How to clean a microwave with vinegar

The answer to non-toxic cleaning you've been waiting for

A person using a cloth to clean a microwave door.
(Image credit: Getty)

Yep, microwaves might be a total godsend for quick and easy cooking but they sure as hell get dirty quick. I don’t know what it is about microwaves and messes but they seem to accumulate grease, grime, and nasty smells seriously quick. 

I don’t know about you but I feel like my microwave ends up grimy after just a few uses (no matter how careful I am when I use it), which means I have to clean it often. That's why I recently decided to swap from using chemical-packed cleaning sprays to clean my microwave and instead use distilled white vinegar. 

Thinking of doing the same and swapping out your go-to cleaning sprays for a more natural alternative? Well, I can confidently say that you won’t be disappointed if you opt to use vinegar to clean with instead. It might be a little smelly but it works well and is easy to use

Wanna try it yourself? Take a look at my pointers for how to clean a microwave with vinegar. 

Good to know

Time: 20 minutes 

Difficulty: Easy

Here’s what you’ll need

How to clean a microwave with vinegar

 Step 1: Dilute the vinegar with water 

Fill a microwave safe bowl or jug and fill with warm water, and then add ½ cup of distilled white vinegar

 Step 2: Heat the vinegar

Place the bowl and the mixture into the microwave and heat on full power for seven minutes — or until you notice the water starting to boil. 

 Step 3: Let the mixture sit

Once the microwave has finished heating up the water, leave the bowl in the microwave with the door closed for the following five minutes. This will ensure that all the steam remains trapped inside, helping to loosen any grease or grime built up. 

 Step 4: Let the steam out

Open the microwave door (be careful not to burn yourself on the steam) and allow the steam to disperse from inside the microwave. 

 Step 5: Wipe the interior of the microwave out

Use a dampened sponge to wipe around the inside of the microwave, including wiping down the roof, door, and the sides of the door. You should find that any grime or grease wipes easily away thanks to the steam. 

 Step 6: Wash the microwave plate

Remove the turntable plate from the microwave and either wash by hand or place in the dishwasher to be cleaned. Once clean, dry it off with a cloth and place it back inside the microwave. 

 Step 7:  Dry the microwave

Using a clean, dry cloth, carefully dry the inside of the microwave.  


Is it safe to clean a microwave with vinegar?

Yes, it’s safe to use vinegar (mixed with water, obvi) to clean your microwave. In fact, it’s probably a lot safer than using chemical-packed cleaning products on the inside of your microwave. 

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.