If you have ever burnt food in your microwave oven, you know just how unpleasant the lingering smell is and how it can affect the taste and smell of everything else you heat up or cook in the microwave.
The most important thing to do if you accidentally burn the meal you are making or any spilled food and crumbs in the microwave is to take action to remove the smell as soon as possible. This will prevent the smell from permeating into every other dish or beverage you place in the microwave and will help make your kitchen smell fresher and better.
Thankfully, you can use many highly efficient DIY methods to get the smell out of your microwave oven and deodorize the appliance.
These tips are also useful for removing foul odors and deodorizing other kitchen and household appliances such as washing machines, dishwashing machines, and more.
How to get burnt smell out of microwave methods
Inspect the exterior of your microwave
The first thing to do if you notice a burning smell from your microwave oven is to inspect and clean the inside of the oven thoroughly. Check for splatters, spilled food, or burnt crumbs on the bottom, under the rotating tray, and on the sides of the appliance.
Unplug the microwave and use a wet dishcloth or sponge to clean it with warm soapy water, and leave the oven door open to air the smell out.
Then proceed to use one or more of the following deodorizing and odor removal methods and products:
Place a microwavable bowl with half a cup of water and a tablespoon of white vinegar in the oven and microwave it for 5 minutes. Then let it steam inside the oven for about 20 minutes. The vinegar steam will loosen any stuck smelly residue from the interior of the appliance.
After that, clean the inside of the oven with paper towels, and leave the door open until it dries completely.
This is an excellent solution for removing the smell of burnt popcorn and other foods.
Nail polish remover
If there is burnt residue inside the microwave, use a cotton ball or sponge soaked in nail polish remover to get it off. Remember to remove any leftover nail polish remover by wiping the interior of the appliance with a sponge and soapy water.
Lemon is highly efficient for removing pungent burning smells from microwaves. You can either microwave a lemon cut in half for 3 minutes or microwave a bowl of water with the lemon halves in it.
For the best results, let the lemon sit in the microwave overnight with the door shut.
You can perform the deodorization of the microwave with the help of a bowl of water with added citrus oil in it. You only need a few drops of oil for this solution to work.
If you prefer the smell of vanilla, microwave a bowl of water with 3 drops of vanilla extract mixed into it for 3 minutes, and let it sit for several hours or overnight.
Mix 5 teaspoons of baking soda and half a cup of water in a bowl and then microwave it at high heat for 6 minutes. Let it sit in the microwave for an hour. After the time is up, use a sponge or cloth and soapy water to wipe the interior of the oven.
Mix half a cup of water with 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds in a bowl and microwave it for 10 minutes. Add water if needed. The aromatic coffee will help neutralize the smell of burnt food and other bad odors coming from the microwave.
Fill a bowl with mixed berries and cover it with cling wrap foil. Microwave them for two minutes. When the time is up, the burnt smell will be replaced with the sweet smell of your favorite berries.
Vinegar and baking soda on a sponge
Soak a kitchen sponge in white vinegar and sprinkle it with baking soda. Put it in the microwave and turn the power on for 25 seconds.
Open the oven door and use the sponge to clean the interior of the microwave. Try to reach into all nooks and crannies, clean all sides of the oven, including the door, and then proceed to rinse the oven off with the help of a cloth dampened with clean water.
How to get the burnt smell out of your kitchen and home
Chances are that apart from the microwave itself, your whole kitchen smells like burnt food after a cooking accident.
In order to eliminate the unpleasant smell from the kitchen and from your home, you can do one or more of the following:
- Throw out the burnt dish immediately, and take the trash out of the house
- Clean out the microwave as soon as possible using soapy water
- Do not use the garbage disposal to get rid of the burnt food, as this will make matters worse
- Soak a dishcloth with a water and vinegar solution, wring the excess liquid off and wave the cloth around the kitchen – the vinegar will absorb the bad smells
- Let the cloth hang in the kitchen overnight to continue absorbing the odors
- Open the windows or turn on the ventilation
- Use a spray bottle filled with warm water and several tablespoons of vinegar and wipe as many surfaces and items in the kitchen as possible
- If you have a rug or carpet, sprinkle baking soda on it generously and let it sit overnight. In the morning, you can shake the powder off or vacuum it
- Proceed to wash any curtains, tablecloths, and other fabrics in the kitchen
- If your clothes have become smelly – launder them too
- Take all jackets and shoes outdoors
- Place lemon slices, or coffee beans or grounds in dishes around the kitchen or house
- Use an air freshener or replace the bad odor with a pleasant one, such as the smell of baked cookies or pie
- You can also leave dishes with baking soda or activated charcoal to absorb the smell of smoke