If you are like many people out there, you don’t really think about cleaning your microwave all that often, I mean, the radiation probably keeps it clean and sterile right? The radiation will kill bacteria if left on long enough. Microwaves do not cook via radiation directly. The radiation they produce only affects water molecules in the food you are defrosting or heating. The heat is what actually kills bacteria. Microwaves are an effective way to kill bacteria but only if the items in the microwave heat evenly and you leave them in long enough to be very hot.
What if you only gently reheat a drink? The microwaves will be drawn to the high water content in the drink not the bacteria hanging from the crusty dirt on the inside of your machine. It only takes a tiny crumb coated with bacteria to fall into your mug. Because you only gently reheating the drink rather than boiling it the temperature will not be hot enough to the kill the bacteria.
So you do need to keep your microwave clean and these are the best ways to do this.
So how can you get your microwave really sparkling clean?
The first thing you need to do is take out that rotating glass plate that collects the majority of the spills. This is usually the piece people clean regularly as it usually fits into the dishwasher. Wash with warm soapy water like you would with any other plate.
Cleaning your microwave with baking soda
Grab a microwavable bowl of warm water and mix it with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Pop this in the microwave and turn it on for three to six minutes. When you hear the microwave ding, leave it in there for another minute or so and let the steam fill the microwave.
Next, grab a clean sponge and start scrubbing. The steam will have loosened the spills and dried up food. Furthermore, by using baking soda, you will have absorbed lots of the odour that was lingering inside.
Cleaning your oven with vinegar
Many people swear by vinegar as the only method, as they feel it is better for removing grease. Pour about 250ml of vinegar and 250ml of water into a microwavable bowl. You need to boil this longer than the baking soda method, between 5 and 10 minutes should do it. This will allow the steam to soften the spills, splashes and food. Grab your sponge and the grime should come off with ease.
Benefits of using white vinegar:
- No hidden chemicals
- It’s cheap
- Removes odours rather than covers them up
- The acetic acids in the vinegar sanitise and deodorise your microwave.
Cleaning the all important microwave door
No matter which of these methods you use, you will need to clean the door in and out. Your basic glass cleaner should do the job, (it works on the inside too) as either of the methods will have loosened any dried food. Add a little vinegar if you wish and some elbow grease and your microwave will look spick and span.
Good cleaning habits
In the future, dry and wipe away spills quickly after they happen, otherwise they will continue to cook and will become more and more stubborn to remove.
Disposing of your microwave:
As a microwave is a hazardous substance it will need to be recycled rather than just thrown away.
- Contact a local recycling centre to see what they accept.
- Contact your local council who may come and collect it for you
- Some electrical shops will allow you to drop it off for recycling
The good news is that you can use your microwave to disinfect kitchen clothes and washing brushes. Because of the items they come into contact with combined with being wet, they are havens for bacteria. If you wet these items and microwave them for a couple of minutes you will be killing virtually all the bacteria on them!