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How to clean a microwave
14 May 2024

5 simple ways to clean your microwave: expert tips

Today an estimated 90% of homes have microwave ovens, not least because our busy lives demand increasingly efficient ways of preparing warm, comforting meals. Although microwaves are simpler to operate and clean than a conventional oven, their versatility means we use them more frequently, leading to a greater accumulation of food splatters and spills than with traditional ovens.

From oily smudges on the exterior to dried-on food particles on the inside, a dirty microwave doesn’t only make a kitchen look messy, it makes meals less appetizing. If you’re unsure of how to keep your microwave fresh and sparkling, keep reading! Below we’ll explore five expert cleaning strategies to ensure great tasting, contaminant-free food, while optimising your microwave’s performance and longevity.

  1. Averting disaster: naturally one of the best ways to keep things clean is to avoid getting it dirty, which for microwaves means using the appropriate heating levels and cooking times to prevent foods boiling over or erupting. Many top chefs will admit to having accidentally exploded meals in the microwave because they didn’t understand the control panel’s cryptic symbols.

    Thankfully Haier’s line of “intelligent cooking” microwave ovens allows even aspiring chefs to create hassle-free meals with less clean up. These smart home microwaves have numerous automated functions to intuitively defrost, heat, cook, steam, and crisp your dishes to perfection. Combine them with Haier’s hOn app to access new recipes, record favourites or create your own multistep cooking programs.
  2. Back to basics: myriad commercial microwave cleaners tackle odours and tough stains efficiently, making them an excellent choice for deep cleaning your microwave. But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so wiping down microwaves quickly but frequently with regular washing up liquid and water is equally as effective. Just fill a microwave-safe bowl with warm water, add a few drops washing up liquid and microwave it on high until the water begins to boil (2-3 minutes). Carefully remove the bowl and use a clean sponge to wipe down the microwave’s interior and exterior. Rinse with a damp, clean cloth, then buff dry thoroughly with a towel for a beautiful lustre.
  3. The oldies but goodies: legend has it that the ancient civilisation of Babylonia used vinegar as a cleaning agent and it’s still getting five-star reviews 4000 years later! With 5% acetic acid, white vinegar is an environmentally friendly disinfectant that dissolves oil and grime. Simply mix with an equal part of water in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it on high until it steams. Leaving the microwave door closed, allow the steam to loosen up dried food for a few minutes. As above, carefully remove the bowl, wipe the microwave’s surfaces down, rinse with a clean cloth, then buff dry to a shine.

    ​​​​​​​For extra stubborn stains and odours, sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) is alkaline, so it neutralizes acidic odours and particles by changing the pH. Simply create a paste with a couple tablespoons of the powder and some water, applying it to stains, build-up or odours inside the microwave. As it’s abrasive, don’t use it on shiny metals or plastic. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then scrub the interior of the microwave with the paste in circular motions. Rinse away with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly.
  4. Look good, smell good: if the smell of vinegar isn’t your thing, try using lemons! Lemons contain citric acid, a natural antiseptic, anti-bacterial and bleaching agent, making it effective on grease, stains, mould, mildew, bacteria, and even rust. Follow the procedure as above, but this time add a few slices of lemon to the water bowl and zap it until it boils. Let it sit with the door closed to allow it to disintegrate the grime, then remove the bowl, wipe everything down with the lemon water, and buff until gleaming.
  5. And if all else fails: the number one secret tool of cleaning professionals around the world is a ‘magic’ sponge or eraser. Made of non-toxic melamine foam, it acts as an extremely fine sandpaper, effectively ‘erasing’ the most stubborn stains, marks and discolorations - perfect for a microwave with yellowing on the interior. Dampen it lightly and gently buff, however definitely avoid using it on metals and glossy paints as it’s abrasive.

A bit of elbow grease on a frequent basis keeps a microwave fresh and squeaky clean, plus free of bacteria, odours and stains, making food taste better while extending the microwave’s life. Whether you prefer natural solutions like vinegar and lemon water or commercial cleaners, these five expert cleaning strategies show that there's a cleaning method to suit everyone's preferences.

Looking for a new microwave for your kitchen? Discover the complete range of Haier smart home microwaves here.