When you think of dirty places, the microwave is typically not high on the list. This is especially true given the popular belief that because they operate at such a high temperature, they are impervious to germs and bacteria.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Microwave radiation can only neutralize active spores, not kill them. As a result, mold and mildew can still grow in your microwave and cause serious health problems.
However, this does not have to send shivers down your spine. If you have mold in your microwave, it is relatively easy to remove.
Here’s how to clean mold out of microwave
Unplug your microwave, and then mix detergent and water in a bowl. Using a sponge, gently wipe down all surfaces inside your microwave. Rinse with warm water and then dry with a clean towel. If you have stubborn molds that won’t come off, use white vinegar instead and repeat the process.
In today’s post, we’ll explore each of these steps in detail and share some life hacks to get rid of mold faster. We’ll also address some of your pertinent questions about removing mold from your microwave.
Let’s dive right in.
What Causes Mold Growth in a Microwave?
There are two potential causes for mold growth in a microwave: moisture accumulation and leftover food.
Before tossing your microwave out, it’s critical to understand these two causes so you can take appropriate action.
- Mold can thrive in moist conditions. When food or liquids are heated in a microwave, they release steam. If there’s nowhere for that steam to escape, it can condense on nearby surfaces and create a moist environment perfect for mold growth. This is especially true if you don’t clean your microwave regularly.
- Leftover food. Food Splatters and spills are common in microwaves. If you don’t clean your microwave after each use, these scraps will eventually decompose. The nutrients from the decomposing food will then feed mold growth and encourage it to spread.
Now, if all of this goes unchecked, what might have started as a small bit of mold can quickly turn into a full-blown infestation. As you can imagine, that’s not good for your health or your microwave. If you don’t get rid of it quickly, health problems such as nausea and respiratory issues could arise.
Can You Clean Mold out of Microwave
You can easily clean mold out of the microwave using vinegar, baking soda, or simply soap and warm water. However, avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach as they can damage your microwave and even emit harmful fumes into your home.
It is a fact that a microwave is one of the greatest inventions and comes in handy for reheating leftovers. But there’s one downside: Mold and mildew can grow in them if you don’t clean them regularly. And contrary to popular belief, they do not self-clean.
The good news is that cleaning molt out of your microwave is possible and doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. In fact, it can take as little as five minutes if you know what you’re doing.
The three methods we’ve mentioned are very effective in removing mold and mildew from your microwave.
Vinegar, for example, is a natural disinfectant and can kill most bacteria. On the other hand, baking soda absorbs moisture and odors, while soap and warm water will get rid of any food particles. And if you have time on your hands, you could even use all three methods concurrently.
Tips for Cleaning Mold out of Microwave
To safely clean and disinfect your microwave, you must first understand a few basics. So, here are some tips for cleaning mold from a microwave.
- You must unplug your microwave and allow it to cool completely. This is a critical step because microwaves can retain high heat levels even after turning them off. The last thing you want is to burn yourself or cause a short circuit while cleaning.
- Remove everything inside your microwave, including trays, racks, and other accessories. This will provide easy access and a clear view of every inch of your appliance. If you are unsure how to remove these items, consult your owner’s manual or look for instructional videos online.
- It’s also good to wear rubber gloves and eye protection while cleaning, as some mold can be harmful if inhaled or touched directly. If you have any cuts or open sores on your hands, cover them with bandages before getting started.
- Make sure to dry your microwave completely after cleaning, as moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow again in a short time. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to soak up any excess water. Otherwise, simply leave your microwave open for several hours and allow it to air dry naturally.
- Avoid using an air compressor or hairdryer, as these will force heated air and microwave debris into every nook and cranny. You don’t want to risk overheating your appliance or blowing mold spores around your kitchen.
How to Clean Mold out of Microwave
Cleaning your microwave may appear time-consuming and unpleasant, but it is necessary. Here are two quick methods for cleaning mold out of the microwave:
- Turn off your microwave and unplug it. If you have a corded microwave, make sure to unplug it from its power source before beginning.
- Detach your carousel if your microwave has one.
- Fill a bowl with a mild detergent and water. Mix well until you have a sudsy solution. Then dip a sponge or soft cloth and ensure it’s fully soaked. Wipe down your microwave interior thoroughly, paying special attention to corners and crevices.
- Rinse your microwave interior with a clean, damp cloth. This will remove all traces of soap and detergent from your microwave. Ensure that all surfaces are spotlessly clean before moving on to step 5.
- Allow your microwave to air dry. Leave your microwave door open for a few minutes, or simply use a dry cloth to wipe down any remaining moisture.
- Clean your detached microwave’s carousel by simply wiping it down with a soaked towel or cloth and allowing it to air dry as well. Once dry, reattach it to your microwave and plug it back in. Your microwave is now clean.
- Follow steps 1-2 from method one. Then mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a bowl or measuring cup. Make sure that you have enough solution to cover your microwave’s interior. You can also use lemon juice instead of vinegar if preferred.
- Dip a sponge or soft cloth into your vinegar/lemon juice solution and wipe down your microwave’s interior. Make sure that you wipe every surface until clean.
- Leave the vinegar /lemon juice solution in your microwave for 20-30 minutes. This will kill any remaining mold spores and prevent future mold growth.
- Repeat steps 4-6 from method one. Your microwave is now clean.
Tip: Method 1 (cleaning with a detergent solution) is suitable for milder stains. If your microwave has more severe mold problems, it’s best to use method 2. Vinegar is a heavy-duty cleaner and will kill any remaining mold spores in your microwave.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the symptoms of mold exposure?
Numerous symptoms can point toward mold exposure, such as eye irritation, difficulty breathing, headaches, and coughing. Others include skin rashes, nasal congestion, and sneezing.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
2. How do I disinfect my microwave?
You can disinfect your microwave using natural products such as lemon juice, vinegar, or baking soda. In their absence, you can simply use warm water and soap.
Avoid using bleach or other chemical cleaners, which can damage the interior of your microwave and contaminate food in the future.
3. Does bleach kill mold?
Yes, bleach is an effective disinfectant that kills mold and other microorganisms. However, it’s not recommended because it can damage your microwave.
Moreover, it emits toxic fumes that can be harmful if inhaled. Only use bleach under the supervision of a professional or in extreme circumstances.
4. Does freezing kill mold?
The answer is no; freezing does not kill mold. Freezing temperatures do not kill mold spores; they simply cause them to become dormant until conditions are more favorable for growth.
Mold can survive for months or even years in a frozen environment, so it’s critical to remove all traces before using your microwave again.
5. How do you get black smoke out of a microwave?
You can get rid of black smoke in a microwave by using lemon juice or baking soda. If you don’t have either one, use acetone nail polish remover instead. Simply pour it into a bowl and place it inside your microwave for about five minutes.
The steam will loosen up any grime stuck on your microwave walls and make it easier to wipe away.
6. What do you do if you inhale black mold?
First, drink some water or milk to help flush any toxins from your system. Then, take some vitamin C to boost your immune system and fight off any infections caused by inhaling mold spores. If you have respiratory problems, such as a cough or sore throat, see a doctor immediately.
It is critical to avoid harsh cleaners such as bleach or ammonia when cleaning your microwave. These chemicals will weaken and deteriorate the plastic parts in your microwave, necessitating their replacement sooner than expected.
White vinegar is the most effective way to eliminate mold from your microwave. It is best suited for heavy cleaning tasks such as mold and mildew removal. Otherwise, mild detergent or soap and water can also do in a pinch.
Overall, make sure that every time you cook something in your microwave, you give it a quick wipe down. This will ensure no lingering food or splatters that could lead to mold growth.
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