How to remove a burnt smell from a microwave oven

Updated February 21, 2017

The microwave is one of the most convenient items in the kitchen. Reheating food is so much quicker with the microwave, but every now and then something will leave a potent smell. Anything that accidentally burnt can cause an unpleasant, lingering odour. There are several methods for removing this unfortunate smell and they will barely cause a break in stride in a busy kitchen.

Place a cut up lemon in a microwave safe bowl with enough water to cover the lemon. Microwave for five minutes or until the water boils. Leave the bowl in the microwave until it is cool.

Pour vanilla extract in a microwave safe bowl. Heat vanilla in a bowl, turn off the microwave and let the vanilla sit for 12 hours.

Dab a paper towel in vinegar and wipe down the entire inside of the microwave with it. Add more vinegar as necessary.

Pour vinegar into a microwave safe bowl and heat it in the microwave for at least 5 minutes. Vinegar absorbs odours.

Place used coffee grounds in the microwave and close the door for several hours or overnight. Repeat this process until the odour is gone.


If the smell is coming from the mechanical workings of the microwave unplug it immediately and do not use it.

Things You'll Need

  • Lemon
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Vanilla extract
  • Vinegar
  • Paper towel
  • Coffee grounds
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