The Easiest Hack To Clean Your Microwave Only Requires 3 Ingredients

Microwaves are wonderfully versatile, perfect for everything from familiar tasks like popping popcorn and reheating leftovers to a wide variety of other things you didn't know you could cook in a microwave. Unfortunately, the downside of all that use is that the appliance can get pretty grimy. Many develop an unpleasant pattern of splattered foods, escaped grease, and other caked-on remnants of past meals and snacks. Luckily, cleaning your microwave is easy, thanks to three humble, non-toxic items you likely already have in your kitchen.

These are ordinary white vinegar, lemon juice, and water. Though this combination might sound more like the start of a salad dressing than a powerful microwave cleaner and degreaser, it can be surprisingly effective. Simply add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar to a microwave-safe vessel, along with about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (that's about the amount found in an average-sized lemon).

Microwave this mixture until it boils (usually around two minutes), then leave it in the closed microwave for several minutes more. When you open it up, you'll find most stains and debris can be easily wiped away, and even the most stubborn food residue should be significantly loosened.

Simple principles but big results

This method's effectiveness comes primarily from the cleaning power of steam, though adding the lemon and vinegar boosts cleaning power by making the steam slightly acidic, helping to dissolve stuck-on food. Lemon can also give your microwave a refreshing scent, which will no doubt be a welcome replacement for the combined odors of the last dozen dishes you've heated inside. Still, those short on lemons and vinegar can still enjoy many of this method's benefits with just water.

This isn't the only technique that might have you feeling like you've been cleaning your microwave wrong this whole time. Other effective strategies use ordinary dish soap mixed with water or an even tougher mixture of dish soap and baking soda to spot-treat any remaining stains or food.

Thanks to its simplicity, affordability, and non-toxic nature, it's easy to see how this lemon-vinegar-water trick earned a spot among our kitchen cleaning hacks you need to know. With just seconds of hands-on work and no hard scrubbing required, there's no need to settle for a gross microwave for even one meal longer.