in , ,

How to Clean a Microwave with a Bowl of Water

White bowl on a white plate, inside a microwave with a person looking in through the glass door.

If you clean your microwave regularly, you do not have to do a lot of work to keep it nice and clean. Sometimes, all you need to do is just get some hot water and wipe inside the microwave and the job is done. The hot water will sterilize the interior for you.

However, there are those times when you may forget to clean your microwave and the dirt build-up is too strong for just plain water. This is when you need to do a little extra work to get that dirt out.

To learn how to do this, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to clean your microwave without using any harsh chemicals.

How to Use Water to Clean Your Microwave

Hand cleaning inside of microwave with a bright green cloth

The process is not a difficult one as you do not have to mix anything in the water. You just get a microwavable bowl and place about 1 cup of water inside. The water can be cold if you want but room temperature is fine.

Then take the bowl filled with water and place it inside the microwave. Close the appliance’s door and set the timer to 5 minutes or a little bit longer and then set the temperature to high. You want the water to boil and steam a lot.

When you are ready, start the microwave and go do something else for about 10 to 15 minutes. You will want to wait that long as one, you do not want to burn your fingers removing the bowl; and two, you want all the steam to saturate the dirt and grime.

As the steam saturates that dirt, etc., it loosens it up, making the task of wiping the interior of your microwave easier to do. Also, the steam will sterilize the interior so you do not have to worry about germs or bacteria. Just make sure to completely dry the appliance so no mold, etc. gets a foothold.

What Not to Use When Cleaning Your Microwave

Illustration of microwave on a white background with a red circle and slash over the top of it.

Cleaning a microwave is not like cleaning any other appliance. These essential cooking devices are not made to be indestructible, so you have to be careful about what items you use.

1. Containers

For example, you should not use old mugs, single-use containers, china bowls, or travel mugs to hold the water or the vinegar, lemon, or baking soda you add to the water.

The old mugs may have lead or metal-filled glaze that will ruin your appliance and the single-use plastic will melt on you. Then the china can break, or it may have metal in its trim. If your travel mug contains some metal, then you probably will be shopping for a new microwave soon.

Also, you should not use burnt cookware or plastics, any type of metal pots or pans, including pie pans, or old yogurt containers. The burned containers will release cancer-causing agents while the others will simply ruin your microwave or melt on you.

2. Abrasive Sponges or Cloths

Yellow gloved hand holding a steel wool pad

You know those scouring pads that really remove old food particles, set in sauce stains, and so on. Those are a big no-no when it comes to cleaning your microwave. the abrasive sponges and cloths or even scrapers are too sharp and will scratch the interior ruining your microwave.

Even plastic scrapers should not be used to clean out your dirty appliance. They may not be as sharp as metal ones, but they still do some damage.

3. Bleach and Other Harsh Chemicals

Variety of cleaners in different color, shaped, and size bottles isolated on a white background.

You may want to reach for these cleansers but to be honest, they are not needed for this task. One, regular cleaners and steam will get all the food and stain off the walls of the appliance. You do not need bleach to do that task.

Second, bleach is effective at killing germs. But the microwave will do that for you. The temperatures of the microwave will kill all the germs and bacteria inside, which is why all you need to use at times is just water.

The steam also kills germs and bacteria. You can clean your microwave safely and with natural products and still be healthy.

Some Final Words

Hands opening and setting the dial of a microwave.

It may seem like under kill to only use water, but heat does wonders in the war on dirt and germs. Just a little steam and they are gone. Then using water is fast, easy and no mess like you would have when you use lemons or baking soda.

Take it easy for once and just use water to clean your microwave when it gets dirty.

Please keep in mind that we may receive a small commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

Dish soap being poured on a sponge over a sink with water running and a microwave in the background.

How to Clean a Microwave with Dish Soap

2 rolls of paper towels on a kitchen counter

How to Clean a Microwave with a Wet Paper Towel