Using too high a power setting or starting to heat your food and walking away, sometimes results in a burn marks in your microwave. This is a guide about cleaning a burnt microwave.
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
Thanks for all the great suggestions. Vinegar and lemons didn't really help. Neither did the coffee. A Hot Pocket burnt to charcoal as was the plate.
On hearing the suggestions to cook food, I popped four bags of popcorn and right now anyway, that's the predominant smell. I am also perking coffee on the stove below. The house now smells like popcorn and coffee, far better than burnt charcoal. I'm going to continue to pop popcorn and get some bacon to cook. Also I used an erase away pad on the yellowed interior. It is almost perfect. I will get Simple Green. Thanks again.
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Here are questions related to Cleaning a Burnt Microwave.
How do I clean a burnt microwave? There is a brown and yellowish stain on the surface. Thank you.
By hui zhi from Malaysia
How do I clean a microwave oven that had a burnt popcorn melt down? There are lots of yellow areas that look horrible.
I wouldn't use acetone around a heat source, that could be very dangerous! To remove odors, put a couple of tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl with a cup or two of water, and let it go on high for about 5 mins. This should help take the smell away. Remove the bowl carefully! Now your oven is nice and moist, and will be easy to wipe down with a bit of vinegar and/or lemon juice. No chemicals, no cost. By the way, a plain bag of popcorn is so much cheaper and healthier, not to mention you can flavor it in so many ways if you do it yourself on the stovetop.
I sprayed the microwave with cleaner, and left it to soak. While it was soaking my husband thought it would be a good idea to use the microwave, and the cleaner has sort of burnt on, and there is a very strong chemical smell that I cannot get rid of. Also the whole inside of the microwave has stained yellow.
I've tried cleaning it with plain water as I'm nervous about adding to the chemical smell. Anyone have any ideas? Especially about the yellow stain.
Joanne from Manchester, England
By Lynda (Guest Post)01/18/2008
After trying the suggestions here, remember that most mftgr. warn against any sort of chemical to clean microwaves, so just use soft sponge and a little soap next time. Good luck. : )
I was heating a dry towel in my microwave and the towel burnt and left burn marks on the inside of the microwave. I put baking soda and vinegar inside to take away the odor. It doesn't have an odor unless I have something something in for longer than 5 minutes, then the microwave has that burnt smell. I'm sure it's because I can't get the burnt marks off. I've tried a baking soda paste and even a soapy Brillo pad, but I just can't get the stains off. Is there anything short of buying a new microwave that someone could suggest?
By Nancy W.
My son cooked noodles in the microwave, but didn't add water so on cooking they caught fire and have left a burnt yellow looking colour to the inside.
I burned popcorn in my microwave and the inside is now stained yellow. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get this out?
By anon (Guest Post)04/28/2006
Acetone will take care of the yellow stain.
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My son tried to burn up my Microwave the other day with microwave popcorn. It has been almost 1 month and I still can't get the smell out of my microwave. I've cleaned, scrubbed it. I even put a lemon in water and turn it on for 1 minute increments. It didn't help. I would appreciate any and all helpful hints. Really am getting tired of the smell.
Karen in PA
By Kerry Brown
I came here this afternoon to ask the same question about a yellow/brown stain from popcorn in my microwave. I got a new microwave two years ago today. About a week later I tried out the "popcorn" button that was supposed to be pre-programmed for a store-bought bag of microwave popcorn. Well, instead of yummy popcorn, I got a burning mess that left a brown/yellow stain on the whole left inside wall of the oven.
I was really upset! I tried everything, oxiclean, bleach, baking soda, you name it. The smell went away within a few days of cooking, but the stain lasted. I had a service guy here from the manufacturer for another problem with the microwave and he said "Oh, you'll never get rid of that popcorn stain".
As I said, I came here today to ask about getting rid of the stain. I tried acetone and it worked! I used cotton balls, a sponge and then a "scotch-brite" pad (the green nylon things that don't scratch) and it's gone! My microwave looks as good as new!
Thank you so much for the suggestions here and to whomever keeps this board/site running. What a great resource! By the way, when the stain was all gone, I soaked a washcloth with vinegar and wiped all the inside surfaces with it. Then I used some soap and water on the inside surfaces. I let that dry, then did the little trick with the vanilla and the inside smells fresh, no harsh odors, and the food cooked in the microwave came out smelling/tasting "normal".
Thanks again! (02/19/2006)
By Bob #3
Did you leave that microwave popcorn in there too long? Do you have a brown, yucky mess? I did too! I tried one tip that barely worked, then I remembered using something to clean off the soot on the inside of my wood stove window. SIMPLE GREEN.
Yes, it's simple and it's in a green can. I like the fact that it's also non-acidic, non-toxic, and bio-degradable. And boy does it work! I used it to get off the brown stains in my microwave from really OLD popcorn. I sprayed it on, waited 2 minutes (if that), and wiped with a paper towel and that was it. No more brown stains! Hallelujah for Simple Green.
By Dustie Jackson from Tuscola, TX
I tried everything, from vinegar with baking soda to Windex to orange scented cleanser to Pine-Sol, and nothing worked to kill the lingering smell inside the microwave. I refused to admit defeat, because it's a brand new microwave! I'll save my rant about the popcorn button on it for some other forum, let's just say, the only way I can cook popcorn without burning it is to underpop the stuff. Microwave is too powerful for it's own good, and even reducing the power level doesn't help, because then the popcorn stops and starts popping a lot, which results in disaster.
Finally, I thought of something: Coffee absorbs odors! I put two tablespoons of freshly ground coffee into a ceramic coffee cup, and added enough water to bring it to about half full. When you do this, be sure to sit the coffee mug down into a microwave-safe ceramic or glass bowl or something, because it boils over all over the place). Put that in the microwave and nuke it for about two minutes (long enough for it to boil all over the place, or preferably into the bowl). It will splash out around the microwave some, but that's a good thing in my opinion!
Open the door, carefully remove the bowl and mug (carefully! It was boiling a second ago, remember?!) and sit it gently down into the sink to cool. Immediately wipe out the microwave with a damp cloth or paper towels, and if you have a pool of liquid in the bottom of the microwave, use a handful of paper towels to soak it up so you don't get any on yourself and burn yourself.
After you've wiped it all clean, poke your head in and smell the inside of the microwave. Smell anything other than a little coffee smell? Repeat if you need to, I had to do it twice, but the smell seems to be gone now!
I also wiped the inside down with some windex afterward to be sure I got all the coffee to prevent coffee stains. (11/15/2006)
By Lisa S.
Thanks a million! That smell had been driving me CRAZY! (01/19/2007)
The inside of my microwave got very burnt, a microwave rice cooker burnt to cinders. It is very brown and burnt on the inside. What can I clean it with to get rid of the burnt look?
The entire inside of my microwave oven is discolored with some scorch stains.
My husband put a mug in the microwave and walked away. I was in the bedroom when I smelled smoked. When I came out it was on fire and the whole place was filled with smoke.
My husband put an aluminum foil pan in the microwave and there was a black burnt spot on the door. Can this be fixed?
I have a stain in the microwave from a burnt potato where it smoked and caught on fire and burned up black.
My little sister tried cooking a fish fillet in the microwave. It has a horrible burned smell now and the inside has been turned from white to yellow.
How do I get the black burnt discoloration out of my microwave? I have had some success with "Barkeeper's Friend", but wonder if there is another product besides vinegar/lemon/baking soda, bleach products, Mean Green cleaner, etc. I could use.