The 6 steps to remove a burnt smell from your microwave are: Airing the Microwave out, Removing Debris, using white vinegar, Making a baking soda paste, using lemon juice, and when all else fails to mask the smell.
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It’s easily done, and we’ve all made the same mistake. Perhaps we get distracted or overestimate how much time our food needs to cook. Either way, the result is the same – a burnt mess in the microwave, and a kitchen that reeks of burnt food. It’s important to clean out your microwave as soon as possible, otherwise, the burnt smell can linger for days.
1.Air Out the Kitchen and Microwave
The first step is to get some fresh air into the kitchen. Open all doors and windows, and lets fresh air circulate for a few hours. Be sure to open the microwave door, too. Getting rid of a burnt smell can take some time, but if the smell isn’t too strong, a simple airing can do a lot to remove the smell.
2. Remove any and all Debris
This would likely be the first thing you’d do. Remove any debris from the microwave, and give the insides a good clean with your usual cleaning method. This can often be all you need unless you’re dealing with badly burnt food, or something pungent such as burnt plastic, popcorn, or fish.
Be sure to check everywhere in the microwave, including the walls and under the plate.
3. The White Vinegar Method
If you still can’t get the burnt smell out of your kitchen even after an airing and a thorough clean of the microwave, it’s time to try alternative methods. Where better to start than our old cleaning favorite, vinegar?
A good way of cleaning a microwave is the steaming method. This involves putting a cleaning solution inside and running the microwave for a minute or two. This can clean and deodorize the inside of the microwave with minimal effort on your part. However, do be careful to add enough water, otherwise you could do more harm than good.
Fill a microwave-safe measuring cup half full of water, and add three tablespoons of white vinegar. Place inside the microwave and run for approximately a minute and a half. Keep a close eye on the microwaving during this time. Steam should be forming inside the microwave.
Leave the mixture inside the microwave for another three minutes, to allow the steam to settle. Once you’ve (carefully!) removed the measuring cup, use a clean cloth to wipe down the inside of the microwave. You can read more about using Vinegar as a cleaner here,
4. Use Lemon Juice
While vinegar is an excellent cleaning product, many people don’t like the smell of vinegar. In fact, a kitchen smelling strongly of vinegar might seem just as unpleasant as the burnt smell! If that’s the case, you can use the same steaming method with lemon. This can also help deodorize your microwave and leave a pleasant, citrusy smell in your kitchen.
Half-fill a measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl with water. Cut the lemons, and squeeze the juice into the water. Stir well, then add the lemons too. Once again, you’ll want to run the microwave for approximately a minute and a half, and steam should be forming inside the microwave.
Leave the door closed for at least five minutes. Then, once you’ve removed the water and lemons from the microwave, wipe down the insides with a damp, clean cloth.
5. Baking Soda Paste
You can also use the steaming method with baking soda. Mix approximately five teaspoons of baking soda with at least half a cup of water. Stir well, and run inside the microwave for about five minutes. You will need to leave the paste inside the microwave for longer, about one hour.
Then, you can use dish soap and warm water to clean the inside of your microwave.
6. Masking the Smell
If, despite your best efforts, a burnt smell still remains, your only option may be to wait. As long as you’ve thoroughly aired and cleaned out your microwave, the smell should fade soon. In the meantime, keep the windows open, and leave the microwave door open too.
While you wait for the smell to fade, you can mask the odors with various methods.
A quick spritz of a commercial air freshener can help get rid of odors. A plug-in air freshener, scented candle, or reed diffuser can offer a milder, less chemical-based scent.
- Microwaved berries
Place mixed berries in a bowl and cover with cling film wrap. Microwave the berries for a minute or two, keeping a close eye on them. This can give your kitchen a sweet, fresh odor to replace the unpleasant one.
Add about four teaspoons of vanilla extract to half a cup of water. Microwave the mixture until the water boils, and then let it sit for about half an hour. You can give your microwave a quick clean afterward, but it should replace lingering bad odors with the pleasant scent of vanilla.