How To Remove Burnt Smell From Microwave: Tips On How To Get Rid of The Bad Smell

Heating or cooking food in a microwave provides a convenient and quick way compared to a regular oven. However, if you leave it unattended, microwaved products have the tendency to burn or overheat very quickly. By the time you take notice of it, may it be three to thirty minutes after; it’s already too late.

How To Remove Burnt Smell From Microwave

We have all done it. We may have overcooked or overheated a food product in a microwave because other things distracted us. Now our house smells like burnt food and our microwave oven units are now yellowish and we now worry about how to remove burnt smell from microwave.

We all try to deny it but the smell of burnt popcorn, pizza or other pungent dishes that have been zapped for too long may linger inside our microwave ovens. This, however, is not permanent as there are a lot of ways on how to properly clean it, thus, getting rid of the burnt smell.

In this post, I am going to discuss the ways on how to remove the smell of burnt food from your microwave. These are very simple and easy ways and all you have to do it to prepare all the materials you will need so you can do it quickly and hassle free.

What You Will Need To Remove Burnt Smell From Microwave

  • Vinegar
  • Microwave-safe bowl or container
  • Sponge
  • Lemons
  • Kitchen knife
  • Cutting board
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Coffee grounds
  • Water
  • Berries
  • Acetone-free nail polish remover
  • Cotton balls

Step-By-Step Instructions On How To Remove Burnt Smell From Microwave

There are numerous ways on how to remove that annoying burnt smell from your microwave. To start, I will discuss on how to do it using vinegar.

  • Pour vinegar into the microwave oven-safe bowl.
  • Dip a clean sponge into the vinegar and wipe down the interior with it. This would include all surfaces such as the ceiling, walls, glass tray, the inside of the door, and the area under the glass tray.
  • Allow the microwave to dry through leaving its door open.
  • Clean the bowl thoroughly to get rid of the sour smell from the vinegar.

Here’s another way to use vinegar:

  • Pour equal parts of vinegar and water into a microwave oven-safe bowl and place it inside the microwave.
  • Close the door and heat the liquid for about 90 seconds or until before it boils. Keep in mind that the time may be dependent on how powerful your microwave is.
  • Keep the door closed for several minutes to allow the steam get rid of the interior odors.
  • Once it is time to take the bowl out, be careful in handling it, as it may still be hot.
  • Thoroughly clean the bowl to get rid of the vinegar smell.
burnt smell from microwave


If you want to try lemon instead, here’s what you should follow:

  • Slice a large lemon or two small ones on a cutting board. Be careful when using the kitchen knife.
  • Put the pieces of lemon in a microwave oven-safe bowl and cover with water.
  • Heat the bowl for at least two to three minutes or just until it comes to a boiling point.
  • Keep the microwave door closed for several hours. By doing this, the lemony steam will permeate the microwave and will get rid of the annoying odors inside it.
  • When it’s time to take them out, check if the burnt smell still lingers. Read on below to follow some of the additional steps.

You may also use vanilla extract if you want to try something more nose-friendly. Here’s how to do it:

  • Pour vanilla extract into a microwave oven-safe bowl. Make sure you only pour a small amount.
  • Heat the substance for one minute.
  • Keep the door closed after heating. This will allow the vanilla’s scent to get rid of the burnt smell inside the microwave oven.
  • Be careful when you take the bowl out of the microwave oven, it may still be hot from the heating.

To use an acetone-free nail polish remover, follow these steps:

  • Soak cotton balls with the nail polish remover.
  • Wipe down the interior surfaces of the microwave with it.
  • After that, wipe the inside down with soap.
  • You may also use a mixture of vinegar and water after.
  • This may leave a lingering chemical smell from the nail polish remover, so you have to do the classic vinegar technique again in order to get rid of that.

You can also use berries if you prefer a fruity smell instead of a citrus smell. Here is how it’s done:

  • Heat a bowl of mixed berries in a microwave oven-safe bowl for about one to two minutes.
  • Make sure you have a cling-wrap on top of the berries to prevent creating a mess.
  • It is not guaranteed that the berries will completely remove all the bad odors but it can certainly overcome them.

If you love the smell of coffee, follow these steps:

  • Leave leftover ground coffee in a microwave oven-safe bowl.
  • Add half a cup of water.
  • Heat the liquid for about three minutes.
  • After three minutes, take the bowl out but be very careful because it may still be hot from the heating.

Here are extra steps you might want to follow in case the smell still lingers inside the microwave oven:

  • Put a box of baking soda inside the microwave oven.
  • Leave it overnight to absorb the lingering burnt smell.

Popcorn is one of the most burnt food products inside the microwave. Here’s a video link you might want to check out.

Pro Tips

Here are some tips to effectively remove burnt smell in your microwave oven. I will also provide you tips on how to properly maintain the interior of your microwave oven.

burnt smell in your microwave oven
  • Wipe down your microwave oven immediately after use. Just be sure to dry the inside of the microwave using a dry cloth or paper towel before you close the door.
  • You have to deal with stains and spills immediately.
  • To remove foul smell from the microwave, you may try heating up a mixture of water and lemon juice for two to three minutes. Turn the microwave off and leave it inside for half an hour.
  • Keep your food covered while cooking it inside the microwave oven. With this, less cleaning is required for splutters. You may find this interesting that fewer gunk and splutters on the fiberboard coverings will improve your appliance’s lifespan.
  • After using the microwave oven to cook or reheat food, leave the door open for a few minutes to let the smell out.
  • It is highly advisable that you clean your unit every month or two times in a month.


Your microwave oven having a burnt smell is very frustrating, as we all hate the smell of burnt food. It may decrease our appetite and may affect the overall atmosphere of our kitchen. Now that we have discussed how to remove burnt smell from microwave, I know that you can do it effortlessly.

Did you enjoy reading this post? If you have any additional tips, please leave a comment below.

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