Clean Your Microwave the Natural Way

The microwave is one of those spots that can get dirty easily, but it’s easy to ignore. At least, that’s the case for me. (I’m not proud of it, but I admit it!) But it does need to be cleaned and I’ve got a great cleaning tip here – how to clean a microwave the natural way.

All you need is vinegar, lemon juice, water, a bowl, and a cleaning rag.


You probably already have all those ingredients around. If you don’t have the lemon juice, you can skip it, but I prefer to use it because it helps neutralize the strong vinegar smell.

I fill my microwavable bowl with about a cup of water and then add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of vinegar. I usually just pour vinegar and lemon juice in (more if the microwave is really dirty), but since this is “cleaning tips,” I’m trying to be more specific.

Then I add a couple tablespoons or so of lemon juice.

Now it’s time to put it to work.
I can’t believe I’m actually posting this for all the world to see, but here it is – my very dirty microwave before cleaning:


Put the bowl of water/vinegar/lemon juice into the microwave.

Heat for 3-4 minutes.
The water mixture will be really hot so be careful not to burn yourself.

Now take your cleaning rag (or paper towel) and wipe.
The vinegar and steam help to loosen food & grime.

For tough spots, you can dip your cleaning rag into the hot vinegar water (carefully!) and then wipe it with the wet rag.

You can also put the vinegar/water bowl back into the microwave and heat again for 1 minute at a time to add more steam if your microwave is really dirty (like mine) and it takes longer to wipe out.

Another tip – use a toothbrush for the little cracks and corners.

Now check out your nicely cleaned microwave – and you didn’t have to buy expensive cleaners with chemicals either!

(My microwave isn’t sparkling clean, but it’s also 10 years old.)

 When I clean my microwave regularly, it takes just a couple minutes to heat up the vinegar and 30 seconds to wipe it out.
(I think I just gave away my excuse for how dirty my microwave was before. Hmmm…)

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About the Author

Erika, the founder of Musings From a SAHM, is happily married with four energetic children. She lives in New Hampshire and has a passion for encouraging other moms, photography, and Jesus. She also enjoys baking, spending time with friends, and attempting to keep her home organized.


  1. I love using vinegar to clean a variety of surfaces. I just cleaned my microwave using vinegar in a spray bottle last week. It’s amazing how well this works! AND, I have the peace of mind knowing that I didn’t use nasty chemicals in a place I will be putting food.
    Karen recently posted..5 Question Friday- June 1My Profile

  2. Katherine says:

    Better yet…take a coffee mug filled half way with water and squeeze a fresh lemon (or lime) in the water and drop in the rest. turn on microwave for about 4 mins or so, enough to boil. then let the mug sit in the microwave with door closed to steam it up, then it is as simple as wiping the steam away with an absorbant towel. works well if its just grimey with no smell,too.
    Katherine recently posted..Dating Advice And TipsMy Profile

  3. melissa says:

    I never thought about this. Ingenious!

  4. Nicole - Mama to 4 Blessings


  5. That worked great!!!!

  6. I really need to do this.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently posted..Pause Life for a Moment- Faith Filled Food for MomsMy Profile

  7. Wow! this was super easy. I pinned this one. It’s a saver.
    Danielle recently posted..Treasure Hunt Tuesday for June 5, 2012My Profile

  8. Kelley Johnsen

    I have done this before! Very easy and save me a lot of time.

  9. Danielle says:

    Many thanks from the owner of a now very clean microwave.

  10. I guess my microwave was REALLY dirty…because this helped but not enough. So after letting the microwave get really steamy, I sprinkled baking soda on all the surfaces & my cleaning rag…and the microwave is now SPOTLESS!!!

  11. That reminds me. I’d better clean my microwave. It does tend to get overlooked. Thanks.

  12. Britney says:

    I am trying this today! I caught a bag of popcorn on fire: yes, I said fire, and it has never been the same. Has a slight…burnt color to it.

  13. Denver House Cleaning says:

    I use this weekly! I LOVE vinegar!


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