Here's how to banish funky smells from your microwave once and for all.

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Even the cleanest of kitchens can fall prey to gross smells now and then. They lurk in your garbage disposal, your refrigerator, and even your microwave. The latter is especially discouraging since microwaves are all about speed and convenience. No one wants to find an unpleasant smell inside just before they're about to reheat a plate of spaghetti! Luckily, it's easy to get those terrible smells out of your microwave. To find out how, we went to Jeremy Thompson, strategic cleaning advisor at YouthfulHome.com in Houston, Texas.

Clean your microwave regularly

According to Thompson, "A microwave oven can develop odors if it isn't cleaned regularly or if you overcook something and burn it." He says the best way to keep your microwave free of unpleasant aromas is simply to clean it regularly with a damp, soapy cloth. Afterward, wipe it with a clean cloth soaked in fresh water. When you're through, dry it thoroughly with a clean cloth and leave the microwave door open until all traces of moisture are gone.

How to rid your microwave of baked-on food

Sometimes it may take a little extra effort to rid your microwave of baked-on food. Luckily, Thompson shared a hack that offers terrific results. He says, " If there are baked on pieces of food in your microwave, heat a cup of water inside for 3 - 4 minutes. The steam will help loosen them for cleaning."

What do you do if you've cleaned your microwave but it still smells stinky?

There may be times when you've cleaned your microwave but those horrible odors persist. Don't despair, it's not time to buy a new microwave just yet. Thompson has several easy solutions to this challenge using products you probably already have on-hand in your kitchen.

  • Place an open box of baking soda inside your microwave and leave it there overnight. The baking soda will absorb the odors leaving your microwave smelling clean and fresh in the morning.
  • If you prefer a citrus smell, take one half of a lemon or a peeled orange and place them in 2 cups of water. Heat the water for 3 minutes or until steaming hot. Leave the heated water and fruit inside the oven for 12 hours.
  • For mild odors, overnight treatments might not be necessary. Thompson suggests wiping out the inside of the microwave with a soft cloth soaked in a solution of one cup water and one tablespoon of lemon or vinegar.
  • If you want a sweeter smell, replace the vinegar or lemon with 4 teaspoons of vanilla or 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds. Soak your cloth in this solution and wipe all surfaces inside the microwave. When finished, be sure to wipe the microwave thoroughly with a clean, damp cloth and dry with yet another clean cloth. Then leave the door open until the interior of the microwave has a chance to completely dry.