Three easy steps to make the inside of a dirty microwave shiny and clean.
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Most of the time, you’re in a rush when you use the microwave. Whether you’re boiling water for hot coffee or tea, defrosting a solid brick of frozen chicken, reheating cold pizza (actually, the oven is better for that job), baking potatoes, or popping a bag of popcorn for a quick snack, time is usually limited. As soon as the timer goes off, you grab whatever is inside, slam the door shut, and move on with your life. Which is why the inside of the microwave looks like a mess. And the longer you leave those food splatters, drips, and stains inside there, the harder they are to remove—until you learn this method.

You don’t need fancy cleaners or any special equipment to clean a microwave. And you don’t even need to spend an hour scrubbing it either. This simple method only requires a few minutes and very little effort. Grab a small microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup, a sponge, and some white vinegar (apple cider will work in a pinch too). Fill the bowl with one cup of tap water. Stir in one to two tablespoons of vinegar. Place the bowl inside of the microwave. Heat the water-vinegar mixture on HIGH for one to two minutes, or until the liquid is boiling and steaming.

When the timer goes off, don’t open the door immediately. Leave it shut for about five minutes. This will allow the hot steam to stay trapped inside the microwave, which will help degrease the microwave and loosen stuck food and baked-on spills. After five minutes, open the door, remove the bowl, and use a damp sponge to wipe the top, bottom, sides, and tray inside of the microwave. If any stubborn spots remain, microwave the water-vinegar mixture again and follow the same steps until you are able to clean it completely.