How to Remove Smoke Smell From a Microwave Oven
Microwaves are a convenient way to heat food. Just as with a stove, food can overcook in a microwave. When that happens, you end up burning the item and leaving a nasty odor inside your microwave. Microwave odors can linger long after the food has been burnt. These odors can latch onto other foods cooking in the microwave and even fill your home with an unpleasant aroma. Fortunately, removing the odors from your microwave is a relatively simple process that can be accomplished with a few household items. Does this Spark an idea?
Fill a microwave-safe bowl with 1 cup of water. Add 2 tbsp. of baking soda.
Place the bowl inside the microwave.
Cook the mixture on high for 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the microwave.
Wipe the inside of the microwave with a damp cloth.
Fill a microwave-safe bowl with water. Add a few drops of lemon juice or a lemon chopped in half to the water. Place 3 to 5 whole cloves into the bowl.
Place the bowl inside the microwave. Cook for 2 minutes. The water will need to be boiling.
Allow the bowl to sit inside the microwave for 15 minutes. This will allow the steam from the water to remove the smoke odor and help clean the inside of the microwave.
Open the door and remove the bowl. Saturate a sponge or cloth in the water and wipe the inside of the microwave.
Keep the microwave door open for several hours.
Fill a microwave-safe bowl with white vinegar.
Cook the vinegar inside your microwave for 3 minutes so that begins to boil. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and will remove the smoke smell from your microwave.
Leave the bowl to sit inside the microwave for 20 minutes.
Wipe the inside of the microwave with a damp sponge.
Coffee Grounds to Remove Odors in the Microwave
I cooked some corn dogs that were old and frost bitten. Boy, did I burn 'em. Anyway, I had a hard time getting the smell out of the microwave. Tried everyone's tricks and tips. They reduced the odor, but it was still present, especially when I'd microwave something else.
So I left a small plate with coffee grounds in the microwave overnight, and was very happy to discover that the smell was totally gone. This morning, I stirred the grounds up and put it back in the microwave (not taking any chances).
Removing Burned Popcorn Smell from a Microwave
Burnt popcorn – the bane of microwaves everywhere, not only leaves a horrendous smell, it also stains the inside of your microwave. Whether in the break room at work, or your own kitchen, there is hope for removing the odor and restoring the inside.
What You Will Need:
- 100% Pure acetone (nail polish remover)
- Coffee mug or small bowl
- Dish detergent
- Bowl or small bucket
- Soft cloths or paper towels
- Rubber Gloves (optional)
Removing the Stains
- Begin by mixing a few drops of dish detergent with hot water in a bowl or bucket.
- Dip the cloth in the water and wring it out thoroughly.
- Wipe the inside and outside of the microwave down. This will remove any surface dirt and grime.
- Using a clean cloth or paper towels, apply acetone to the walls and scrub away the yellowish stains left behind from the burning popcorn.
- Wipe away any residue from the walls with the soapy water and rinse.
- You may need to repeat a couple of times depending on the severity of the discoloration.
- This method should remove most, if not all, of the discoloration of the inside walls.
Removing the Odor
- If the lingering odor is still a problem, there are two methods you can try: coffee and vinegar. We’ll start with the coffee method.
- Coffee is known to absorb odors, so fill the coffee mug or small bowl with about 2 tablespoons of ground coffee and ½ cup of water.
- Set the cup in a small bowl (to catch any overflow as it boils) and place it in the microwave.
- Microwave the coffee on high for about 2 minutes. Be careful when you go to remove it as it will be HOT.
- Repeat as necessary.
- Another odor remover is vinegar. Fill the small bowl about half full of vinegar and place it in the microwave.
- Turn the microwave on and let it heat until it steams.
- Once it has developed a good amount of steam, turn off the microwave and let it set for about 10 minutes.
- Wipe out the microwave with water and a soft cloth.
- There may be a vinegar smell in the microwave, but this will dissipate within a day or two.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- Sometimes the odor gets into the vents of the microwave. If neither of the above remedies work, it may just take some time to air it out.
- Let your microwave air out as long as possible. If you can take it outside that will help.
- If the odor lingers in your kitchen, try some of the remedies in our article about Removing Smoke Smells.
|We have had good luck with USED coffee grounds. |
Just dump your used coffee grounds from your morning coffee pot into a bowl or dump them on a plate.
Leave them in a closed microwave for several hours ... overnight is easy to do. Your odor seems particularly persistent; you may need to do this for several days in a row; each day replenishing with another batch of coffee grounds.
Used coffee grounds in a bowl can be used to keep fridge odors at a minimum, too. We dump the old ones every couple of days and put in a new batch. Seems to work for us as well as a box of baking soda.
May 26, 2010: We had a dramatic event at our household over the weekend. A couple of friends along with their families had dropped by to watch a movie. One of their kids wanted some popcorn. So this little one headed to our kitchen, put the popcorn on, pressed 22 instead of 2 minutes, and rushed out of the kitchen.
Soon the smoke alarm went off, and we rushed to the kitchen. There was smoke coming out of the microwave. We immediately unplugged the microwave, turned on our kitchen's exhaust fan, disposed the burnt pop corn and waited patiently for the smoke to clear.
So far so good, but there were a couple of sticky issues. First, the whole apartment had a burnt smell. Second, the walls of our microwave had turned yellow and there was an awful burnt smell inside it. We could not think of using the microwave since the burnt smell seemed to be sitting in its vents. In this state, if we warmed any food in the microwave it'd be permeated with the pungent burnt smell. The obvious question was: "How to remove burnt smell from a microwave?"
We used scented candles, incense sticks and bouts of fresh air to drive away the burnt smell of popcorn from our apartment. It has worked, since the smell has waned away considerably.
Coming back to our microwave, we spent some time researching about various ways to remove odors from it. The basic method seems to revolve around mixing various solutes in a solvent like water, heating the mixture in the microwave and allowing it to sit there for some time. After that the microwave needs to be cleaned thoroughly.
Before we started, we took a few paper towels, soaked them in a mixture of water and fresh lime (squeezed) and cleaned the microwave diligently. Then we wiped it dry. Next we took a microwave safe bowl and filled it water. After that we tried out several things based on feedback and/or suggestion from friends, neighbors and the internet.
- Boil Water: One of our neighbors is a service technician for various appliances. He suggested that we should boil water in a big bowl for about 10 minutes, without allowing the water to boil dry. This would help the microwave's fan to circulate the burnt smell and eventually drive it out of the vents. This worked to a certain extent but the strong burnt smell was still there.
- Water & Lime/Lemon: We put some pieces of freshly cut lime or lemon in a bowl of water, cooked till the water boiled and allowed it to sit in the microwave until the water cooled down. This trick filled our microwave with a subtle smell of lime/lemon but the burnt smell was still overpowering. Perhaps it'd have worked completely if we repeated this step several times. But we chose to try some stronger fragrances.
- Water & Borax: Next, we boiled water with a tablespoon of borax and some dish soap. The net result was better than that of water & fresh lime :).
- Water, Cinnamon, Cloves & Vanilla Extract: We took one teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, cloves and vanilla extract, and mixed them together in a bowl of water. Then we boiled this mix and allowed it to sit in the microwave for about half an hour. We repeated this step about half a dozen times. After each cycle we left the microwave door open for some time to let the air out. It worked!
Our microwave still has a faint burnt smell but we believe that it will go away with time and/or perhaps some more warming cycles of our favorite mix of cinnamon, clove & vanilla with water.
Our story is not yet over. The walls of the microwave were still yellow and no amount of soap or dish washing detergent were restoring its original white color. Another tip from a friend who has gone through this dilemma helped. She suggested that we wet some cotton balls or small pieces of cloth/rag with a nail polish remover and use them to clean the walls. We did as she said. This removed the yellow tinge to a certain extent :).
We are thankful that our microwave has been restored to a usable state. If you know of better ways to drive out odors from a microwave kindly leave a comment with your suggestion(s) for the benefit of all. We are looking forward towards your feedback and experiences.
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