Microwave ovens are a great go-to for quickly reheating food. We all use our microwaves quite often—sometimes multiple times a day! And, with all that use, there’s bound to be some food splatter on the walls and even the glass tray (spills, anyone?). Here’s everything you need to know to clean your microwave the right way and help keep it clean.
What You’ll Need to Clean Your Microwave
Cleaning your microwave is surprisingly easy and doesn’t require much. Here’s everything you’ll need to clean your microwave:
Microwave-safe bowl for precleaning
Dawn® Platinum for breaking up all that grease, tough stains, and stubborn food splatters
Paper towel or reusable washcloth, and sponge
Make sure you choose a cleaner that is appropriate for use in your microwave.
How to Preclean Your Microwave
Before getting into the scrubbing and wiping, why not let steam do the work for you? Steam can help break down those set-in stains and any stubborn food splatters that have hardened. Here’s what you need to do to preclean your microwave:
Mix one teaspoon of Dawn® Platinum with water in a microwave-safe bowl.
Cook the mixture right in your microwave. a. Depending on the wattage you have, precleaning time may vary. b. The higher the watts, the less time you’ll need to set the microwave for: 1200-watt microwaves require about one minute where as 700-watt may take up to 2 minutes for the right amount of steam to be produced. Be careful not to let your dish soap and water mixture boil over!
Once your microwave is finished heating, leave the door closed for about three to four minutes so the steam does most of the work for you. It slowly heats up the walls, bottom, plate, roof, and even the inside of the door to start breaking down any tough food messes.
Carefully remove the microwave-safe bowl with the soap and water solution, you may need oven mitts to avoid burning yourself!
From there, wipe down the sides, bottom, and roof with a paper towel or soft cloth.
You can now remove the glass plate and either hand wash it quickly with Dawn® Platinum or pop it into your dishwasher.
Still seeing a few set-in stains or burnt-on food splatters? No worries! Follow the steps below to thoroughly clean an extra-messy microwave.
How to Clean a Messy Microwave
Microwaves are great for quickly heating up food. But they get filthy even faster. Thankfully, with Dawn® it’s So Dawn Easy to clean all your microwave’s messes in a snap. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be cooking in no time.
1. Remove Removable Parts.
Take out any removable pieces from inside the microwave, including the glass plate and rack and wash them by hand. For best results, use Dawn® Platinum, the unique formula is tough on grease while staying gentle on glassware.
2. Start with the Crumbs.
Use a damp cloth or paper towel and remove any big food chunks or loose crumbs from inside the microwave.
3. Lather Up.
Apply a squirt of Dawn® to a bowl of warm water, then dip the sponge in. Squeeze the sponge until suds form. The cleaning agents in Dawn® absorb grease just as well in microwaves as they do on dishes.
4. Wash Microwave Inside and Out.
Beginning with the interior, wipe down the top of the microwave in a circular motion. Next, move to the sides and bottom, while avoiding the vents. Wash the exterior in a similar manner, but go easy around the buttons. You don’t want to reset the clock.
5. Wipe Down the Microwave.
Using a slightly damp rag, wipe down the microwave interior and exterior in the same circular motion until no suds remain.
6. Dry Surfaces.
Using a fresh paper towel or reusable cloth, dry all surfaces. This will prevent streaking.
7. Reinstall Removable Pieces.
Reassemble your microwave tray and any removable pieces you had cleaned and set aside.
Nice job. Time for a snack. Who wants some microwave popcorn?
When to Clean Your Microwave
Ever open up your microwave and notice a distinct odor? Are food splatters dripping down the walls? Grease on the handle? Tough messes on the glass tray? It’s time to show your microwave some love!
A great rule of thumb is to give your microwave oven a thorough cleaning at least once a week if you use it daily. That’s because when fats and oils heat up, they become little lightweight grease droplets that land on surfaces throughout your kitchen—especially the microwave! Once they cool down and solidify, these tiny greasy beads turn into a thick, sticky layer of grime and debris.
Regularly wiping down your microwave with Dawn® Platinum and water after cooking, can help keep it free of stubborn grease buildup. So, you can enjoy family movie night with a bowl of popcorn, anytime.
How to Keep Your Microwave Clean
Not into wiping down your microwave after every use? Fortunately, there are a few additional steps you can take to help protect your microwave from those splatters and grease messes:
Cover your food: Use a paper towel or special microwave-safe covering, these are often made of plastic and are safe for use with food. Covering your food when heating it in the microwave helps keep your meal or snack on the plate and off the microwave interior.
Switch to a lower power setting: The higher the wattage, the likelier your food is to boil over or splatter. Check out your microwave’s instruction manual on how to set the wattage to a lower amount.
Use lemon: Cut a lemon in half and squeeze it into some water, heat in your microwave for about a minute. This helps create a fresh, citrusy scent to keep your microwave smelling clean.
Wipe the outside: When handling particularly greasy foods, use a paper towel or cloth when opening up your microwave and setting the cook/heat time. This helps keep your handles and microwave buttons grease-free—a clean exterior is just as important as the interior!
Use Dawn® Platinum to tackle all those stubborn messes and keep your microwave free of splatters—it’s So Dawn Easy!