My immediate response to this question is to tell people that when it comes to a microwave oven, you always want to be proactive instead of reactive. Therefore, using a microwave food cover is 100% essential to keeping your microwave clean. Microwaves are often placed high up or sometimes low on the counter and both locations make it very difficult to reach the inside top, which takes the brunt of cracking, popping, splashing food.
Using a food cover will eliminate over 90% of the time you would normally spend cleaning it without using a cover. In addition, if the food is not sticking to the microwave all week long and being cooked in over and over again every time you use it to microwave something else, it will not bake in the smell.
Microwave food covers are very inexpensive and easy to purchase. You can find many different styles on Amazon starting at $5.
Whether it is burnt plastic, burnt popcorn or a lingering fishy smell, there is a universal natural, easy solution to removing these orders. Vinegar and water. Mixing 1 tablespoon of vinegar (or you can also use lemon juice) with one cup of water in a microwave-safe container (a glass measuring cup is perfect) and heat it on high for 2-5 minutes. Make sure you remove any loose food before you heat the mixture.
Be careful when you open the microwave, as this process will create a lot of steam, which is what will make cleaning up the oven a cinch. Wipe the inside of the oven with a paper towel or soft sponge with a little bit of dish soap – Dawn is the best!
Make sure you let the turntable cool off before you take it out to clean. It may crack if you put a hot glass turntable in water.
If there seems to still be an odor, the next step is to deodorize the microwave overnight. Again, a super easy natural solution, baking soda. Yup! Everyone’s favorite old standby, a simple box of baking soda. Just open it up, place it in the microwave overnight (12 hours should be good) and simply remove it. Place a sticky note on the oven door to tell the family not to use the oven while the baking soda box is in there. Do not reuse the baking soda for baking, but you can save it for other cleaning jobs.
If you just happen to have one cup of activated charcoal or dried coffee grounds hanging around you can try that instead of the baking soda.
The last resort may be to replace your microwave’s charcoal filter and/or your grease filter. Check with your manufacture on how to remove and replace these filters. Grease filters can be cleaned and replaced.
Again, using a microwave oven food cover will save a lot of cleaning time and even better, every time you use the oven it will be clean.