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Most homeowners use their microwave multiple times per day; after all, it’s an ultra-convenient way of heating their food. However, the interior eventually gets dirty due to food residue buildup. When was the last time you cleaned your microwave, if ever? Learn why cleaning a microwave is important and how to clean the appliance efficiently.

Why Is Cleaning a Microwave Essential?

The average microwave is teeming with months’-old food particles and germs. One study found that 48% of household microwave handles had an ATP count well above 300. ATP is an acronym for adenosine triphosphate and is a molecule that provides energy for living organisms to grow and reproduce. ATP is used as a measurement to determine how dirty a surface is. An ATP count over 300 indicates the surface carries bacteria that may transmit illness.

Now that you understand how this essential appliance is a breeding ground for disease, here are some efficient ways to go about cleaning a microwave.

Preclean with Steam

Before beginning the actual cleaning, perform a quick precleaning process. Use one teaspoon of liquid dish detergent and mix it with water in a bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat it for one to two minutes. This will cause the soap to turn to steam. The vapors will help loosen the food particles on the microwave walls. Let the bowl sit inside for about five minutes after heating.

Remove All Detachable Parts

Once the steam has done its job, remove any detachable parts. For the standard microwave, there should be two components: the glass turntable and a plastic ring that goes beneath the turntable to allow it to spin. Clean these parts using a sponge and dish soap or place them in a dishwasher. In other words, clean them the way you would clean your dishes and utensils.

Remove Physical Crumbs and Stains

Use a towel or sponge to remove physical traces of food remnants. The steam should have loosened most debris, though you may still have to use some force to remove stubborn stains. Thoroughly wipe all areas, including the three walls, the ceiling, floor, and door interior. It’s also a good idea to remove the microwave from the counter and wipe the countertop surface. Over time, this surface area accrues food crumbs and becomes a hiding spot for cockroaches and other pests.

Lather the Surface

Apply a small amount of dish detergent into a bowl and add some water. Mix until there’s ample foam. Lightly dip a sponge or towel into the bowl and wipe down the microwave interior. Target all the areas from the previous step. This time, though, you’re also going to thoroughly wipe down the microwave exterior. This includes the handle, buttons, and outer door.

Next, use a fresh and dry towel to dry the surface and remove any remaining soap residue.

Cleaning Intervals

If you use the microwave at least once a day, then you should clean the appliance at least once per week. This may seem excessive, especially if you don’t clean it normally. However, the entire process outlined above usually takes no more than 10 minutes.

You should also consider cleaning the microwave whenever there are noticeable odors, or there are visible signs of grease and grime.

Read also: What Kitchen Appliances Should Every Newlywed Couple Own?

Upgrade Your Kitchen Today

Modern microwaves are sturdy and can last about 10 years on average. Don’t let it be a harbinger for germs; give it the much-needed cleaning. When it’s time for replacement, look no further than Facets of Lafayette. We provide a wide range of kitchen appliances, both indoor and outdoor. Stop by Facets of Lafayette, a top home improvement store in Lafayette, LA, to find out how we can help you find the perfect home appliances for your next remodeling project.


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