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Clean the microwave

Person cleaning the inside of their microwave

In some households, the microwave is used more than any other kitchen appliance. If you keep your microwave clean, old food won't stick around and there will be no funky smells. Remember, it is easier to clean messes right after they happen, and if you clean the microwave periodically, that sticky film won't form. Here's to having a microwave that's squeaky clean.

Caution: Never use any type of abrasive cleaner or solvent, such as alcohol, benzene, ammonia, or paint thinner on the microwave. Also, never use steel wool or bleach. Doing so will damage the finish and rust will form. When cleaning the exterior, be careful to not get liquid in the vents of the microwave.

Clean the interior walls of your microwave

Some microwaves have a Steam Clean feature that makes cleaning a cinch. If your microwave has this feature, instructions are available in your user manual. But even if your microwave doesn't have this feature, don't worry. You can still manually steam clean the inside of your microwave to make tough stains or hardened food easier to clean.

To remove stuck-on food, place 2 cups of water (add lemon juice for extra freshness) into a 4-cup, microwave-safe bowl. Run the microwave at High power for 5 minutes or until the water boils. Let the water stand in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes before removing the cup.

Sometimes, you may need to steam the microwave more than once to really break up tough stains or stuck-on food. Repeat this process as needed.

Person placing lemon water in microwave

When you're satisfied with the steaming, clean the cavity of the microwave with a dry dishtowel. Remove the turntable and wipe under the rack with a paper towel.

Keep your turnable nice and tidy

Hey, if you're cleaning the inside of the microwave, you might as well clean the turntable. The same steam cleaning process outlined in the previous section will work on this, too.

Clean the roller rings once a month, and wash the turntable once a week. Try to clean fresh stains right away so they don't stick. However, be careful with the turntable tray right after cooking because it may still be hot.

The turntable is dishwasher safe, but if you don't have a dishwasher, you can still remove it and wash it carefully in warm, sudsy water. Make sure it's dry before putting it back in the microwave.

A turntable inside a blue microwave

Make your microwave's exterior shine

Your microwave might look spotless at first glance, but there's a few key areas that can gather grime over time. Just a quick wipe with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water about once a week should do the trick. Remember to rinse and dry.

Note: Over-the-range microwaves have two filters to maintain. The grease filter should be cleaned once a month, and the charcoal filter should be replaced every 6 to 12 months, and more often if necessary.

Clean the control panel

Wipe the control panel with a damp cloth and dry it thoroughly. Do not use cleaning sprays, large amounts of soap and water, abrasive cleaners (like chlorine bleach), or sharp objects on the panel.

Clean under your microwave oven

During your weekly check, make sure to clean grease and dust from the bottom of your microwave using a solution of warm water and detergent.

Person using microfiber cloth to clean the microwave's exterior

Clean the door and door seals

Always ensure that the door seals are clean and that no grime or residue gets on them, since this could prevent the microwave's door from closing properly. Wash the glass door with very mild soap and water. Be sure to use a soft cloth to avoid scratching.

Sometimes you might see a little bit of water collect on the inside or outside of the oven door. If you do, just wipe it off with a soft cloth. This is only condensation forming from humidity in the air (or in the microwave) and can happen anytime you're using your microwave.

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