Tuesday, March 4, 2014

52 Monthly Clean Home Challenge: The Microwave

Welcome back to the Monthly Clean Home Challenge daily task!  I am on a quest to maintain a clean and organized home in less time and the goal is simple; four daily tasks, four weekly tasks and one additional quick task each week day. 

In no particular order, here are the individual tasks I am tackling each day this month:

  1. Make cleaning supplies
  2. Cycle clean appliances
  3. Clean out cars
  4. Clean out microwave
  5. Wipe down cabinets/appliances
  6. Wipe down trim/doors
  7. Clean out one drawer
  8. Clean out fridge
  9. Clean out freezer
  10. Vacuum under furniture
  11. Vacuum mattresses
  12. Clean oven
  13. Clean out one closet
  14. Wash out garbage can/recycle bin
  15. Wash windows
  16. Scrub grout
  17. Clean out one cabinet
  18. File paper piles
  19. Purge bathroom toiletries
  20. Clean out pantry

Today I am chatting about the extra task: Cleaning The Microwave.


When it comes to the microwave, in a perfect home and world, we would clean it after every use.  And considering we don't really use our microwave all that often, you would think that it would be easy to keep up on.  However, microwaves are known for their ability to heat things up fast!  So taking time to clean it after or in the moment is not always realistic for us.


Splatters and grime tend to build up over the course of a few uses.


Today's task is super simple and if you do it while cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, it just builds right into that process with only an additional 1-2 minutes of time.

Start by filling a bowl with half vinegar and half water, about a cup of each.


Place the bowl in the center of the microwave and turn the microwave on high for 5-10 minutes to allow the water/vinegar combo to steam the interior.


To avoid any risk of dangerously overheating/exploding, float a toothpick {or any other non-metallic item} within the bowl.  Once the timer goes off, carefully remove the bowl from the microwave.  The bowl will be very HOT, oven mitts are highly recommended.

Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe down the inside walls and door of the microwave.


Remove the rotating plate and wash that as well.

Is the steaming process necessary?  YES!  I have tried to scrub the interior of the microwave without steaming and it requires a lot of oomph!  Steaming kills germs and makes the cleaning process easy breezy.  If you are still having any trouble getting your microwave to sparkle, a little of the vinegar/water spray mixture should help you out.


I always give the front a quick cleaning with the cloth as well.


And you are done!  Little cleaning moments like these only take a minute or two {after the wait time for the heating}, yet leave you feeling productive when it is done.  Love that!


Looking for something?  Check out my favorite cleaning products below:



52 comments:

  1. Cleaning the microwave is my one major downfall. The rest of my house is kept relatively clean, tidy and clutter-free. But the microwave? Ughhh so nasty and each time I use it, which is rare actually, I think to myself "Wow I should clean this thing." But then I go about my day and completely forget.

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  2. 4 posts in 2 days! You're on a roll, Jen! Loving all of the posts!

    Sarah

    www.sarahsdaybook.wordpress.com

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  3. Wow! That is such a great tip, Jen. I always have had a hard time scrubbing the interior. I would definitely do this. Thanks. (",)

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  4. Oh this is such a great idea! I'm actually looking forward to going home tonight and cleaning my microwave :)

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  5. This clean home challenge series is great! You are sharing such great ideas and I'm keeping my home clean just by following along. Thank you!

    Lifeonelizabeth.blogspot.com

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  6. It also works if you steam with the water and a few drops of dish soap. I personally prefer the smell as the hot vinegar is a bit intense.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion! I will definitely give that a try next time. :) xo!

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  7. I was just thinking that my microwave needed cleaning. I tried your method and OMGosh! Cleaned like a charm and seriously took no time at all! Love your blog! I've been following for a while and love your ideas!

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  8. Great tip with the steaming! I will totally try this!

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  9. Every time we use the microwave to heat something we cover it with plastic wrap. My teenage son uses the microwave the most & he has been trained to cover it or you will be cleaning it. I only have to wipe down the inside once a week & the microwave always looks nice & clean.

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    Replies
    1. Instead of plastic wrap, we use a plastic cover whenever it fits (search for "microwave cover for food" in Amazon). It's easy to clean with the rest of the dishes and the microwave never gets gross.

      Anyway, I think the steaming can be useful for a seasonal disinfecting session!

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  10. I am so glad you're doing this series -- I'm cleaning my microwave now!

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  11. Loving these posts!!! Thank you!

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  12. Any tips to clean the top grill? It collects grease and gets sticky, then gets dusty and messy. It's very tough to fit anything in there to clean and stays dingy.

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  13. I do the same with my microwave, it's healthier, more cheap and don´t take so much time

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  14. Wow! I never thought to use the steam of a water & vinegar mixture to clean a microwave. I'm definitely going to have to try this out on Friday. (Friday's my weekly cleaning day.)

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee

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  15. My favorite microwave cleaning method is to add a little lemon juice to a damp sponge and microwave for one minute. You get the steaming action which makes the walls and ceiling of the microwave easy to wipe down. You also kill any sponge odor you may have had for a double bonus. It is so quick that I manage it at least once a week.

    By the way, your daily and weekly tasks are completely inspiring. I have recently tried to set up a similar system for myself, but I am not yet in a groove. You have definitely given me some ideas that might improve my systems!

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  16. If you don't like the smell of the vinegar, squeeze a lemon and use instead of the vinegar. Works like a charm and probably smells better too!

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  17. I put a coffee cup of water in the microwave on high for a minute and a half. Leave it in there 10 minutes steaming. Wipe clean. No need to worry about water that's too hot.

    Off to clean the microwave:)

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  18. I just wet the dishrag that I've been using for the day (you could dip it in vinegar for some power), and microwave it for a minute. Same steam, but the germs on the rag are killed and the heat on the rag+the loosened dirt=quick cleaning.

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  19. Every night as I do kitchen clean up I throw the dish cloth into the microwave for a minute - kills all the bad germs in the cloth and I wipe down the microwave at the same time. I don't remember the last time it got super gross.

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    1. I do the exact same thing! Our microwave never really gets dirty, and I love that I can start out the next day with a clean and germ-free dishcloth.

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  20. Great step by step process and so simple. I am going to do this today!

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  21. Can you show a great way to clean an oven that does not have a self cleaning mechanism?! Are there chemical free ways to do it?

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  22. Great tip - it works with lemon also - I don't have a microwave so less cleaning for me! yipee!

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  23. Oh my, you are my new queen. This is brilliant! I cleaned our microwave two days ago but next time I know wat to do... I live with three other students and it's not always fun to clean a house like this. This makes it a lot easier!

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  24. To hit two birds with one stone, I sprinkle some baking soda into my sink and garbage disposal, and pour the hot vinegar water down the drain to clean it! :) The first time I ever cleaned my microwave this way, I was amazed at how EASY ans effortless it is to wipe it out.. there is no other way for me now lol.

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  25. Hi Jen, wonderful idea to clean the microwave. I am doing mine today.

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  26. I use a lemon instead of vinegar too. I just throw the end slice or a piece I've juiced for a recipe into a cup of water and nuke it .

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  27. I tried this trick before but only let it go for 3 mins and then I removed it - it didn't work!!!

    Glad to know its takes closer to 10 mins - will try that next time!!

    Also curious to see what you use to wipe down cabinets - mine just aren't getting clean (I use Mrs Meyers all purpose spray)

    Oh and I see on your list is the trash can..... I need to do that too!!!!

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  28. Where did you find the container you use for your vinegar? Is it an olive oil dispenser? I always hate handling the big jug of vinegar and that seems like a good solution.

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    1. Hi Shannon! It was from IKEA ages ago, but yes, typically designed for oils. xoxo!

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  29. After you're done with the water vinegar mixture, sprinkle some baking soda in your sink and drain. Pour the vinegar solution down and that's clean now too!

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    1. You friends are genius! I am loving this, thank you!

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  30. I don't care for the smell of the heated vinegar (even though I love it in my spinach!) so a drop or two of lemon or lavender essential oil does the trick. The inside of microwave is a sadly neglected a lot in our house too.

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  31. Thanks for the wonderful tip! I will be using it today. I am really looking forward to hearing about how you clean your oven! :-)

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  32. I follow the same process, except I use lemon juice instead of vinegar. It works just as well, but smells much nicer. :)

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    1. nice tip!!! I will have to remember this one!

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    2. So great to know! Thanks for the tip!

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  33. You know, when you break that list down into one task a day it really doesn't seem so daunting. :) As usual, thanks for sharing and keeping me motivated!

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  34. I got rid of our microwave about 20 years ago and have NEVER missed it!

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  35. Really nice tips! I use vinegar also for my dishwasher!
    Vinegar and baking soda = power! The best (eco friendly) way to clean!

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  36. My grandmother cleaned just about everything with a vinegar and water solution, but the microwave was different. She always cut a piece or 2 of citrus, (lemon , orange, lime, whatever she had on hand). She put that in her large Pyrex bowl and filled it with water. She microwaved it for 5-10 minutes then dumped it into the garbage disposal and let it sit in there while she wiped down the microwave. When she rinsed her rag she would go ahead and start the garbage disposal. I still do this. It smells heavenly and cleans the garbage disposal at the same time.

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  37. I cleaned my microwave this morning and it worked brilliantly - the steam made it a lot less effort. Thanks for the tip!

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  38. Thank you for the post Jen! I will have to try this. Where did you get the microfiber cloths? I need to get some! :) Thank you! Love your website.

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    1. Hi Heather!

      I found some great ones in the cleaning aisle at Target, but also stocked up on value cloths from Amazon: http://amzn.to/NoFnLR

      xo!

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    2. Thanks so much Jen! xo

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  39. I think lemon will leave it just as clean and smelling even better:

    Put 1 cup of water and a 5 lemon slices (or some lemon juice) in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the bowl in the microwave on high for 3-5 minutes. Wait two minutes before opening the microwave door. Carefully remove the bowl of water and wipe down the inside of the microwave with a warm, damp sponge. The caked-on food and stains should come off easily.

    Bonus: The lemon will also add a fresh scent to your kitchen :)

    http://www.whimsical-truth.blogspot.com

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  40. Thanks for the tip! I am curious about the oil bottle you use for the vinegar. Does that type of bottle seal or remain open?

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  41. Where did you purchase the oil bottle? And the label! I forgot to ask in my other post. Thank you!!

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    1. Hi Jeanne,

      The bottle is considered an oil decanter. You can find them at most department stores, however, I purchased mine from IKEA a few years ago {I don't believe they carry that specific style any longer}. The label I made and printed onto clear Avery labels.

      xoxo!

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  42. I want to assure all the readers that your method works great. If you don't want to use vinegar- you can replace it with lemon.Measure about a half cup of water into the bowl.Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the water. Drop the lemon halves into the bowl.Place the bowl in the microwave. Microwave on high power for 3 minutes so the liquid comes to a boil.Do not open the microwave door. The steam trapped inside will help loosen food gunk. Let stand for 5 minutes.Open the door and carefully remove the bowl with the lemons. If your microwave has a turntable, lift it out and wipe it clean. Wipe the inside of the microwave clean starting with the ceiling and the sides. Finish with the floor, sweeping any crumbs into your hand. Don't forget the door!If you come across stubborn spots that won't easily wipe away, dip the corner of your dishtowel in the lemon-water and scrub until the spot comes away.

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