Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Clean a Filthy Microwave

Do you or your roommates reheat spaghetti, soup, or other saucy and oily foods without using a cover? Do you make microwave popcorn?  If so, your microwave is dirty and it smells gross. Here's a tip that will make it supereasy to get even the dirtiest microwave clean.

This old microwave stays clean because we always use a splatter shield.
Put a halved lemon in a microwave-safe bowl with about 1/4 cup of water and nuke it, uncovered, for two minutes or longer.

Don't have a lemon? Ok. Fill a microwave-safe cup with about 1/4 cup of either white vinegar or bottled lemon juice and 1/4 cup water and nuke that instead.

The acidy-delicious steam that results from this will cut funk and make it easier to scrub off baked-on oily foods. Spray all-purpose cleaner onto the walls of the microwave and wipe them clean with a sponge, preferably one with a loofah or gentle nylon scrubby side in case you need a little more abrasiveness.

If somehow you still have to fight pretty hard to remove funk and stuck on food, nuke the lemon again, but for a little while longer. Squeezing a little of the lemon juice into the water can help too.

I have cleaned some of the grossest microwaves in NYC and this technique always works!

Of course, when I see a dirty microwave I always want to tell people to just use a splatter shield. Who wants to deal with this nastiness between visits? That's no way to live! I got my splatter shield at the dollar store ten million years ago, but you can find them at most home goods stores. I store the splatter shield in the microwave so that it's easier to use it than to not use it.

If you don't want to buy a hunk of plastic- and I don't blame you- you can always just place a saucer over a bowl or a bowl over a plate.

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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