TikTok Showed Me the Fastest and Most Efficient Way to Clean a Greasy, Splattered Microwave Mess

published Aug 22, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

I didn’t grow up with a microwave, so as an adult I use it sparingly, but sometimes I make messy mistakes. Recently, I warmed an uncovered bowl of saucy spaghetti in the microwave, which led to a splattered mess. You know how it goes.

Credit: L. Daniela Alvarez

On TikTok, I had come across this microwave cleaning hack from Laura Williams (otherwise known as @cleaning_at83) that required minimal effort and used simply vinegar and lemon. It was the perfect time to give it a whirl! I also noticed that the hack was a combo of two solid methods Kitchn recently covered in a cleaning showdown on microwaves.

I first gathered my simple supplies: a cup of water in a glass measuring cup, white distilled vinegar, a lemon, and a microfiber cloth.

Despite what the video said, I decided to try out the TikTok hack sans toothpick because I had heard that a piece of wood heated in the microwave could possibly result in a fire. And although the TikTok hack did not specify how much vinegar to add to the water, I measured approximately one fourth cup, since I was using distilled vinegar instead of cleaning vinegar.

Credit: L. Daniela Alvarez

I also added the juice of a whole lemon instead of half. I placed the measuring cup in the microwave and set it to five minutes, plus an extra two minutes of letting it sit. I was hopeful. Vinegar and lemons are powerful cleaners. In fact, vinegar’s high acidity easily breaks down stubborn buildup of soap, dirt, and scum. Likewise, lemon juice is one of the best natural cleaners, plus it has antibacterial properties and smells so fresh.

Now it was time for a microwave steam bath!

When I opened the microwave door, I immediately noticed the condensation on the walls and door of the microwave. The steam had worked! This was a good sign of loosening up all of the splatter, grease, and grime.

Credit: L. Daniela Alvarez

Before wiping, I made sure my microfiber cloth was damp with warm water for an easy cleanup. To my surprise, all of the gunk came off easily once I started wiping (I also noticed the fresh lemon scent left behind).

The only thing that needed to actually be scrubbed was the glass microwave plate, which was crusted with a dried-on piece of tomato.

Once my microwave was looking good, I make sure my lemon juice, water, and vinegar concoction didn’t go to waste. I poured it down and around my sink drain and sprinkled baking soda and cleaned everything thoroughly. It was a two-for-one cleaning solution.

Credit: L. Daniela Alvarez

Then, I finished wiping the entire microwave, and let it dry for a couple minutes. I was pleased with the outcome. The splatter was gone and the dripping, oily grease, and grime had been wiped away.

Credit: L. Daniela Alvarez

Chalk this one up as an effective cleaning hack! Best of all, it uses natural ingredients and requires low effort. With this simple method, cleaning my microwave is a total breeze.

How do you clean your microwave? Tell us your tips or product suggestions in the comments below.