Burnt popcorn – the bane of microwaves everywhere, not only leaves a horrendous smell, it also stains the inside of your microwave. Whether in the break room at work, or your own kitchen, there is hope for removing the odor and restoring the inside.
What You Will Need:
- 100% Pure acetone (nail polish remover)
- Coffee mug or small bowl
- Dish detergent
- Bowl or small bucket
- Soft cloths or paper towels
- Rubber Gloves (optional)
Removing the Stains
- Begin by mixing a few drops of dish detergent with hot water in a bowl or bucket.
- Dip the cloth in the water and wring it out thoroughly.
- Wipe the inside and outside of the microwave down. This will remove any surface dirt and grime.
- Using a clean cloth or paper towels, apply acetone to the walls and scrub away the yellowish stains left behind from the burning popcorn.
- Wipe away any residue from the walls with the soapy water and rinse thoroughly. This is very important acetone is flammible.
- You may need to repeat a couple of times depending on the severity of the discoloration.
- This method should remove most, if not all, of the discoloration of the inside walls.
- When finished, leave the microwave door open for an hour to allow any fumes from the acetone to dissipate.
Removing the Odor
- If the lingering odor is still a problem, there are two methods you can try: coffee and vinegar. We’ll start with the coffee method.
- Coffee is known to absorb odors, so fill the coffee mug or small bowl with about 2 tablespoons of ground coffee and ½ cup of water.
- Set the cup in a small bowl (to catch any overflow as it boils) and place it in the microwave.
- Microwave the coffee on high for about 2 minutes. Be careful when you go to remove it as it will be HOT.
- Repeat as necessary.
- Another odor remover is vinegar. Fill the small bowl about half full of vinegar and place it in the microwave.
- Turn the microwave on and let it heat until it steams.
- Once it has developed a good amount of steam, turn off the microwave and let it set for about 10 minutes.
- Wipe out the microwave with water and a soft cloth.
- There may be a vinegar smell in the microwave, but this will dissipate within a day or two.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- Sometimes the odor gets into the vents of the microwave. If neither of the above remedies work, it may just take some time to air it out.
- Let your microwave air out as long as possible. If you can take it outside that will help.
- If the odor lingers in your kitchen, try some of the remedies in our article about Removing Smoke Smells.