Do you put off cleaning your microwave because you dread the age spent trying to scrub off all the dried-up and baked on food splashes inside it?

If so, these hacks are for you! It’s about working smarter, not harder, and these three methods are the most effective for giving you a clean and shiny microwave with next-to-no effort.

Getting it Clean with the Power of Steam

All the easy methods to clean your microwave involve using steam to loosen and soften the dried-on food splashes before wiping them up. You need to keep a close eye on this process, as continuing to heat a bowl or cloth once the water has evaporated can be dangerous.

3 most effective methods to clean a microwave

1. Cup or Bowl of Water

• Fill a small microwave-safe bowl or cup halfway up with water. If you have lemon juice, add some to the water. If you have fresh lemons, cut them up and put the halves into the bowl with the water. Using lemons is a great way to make your microwave smell fresh and banish any lingering food smells in it. • Put the bowl in the microwave and heat for 3-5 minutes, or until it boils. Keep checking the microwave during this time to make sure the water hasn’t evaporated. • Leave the bowl to stand in the closed microwave for another 5 minutes. • Carefully remove the bowl, and use a warm, damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the insides of the microwave, not forgetting the door. Food particles and stains should now come off easily.

2. A Paper Towel

• Soak a folded paper towel in water. • Place it on the turntable • Microwave on high power for 60 seconds, or until steam appears. Make sure the towel doesn’t dry out during this time. • Leave for 5-10 minutes to cool down. • Use the paper towel to wipe down the inside of the microwave to remove the stains and food.

3. A Cotton Dishcloth

• Soak the cloth in water and place it on the turntable. • Microwave on high power for 3-4 minutes, making sure the cloth doesn’t dry out during this time. • Wait for around 5-10 minutes for the dishcloth to cool down, and be careful it’s not still too hot to hold when you take it out. • Use the dishcloth to wipe down the inside of the microwave.

Keeping Your Microwave Clean

Once you have a shiny microwave, you’ll want to keep it that way. The best way to keep the deep cleaning to a minimum is to prevent stains from forming in the first place.

• Clean up any spills as soon as they happen.

• Prevent food splatter by covering the food with microwaveable plastic film or other items like a lid or a paper towel when cooking or reheating.

• Avoid food explosions by making sure covered containers have a gap where steam can escape, and make sure containers are made of microwaveable materials.

• Never put wood, metal or certain types of plastic into a microwave

• Always follow your manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to avoid damaging your appliance.