How to clean and maintain your microwave

How to clean and maintain your microwave



In homes across the country, microwave ovens have become one of the most commonly used kitchen appliances. The microwave has become a staple for many, from the convenience of quickly reheating leftovers to cooking food like a baked potato.

Like any appliance, you want to make sure your microwave continues to serve you for years to come, meaning you need to clean and maintain it properly. Whether it’s black, white or stainless steel, keeping your microwave clean can make sure it looks neat on your countertop or over the range for a long time. Not to mention, proper maintenance can keep it working well in the long term. Fortunately, giving your dirty microwave a thorough cleaning is a DIY task you can complete in just a few minutes. 

We’ll explore what you need to know about taking care of your microwave and the step-by-step cleaning tips that can keep it looking as good as new. Follow these simple steps to help your microwave last as long as possible.


3 easy steps to clean your microwave

To help you care for your microwave, you’ll want to clean it on a regular basis. However, if you notice that the microwave becomes particularly dirty and covered with grime, you might want to increase your frequency to keep your microwave fresh and working effectively.

Fortunately, cleaning the buildup from splatters inside your microwave doesn’t have to be a big chore. We’ll walk you through a microwave cleaning hack that can help you spruce up any microwave mess.

Step 1: Choose the best cleaner for your microwave

There are a few different options for cleaning materials you can use in your microwave. Because this appliance is used to heat food, it’s recommended to use food-safe options. 

Cleaning products you can use to help break down food particles and wash out the interior of your microwave include:

  • White vinegar and warm water
  • Dish soap and water
  • Baking soda and water 
  • A lemon juice additive to help deodorize

In addition to these cleaning products, you’ll need something to scrub away the dirt and grime, such as a damp sponge. Determine the type of cleaner you want to use and gather the necessary materials to prepare your mixture. Don’t assume the mix is 50/50. Check the directions carefully to make sure you’re mixing and cleaning safely.

Step 2: Prep for cleaning

To get the microwave prepped for cleaning, spray the inside down with your chosen cleaning solution. Make sure you include the top of the appliance. 

Let the solution sit on the mess for a few minutes to allow any food stuck inside the microwave to start breaking down, making it easier for you to wipe off. 

If you decide to use the vinegar and water option, you can put the solution in a microwave-safe bowl and simply turn on the appliance. Microwaving a cup of water and vinegar at high power for a few minutes allows the solution to become steam and coat the entire inside of the microwave.

Step 3: Wipe the microwave clean

After giving the cleaning solution a chance to soak into the food particles left in the microwave, you can take a sponge, damp cloth or paper towel and start wiping the appliance out. If you find that some of the food continues to stick to the side of the microwave, let it soak a little longer before you try again. Consider changing your cleaning solution if you have tough stains that still won’t come off. For example, you might switch from vinegar and water to dish soap and a tougher sponge.

Once you’ve given the inside and microwave door a quality scrub, you’ll want to use a clean cloth to wipe off and dry your appliance. 

In addition to cleaning the inside of your microwave, you also want to wipe down the outside. While the inside of a microwave certainly collects more food splatters, the exterior can also get stains, dirt, dust and grime buildup.


4 tips to maintain your microwave

Properly maintaining your microwave can help keep it functioning as long as possible. Fortunately, these life hacks don’t require you to engage in any particular type of strenuous tasks. Let’s explore the most important microwave maintenance ideas to keep in mind.   

In addition to regularly caring for your microwave, a home protection plan from Cinch Home Services can offer a huge relief to homeowners. Unlike manufacturer warranties, a Cinch Appliances Plan covers unexpected breakdowns and repairs needed due to normal wear and tear. We also offer discounts on new appliances in case it’s time for a new microwave.

Clean your microwave regularly

If you aren’t giving your microwave interior a quality cleaning regularly, you’re creating the perfect environment for bacteria and bad odors. As you use your microwave, food might splash or spray around the appliance that isn’t always immediately apparent. Some people say food buildup in the microwave can lead to smells, like burnt popcorn or spoiled milk. Who wants that? These bad smells make the kitchen unappealing, and they can also impact the food you warm up in the microwave.

Additionally, if the microwave sits uncleaned, you increase the chance for corrosion to begin or worsen. Food spills in the microwave, such as around the turntable at the bottom, can cause parts to rub against each other and get damaged. 

Regularly cleaning your microwave can significantly help extend the life of your appliance. 

Only heat microwave-safe items 

To protect your microwave, you only want to heat up microwave-safe items inside. Failing to look at the microwave directions for your dishes can result in serious damage to your appliance. For example, certain plastics can melt when exposed to the microwave. Placing anything metal in the microwave can quickly cause sparks, ruining your appliance, creating a fire hazard or both.

Use your microwave with care 

Educate everyone using your microwave about the importance of treating the appliance with care. Although these helpful machines are relatively straightforward, they have parts that can break like anything else. 

For example, slamming the door on the appliance or pressing too hard on the buttons can cause parts to wear out faster. Remind people to be conscientious with their treatment of your microwave.

Don’t run your microwave empty

Make sure to place something in the microwave before turning on the appliance. Although accidentally turning on the microwave before you place a dish inside can be easy to do, it may cause damage to your device. 

If nothing is in the appliance when it turns on, the microwaves that heat the food simply bounce around inside the machine. This can quickly damage the appliance, so you should avoid it. 

If you realize you accidentally turned on the microwave while empty, stop it quickly. If the appliance still works after your mistake, it should be safe to continue using. However, pay particularly close attention to make sure this mistake doesn’t happen again.


Microwave repairs are covered under a Cinch warranty

A Cinch home warranty can help make taking care of your home significantly easier. Specifically, the Cinch Appliances plan covers built-in microwave repairs or breakdowns caused by normal wear and tear to make sure your microwave continues to help you in the kitchen. 

If you want to know more about how a home warranty can help you maintain your major appliances and built-in systems and give you the protection you need in case something goes wrong, learn more about what Cinch has to offer. Request a free instant quote today!


Your microwave has become an essential part of your kitchen. Learn how to properly clean and maintain it so that it’ll last for years to come.

Your home protection is ready and waiting!