It’s a pain to clean the inside of a microwave. Whatever you have to do to get the zapped on gunk out of there, don’t use a conventional cleaner! When you clean with them, they leave behind residues that can get in the air you breathe but also the food you’re heating. Most chemicals in these products should not be heated to the temperatures generated by a microwave.
It’s difficult to know exactly what a cleaner contains as cleaning product formulas are currently considered government-protected trade secrets. Manufacturers aren’t required to disclose their contents to consumers. So they don’t. Sometimes there are warning labels like “danger” “poison” “toxic” or “hazardous.” These are best not sprayed in a microwave. Generally speaking conventional cleaners contain hazardous, often petroleum-derived, chemicals including ammonia, glycol ethers, synthetic fragrances, and even the synthetic antibacterial agent triclosan—which have been linked to cancer, asthma, hormone disruption, liver and kidney damage, and more.
Using a natural cleaner reduces your exposure to these chemicals and keeps their residues out of our waterways. But when it comes to cleaning a microwave, it’s just as easy—and very safe—to rely on a few household staples.
Either place a half of a lemon or distilled white vinegar with water in a microwave-friendly bowl (preferably glass). Heat for five minutes. The steam generated by either mixture will loosen food residue. Wipe it away with a damp cloth. The lemon will leave behind an especially pleasant fresh natural scent.