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Odors in the Microwave

Odors in the Microwave

Q.   Some popcorn got burned in our microwave; consequently, our microwave not smells like burned popcorn. Do you have any suggestions as to how to get the odor out?  Thanks — TFeauto

• Boiling a cup full of vinegar and then washing the inside and tray with it  has helped me. Ivy R.

• A solution of 1 cup water, add 1 tblsp vinegar or 1 tblsp of lemon juice or any liquid that is acidic.  Tis’ better to smell lemony than burnt. Robert

• First, remove the tray, wash it in soapy dish water and wipe down the walls, floor, ceiling and door of the microwave. Then, leave a dish with about a quarter cup of whole cloves in the microwave until you use it again. Should help. Carol W.


• Use vinegar in a glass and microwave it, then after it boils, remove and use paper towels to clean your microwave, it should smell fine. Psneath

• In my kitchen I use white vinegar mixed with water – (I use half water / half vinegar but you can dilute it more or less)- in a spray bottle to clean my "over the stove" microwave and my all black, ceramic top range. If there is a big spill, just clean first with a hot soapy dish cloth, wipe with a paper towel or clean rag, then spray with the vinegar solution and dry with a paper towel. This cuts any leftover grease, deodorizes, and leaves a shiny surface. I also use it on other appliances and counter tops. There are no chemicals – or chemical smells- to contaminate food, and the vinegar doesn’t leave an odor. To get that smell out of the microwave, be sure to clean ALL five surfaces inside the oven: top, bottom, sides and back; as well as the inside of the door. Paula

• This is in response to the woman who asked about getting the smell out of her microwave. I have a couple of suggestions that she might try, depending on what she has on hand. A couple of slices of lemon placed in the  bottom of a cup with a little water and then microwave on high for five minutes can be very effective. It can also be very frugal if you have lemon that is leftover or has gotten a little dry in the refrigerator. The other idea is very similar. put a mug of water in the microwave filled about half way with water and then a couple of tablespoons of either lemon juice or vinegar. The measurements are just a guess because I just put some water in the mug and then a splash of the juice or vinegar. I hope this helps. Jennifer S

• This will help your microwave smell better!  Squeeze a lemon into a cup of water.  Drop the remainder of the lemon into the cup too and microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes.  Let it sit in there until cool and microwave again for a minute.  Wipe out the microwave with a damp cloth, and it should smell better!  Good luck.  Lisa

• Put about a tablespoon of vanilla in half a coffee cup of water. Bring it to a boil in the microwave (time varies depending on the power of your microwave). Let it sit with the microwave unopened for about 4-5 minutes. This will also clean your microwave, just open after the 4-5 minutes and wipe with a damp cloth. Even the really stuck on stuff just wipes off. Hint: the steam from boiling is what cleans it, it needs to sit that 4-5 minutes to work, but if you let it sit too long then it is stuck on stuff again.

• The easiest way I’ve found to remove microwave odors is to boil two cups of water & the juice of one lemon – leaves your microwave smelling lemon fresh & it also helps loosen built on spills etc. Bridget

• For cleaning the microwave, I generally use a glass measuring cup.  I put about a third of a cup of vinegar and fill it with water.  I set the microwave to about 6 minutes (till the liquid boils).  Let the liquid sit in there about 10 minutes to steam.  Then just wipe everything off, it will wipe clean with ease.   I send this to say that when I do this, all odors are gone as well, even though its not the main purpose.  I have a great nose, and always can smell what has cooked in there, and after this method, its gone. 

• Set a glass container of white vinegar and water…about half and half in the oven, uncovered. Set it for 3 minutes on High and wipe out the inside of the oven once you take it out. Or: Crumble plenty of newspaper and stuff them in the microwave. Do NOT run it. Instead, shut the door and leave it at least overnight. Then clean it out with baking soda and water. Either way, the odor should be gone. Janet

7 thoughts on “Odors in the Microwave”

  1. I tried everything to remove stubborn fat stains on stainless steel microwave surface without success (vinegar, baking soda, 3m stainless foaming cleaner, baby oil, dish washing liquid, etc.). Every time the surface was dried the stain marks re-appeared. Eventually, I used smooth top powder (for cleaning ceramic or glass top stove surfaces), and bingo! It worked. All splatter stains gone and no scratching of surface. Hope this helps you avoid the two hours of frustration we endured before finding this solution

    Best regards! Rotherhithe Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  2. My daughter was preparing microwaveable Mac & cheese, she forgot to add water thus the container and noodles almost caught on fire. Thank God I got to it in time but the smell is worse than burnt popcorn. I tried boiling vinegar & water which did get the grease and other stains out. Can’t seem to get rid of the burnt odor, also tried boiling lemon slices in a little water. Help! Don’t want to purchase a new microwave because otherwise it works well

    1. Have you used full strength vinegar & still has a smell? Ok, you can take two small bowls & in one put some baking soda & the other full strength vinegar close the door & let it sit for min 24hrs, if the odors remain you could try a paste made with baking soda & water to clean the inside of your microwave & rinse with warm water. If non of this works you might check out a product sold on QVC called Zero Odor spray & I’ve used that on some stuff that had been in a basement & had a bad musty smell & with other odors & been pleased with the results. Hopefully, this information will be of assistance to you & ridding your microwave of the unpleasant odor!!

    2. My son did the exact thing, except ramen noodles. I too have tried vinegar and water solution, lemon in water, wiping down with paste of baking soda/water and letting baking soda sit in overnight. Nothing seems to work! It does seem to be in the exhaust as well! Any other tips would be appreciated !!

  3. I can confirm that the trick with a water or vinegar mixed up with some lemon juice works 100% . That won’t help you to get rid of the fat, but the smell is gone. I practice doing that every 3-4 months. I am just not sure about the timing. With 5 minutes I start sencing smell outside the microwave. Here it say 3 minutes:
    what would be the optimal but safe amount of time for this?

  4. I tried the vinegar and water. The microwave start sparkling inside. I stopped itand restarted it but now I’m hearing a clicking sound. Have anyone else had this problem?

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