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How To Clean Microwave Smell

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Looking to freshen the microwave smell by giving it a quick clean? Does your microwave smell like fish? Get burnt smell out of microwave vent, stop the microwave from smelling, freshen the microwave and kill the odor in the microwave with these easy microwave cleaning methods.

Whether you microwave smells like fish, or you splattered sauce and popcorn butter, we have experimented with the best microwave cleaning tips to get the job done right.

To get the burnt smell out of the microwave vents, we’re going to use baking soda, vinegar and lemon. They are natural cleaning agents that will clean and deodorize a microwave at the same time.

How To Clean and Deodorize a Microwave

A stinky microwave isn’t really the optimal condition to be cooking your food in. Last thing you really want is for your meal to taste like the leftovers you heated up the other day.

A burnt smell has a tendency to linger around the inside of a dirty microwave. Catch a whiff of the bad aroma and you’ll be desperate to do something about it.

Of course you can cut through the grime and clean a microwave with chemicals. But, thankfully a natural solution resides in a steam treatment.

Prevent Burnt Smell in Microwave

The most effective way to resolve the funky odors is to address the issue right away. Peak your head inside the microwave compartment and locate any food mess, splatters, spills or baked on grime after each use.

Inspect the ceiling, vents and also underneath the turntable. Wipe down the inside with a damp, but not soaking, cleaning rag or sponge.

This will prevent funky odors from accumulating before the next time you go to use the appliance. Furthermore, it’s recommended to leave the microwave door open for a few minutes after each use. This will avert the build of odors by allowing the food steam to escape instead of being trapped inside.

Freshen Microwave With Baking Soda

Baking soda in a glass bowl with the box in the background.

Add ¼ cup of baking soda into a microwave safe container, and then add 1 cup of water on top. Place the bowl into the microwave and turn on high for 3 minutes until the water begins to boil.

Leave the bowl inside the microwave to continue steaming for about 5 minutes. The baking soda steam will deodorize the interior and freshen the microwave smell.

Wipe the inside of the microwave to remove any residual debris. This will stop the microwave from smelling and the inside should be as good as new.

Deodorize Microwave With Vinegar Steam

Vinegar is another cleaner that is commonly used to eliminate funky household odors. Get the burnt smell out of microwave vent with the help of vinegar steam.

Fill a microwave safe container with 1 cup of water and ¼ cup of white vinegar. If the odor is extra foul, then don’t hesitate to increase the amount of vinegar to ½ cup.

Microwave on high for about 3 minutes, or until the liquid begins to boil. Turn off the appliance and allow the container to remain inside with the door closed for about 5 minutes. During this time, vinegar steam will build up on the interior.

After the time is up, carefully remove the container. Any debris or food particles will be loosened and you will be able to easily wipe the surface clean with a sponge or damp cloth.

Any burnt odor or bad smells should have been eliminated. Leave the door open and the lingering vinegar smell will dissipate within a couple minutes.

Save That Vinegar Water

The vinegar water mixture works well for cleaning household surfaces. Allow the liquid to cool, and then use it to wipe down the refrigerator doors, grimy handles, glass windows and mirrors. 

In addition, use the liquid to clean out your coffee maker and remove any stubborn mineral deposits. Run the vinegar water through the coffee maker without any coffee inside. Then, brew a pot of plain water to flush away any residual and rinse the device.

Use Lemon to Clean a Microwave

Lemon also has the ability to clean and deodorize a microwave smell. The cleaning a microwave with lemon is simple and just requires a few minutes.

Cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a microwave safe container. Add the lemon halves and 1 cup of water.

Turn on high for about 3 minutes until the liquid begins to boil. Leave the container inside the microwave to allow the steam to build up.

After about 5 minutes, carefully remove the container. The aroma from the sliced lemons should have freshened the interior of the microwave and also loosened the gunk that was stuck to the surface.

Remove the turntable and wipe the microwave clean with a damp rag or sponge. The inside should be clean and lemony fresh.

Reuse That Lemon Water

After you finished deodorizing the microwave with lemon water, use it to freshen up you house as well. The citrus aroma can be spread from your kitchen throughout your entire house.

Dump the lemon water and lemon slices into a saucepan and simmer on low heat until steam develops. Cook the liquid for about an hour, while keeping an eye on it to make sure the pan doesn’t go fry.

Add a bit more water and some more sliced citrus if you want to continue the aroma extraction.

Allow the liquid to cool completely, and then use it as a household cleaner and disinfectant. The citric acid will naturally sanitize surfaces in the house.

Add it to a spray bottle or dip a cleaning rag into the lemony mixture. Use it to wipe door handles, kitchen appliances and other nonporous surfaces throughout the house.

How to clean microwave smell using successful home cleaning options

Karla Kaudel

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

How do you get smells out of an over range microwave vent combo? We wash the filters every darn time after we fry something, still have lingering odors

Joshua Bruck

Wednesday 7th of October 2020

Hello Karla, Sounds like you have a grease build up issue. Cleaning the filter underneath the microwave would be a great starting point, however that doesn't address the grease built up inside the vent. I would consult the manufacturer for guidelines specific to your microwave model. Is there access to the vent from the top of the microwave? If you can clean the intake vent, exhaust vent and tunnel in between, then you should be able to tackle the smell issue. I would imagine that boiling a large pot of water filled with lemons underneath the vent would create lots of steam that could help to break up the grease buildup in the passageway. Then, I would try using a long pipe cleaner to scrub the inside of the vent. I would be cautious about putting too much chemicals into the vent for risk of them leaking in your food when cooking.