Microwaves are one of the most used kitchen appliances. From heating to cooking, it is a staple for people who don’t know a thing about food preparation and even for those who are master chefs. But over time, your microwave will tend to have bad odors coming from all the food that were heated there. You might even see some marks of sauces splattered all over the interior. So if this is the case for your microwave, it means that it’s time for a cleanup.
Cleaning Your Microwave
Microwaves tend to have bad smells from different foods. Before diving right into removing the odor, clean it first.
Start by getting a clean sponge and a bowl of warm water. Make sure that your microwave is unplugged before you start cleaning. This will prevent getting the appliance damaged when you wash it. When you have all you need, rinse the inside of the microwave with water first. This will make the dirt loosen up. You can do this by pouring a bit of water inside without putting the oven under the faucet.
Then, using the sponge, dip it in dish soap and start scrubbing the insides of the microwave. If the turning dish in the center can be detached, wash it separately. Once the stains are removed, rinse it with lukewarm water and wipe the water away.
12 Ways to Get Rid of Microwave Smells
Most of the time, microwave smells won’t be removed by just washing. So, here are 12 ways for you to try to finally get rid of the odor.
- Vinegar and Baking Soda
The most common solution for bad odor is baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda is considered as an all-around ingredient that helps remove stains and smells. To get started, you’ll need a clean sponge. Soak the sponge in plain white vinegar and put baking soda on top. Then, microwave the sponge for 20-30 seconds. After this, scrub the inside of the microwave using the same sponge. Rise it with water and soap after and wipe it dry with a dish cloth or tissue paper.
- Baking Soda
You can also remove odors with just baking soda. After you’ve cleaned the inside of the microwave, place an opened box of baking soda inside it. You can also transfer a generous amount of baking soda in a container and leave it open inside the microwave. Let it sit there overnight.
- Vinegar and Water
If you don’t have baking soda at home, you can still get to remove the odor in your microwave. You can do this by mixing equal parts of water and vinegar in a bowl. Using a clean sponge, dip it into the mixture and use it to wipe your microwave clean. Clean the sponge and leave it to dry while you use another bowl and pour half a cup of vinegar in it. Leave it inside the microwave overnight. On the next day, rinse the microwave with soap and water and dry it with a dish cloth.
If there is one solution that is as popular as baking soda and vinegar, it’s coffee. Coffee is one of the most effective ingredients if you want to remove bad odor from any appliance (even your fridge). Start by putting two tablespoons of ground coffee in a mug and half a cup of water. Heat it for 2-10 minutes while making sure that the coffee solution doesn’t boil. You can break the 10 minutes down to 2-3 minutes each. If the water was used up, you can add a little more. Then after 10 minutes, remove the cup.
Most of the time, the smell gets removed after 10 minutes of heating the coffee solution. If the smell is still there, repeat the steps until it’s gone.
- Coffee and Baking Soda
Coffee can also be mixed with baking soda. These two powerful ingredients will surely make an effective way to remove the stink because of their absorbent properties. The scent of the coffee will also fill the microwave to replace the bad odor. To make this mixture, add equal parts of baking soda and coffee grounds in a bowl or in a plate. Let it stay inside the microwave overnight.
Citrus fruits are great ingredients that help remove any kind of smell. They are also famous for their antibacterial properties. If you have lemons at home, slice one open and squeeze it into a bowl. Make sure that the bowl is microwave-safe. Then, add half a cup of water in the bowl and also put the halves inside. Leave the bowl in your microwave overnight. If you don’t have lemons, but have lemon essential oils, then you can use the latter as a substitute.
If you don’t have lemons at home, you can use oranges instead. Slice two oranges in half and put the slices in a microwave-safe bowl. Also add two cups of water. Place the bowl inside the microwave and heat it for 4-5 minutes. Just like the coffee grounds, check every two minutes to see if the water is boiling. The orange slices shouldn’t burn as well. After 5 minutes, leave the bowl inside the microwave for at least 30 minutes so that it absorbs the bad odor. It would even be better if you leave it there overnight. On the next day, remove the bowl and wash the microwave with water and dish soap.
Citrus fruits are not the only ones that help give a fresh scent to your microwave. Berries are also known to have antibacterial properties that they make a good candidate to clean your microwave. Moreover, their scent leaves a fruity smell in your microwave. If you have berries at home, put a good amount in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a cling wrap and heat it for 1-2 minutes. This will cook the berries. When the berries are cooked, it will leave the microwave a great smell that will cover up bad odors.
- Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is a known spice that leaves any food fragrant. The same thing happens if you heat it inside the microwave. If you have spare vanilla extract at home, use this to mask the bad odor. You will need four teaspoons of vanilla extract. Put it in a microwave-safe bowl and mix it with two cups of water. Heat it for a few minutes or until the mixture starts to boil. Once it boils, turn off the microwave but leave the bowl inside. After 30 minutes, wipe the inside of the microwave and remove the bowl.
Another spice with unexpected odor-absorbing properties is cloves. If you have cloves at home, you can use some of it to keep your microwave clean and fresh. In a small microwave-safe bowl, place ¼ cup of chopped cloves. And just like that, you can leave it overnight or during the times you don’t use the microwave. This will help absorb the bacteria and the smell that stayed inside.
- Rubbing Alcohol
Who would have thought that rubbing alcohol can help in removing the stench? If you aren’t aware of it, using alcohol is a trick to remove various smells in the kitchen. All you have to do is to put rubbing alcohol on a few cotton balls or a cloth then use them to clean your microwave. You can do this before you clean it with soap and water. When the smell is gone, leave it to air dry.
And finally, you have charcoal. Charcoal is great at absorbing moisture and odor from appliances and that is why it is often placed inside the fridge. Therefore, you can also use this technique for your microwave. Cut pieces of charcoal and put them in a microwave-safe bowl. Leave them inside the microwave overnight so it absorbs the smell. Sometimes, it takes longer than that. What other people do is to leave the charcoal inside when the microwave is not in use.
With these 12 ways to remove a microwave smell, you don’t have to buy expensive fresheners. What’s also great about these tricks is that the ingredients you need are common in any household.
A Few Notes on Cleaning Your Microwave
A lot of people wait for their microwave to have a stench before they clean it. But, the best way to maintain this kitchen appliance is to always clean. Once a week will do. This makes sure that the stains and the smell of different kinds of food don’t stick to the interior of the microwave.
Also, using microwave-safe products will help keep your appliance in great condition. There are containers that melt in the heat of a microwave and the melted containers become hazardous. To avoid getting poisoned, stick to containers that are labeled “microwave-safe”.
Keeping your microwave clean and smelling great are some of the ways to maintain it. Besides, imagine heating food there when it already smells like decaying meat or fish. For the sake of keeping things sanitary, don’t forget to clean it every week.