How To Clean Your Microwave Naturally With Just a Lemon

Cleaning Lessons from The Kitchn

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We get a two-fer deal with this one: not only is it possible to get a squeaky-clean microwave without using harsh chemicals in a spot where we also heat our food, but this is also hands down the easiest way to clean a microwave. That's right. If you've been avoiding cleaning your microwave, this trick is going to make you very happy.

It's a simple idea, really: Just squeeze some lemon juice into water, drop the rinds into the water, and microwave. As the liquid boils, it condenses on the sides of the microwave, loosening gunk and dissolving food splatters. The lemon juice is a natural cleaning agent, and so all you have to do is use a clean towel to wipe everything clean.

What You Need

Materials
1 lemon
Small microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup
Clean, dry dishtowel or cleaning rag

Equipment
Microwave

Instructions

  1. Pour water in the bowl: Measure about a half cup of water into the bowl.
  2. Squeeze the lemon: Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Drop the lemon halves into the bowl.
  3. Microwave for 3 minutes: Place the bowl in the microwave. Microwave on high power for 3 minutes so the liquid comes to a boil.
  4. Let stand for 5 minutes: Do not open the microwave door. The steam trapped inside will help loosen food gunk. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Wipe the microwave clean: Open the door and carefully remove the bowl with the lemons. If your microwave has a turntable, lift it out and wipe it clean. Wipe the inside of the microwave clean starting with the ceiling and the sides. Finish with the floor, sweeping any crumbs into your hand. Don't forget the door!
  6. Cleaning stubborn spots: If you come across stubborn spots that won't easily wipe away, dip the corner of your dishtowel in the lemon-water and scrub until the spot comes away.
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(Image credits: Emma Christensen)

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