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How to Clean a Microwave With a Lemon

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Cleaning Microwave

Most people think that once you cook something in a microwave it’s sanitized.

Be warned! That’s not true! Microwaves are teeming with germs.

One study proved that a microwave door handle is one of the most germ-infested places in an office break room. Another showed that microwaves only reduce general bacteria by 66% in items they cook.

It sounds like it’s time to give that filthy thing a good cleaning, but who wants to use harsh chemicals on something they cook with?

Not to worry! We’re going to show you how to clean a microwave with a lemon.

Read on for a step-by-step guide.

Why Lemons Make Effective Cleaners

With the onset of the green movement, many people find themselves asking, “is citric acid natural and does it really make an effective cleaner?”

The simple answer to both questions is, yes.

The sour taste you get when you bite into a lemon comes from citric acid hitting your taste buds.

Lemons and limes contain the most citric acid. In an average lemon or lime, you’ll find 0.30 moles per liter (mol/L) of citric acid. Compare that to an orange which only has 0.005 mol/L.

The natural citric acid in lemons is why many people enjoy using them to clean their homes.

Citric Acid Removes Stains

To be more specific, citric acid removes acid-based stains. This is because in chemistry, like elements dissolve like elements.

Acidic stains you can remove with a lemon include:

  • Sweat
  • Paint
  • Coffee
  • Wine
  • Lipstick

Citric acid also softens and removes alkaline stains like limescale and rust.

Lemons are anti-bacterial because of Citric Acid

Lemons don’t kill any type of bacteria, nor does it have an effect on all types of bacteria. That said, they do prevent the growth of some types of disease-causing bacteria like E. Coli and Salmonella.

This is because the acid found in lemons creates an environment that makes it hard for bacteria to grow.

Citric Acid Helps Lemons Neutralize Odors

Many smells are alkaline-based. This includes the smell of decaying vegetables and the stench from cooking seafood. When you introduce an acid to the air, they neutralize the alkaline molecules causing the smell.

The next time you walk into your kitchen and get assaulted by the reek of garlic, try boiling some lemon peels. It’ll amaze you how fast the smell dissipates.

How to Clean a Microwave with a Lemon

You can clean a microwave with an everyday lemon in five easy steps.

To do so, you’ll need:

  • A medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl
  • one lemon or two tbsp of bottled lemon juice.
  • 1 cup of water

You can also substitute another citrus fruit like an orange or lime for the lemon.

Depending on how dirty your microwave is, you may also need one or two tbsps of white vinegar and some baking soda.

1. Combine the ingredients.

If you’re using fresh citrus fruit, cut it in half and squeeze as much juice from it as you can. You should get about two tbsp of fresh juice from one lemon.

Pour the juice into the microwave-safe bowl and then pour the water on top of that.

Stir the mixture with a spoon.

Should your microwave have some caked on spots, add 1 tbsp of vinegar. If it’s been more than a month since the microwave was last cleaned, add 2 tbsps of vinegar. In either case, stir the mixture extra well to help dilute the strong smell.

If you’re using bottled lemon juice, skip the next step. We’ll catch back up with you at step number 3.

2. Chop up the fruit and add it to the bowl.

After squeezing as much juice as you can from the lemon or other citrus fruit, cut it into smaller chunks with a knife.

Place them all in the bowl and stir the water mixture once more.

Any juice left in the fruit will evaporate when you heat it up in the microwave and help loosen stuck-on grime.

3. Microwave the lemon-infused water.

Leave the bowl uncovered and microwave it for three minutes on High. This will cause the water to boil and evaporate.

Don’t open the door when the buzzer sounds. Let it sit for about five minutes. If you open the door too soon, all the steam will escape before it can do its job.

Check the water levels in the bowl and microwave it for an extra minute or two if there is still some left. Move on to step four once almost all the water has evaporated from the bowl.

4. Remove the bowl.

After the five minute rest, the bowl should be cool enough to remove from the microwave. It’s still important to use caution though as some bowls to hold heat longer than others.

5. Clean the microwave.

Remove the turntable and give it a quick wipe down with a clean towel or sponge. If it needs extra attention, put the turntable in the sink with some hot, soapy water to soak. Otherwise, set it out of the way until you’re done cleaning the microwave and are ready to return it to its home.

Use the same towel or sponge to clean the inside of the microwave. Clean the ceiling and the walls before you clean the bottom and don’t forget about the door. Make sure you clean it inside and out.

You should find that most everything comes off without much effort at all. If you do run into a stubborn stain, sprinkle some baking soda on top of the problem area and let it stand for one to two minutes.

When you return, dip your towel or sponge into the leftover citrus water and scrub the baking soda into the stain. The powder will act as a mild abrasive and help lift the stain.

Go Clean Your Microwave: It’s Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

Now that you know how to clean a microwave with a lemon, it’s time to go buy one and get to cleaning! Once you’re done, don’t forget to use the comments below to let us know how it went. We’d also love to know what else you use lemons to clean!

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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