I was tired of filth and grease, so I learned how to clean a microwave with lemon juice

Lemon halves in a microwave
(Image credit: Future)

Knowing how to clean a microwave with lemon juice is essential if you want an effective, natural way to remove grease, grime, and odors from the inside of your microwave. If you're like me then you use your microwave a lot, and you know how grime and mess can build up over time. Whether it’s caked-on oatmeal or splatters from some leftover chili, you might be surprised to learn that a steamy bowl of hot water and lemon juice is all you need to loosen up any debris. Then, all you need to do is simply wipe the mess away with a damp cloth.

My microwave was due for a good clean, and I didn’t like the idea of using any sprays or chemicals in a place where I heat my food. Once I learned about using lemon as a natural cleaner, I decided to give it a go myself.

Whether you have one of the best compact microwaves or one of the best over-the-range microwaves it's important to know how to clean it, and the steps below will guide you through the process.  If you are looking to deep clean more of your kitchen, be sure to check out these six stove-top cleaning hacks.

Why a lemon? 

There are plenty of reasons why lemon juice can make a surprisingly good cleaning agent. Lemons have several chemical properties that make them perfect for breaking down tough stains and grime while also smelling great. 

1. Lemon juice is all-natural 

Lemon juice is a natural cleaner that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, making it a safer alternative to some other cleaning products.  

2. Cleaning with lemon juice is easy

Lemon juice is easy to use, and you won’t need to worry about buying any special cleaning equipment or tools. You simply need a lemon, a bowl, and some warm water.  

What the expert says...

Andrii Gurskyi, Co-founder of HomeClean says: "Using lemon juice to clean your microwave is a safe and effective way to get it looking clean and fresh. Not only will it help to remove any stubborn stains or dirt, but it will also leave your microwave smelling great. Give it a try today, and see the difference it can make in the cleanliness and freshness of your kitchen." 

3. Lemon juice is effective 

Lemon juice contains citric acid, which can help to loosen up and break down grease and food residue making your microwave easier to clean. 

4. Lemon juice offers a non-abrasive way to clean  

Thanks to citric acid's ability to easily break down dirt and remove stains, you won’t need to worry about scratching or damaging the inside of your microwave with hard bristles or wire. All you’ll need to wipe the inside is a damp cloth.  

5. Lemon juice has a fresh scent 

Lemon juice produces a fresh, citrusy aroma when heated in this way making them a perfect option to help you remove foul odors from your microwave. 

How often should you clean a microwave with lemon juice? 

How often you should clean your microwave with lemon juice depends on how frequently you use your microwave, and how dirty your microwave gets. If you use your microwave to simply heat up water a couple of times per week, then you won’t need to clean it anywhere near as often. However, if you find yourself frequently reheating uncovered chili, then it will need cleaning regularly. 

A good rule of thumb is to try and clean your microwave once per week. Regular cleaning will help to prevent build-up and make the cleaning process a lot quicker and easier. If you notice any spills or residue in your microwave, then it's best to clean it as soon as possible to prevent them from hardening or harboring germs. Keeping your microwave clean will also improve the functionality of your microwave, ensuring that it stays working for longer. 

Person placing lemon and a bowl of hot water into a microwave.

(Image credit: Getty)

How to clean your microwave with lemon juice

To clean your microwave with lemons, you will need:

To make your microwave clean and shiny, while also removing any nasty smells simply follow these steps: 

1. Prepare the water

Measure out ½ a cup of water and place it in a microwave-safe bowl or jug.

2. Add your lemon

Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Add the lemon shells into the water as well. 

3. Place the solution in the microwave

Place the jug or bowl into the microwave, and heat on high for 3-5 minutes or until the water is steaming heavily. 

4. Leave the door closed after the cycle

Let the water sit in the microwave for a few minutes to allow the steam to penetrate the grime or stains. Don’t be tempted to open the door early, as this will lessen the steam’s impact and effectiveness.

5. Remove the solution

Wearing thick gloves, carefully remove the bowl or jug from the microwave, taking care not to scald yourself with the steam or hot water. 

6. Remove the turntable

Take the turntable out from the microwave and set it aside. 

7. Wipe down the inside of the microwave

With a soft, damp cloth give the inside of the microwave a wipe, from top to bottom. Don’t forget to wipe the inside of the door as well. 

8. Clean the turntable

Use a cloth to wipe down the turntable and place it back in the microwave

9. Let the microwave dry completely

Leave the door open to allow the microwave to dry entirely.

How the lemon juice microwave cleaning hack worked for me

When I tried out using lemon juice to clean my microwave, it honestly worked surprisingly well. I was able to remove the food residue effectively, while also adding a pleasant smell to my microwave. It's definitely a hack that I will be using again in the future, as it doesn't require any chemicals or sprays that could get on my food. 

I did make one mistake though - I closed my microwave after the cleaning process which caused a lot of condensation. When you try this hack yourself I would recommend leaving your microwave door open to air dry.

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Monib Zahdeh

Monib is a writer for Top Ten Reviews. He has a degree in journalism and over four years of experience in the home and garden industry as a Digital Content Specialist for the made-to-measure marketplace Britannia Rose. When he is not reading or writing, Monib enjoys cooking, going on walks, and visiting different historical sites.  

With contributions from