How To Get Burnt Smell Out Of A Microwave – The Kitchen Furniture


How To Get Burnt Smell Out Of A Microwave

Microwaves are incredibly convenient, and for busy individuals, they can help save a lot of time and money on cooking large, complex meals.

Unfortunately, however, microwaves can take on nasty smells over time, particularly if they are used very often or if you burn something in the microwave.

There are few things worse than the smell of burnt food, but it’s worse in a microwave oven because it’s a very small space and the smell can make other meals unappealing and affect your appetite, or even the flavor of later meals.

How To Get Burnt Smell Out Of A Microwave

Allowing bad smells to build up in your microwave can make your kitchen smell bad and affect your quality of life overall, which is bad as the kitchen should be a place that feels clean and helps promote good healthy habits.

In this guide, we’re going to look at how to remove the burnt smell out of your microwave, looking at 3 key things you can do to help remove even the most stubborn odor. 


One of the most effective methods of removing smells from a microwave is to use vinegar. This may seem strange, as vinegar itself has a strong and pungent odor, however, this method works to clean and remove all kinds of smells.

1. First, combine half a cup of water with a tablespoon of white vinegar and mix this in a large microwavable bowl. Put this mixture into the microwave and turn on the microwave for 5 minutes on its highest setting.

Then allow the mixture to remain in the microwave and sit for 15 minutes. This will allow the steam of the mixture to fully spread and absorb into any grease and burnt food inside the microwave and help remove or lessen most odors.

2. Now empty the microwave. Take out the bowl of water and vinegar, and use some cleaning gloves to protect your hands as the steam and bowl may still be very hot. Remove the glass plate which rotates in the microwave and the turntable beneath it if you can remove it.

3.  Now thoroughly wipe down the inside of the microwave. Use a damp cloth or paper towel and scrub the inside well including the inside of the door.

4. If there is tough grime, use a scrub brush or brillo pad combined with a small amount of washing liquid or two parts water and one part vinegar. Scrub vigorously and remove any remaining crusts of burnt food.

5. Wipe down any remaining residue and place the plate and turntable back inside the microwave as they were. Allow the microwave door to remain open so that the vinegar smell inside airs out and dissipates.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

When facing more persistent odors or burnt smells that won’t go away, you may need to use a tougher mixture.

1. While vinegar should be enough, sometimes smells will remain. If this is the case, soak a sponge in white vinegar and then sprinkle some baking soda upon it.

Place it inside the microwave and microwave it on the highest setting for around 30 seconds. Put on some gloves as the sponge will be hot, and then use it to scrub the inside of the microwave again.

2. If you still have issues with smells, wipe down the interior of the microwave with some acetone-free nail polish remover. Yes, nail polish remover.

While it is a harsh chemical and smells unpleasant a lot of the time, it’s very strong and can purge most things very quickly and capably. Use a small amount of polish on a cotton pad or cotton ball and wipe down any stubborn spots inside the microwave. 

3.  Now you’ll need to remove the nail polish remover. Allowing these chemicals to remain in your microwave is a bad idea, and you’ll need to wash it away with dish soap and then wipe everything down again with a water and vinegar mixture as before. Then allow the microwave to air out again.

Additional Tips

If you’re still unhappy with how your microwave smells, there are other things you can do to try to remove smells.

1. Use Citrus! 

Citrus is one of nature’s most pleasant smells and it’s used in a lot of air fresheners. You can harness this by using some oranges or lemons and cutting them into two or three chunks.

Place them in a microwave-safe bowl and put in 2 cups of water. Then microwave this bowl for 4 minutes or so (or less if the fruit is exposed, as it may burn and make another bad smell). Allow this mixture to sit for anywhere between an hour to 10 hours, with the door closed. 

This is a particularly good thing to do if you’ve resorted to harsh chemicals like nail polish remover to remove the chemical smells this may leave behind.

2. Use Coffee Grounds!

Open a box of fresh or used coffee grounds and place them into a cup or bowl that’s microwave safe, and leave them inside for 10 to 12 hours. This can deodorize the microwave and remove any stubborn bad smells which remain.

3. Clean Your Microwave Regularly!

Many people neglect their microwave and only clean it when it starts to smell.

If you clean it ahead of time and after each use, or a few uses, you can prevent bad smells altogether and make it less likely that you’ll need to undertake these more intensive cleaning methods.

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