How to Remove Mildew From a Microwave

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Liquid detergent

  • Sponge

  • Lemon

  • Bowl

  • Towel

Remove food particles from your microwave to stop mildew.

Microwaves are naturally mildew-resistant. Their interiors contain no nutrients to support mold growth, and they generate tremendous heat. If you fail to keep your microwave clean, though, you may find yourself with an unpleasant mold problem. While the microwave itself does not support mildew growth, left-behind food particles can provide nutrients for the spores, particularly if moisture lingers inside the microwave.

Step 1

Clean the microwave. In many cases, removing mildew is as simple as scrubbing out the microwave with a sponge soaked in water and liquid detergent. If you remove all the caked-on food particles, you deprive the spores of their nutrients. Therefore, mildew cannot grow.

Step 2

Dry out the microwave. The mold spores that cause mildew growth require more than just nutrients. They must have moisture as well. Dry out the entire inside of the microwave to further ensure that new spores do not germinate.

Step 3

Scrub the inside of the microwave with white vinegar. If you feel uneasy about cooking inside the microwave after your mildew ideal, or if traces of mildew continue to emerge, white vinegar can offer powerful disinfection. Mix with equal parts water for light jobs or use the vinegar full strength for heavy duty cleaning. Let the vinegar remain in the microwave for at least 15 minutes.

Step 4

Rinse out the microwave with water and dry the inside. If any vinegar odor remains, leave the door open for a while so the microwave can air out. Keep the microwave clean at all times and do not allow food particles to remain on the surface. This will ensure that you have no further problems with mildew.


If you have a difficult time removing hard, moldy food particles from the wall, pour a cup of water into a bowl along with a wedge of lemon or lime. Place the bowl in the microwave and turn it on until the water boils. You should then be able to wipe away even the most stubborn particles with ease.


Chris Anzalone

Chris Anzalone has been writing professionally since 2001. He is a former staff writer and associate editor for Opposing Views, a popular news media website that tackles issues of the day from multiple perspectives. Anzalone holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Riverside.