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How to Clean Burn Stains in a Microwave Oven

Updated February 21, 2017

It's easy to accidentally push the wrong button on the microwave, but the result is usually more than undesirable. On top of having burnt food that no one wants to consume, there is also the mess that it leaves behind in the microwave. Once the exploded, burnt, liquefied and otherwise ruined snack or meal is extracted and cleaned out, there is usually a stain to contend with. When this happens, there's a simple way to clean it up. The food however, is unsalvageable.

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  1. Wipe down the microwave with warm soapy water and a clean cloth or sponge. Use a grease-cutting dish soap such as Dawn. This will help to remove the first layer which is usually just grease. Wipe the area with a clean damp cloth.

  2. Apply nail polish remover with acetone to cotton balls and use them to wipe the stain with. Remove as much of the stain as possible. Most or all of the stain should come off with the nail polish remover. Use new cotton balls as the old one gets too dirty and discard them.

  3. Make a solution of equal parts vinegar and water and wipe down the microwave with a clean cloth dipped in the solution.

  4. Wipe the microwave with a damp clean cloth to rinse.

  5. Tip

    Place two scoops of fresh coffee grounds into a ceramic cup and fill halfway full with water. Set the cup in a bowl to catch any water that boils out and put it in the microwave for two minutes. This will help to eliminate any residual odours.


    Acetone is the key ingredient in nail polish remover that helps to remove the stain. Ventilate the area well when using acetone as the fumes can be harmful.

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Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Soft clean cloth
  • Nail polish remover
  • Vinegar

About the Author

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