Friday, March 5, 2010

Frugal Friday: Homemade Microwave Cleaner

I have to admit that I love my microwave. Before my husband & I got married, I did not own a microwave (by choice). I made popcorn the old fashioned way, boiled water in a tea kettle and heated leftovers in my toaster oven. My husband desperately missed having a microwave once we were married and so I finally purchased one as a gift for his first Father's Day. I think that I have used it more than him since then!!

The one thing I do not like about the microwave is that odors can linger, especially strong odors like garlic or bacon. When you have a lingering odor in your microwave food starts to come out tasting funny. Here is a natural homemade cleaner that I use to get rid of those lingering microwave odors.

Microwave Cleaner

  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda

  • 1 teaspoon Vinegar

  • 5-6 drops Lemon Essential Oil (available at Health Food Stores)

Combine all ingredients to make a paste. Apply to the walls and floor of the microwave with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse well and leave the microwave door open to air-dry for about 30 minutes. If you have a glass turntable in your microwave, remove and wash by hand or in the dishwasher.

This recipe comes from one of my favorite books:

The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier

For more frugal ideas, visit Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.


  1. Another way to clean stuck on food (when your kids "forget" to cover something) is fill a microwave safe bowl or large coffe cup half way with water and add some lemon juice. Microwave for about 5 minutes. Then let it sit for about a minute. The steam loosens the stuck on stuff and the lemon deodorizes.

  2. Hi Amy,

    I,too, have a frugal microwave cleaning method. I just use a glass 2 cup pyrex measuring cup with about 1 1/2 cups water. I put it in the microwave and set it for 2-3 minutes so that it begins to boil (depends on the wattage of your microwave). Then I just leave it in the microwave for 5-10 minutes and the steam loosens anything so that all I have to do is take a soapy washrag or a paper towel wipe down the microwave and it looks brand new. My microwave is roughly 12 years old and looks new. Be sure to leave it in the microwave without opening so that the steam remains in the microwave and so that you don't burn yourself while the water is so hot. I usually do this as I begin doing the dishes (loading dishwasher, washing pots/pans,etc.) so it really takes no extra time. It is one of the last things that I do before wiping down the counters and by that time there is no real danger from the hot water. Love your blog.

  3. Just a note to the above posts...I too, just put a bowl of water and sprinkle some salt in it to help those hard caked on spots and run it for 6 minutes and then leave it in the microwave like mentioned above for about 10 minutes or so and then just wipe it out. Almost free!


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