The One Part Of Your Microwave You're Forgetting To Clean

Microwaves are the very epitome of convenience; they cook food in record time and make reheating leftovers a breeze. However, like any other cooking appliance, they're prone to food spills and questionable smells. Grease and pesky food residue can build up fast, which is why it's important to clean this mini but mighty cooking machine at least once a week.

When cleaning day rolls around, the messy splatters lurking on the walls and ceiling of your microwave will likely receive the majority of your attention. And, one of the best ways to naturally clean your kitchen is with fresh lemon, with the microwave being no exception. Similar to how you can clean your oven with a bowl of lemon water, you can easily de-funk the inside of your microwave by warming up a microwave-safe bowl of water with a halved lemon and then wiping it clean. However, just be sure you don't overlook the turntable, which can harbor food remnants just the same.

If heating lemon water in your microwave loosened the grime on your turntable enough that you could effortlessly wipe it away, you're in luck. However, the glass plate may require a deeper cleaning in the form of a thorough scrub down in a little warm, soapy water.

Clean your turntable in warm, soapy water

Unfortunately, not all turntables are dishwasher-safe, so you should always consult your microwave's owner's manual to see if you can simply pop it into the machine for a quick wash. Otherwise, your best bet is to wash it by hand with a little warm, soapy water. You can easily clean away the gunk using a non-abrasive sponge or brush and just a touch of elbow grease.

For tougher splatters or stubborn stuck-on food, try soaking the disc in warm suds before scrubbing it down. Just be sure to only clean the turntable after it has fully cooled down (i.e., not right after cooking something) to avoid burning your hands or causing the glass to shatter, which can happen due to intense temperature changes.

You should also wash the rotating ring, which can be done in warm, sudsy water. And don't forget to wipe down the space under the turntable and rotating ring in case any liquids or food have dripped down.

Other parts of your microwave you may have missed

So, you've cleaned the inside of your microwave in its entirety — turntable and rotating ring included. But, the glass plate and its accompanying turner aren't the only parts of the microwave that are often overlooked on cleaning day. You should also make sure to wipe down the exterior of the small appliance, too — including the outside of the door, the handle (if your microwave has one), and the buttons — using a damp sponge or washcloth.

And, last but certainly not least: Don't forget to clean the filter. Granted, not all microwaves have them; if you have a countertop microwave, no further cleaning is required. However, over-the-range microwaves do feature filters, which help keep grease and other grimy particles at bay so your exhaust fan can work effectively. The good news is that the filter only needs to be cleaned once a month. To wash away the gunk, all you have to do is remove the filter and soak it in soapy, hot water for about 30 minutes or so. Then, scrub the grease away before rinsing it, patting it dry, and returning it to its rightful place.