Being one of the most commonly used appliances in the kitchen, your microwave really gets a workout. In the morning, you might heat up oatmeal or warm up some coffee that has gone lukewarm. Lunch finds you cooking up some soup or leftovers. You forgot to warm up some sauce to go with the pasta for dinner? No problem, pop it into the microwave. You might also come home to find that your teenager has tried to cook a potato without poking some holes in it first. In a word? MESS.
Unlike spills around the kitchen, you only really notice a mess in your microwave if the door is open. The time when you open that door is usually close to when you would like to eat, so the cleaning of those stains might not occur until the microwave’s interior finally looks like a pop art experiment gone horribly wrong.
Microwave cleaning can be fairly involved depending on the mess. However, it is often easier than you might think. There are also great ways to get the job done that do not involve chemicals or other substances you would want in close proximity to food.
This is the simplest cleaner around. Fill a microwave safe bowl with water, put it inside the microwave, set the timer for five minutes, and start the oven (microwaves vary in power, so keep an eye on the water to determine whether you need the full time). The water will boil and the hot vapor will cover the inside walls and door of the unit. Once the time has elapsed, remove the bowl (be careful not to burn yourself!) and use a sponge or paper towel to wipe the walls and door. This is a great way to easily get rid of soup or sauce stains as they can come off quite easily.
If water did not do the trick, try vinegar. In addition to being a great ingredient for cooking and salads, white vinegar is a wonderful cleaning agent. Refill the same microwave safe bowl with water, but this time add two tablespoons of white vinegar. Run it through the same five-minute cycle inside the unit. The walls and door should be wet with water and vinegar vapor, making it easy to wipe the stains away. This combination works well for heavier, baked on stains.
If you are adverse to the smell of vinegar or do not have any on hand, the citric acid in lemons can perform the same function. In this case, you will add two tablespoons of water to a microwave safe plate, cut the lemon in half, and place each half face down on the plate. Microwave for 1-2 minutes. After a quick wipe, the result is a clean appliance with a lovely, lemony smell.
There are microwave cleaning agents available in stores that are based on the same idea, but why spend good money on something you can do for almost nothing at home? Also, some of those products do not tell you what they have in them. Use water, vinegar, and lemon with confidence as they are all perfectly safe and 100% natural, producing no inorganic waste. Keep your Danby Microwave fresh with one of the mentioned methods!