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I Need Help Cleaning My Burnt Microwave

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)

By Susan

Baking Soda and Water

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)

By redcatt

Water and Lemon

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)


By Gallagher

Vanilla and Boiled Water

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)

By john

100% Pure Acetone

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.

Ad (11/12/2005)

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)

By Christie


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)


Acetone Worked for Me, But Don't Inhale It!

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)

By Bob


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)

By Bob

Acetone Warning

Inhaling Acetone warning: (04/12/2006)

By Bob #3

Simple Green


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)

By Dustie

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