Removing Burnt Popcorn Smell and Stains from a Microwave

March 19, 2007

Removing Burnt Popcorn Smell and Stains from a MicrowaveI am writing to thank the person who said acetone free nail polish remover would remove the yellow stain in my microwave oven left after seriously burning a bag of microwave popcorn. She was absolutely right on!At first, I tried 10 ounces water and three teabags boiled and letting it steam the inside of the microwave but this did not get rid of the smell nor the yellow stain. I also tried soft scrub, 409 glass and surface cleaner, and vinegar water. Each of those cleaned the microwave of the first layer of carbon from the burned popcorn but did not take care of the smell nor the yellow stain.


The yellow stain was removed only by the acetone free nail polish remover, which I tried in a small spot first because I thought for sure the paint enamel would peel right off. I don't believe everything I read. I cleaned the yellow stain off with acetone free nail polish using lots of cotton balls.So go at the problem like this:
  1. Clean first with any cleaner you like to get the first layer off down to the yellow stain, this means the door, window, top, bottom, sides and outside vent across the top of the microwave.

  2. Use the acetone free nail polish on cotton balls and go over everything: ie, inside window and inside door, top, bottom, sides.

  3. Wash microwave with soapy water.

  4. Rinse with vinegar water. Once the yellow stain is removed you have removed the main source of the smell! Until the yellow is gone, you will have the smell. Don't use your microwave until you have completed this whole process.

  5. Final step to take is to peel two oranges, put them in a microwaveable dish with water enough to barely cover them and boil for 4 minutes. I stood and watched them boil because I didn't want a boil over or burned orange peels! Leave the door closed for 12 hours.
Our popcorn disaster would not have gotten this bad if our smoke alarm, which goes off over a crumb in the toaster, had gone off! We had failed to test and replace the battery. Don't let it happen to you! And, don't walk into another room while microwaving popcorn, stand guard while doing popcorn!

By Sunshine from Columbus, ND

Read More Comments


Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 31, 2011

How do I get rid of the odor from burning popcorn in a microwave oven?

By Gloria L.


October 31, 20110 found this helpful

I posted if nothing else works cleaning paste. It is what I used to use when my son did this quiet often (was in last weeks). It really works on so many things. You mix same amounts of baking soda to whitening toothpaste (cheap kind is fine) it will lightly clean the microwave, and leave behind a fresh smell (if any at all) the baking soda has never failed me in helping with odors. This paste is one that I made (was out of what it usually called for), I am so glad I did!


A story; I had the bright idea to put my tooth brush heads in the microwave to kill germs. Stupidly not realizing it had metal in it, talk about a smell, as well as black smoke marks all over. My paste did great!

I hope it works for you,it get rid of marks on the wall and tennis shoes. I always have it made. Luck to you!


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 337 Feedbacks
November 1, 20111 found this helpful

I burnt something, and wiped out the microwave with baking soda and water. I also kept a box of baking soda in it for several weeks. Eventually, the smell dissipated. The smell seemed to have permeated right into the interior parts of the machine and the exhaust smelled burnt for quite a while afterwards. It did go away.

November 1, 20110 found this helpful

Try a bowl of water with vanilla extract.Heat to a boil and leave in there for about 20 minutes then wipe with clean cloth.


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 364 Posts
November 2, 20110 found this helpful

Had this situation years ago. I tried everything I could think of, and eventually the smell went away. Wash the entire interior. Boil cups of vinegar in it. Let bowls of vinegar sit in it overnight. You may find that the interior doesn't smell, but using the micro starts up the odor. In that case, wash interior and keep bowls of vinegar in it overnight.


Vinegar= apple cider or white.

May 15, 20160 found this helpful

Lemon, or vinegar

Answer this Question

January 23, 2011

I burned popcorn in a microwave. How do I get rid of the smell first and if possible the yellowing on the plastic liner?

By Nancy from Harrisburg, NC


January 23, 20110 found this helpful

I used Soft Scrub and a little elbow grease and it cleaned off all of the yellow stain left by 'Extra Butter Popcorn' that had accumulated for a while. As for the odor, try a small bowl of half water and half lemon juice concentrate and microwave it till it is near boiling.


Then shut off the microwave and let it sit in there for about a half hour or so. As for the house, I'm afraid you are going to have to open the windows, turn on all fans, and wait! After most is cleared out, spray with any scent of Febreze, which is a great odor remover.

Answer this Question

August 9, 2013

I read that you can use acetone free nail polish remover to get rid of the yellow stain. Since my nail polish remover has acetone in it, can I you hydrogen peroxide instead?

By Judy F

Answer this Question


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 23, 2011

How do you get burned popcorn smell out of a microwave?


October 22, 2010

A teenager in a normal hurry exploded the high oil popcorn in the microwave. Help!


September 13, 2010

How do I get horrid, burnt popcorn smell out of the microwave and house? And how do I get yellow stains out of the microwave from burnt popcorn?

Home and Garden Cleaning AppliancesMay 6, 2012
Valentine's Ideas!
Birthday Ideas!
St. Patrick's Ideas!
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2024-01-31 16:37:03 in 21 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2024 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.