How To Get Burnt Popcorn Stains Out Of Your Microwave

Even with a busy family life, I try hard to maintain a good cleaning schedule of the appliances in my kitchen.

It not only stops everything getting grubby and out of control, but also keeps my kit working harder for longer.

Some jobs come along out of the blue, however, and the microwave seems to attract these problems more than any other appliance!

Burnt popcorn stains in your microwave can cause you a particularly gnarly problem. Not only do they create an unpleasant smell (one that spreads everywhere), but the longer you leave them, the harder they’ll be to clean off.

To remove burnt popcorn stains from a microwave, you just have to follow some simple steps. It’s worth saying again though: the sooner you do this, the fewer times you’ll have to repeat the process!

You’ll need:

  • A microwave-safe bowl
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • A cleaning cloth

A glass bowl overfilling with popcorn, with bits of popcorn on the counter below

#1 Prepare Water & White Vinegar

Add 1 cup of water to the microwave-safe bowl, along with a single tablespoon of white vinegar.

Give everything a good mix with a spoon, then put the bowl in your microwave.

The idea here is to create a solution that turns into steam in your microwave, which then coats the surfaces. The acidity of the vinegar helps to break down the stains and make them much easier to remove.

#2 Heat The Mixture

Set the microwave to its highest setting, and then set a timer for five minutes.

As the mixture is heated, the steam will spread to the surfaces of the microwave and help that vinegar get to work.

#3 Remove The Bowl

Once five minutes have passed, remove the bowl from the microwave. Consider using a towel or oven-mitt for this, as the bowl and its contents will be pretty hot!

Pour the contents away and set the bowl aside for cleaning up later.

#4 Clean With A Cloth

With your kitchen cloth, wipe away at the surfaces and you should see a good amount of the damage rub off pretty easily.

How much elbow-grease you have to apply here will largely depend on how bad the burn stain is in the first place.

#5 Repeat As Necessary

If you’re very lucky, a single application will be all that’s required!

If you’re seeing some progress but it’s too much work to finish the job completely, you can simply repeat the process and start again from Step 1.

It should get easier with each application. As long as you’re making progress, keep working away at the surfaces.

Wrapping Up

There you go, that’s a super-simple way of getting burnt popcorn stains out of your microwave.

White vinegar’s very effective, but it might leave a bit of a smell afterwards. If you want to get rid of it fast, repeat the process but use lemon juice in water instead.

Add a cup of water to the bowl, squeeze the juice from a lemon into it, and then add the two lemon halves to the bowl.

The acidity of the lemon will do a similar job, but add a much fresher aroma to your kitchen in the process!