Microwaves have a reputation for being hard-to-clean, but… it’s actually not hard to clean a microwave at all. (Let’s keep that under our hat, though, because a customer might think it took twenty minutes to clean up that marinara sauce explosion. Tee hee.)
Truth is: the material is made to release stuck-on stuff; it just needs a wee bit of encouragement. My approach might be less creative than the cup-of-steaming-vinegar way of thinking, but it has worked pretty-much perfectly everyday for years …and doesn’t leave me with a cup of steaming-hot vinegar.
(Though baking soda and steaming-hot vinegar might be a fantastic kitchen sink drain cleaner… ya know?…)
The point being: there’s an easier way to clean a microwave than using a cup of steaming vinegar…
The Easiest Way to Clean a Microwave…
Step 1: Prep Remove the glass tray (and rotating wheel, if it has one). Place the tray on a de-crumbed counter, or in the sink, and spray with diluted dish soap. Remove all crumbs from microwave.
Step 2: Spray, and Wait Liberally spray the interior of the microwave with a gentle, non-toxic cleaner; such as diluted Planet Dish Liquid. (Non-toxic is so important here; you’d never want a harsh cleaner to settle on the food your customer is heating!)
Avoid spraying directly into vent holes as much as possible. Don’t forget the ceiling of the microwave, or inside the door. Close the door and allow the cleaner to penetrate for a minute or two.
Step 3: Scrub, and Wipe With a blue Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge, scrub the interior of the microwave, and wipe out with a paper towel until dry. (Be sure not to hang on the microwave door while you scrub; the hinges need to stay in perfect alignment.)
If you want to be sure to remove any cleaner residue, wipe the interior with vinegar or rubbing alcohol, then dry.
Carefully place the rotating wheel back in place. Scrub the glass tray with diluted dish soap (Be careful: it can get slippery!) and place back in microwave when dry.
Step 4: Clean the Exterior After cleaning the interior and closing the door, spot clean the cabinet above the microwave, and exterior grille. Then, gently scrub the handle, and front of the microwave, with a non-scratch scrub sponge. Careful; the plastic and touchpad get hairline scratches rather easily. Buff dry, and use a paper towel with rubbing alcohol to remove any streaks or smudges, if needed.
If the microwave is a counter-top type, be sure to wipe the top and sides, and de-crumb underneath.
A stainless steel exterior might need a swipe of Weiman’s Stainless Steel Wipe to remove streaks, etc.
Moving on to the next thing, the underside of an over-the-range microwave usually needs wiping… but that’s in the ‘range hood’ category of equipment. You’re getting ahead of me now…