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.
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. : )
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 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.
We had a burn mark in our new microwave due to a small metal tie around a package of frozen hamburger rolls. We tried all the products we learned on the internet. Nothing worked. I then remembered the Quixx scratch remover I had bought for a scratch on our car. I followed the directions and it really removed the burn mark and all the discoloration. We were amazed.
I burned popcorn in my microwave and the inside is now stained yellow. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get this out?
I heated up a microwaveable bean bag (the kind you put around your neck, or on your feet), for too long and it burnt to black char. The microwave was filled with smoke. Is the burnt beanbag toxic? And will I be able to cook food in it again safely?
By Suzi J.
Help please. Can anyone let me know how to get a mark from a roasting bag off my stainless steel microwave oven? I hope you can help. Thank you.
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.
How do I clean a burnt microwave? There is a brown and yellowish stain on the surface. Thank you.
By hui zhi from Malaysia
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.
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
Put a bowl of vinegar in the microwave and turn it on so that it will steam, probably 1 or 2 minutes depending on your machine. Let it sit in there for 10 minutes and wipe it out with clear water. It seems to really help. Also make sure any removable parts are run through the dishwasher or washed well.
Hope this helps. (01/28/2003)
I used the water/baking soda combo for 2 increments of 2 minutes each. The smell isn't that strong anymore, and it also helped me wipe away what the cleanser couldn't get. Thanks for the tip! (02/13/2005)
How can you get rid of that disgusting BURNT POPCORN smell in the microwave?
Pour 1 1/2 cups of water into a large microwave-safe bowl. Then add 1/2 sliced lemon & 4 to 7 cloves. Bring to a boil and let sit in the microwave for at least 10 minutes. Take out and leave the door open for a while so it can air out. THis should work. (04/20/2005)
Tried the vanilla and water boiled for 3 minutes. Then wiped at out with bleach and water. Thanks for the help jockocheeze. (07/02/2005)
One word, Acetone. The power of the carbonyl group is wonderful (for the organic chemist out there!) (08/20/2005)
So our babysitter tried to burn the house down with a bag of popcorn a week ago. So far nothing had helped until I read this discussion thread. The boiling of water and baking soda didn't seem to do much. However, I found 100% pure Acetone (nail polish remover) at Albertson's and it seems to have helped remove the yellow stains. It's not as white as new but a major improvement. I used a sprayer from another cleaner bottle, after rinsing it clean, and that helped spread the acetone. I sure hope this helps the smell too. Careful because acetone is some strong stuff, make sure your windows are open and fans are on.
By Kerry Brown
I used Comet, the scratch free kind in the yellow container, wet a paper towel or 2, poured the Comet on and burnt stuff came right off. The reason I'm on this site however is the smell. I think I have a few tricks now after reading some of your suggestions! Hope one works!(02/03/2006)
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)
I got 100% Pure Acetone in a clear 16 oz bottle from Wal-Mart for $1.97. You can see the burnt spots dissolve into the fluid when you pour it on. But I'm dizzy from inhaling it. It takes about 30 minutes, so be well ventilated like in the garage or shade outside. Don't smoke. (04/12/2006)
I tried everything and nothing worked until I used Acetone. I even tried carburetor cleaner, engine degreaser and NON-flammable break cleaning fluid. I think the regular flammable break-cleaning fluid might work. Acetone is flammable also, but it dries (vaporizes) fast. Wet cloth the microwave with water anyway. (04/12/2006)
Inhaling Acetone warning:
By Bob #3
I tried microwaving some old carmel popcorn (didn't realize how old it was) & followed directions for 4 1/2 min. on high. Well none of it popped, but did turn my house into a smoke factory & my microwave oven into a brown mess inside. I tried the 1 cup water & vanilla thing & helped a little. Then I remembered my SIMPLE GREEN spray that I used to clean soot off of my wood stove. IT WORKED GREAT!! I just followed the can directions and waited 2 minutes and all of the brown came off without scrubbing, I think it will also help with the smell. This Simple Green is non-acidic, non-toxic and bio-degradable. (07/26/2006)
Did you leave that microwave popcorn in there too long? Do you have a brown, yucky mess? I did too!
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.