the microwave closed with the hot water inside until the water cools.
While the inside of the microwave is damp from the boiling lemon water, wipe down the entire inside of the microwave with a paper towel or soft rag. Most baked-on or dried food should come off easily after the moisture from the boiled lemon water sits inside the oven.
Woman's Day suggests another microwave-cleaning recipe that uses lemons. In a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of water. Let the mixture heat for two minutes, which will fill the microwave with steam. Let the microwave cool before wiping the inside with a paper towel or soft rag. Because vinegar produces caustic fumes, let the microwave door stand open for a few minutes before cleaning inside.
Step 2: Cleaning Dried-On Food
Open the microwave and use a scrubbing brush to scrub the inside of the microwave oven door. Loosen any dried-on food with the brush, making sure you get into all of the nooks and crannies with the brush. Pay special attention to the hinge areas of the door and get all crumbs and food debris from these areas.
Step 3: Cleaning the Outside of Door
Spray the outside of the door with the glass cleaner, including the handle. Wipe off the glass cleaner with the paper towels until the outside of the microwave oven door is shining.
Step 4: Scrubbing Door Edges and Opening
Use the scrubbing brush to clean around all of the door edges. Make sure you remove any debris from the door opening that might keep the oven door from sealing properly.
Step 5: Removing Stubborn Stains
Mix together 1 cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda to make a cleaning solution to remove stubborn stains. Saturate a paper towel with this solution and scrub at any stains that will not remove easily from the inside or the outside of the door. Rinse this solution off with plain water and dry with a dry paper towel.
Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.