How to Clean Countertop Microwave in 3 Easy Steps – Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on October 15, 2021


Annabelle Watson

Annabelle is an experienced food writer and editor. She focuses on common sense, easy to replicate recipes formulated to help keep things fresh and exciting while fitting into her day to day life as a wife and mother.

how to clean microwave

Photo: by Marco Verch 

Keeping your countertop microwave clean is an important part of ensuring that it works well, and cooks your food correctly. A dirty microwave doesn’t perform nearly as well as a clean microwave does. 

But how do you clean your microwave? And what should you use? Are there cleaning products that you should avoid? These are the important questions that you should consider when you are getting ready to clean your countertop microwave.

1. Tools to Clean Your Countertop Microwave

Woman hands in rubber gloves

Photo by Marco Verch 

When you are getting ready to clean your microwave there are a few tools that you will need to have on hand to clean your microwave. Now, we prefer to clean our microwave with minimal scrubbing, so our step by step instructions and our tools of the trade, will focus on the things you need to clean your microwave easily, with minimal scrubbing. 

However, it is important to note that you can use cleaning products that you already have in your house including: all-purpose cleaners, vinegar, baking soda, glass cleaner and dish soap. For our quick and easy cleaning guide, however, you will need the following items:

  1. Microwave safe, glass bowl.
  2. Measuring Cup
  3. Water
  4. Sponge or paper towels
  5. Dish soap
  6. Baking Soda
  7. Vinegar 
  8. Fresh lemon, lime or orange – sliced

As you can see, you don’t need any fancy cleaners, and if you are concerned about using chemicals in your home, all of these products are natural and safe for your family and the environment.

2. Step By Step Instructions to Clean Your Countertop Microwave

Woman hands in rubber gloves washing microwave

Photo by Marco Verch

So we think that it is helpful to give you instructions for cleaning both the inside and the outside of your microwave, because, well sometimes the outside can get just as dirty as the inside. Especially if you have kids. So, we’ll give you easy, 3-step instructions for both the inside and the outside of your microwave.

Inside Your Microwave

Combine one cup of water with either the sliced fruit (squeeze the juice into the water and then place the rinds in the bowl) or two tablespoons of either white or apple cider vinegar, into the microwave safe bowl.
Place the bowl in the microwave, and turn on the microwave for at least 3 minutes. You want the water in the bowl to boil. This should take about 3 minutes on high, in most microwaves. You are looking for the window to steam up. This is the indication that you are ready to move to the next step.
Let the bowl of water and the microwave cool for about 5 minutes before you open the door and remove the bowl. After removing the bowl, wipe the inside of the microwave clean with a sponge or damp paper towel.

Outside of Your Microwave

Start by cleaning the entire door, including the edges, sides and where it seals, with a damp sponge dipped in a small amount of baking soda. The baking soda will help scrub off stuck on foods. Repeat this process with the rest of the microwave surfaces.
If the door of your microwave is greasy, after step one follow up with a mixture of 50% white vinegar and 50% water. This mixture will strip the grease from the door. If the grease is really tough, use a bit of dish soap to break down the grease.
Move the microwave and clean up crumbs and food residue from under or behind the microwave. It is important to keep the vent holes clear of obstructions for the best performance.

3. Helpful Tips and Tricks

Sometimes it helps to know some tricks that will make keeping your microwave clean, a super simple task. Here are some of our tips and tricks that will keep your cleaning time to a minimum.

Don’t use bleach – Bleach is really hard on the plastic parts of your microwave. While we love bleach for its disinfecting powers, it will damage the interior of your microwave. If you don’t want to use our method, do pick a bleach free cleaning product.
Paper Towels are Your Friends – It sounds weird, but place a paper towel on the bottom of your microwave or on the turntable. This will catch boil overs and any crumbs. When it gets gross, just toss the paper towel in the trash and put down a new one. FYI… this won’t change how your microwave works.
Don’t Wait Until its Gross – Just like with anything else, if you don’t clean your microwave frequently it will be a big chore. So, to make this process easier, clean it regularly. And, if something explodes in your microwave, do the clean up immediately. Don’t let it become a stuck-on mess.
Invest in a Stainless Steel Cleaner – OK, this only applies if you bought a stainless steel countertop microwave. Stainless steel can get grimy looking, even if you clean it well. A good stainless steel cleaner will make it shine, and get rid of smudges and fingerprints.
Use Your Dishwasher – To make life a little easier, put the turn-table glass in the dishwasher. This is a quick and effortless way to get rid of grime in your microwave.

Annabelle Watson


To make sure that your microwave will last, you need first to purchase a quality product and make sure to clean it regularly.

Really, cleaning your microwave doesn’t have to be hard. If you take the time to clean it a couple of times a week, or even weekly, it will be a simple to manage task. 

However, if you find that your countertop microwave is extra dirty, or you’ve missed a few weeks, never fear, our step by step cleaning process will help make quick work of most tough messes.

READ MORE: How Safe To Use Plastic In Microwave.