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How many of us are guilty of ignoring the microwave until it becomes so dirty we just can’t stand it anymore? We miss the days of a gleaming, fresh microwave and wonder if we’ll ever get them back. The good news is, with Bon Ami powdered cleanser and a little elbow grease, we can.

Dried sauces and caked-on foods make a microwave hard to clean. You’ll want to loosen up some of that gunk before getting to the real cleaning. Start by placing a bowl of water in the microwave. If you’ve got a lemon, squeeze the juice of it into the bowl as well. The lemon will naturally kill some of the bacteria, giving you a deeper clean. Microwave on high for five minutes—this will create steam, which will help loosen the caked-on food and make it easier to wipe away.

When the five minutes are up, leave the bowl to sit for another two minutes. Do not open the door—this will release the steam, which is still busy loosening up food residue. After two minutes, remove the bowl with caution—it could still be hot to the touch.

Next, remove the spinning plate from the microwave. Wet a sponge, sprinkle with Bon Ami Powder Cleanser, and begin gently rubbing the plate clean. Because Bon Ami contains no harmful chemicals, you can put it back in the microwave after rinsing and drying.

While the spinning plate is drying, sprinkle more Bon Ami on the wet sponge and get to work on the inside of the microwave. The steam will have helped loosen some of the gunk, and Bon Ami’s gentle abrasiveness will ensure none is left behind.

When finished, replace the spinner plate, stand back, and enjoy your gleaming microwave.

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