How to Clean a Greasy Microwave (or other kitchen appliances)

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How to Clean a Greasy Microwave or Appliance - threadedtogether.comSometimes you get more than you bargain for when you move into a new house. When you see it for the first time, everything may seem bright, shiny, and new! Then, you go through the closing process, you move in, and reality hits. You realize things are not so clean and new as you thought they were. A lot of smoke and mirrors goes into showing a home, and you can be so blinded by the great things you want to see, the negative can eek right by you.

Some of these items take top priority, like scrubbing the grimy grout out of your shower floor so you can bare to stand in it without gagging. Others may drop a little lower on the list. Like the greasy top of your microwave. 

This microwave top (shown already partway through the cleaning process) has seen better days. The grime could be from months of greasy cooking, or years. Who knows what the previous owners did! Not to mention, if you are not regularly wiping down your appliances, they can start to look like this faster than you think! No wipe, sponge, paper towel, and most often standard cleaners, will get the job done. The good news?! There is a way to get it done, and it doesn’t take as much to clean it as you would think.  

The entire process took about 30 minutes and you probably have the supplies sitting right next to your sink already!


  • Grease removing dish soap (I used Palmolive)
  • Sponge
  • Q-tips (if you need to get into tight spaces)
  • Hot water
Step 1:

Remove the vent cover on top of the microwave. Ours came off by removing three screws on the top of the microwave, then sliding it to the left before pulling it off.

How to Clean a Greasy Microwave or Appliance -

Step 2:

Squeeze a layer of straight dish soap on the offending surface – make sure it is covering every speck of grease you are hoping to be rid off. I used my finger to rub it around. I did this on the piece I removed as well as directly to the top of the microwave, being careful not to allow the soap to seep over the edge into the exposed microwave (there really wasn’t much danger of this on our microwave). The picture below shows it on the cabinet above the microwave.

How to Clean a Greasy Microwave or Appliance -

Step 3:

Allow the soap to sit for about 5 minutes (I think 3 would do it, but may as well really let it soak in).

Step 4:

Use a damp, hot sponge and or Q-tips to scrub the surfaces until the grease is gone, regularly rinsing the grease off the sponge. The amount of elbow grease required is minimum.  If it doesn’t scrub off right away, see step 5.

How to Clean a Greasy Microwave or Appliance -

Step 5:

Repeat as necessary. I had to do this a few times on the removed vent cover, but only once on the top of the actual microwave. My cleanliness OCD is jumping up and down for joy at these after pictures!

How to Clean a Greasy Microwave or Appliance -

I did the same thing on the cabinets above. It achieved the same end results, but my scrubbing of the last bits did start to remove paint a little. Not such a terrible thing in our case since the cabinets are being refinished soon!

How to Clean a Greasy Microwave or Appliance -


How to Clean a Greasy Microwave or Appliance -

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