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10 Ways to Remove Odors from a Microwave

10 Ways to Remove Odors from a Microwave

If you’re like many adults these days, you probably rely on your microwave on a daily basis. Whether it’s to heat up microwave-ready food or reheat meals from earlier in the day, microwaves are a modern miracle. However, frequently using your microwave can result in odors building up over time, especially if you’re heating up particularly odorous food such as cheese.

Not to worry, though, as we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 different ways you can remove and minimize the odors from even the best microwave ovens so you can keep your food fresh all the time.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is used for personal hygiene, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to clean microwaves, either. Apply a bit of rubbing alcohol onto a cloth or some cotton and gently rub it around the interior of the microwave. Be careful not to apply too much alcohol as the odor of the substance can linger for quite a while.

Vanilla Extract

If you don’t bake, you’d be surprised at how fragrant and potent vanilla extract is. Put a few teaspoons of vanilla extract and a few cups of water in a bowl and heat it in your microwave for a few minutes. After that, leave the bowl to cool inside for half an hour, and your microwave should smell like fresh vanilla once you’re done.


Cloves are a spice that can naturally remove odors. Just place a bowl of cloves inside the microwave overnight and your microwave will be smelling fresh in the morning.

Vinegar solution

Vinegar is a popular cleaning agent, as it’s cheap and effective. Using a solution of vinegar and water, with equal parts of both, can be an effective way to get rid of any existing odors. You can take this a step further by leaving a bowl of vinegar inside the microwave overnight to really get rid of the scents. Don’t be alarmed if your microwave smells like vinegar for the next few days, though.

Vinegar and baking soda

What’s more powerful than vinegar and water? Vinegar and baking soda! This combination can really be effective at getting rid of odor without leaving any remaining scents. Heat a sponge dipped in vinegar and sprinkled with baking soda for half a minute. Then, scrub the interior of the microwave with the same sponge. Clean up with a damp cloth and you’ve got yourself a fresh microwave.


Lemons are a potent source of acid and can be a more fragrant alternative to vinegar. You don’t even need to scrub the substance along the interior of the bowl - simply place a bowl of cut lemon slices inside the microwave overnight, and let the magic happen.


If you don’t have lemons available, oranges are another citrusy alternative. They’re a little less powerful than lemons, but they’re great for getting rid of odors nonetheless. Simply place a bowl of orange slices inside overnight.


When in doubt, you can also use berries. Berries are naturally fragrant, and using enough of them (a bowl will do) can get rid of any existing odors if placed inside a microwave overnight. It also helps that berries don’t have that strong of a scent compared to other items on this list.


Charcoal is a popular method of removing odor from fridges and shoes, and they’re just as effective with microwaves, too. Simply place some charcoal in a bowl overnight inside a microwave and it should work.


Coffee is another great way to introduce some earthier smells in your microwave. Heat a cup of ground coffee in a microwave at low heat, stopping before it turns into a boil. Do this for 10 minutes.

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