"Most people don't think to clean their microwave until it's so dirty, it's practically smoking," says Forte. "But if you keep up with it, it will save you time and energy in the long run." Here's how to clean a microwave properly — and quickly — using just a few simple ingredients that are likely already in your kitchen.
Boil some water: Boil a cup of water on the stovetop and pour it into a microwavable bowl. This will help to loosen any food particles or grease that are stuck on the walls and ceiling of the microwave.
Add vinegar: Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the boiling water and stir. The vinegar will help to dissolve any food residue or bacteria.
Put it in the microwave: Place the bowl of boiling water and vinegar in the microwave and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Wipe it down: Use a soft cloth to wipe down the walls, ceiling and door of the microwave. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. If there are any stubborn stains, use a non-abrasive sponge or scrubber.
Rinse: Rinse the inside of the microwave with a damp cloth to remove any vinegar residue. Wipe the exterior: Don't forget to wipe down the outside of the microwave, including the control panel. Use a damp cloth or all-purpose cleaner.
Polish: If your microwave has stainless steel panels, use a stainless steel cleaner to polish it and keep it looking shiny and new.
Now that you know how to clean a microwave quickly and easily, there's no excuse for not keeping up with regular maintenance. For more tips on cleaning your kitchen, check out the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab's guide. And be sure to sign up for our newsletter for even more helpful cleaning hacks and product recommendations.