Cooking with a microwave oven helps busy people save time when trying to manage healthy meals for a family. But like any appliance, the microwave needs to be kept clean and ready for the next use. Wiping up spills and crumbs is easy when you do it right after they happen. But if you let them go, they can make clean up harder in the long run.
After using the microwave to cook solids or liquids, use a wet cloth with a small amount of mild detergent to wipe out the inside surfaces. If they fall out onto the counter, wipe those up, too, so they don’t get swept under the microwave or on to the floor.
For a more detailed cleaning, unplug the microwave. Use a damp cloth to wipe the cord and plug free of dust. Look for frayed or split sections on the cord, and wrap with electrical tape or get a replacement cord from the store where you purchased the microwave. Make sure the prongs are straight and fit into the socket neatly and completely.
Remove the center plate on which food containers sit for separate washing in the sink or on the counter. Rinse the cloth and wipe away any soapy residue on both sides of the plate until it is clean, and allow it to air dry, or wipe with a dishtowel. Wipe the turnstile if your unit has one so that it will turn easily.
Next, wipe the entire inside surface of the microwave. You may have to gently but firmly wipe baked-on food, grease spatters, and spaghetti sauce stains, or spilled beverages that have dried. Do not use steel wool or other harsh scrubbing implement. Use a soft cloth and persistent rubbing.
If there is baked-on food spills that have hardened, resistant crumbs, long-dried splashes, or other stubborn residue, place a cup of water in the microwave and heat for two minutes. As it becomes hot, the resulting steam will loosen cooked-on debris, making it easy to wipe away. Then remove the hot cup of water and empty it carefully in the sink, avoiding getting burned or scalded. Use the wet cloth to remove the loosened stains and wipe the surfaces.
Next, turn your attention to the exterior surfaces of the microwave. Wipe these with a freshly rinsed cloth to remove fingerprints, stains, or dust. Wipe the settings and clock sections clean of grime. Carefully clean the back of the microwave, taking care to prevent moisture from seeping inside the unit. Pull it away from where it usually sits to clean underneath. Allow that area to dry before returning the unit to its regular location.
Do not use perfumes, oils, or other additives to cleaning products, as they might have a negative impact on the microwave’s interior. Clean the center plate each time you use it to prevent a build-up of crumbs and droplets. Avoid placing heavy objects on top of the unit, and keep flimsy things away from beside it where the hot air is vented from behind the microwave oven during use.