How to Remove Scorched Food from a Microwave


Caren asked: How do I something that was scorched in a microwave oven? Someone put a corn taco shell in the microwave oven. Not only did it smoke the whole house up, it also burnt the shell and scorched the inside of my microwave. I have tried everything – bleach, cleanser, vinegar, oven cleaner and none of those things worked. Can you help?

Scorched food causes problems all over the house. Once you’ve removed the burnt food item, aired out the room to remove the smell, and cleared out all of the smoke, it’s time to tackle the microwave. The plastic interiors of microwaves can become discolored from scorched food. Fortunately, it is possible to remove, or at least lessen, the stain.

You Will Need:

  • Acetone nail polish remover
  • Simple Green
  • Soft cloths
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Cotton balls
  • Soft brush

Steps to Remove the Scorch Marks:

  1. Once the burnt food item is removed, begin by scrubbing as much loose debris as possible. If there is food burnt to the floor or walls of the microwave interior, clean that first.
  2. If it cannot be wiped out with soapy water (mix dish soap with warm water) and a soft cloth, baking soda can be used to loosen it.
  3. Mix baking soda with a small amount of water to make a paste.
  4. Spread it over the burnt food area.
  5. Allow it to set for a few minutes.
  6. Scrub with a soft cloth or soft brush.
  7. Repeat until the chunks of burnt food are removed.
  8. Next, it is time to tackle the brown discoloration.
  9. Moisten a  soft cloth or cotton ball with either acetone nail polish remover or Simple Green cleaning spray.
  10. Wipe it over the brown, scorched area to clean.
  11. Once the stain is removed, wipe the entire surface with soapy water to remove any residue from the acetone or cleaning spray.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If there are lingering odors, it may be that the smoke and burnt smell has gotten into the exhaust. To remove these smells, place a bowl of fresh coffee grounds in the microwave and leave it set for a day or two. The grounds will absorb the odor.
  • For additional odor removal, fill a coffee mug half full with coffee grounds and add water. Heat it in the microwave for several minutes to allow it time to absorb the odor.
  • Charcoal is another great odor absorber. Do NOT heat it in the microwave. Simply place it in a bowl and set it inside of the microwave for a day or two. The charcoal will absorb the odors.


  1. I have used acetone nail polish remover on my burned microwave, but it is still gray inside where it is scorched. What else can I do to get it off? Thank you!

  2. Please do not use the tip of coffee grounds and water heated for several minutes. It dosen’t work. In fact, it makes it worse. Please do not use!

  3. This is the best web site ever. I am telling all my friends and those who will listen about the site. It’s logical, easy to understand, and the advice works.
    Bravo to all whom put this together.
    I will now be able to clean my oven easily and thoroughly.
    Thank you,

  4. Hey, it may not work for everyone, but I just put a pot with a boiling water in the microwave, and left it to boil for the several minutes. The steam works great on softening dried and burned food. Then I just wipe it gently with soapy water to remove grease, and rinse. It is quite quick and always works for me.
    Good luck and may your microwave shine like new! :)

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