How to Clean a Microwave

If the inside of your microwave is getting icky with food stains, it may be time to clean and disinfect with cleaners and disinfectants that are safe to use around food.

More from Clorox experts
By Mary Gagliardi

Harsh or abrasive cleaners — including products with bleach or ammonia—should never be used to clean the interior of a microwave. The trio of products in the Clorox® Free & Clear line are a great option. They're formulated without bleach, ammonia or dyes, and they’re safe to use around kids, pets and food.*

Cleaning and disinfecting with Free & Clear products

What you need

Steps to clean and disinfect a microwave with Free & Clear Products

  1. Cut the lemon

    Use the knife and cutting board to cut the lemon into quarters. Set the lemon slices in the bowl.

  2. Add the water

    Measure 1 cup of water and add it to the lemons in the bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave.


    If you don't have a lemon, substitute 3-4 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar.

  3. Heat the lemons

    Use high power to heat the lemons for at least 3 minutes. When the microwave stops heating, wait 5 minutes before opening the door.


    If your microwave has a turntable, leave it in place while heating the lemons and water.

  4. Wipe away steam

    Use the hot pads to carefully remove the bowl with the lemon water before wiping out steam on the inside with the paper towels. Remove any racks and wipe them down, and be sure to wipe under the carousel tray.

  5. Clean away remaining gunk on the inside

    Spray Clorox® Free & Clear Multi-Surface Spray Cleaner onto a microfiber cloth and use it to wipe the inside of the microwave to remove remaining spills. No rinsing is required.


    Reposition the microfiber cloth before spraying additional cleaner so you continue to work with a clean section of the cloth.

  6. Clean the outside

    Use Clorox® Free & Clear Compostable* Cleaning wipes to clean the outside of the microwave, including the handle and the control panel. No rinsing is required.

  7. Hand wash the carousel tray

    Hand wash the carousel tray in hot soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry before placing back in the microwave.

  8. Disinfect

    Hold Clorox® Free & Clear Disinfecting Mist 6-8 inches from both interior and exterior surfaces and spray until thoroughly wet. Surface must remain visibly wet for 2 minutes for disinfection before air drying. No rinsing is required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you heat the lemon water again if the inside is really dirty?

Yes. If you haven’t cleaned the inside of your microwave in a while and the stains are really baked on, you will need to repeat heating the lemon water and wiping out the inside a few times to get it clean.

Can you use Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes to clean the inside of a microwave?

Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes are not for use on the inside of a microwave, but can be used to wipe down exterior surfaces, including the control panel. Use Clorox Disinfecting wipes to clean the outside of a microwave after cleaning the inside with lemon and water.