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How to clean the microwave without chemicals

I would never want anyone here to mistake me for a clean freak simply because I am sharing how to clean the microwave without chemicals, because, you would be WRONG. I do, occasionally, (clears throat) have mood swings (hello intermittent OCD) where everything in my house looks terribly dirty  and I feel the need to CLEAN IT ALL!

This is not my standard behavior, however. My usual method for cleaning the kitchen is to stack things in the sink and hope the cleaning fairy will show up and get it all done. Which never happens. That leave me wanting to share with you some of the very easy cleaning techniques I’ve found (such as how to clean the microwave without chemicals).

How to clean the microwave without chemicals

How to clean the microwave without chemicals

In general, I don’t think chemicals are a good thing for us. I have even had fairly paranoid moments about all kinds of things (even about putting water up for later – still part of my paranoia) in which I have believed that most cleaning supplies cause one disease or another. By the same token though, I detest spending much (any) time cleaning – and I am all for “just getting it done”. See my problem here?

That is the reason for this post. Even though this method for how to clean the microwave without chemicals is so simple that I am almost embarrassed to include it on this site, I am worried that someone might be like me – dousing their microwave with toxic chemicals and STILL not able to make it come clean! Maybe ya’ll already knew how to do this and someone just forgot to tell me!

For many years I struggled with HOW to clean the darn microwave. I do not really use the microwave (except as an extra shelf in the kitchen that IS safe from dogs [ONGOING PROBLEM and HERE] and for defrosting meat that I forgot to thaw out the night before). Someone (and I’m not really sure who) DOES use the microwave a lot at our house and it gets VERY DIRTY in there.

I have memories of myself in my early twenties with a bottle of toxic cleaner soaking the inside of the microwave and wiping and wiping and wiping. The crud was stuck on and wouldn’t come off. Why don’t they make glue out of that stuff? Well, maybe they do! I have no idea how glue is made.

Throughout all of those years, while I knew I didn’t want toxic cleaner (not even the vapors) on my food, I was at a loss with crust stuck all inside my microwave. Then about 12 years ago, Mr. Loaves and Dishes – who was only Mr. Dating Guy at that time, introduced me to a cleaning packet that contained a disposable towel soaked with a lemon cleaner. The idea was to microwave the towel in its little packet for 5 minutes and then wipe the inside of the microwave clean. IT WORKED! I don’t think these are a thing anymore though.

Anything cooked in the microwave also tasted like lemon cleaner for a few days afterwards too! YUCK!

Then one day, the happy accident happened. I put a bowl of water in the microwave to heat to boiling for a recipe I was making. After nuking for about 10 minutes – I got distracted (imagine) and didn’t get my recipe underway. When I opened the door of the microwave about 5 minutes later, the inside of the microwave was SOAKED – the water was dripping out from under the door of the microwave.

I started cleaning up my damp and  humid mess and found – HEY! The microwave is coming clean with no effort whatsoever! Even the corners where stuff gangs up together and clings for dear life while refusing to come out is coming clean!! 

With that, I’ll just move on to the instructions.


  1. Using a microwave safe bowl, fill with 3 cups of tap water.
  2. Place the bowl in the microwave and turn on HI for 10 minutes.
  3. Place an old kitchen towel under the edge of the microwave door to catch any stray drips.
  4. After microwave is finished, do not open the door. Allow the bowl to set in the microwave with the door closed for 5 minutes.
  5. After 5 minutes, open the door carefully (steam) and very very carefully remove the bowl of hot water and set in a safe place (where children, pets and you can not knock it over). Do not burn yourself.
  6. Remove the tray, ring or other apparatuses inside the microwave and wipe them down well with a damp cloth.
  7. Wipe the inside of the microwave using a damp washcloth and rinse your washcloth as necessary.
  8. If you are unable to remove all the gunk on the first try (but really, you should probably do just fine), then make sure your microwave safe bowl has sufficient water in it and repeat starting at step 1.
  9. If you are interested in a nice smell,  you can always add a few drops of lemon juice to your water, but it isn’t necessary if you just want your microwave to be clean.

I sure hope that helps you to make things sparkling clean at your house! Have you ever come upon a cleaning trick or something similar completely by accident? I would love to hear what! Did you try this and did it work for you? Leave me a comment and let me know! I LOVE comments and I try to answer every one! The comment section is down at the bottom of this page. 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

Come to me all who labor and are heaven laden and I will give you rest ~ Matthew 11:28

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