A microwave oven is an essential kitchen appliance these days. It’s a handy time and labour saving device in the kitchen, whether you’re defrosting food items from the freezer, doing baked potatoes in record time, heating up yesterday’s dinner or making a quick hot chocolate.
But since your microwave comes into contact with food on a daily basis, meticulous hygiene is key. Here are three ways to keep germs and nasty niffs at bay, ensuring that your microwave is clean enough to, err, eat off.
1 – Steam cleaning
One of the easiest ways to keep your microwave clean and fresh is to give it a steam clean now and again. Fill a bowl with water and put a wooden spoon inside. Place inside the microwave and heat for about 3 minutes.
The steam will work its way into any stubborn stains and stuck-on grease, making them easier to remove afterwards. The wooden spoon is a safety precaution that stops the water from overheating, which can cause burns. Once the water is hot, gently stir with the spoon before you remove the bowl from the interior of the microwave.
As an alternative, put a couple of wet kitchen towels inside the microwave and microwave for a couple of minutes to soften the build-up of grime and grease. Then use the paper towels to wipe clean.
2 – Deodorise with lemon
Fresh lemon is another excellent natural cleaning agent, while the citrusy scent is great for getting rid of unpleasant cooking odours in the microwave – fish in particular! Cut a lemon in half and put both halves into a bowl of water. Cook on full power for 10 minutes and, hey presto, the pong has gone, while grime and grease have dissolved, ready to be mopped up.
Interestingly, the natural bleaching qualities of lemon makes it a great stain remover. To clean the inside of the microwave oven, rub the stainless steel surface with the cut side of a lemon, dipped in salt or baking soda for added cleaning oomph.
3 – Boost with vinegar
For an added cleaning boost for many applications in the kitchen, vinegar is a natural ingredient that is hard to beat. Fill a large jug half with white vinegar and half with water, place it inside the microwave and set the programme to full power for 10 minutes. You will notice that the steam loosens any burnt-on spills and food stains, making it a doddle to simply wipe away with a damp cloth.