Food odors can become a problem when you use your microwave oven incorrectly, or you choose to put bread or popcorn inside, two types of food that can easily get burnt if left enough time inside. That’s why you must know how to get burnt smell out of the microwave, as it is the only way to make your kitchen appliance as good as new.
Why do microwave ovens retain odors?
Before we delve into the most tried and tested methods of removing bad smells from your microwave, let’s learn a little about why these kitchen appliances tend to retain odors so much. As you may well know, this type of oven works by channeling heat directly to the food particles, creating what is often called the effect of cooking the food from the inside.
However, while this way of describing the way a microwave works may sound simplistic, the truth is that the reason why this appliance cooks food much faster than your traditional oven is that it heats the water inside the food.
With that knowledge under your belt, consider the various types of food you usually heat in your microwave. If it’s a bowl of pasta, with little water added, don’t be surprised to find it all scorched when opening the door. The same goes for rice and popcorn. With little water left for the heat energy to work with, the burnt smell is the next thing you’ll have to work hard to eliminate from your microwave.
The problem with these odors is that they tend to last for a long time. That’s why learning how to remove burnt smell from microwave is paramount. The following methods, described step by step, will help you deal with them, and each time you happen to burn the popcorn, you’ll know what to do.
Start by giving your microwave a good cleaning
While there are various methods out there that can deal efficiently with such issues, you should first try to give your kitchen appliance a thorough cleaning. Here is the step by step on how to clean your microwave and get unpleasant smells out of it.
- Displace the burnt pieces that can be removed without scratching the surface. Get rid of all the debris you can before following the next step.
- Place a cup of water inside a container that can be used inside a microwave. Heat the water inside the microwave for up to 4 minutes. The steam that will be released will allow you to get rid of more grime.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe clean the interior. Don’t soak the cloth in water; instead, dip it in just a little bit of water in which you added a small amount of dish soap. In case your microwave has a stainless steel interior, make sure to rub in such a way that you follow the natural grain of the material.
- Make sure to remove any traces of dish soap with clean water, applying the same care, and measured motions when a clean cloth. This cloth has to be lint-free so that you don’t have to deal with other problems later on.
- Allow the microwave to air out for at least a couple of hours by leaving the door open. In most cases, you don’t have to do anything more than applying this cleaning method.
Of course, the best cure is prevention, so when you heat foods that contain little water, especially the starchy type, keep an eye on them. Getting burnt smell out of microwave can be a lot more challenging than monitoring the food getting cooked for a few minutes.
Using citrus vapors to remove bad smells
One of the best methods you should try involves the use of half a lemon and a bit of baking soda. If you don’t have a lemon at hand, an orange or even a grapefruit will do in a pinch. Let’s see what you need to apply this method successfully.
Besides half a lemon – or any other citrus fruit you have at your disposal – you should also have a bowl you can use inside a microwave. Some water and a teaspoon of baking soda are the only other two ingredients you need. In case you need to learn how to clean a microwave after a fire, this method is guaranteed to work. Here are the steps to follow:
- Cut the lemon into tiny slices and put them into the microwave-safe bowl.
- Pour water over the lemon slices so that you fill the bowl completely. Place the bowl inside the microwave.
- Schedule the microwave for two minutes on the highest setting. Turn it off when the time is up, but don’t open the door for five minutes more. During this time, the vapors will be released continuously, actively working on the unpleasant smells.
- In case the smell is really bad, it might not disappear right away. If that happens, repeat the above steps for a second and a third time.
- Once you notice that the odor is no longer there, you can use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe away the interior.
- Stubborn smells can be difficult to deal with. For this reason, it is essential that you try the improved method. Pour a teaspoon of baking soda in the bowl with lemon slices and water, and repeat the procedure.
- However, when using baking soda, you must leave the microwave on the highest setting for only one minute. Also, you might not want to fill the bowl to the brim with water, as the baking soda will cause a reaction to happen. If there are spills, stop the microwave immediately.
- Wipe the interior with a soft cloth, like before. When removing burnt popcorn smell from microwave, this is one of the best methods out there.
Because of the fresh lemon scent, your kitchen will also smell nice after you do this. Therefore, any unpleasant burnt smells will disappear and will leave your kitchen smelling great.
How to remove burnt popcorn smell from microwave
Many people wonder how they can deal with the unpleasant smell left by burnt popcorn inside their microwave ovens. That’s why the method described in this section will focus on this particular odor and what you can do to get rid of it.
Baking soda is one of the most efficient ingredients that will help you understand how to clean microwave after burning popcorn with zero headaches. That’s why this method focuses on how to apply it to make sure that the annoying odors are out of your microwave.
For this procedure, you will need five teaspoons of baking soda, a microwave-safe bowl, a spoon, and water. The correct amount of water is half a cup of water. Now let’s see the steps you must follow.
- Put the baking soda and water into the bowl. Mix with a spoon, and don’t be surprised by the way it fizzes, as that’s a natural effect to expect.
- Now place the bowl inside the microwave. Set it on high and leave it like that for six minutes. To ensure it’s not spilling over, check it from time to time. In case that happens, turn off the microwave.
- When the six minutes are up, turn off the oven but don’t open the door just yet.
- Leave the bowl inside for another hour. During this time, the vapors will work on the bad smells.
- Wipe the inside with a clean cloth and water. If you notice a lot of debris and grime, you can add some dish soap.
- Make sure to give it another go with clean water, this time.
- Dry it with another cloth that’s completely lint-free.
Since this method involves spending some time to make it work, smelling burnt popcorn should let you know right away that something happens inside your microwave. However, when that happens, it may be too late. Therefore, supervising your popcorn while it gets done in your microwave is the best prevention.
An overnight method that works
Now that you know how to get burnt popcorn smell out of microwave, here is another tip you can apply to ensure that your microwave smells as good as new. It involves the least amount of effort on your part, but you need to let the other family members know that they shouldn’t use the microwave during this time. For this reason, it is the most efficient as an overnight method.
What you need is a sort of deodorizer for your microwave. It can be a box of baking soda, a container of dried coffee beans, or a small quantity of activated charcoal. Here are the steps you must follow:
- Place the open box of baking soda – or any of the other deodorizers you want to opt for – inside the microwave.
- Leave it overnight. The baking soda will slowly absorb the unpleasant smells.
- You can remove the deodorizer in the morning. However, be aware that you shouldn’t use it for cooking now. Still, you can use the baking soda to clean kitchen surfaces.