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The microwave is one of the most used appliances in your kitchen because it’s so convenient. It only takes a few seconds to heat up those left over’s or a few minutes to cook a microwaveable meal. However, if you forget to cover the food or especially when you have kids using it, a little spill here or a splatter there can build up quickly.
There are also those times when something explodes in the microwave leaving you with a really big mess. When your microwave gets grimy from baked on foods, it can be difficult to clean but here are a few tips to help.
Prepare the Microwave for Cleaning
Cleaning your microwave is much easier when you prepare it first. Fill a bowl about half or three-quarters full of water. Then, add between one and two tablespoons of vinegar to the water. You can also use half a lemon cut in pieces if you prefer instead of the vinegar. After preparing the water, place it in the microwave and bring to a boil.
All microwaves heat differently so the length of time you need to boil the water will depend on how hot your unit gets but you want it to create steam inside the microwave. Normally, two to three minutes is long enough. After it boils, leave the door closed for about ten minutes so the steam can loosen up the baked on foods.
Clean the Inside
After about ten minutes, carefully take the bowl of water out and remove the tray. Place the tray in soapy water to soak. While it soaks, use a clean damp cloth to wipe down the inside of the microwave. If there are places where the food is still stuck and hard to clean, add a little baking soda to the cloth and scrub the area to remove it.
If you’re having trouble getting the glass door clean, you can use a mixture of half vinegar and half water to scrub it. Once the inside of the microwave is clean, use plain water on a different cloth and wipe down the inside again. This will ensure the inside is completely clean by removing all of lingering residue from the baking soda or vinegar mixture.
Clean the Outside
Cleaning the outside of the microwave is just as important as cleaning the inside. Everyone that uses the microwave touches the door handle and the keypad, so you need to clean these to remove gems and dust. You can clean the outside with the same vinegar and water mixture as you used on the inside of the glass door.
Every month or two, depending on how dusty your home gets, you’ll need to clean the vents in the back of the microwave. When dust builds up on the vents, the unit will not function properly. This will cause your microwave to work harder, using more energy and eventually it can damage the unit.
Following these tips will help to make the job of cleaning your microwave much easier than simply trying to wipe down the inside with plain or even soapy water. The steam from the vinegar or lemon mixture does half the work for you cutting your cleaning time in half. The result is a clean and sanitized microwave without all the hard work.
Tim Johnson is head buyer for an electronics retail chain in Brisbane. He spends most of his hours testing new gadgets and home equipment before deciding which ones to carry in the stores. He currently enjoys testing several brands of home microwave ovens.
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