No matter how many times you use it, eventually, you will accidentally burn something in your microwave. When this happens, you may wonder what the best way is to remove the lingering burnt smell. Luckily, there are many ways to get your microwave back to normal.
To remove a burnt smell from the microwave, place some vinegar and water in a bowl and microwave on high. If this does not work, soak a sponge in vinegar and baking soda and microwave that. You can also microwave coffee grounds or a lemon.
In this article, we will cover all the ways you can remove a burnt smell from the microwave. It happens to everyone at some point and is a fairly common issue. Because of this, there are many techniques you can try.
What Foods Burn in the Microwave?
Microwaves work by boiling the water that is found in your food. They operate at a frequency that excites the molecules in water and in turn, heats them up. This is why most foods that go in the microwave need a little bit of moisture.
One of the most common foods to burn in the microwave is popcorn. Popcorn uses oil instead of water which will work until the oil heats to a certain point. After that, it will burn, leaving that lingering burnt popcorn smell.
You can avoid burning in the microwave by always making sure to add a little bit of moisture beforehand. This will ensure that the water boils first before the actual food burns. It will also cook your food more evenly and to the desired temperature.
How to Get a Burnt Smell Out of Your Microwave
Step 1: Microwave Water and Vinegar
if you accidentally burned something in the microwave, the first thing you should try is a bowl of water and vinegar. Vinegar has neutralizing properties that will help eliminate bad smells by canceling them out. It is always good to have some white vinegar around the house.
In a microwave-safe bowl, mix one-part water with one part vinegar. Microwave the bowl on high for 5 minutes. This will allow it to steam and soak the inside of the microwave. Keep the microwave door closed for 10 to 15 minutes more after that.
When the time is up, wipe the inside of the microwave with a paper towel. This will remove any stains or excess vinegar water that has built up. This is one of the most common ways to get rid of a burnt smell in the microwave.
Step 2: Baking Soda Sponge
If the water and vinegar does not remove the burnt smell from your microwave, you will have to take things up to the next level. This will require you to soak a sponge in vinegar overnight. You need the sponge to be completely soaked in order for this to work.
After you have completely soaked the sponge and vinegar, sprinkle the top with baking soda. These are two of the most powerful neutralizing agents that can be found around the house. Combining them will be even more effective.
Microwave a sponge for 25 seconds on high. After you have microwaved it, wipe down the inside of the microwave with the sponge. This will remove any errant stains that may be a source of the smell.
Step 3: Nail Polish Remover
if the above steps haven’t worked, you will need to kick things up a little bit. Vinegar and baking soda are natural ingredients that are food safe and usually found around the house. However, if they are not sufficient to get a burnt smell out of your microwave, you need to step it up.
Soak cotton balls in an acetone-free nail polish remover. It is very important that you use an acetone-free nail polish remover since acetone is a harmful chemical used as a paint thinner. You do not want that to be anywhere near where you put your food.
Wipe the inside of the microwave with the cotton balls. This should remove any stubborn stains and odors. Then, wipe the inside with soap and water to remove any excess nail polish remover that may still be clinging to the walls of the microwave.
Step 4: Steam a Lemon
If you are not comfortable using some of the heavier duty chemicals like nail polish remover, there are other options for you. There are a few natural, food-safe choices for getting a burnt smell out of your microwave. However, they may not be as effective.
One of these natural techniques is steaming a lemon. Lemon is a great deodorizer for nearly any application. It will not neutralize the smell but it has excellent coverage properties that can help get a burnt smell out of your microwave.
To steam a lemon, cut it in half and place it in a microwave-safe container. Microwave it for 30 seconds at a time, mashing the pulp of lemon with a spoon as you steam it. This will release all the scent from the lemon and transfer it to the inside of the microwave.
Step 5: Microwave Coffee Grounds
Coffee is another great natural deodorizer that leaves a desirable smell as opposed to the burnt one left by the food in the microwave. Using coffee grounds as a deodorizer is also a great, renewable way to recycle things around the house. This is becoming more important than ever.
Place the coffee grounds in a microwave-safe container and combine them with water. Microwave the container for one minute at a time. Stir the mixture with each round of microwaving. This will break it up and keep the water from evaporating.
Step 6: Leave Baking Soda Overnight
Many people leave baking soda in their refrigerator at all times to help neutralize odors. This principle can also be applied to your microwave. If you consistently use your microwave, you may want to consider storing an open box of baking soda in it when it’s not in use.
By leaving an open box of baking soda in your microwave, you can eliminate burnt smells before they start. This is especially helpful if the appliance sees a lot of use. The inside will already be actively eliminating the odors before you even turn it on.
How Do I Get The Burnt Smell Out of My House?
Getting rid of a burnt smell in your microwave is one thing, getting rid of it in your house is another. One way to avoid the burnt smell getting into the house is to not open the microwave door. If you feel you have burnt something, unplug it and take the microwave outside.
If the burnt smell has already gotten in the house, open up all the windows as quickly as possible. This will give the odors a place to go instead of settling in the furniture or carpet. Turn on the fan above your stove and any other fans you may have around the house.
After you have opened up all the windows in the house, boil some water and vinegar in a pan on the stove. Add lemon or any other spices that you would like to the mixture. This will help neutralize the burnt smell as it flows out the windows.
Is it safe to use a burnt microwave?
A burnt microwave is safe to use, but may be undesirable. Any burnt particles still left inside the microwave will transfer to the food you’re cooking. Odds are, if you don’t clean your microwave after burning something, everything will smell and taste burnt.
Is a burnt popcorn smell bad for you?
While natural burnt popcorn will not be harmful, some microwavable popcorn brands contain diacetyl. Diacetyl is perfectly fine to eat, but if burned and inhaled can be harmful to your lungs. This has only been tested in small samples but it is best to err on the side of caution.
Does air freshener get rid of burnt smell?
Air freshener in general will cover a smell but will not neutralize it. Many air freshener brands advertise that they neutralize odors. However, they are not going to be nearly as effective as simple vinegar or baking soda.