5 Foolproof Ways to Get Burnt Popcorn Smell Out of The Microwave

5 Foolproof Ways to Get Burnt Popcorn Smell Out of The Microwave

Microwave popcorn is convenient and delicious. But burnt popcorn smell and yellow butter stains can be frustrating, especially if you have a shiny, new microwave and would like to keep it clean and odor-free for as long as possible. Wondering how to get burnt popcorn smell out of the microwave? Here are 5 DIY tips to kick that smell to the curb.


We recommend following these tips in order. Of couse, if at any point the smell and stains have been removed to your satisfaction, you do not have to continue to the next steps.

  1. Fill a bowl with 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon white vinegar.
    • Microwave it for 4-5 minutes and leave it with the door shut for 10-15 minutes.
    • Steam will loosen smell-causing detritus stuck to the walls. Vinegar absorbs odors, even stubborn ones like burnt popcorn smell.
    • After the waiting period, remove the bowl and wipe the inside of the microwave down with a paper towel
  2. Not good enough? Okay – soak a sponge with vinegar.Place some baking soda on top and microwave the sponge for 25 seconds.
    • Wipe the inside of the microwave with the sponge.
    • Don’t forget the glass tray and the microwave door.
  3. If steps 1-2 don’t remove all the grime, soak cotton balls with acetone-free nail polish remover and wipe down the inside of the microwave.
    • Even stubborn stains should come out.
    • Wipe down the inside with soap, then vinegar water, to remove the polish remover.
    • We recommend following through with step 4 to get rid of chemical smells.
  4. Banish the remaining smells with the power of citrus.
    • Peel two oranges or slice a lemon in half.
    • Place the orange peels or lemon slices in a bowl of water (1-2 cups).
    • Microwave it for 4 minutes. Watch closely to ensure that the water stays in the bowl and the citrus peels do not burn.
    • If possible, leave the bowl in the microwave (with the door closed) for 12 hours.
    • Too time-consuming, or just not doable for you? That’s okay too. Let the bowl sit in the closed microwave for half an hour then, if the burnt smell persists, continue to step 5.
  5. Still bad odors in your microwave? Leave an open box of baking soda on your microwave tray overnight.
    • It will neurtalize the odor without adding to the smelly situation in any way.
    • You can also place coffee grounds from your morning coffee in a bowl in the microwave all day while you are at work.
    • If you don’t mind coffee smell, you can microwave 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds in a half cup of water for 2-3 minutes to expedite the process.

We hope these suggestions help you get your microwave back into tip-top shape! If your microwave is on its way out, it may not be worth your time to clean it. Time to buy a new microwave! Our free buying guide can help you figure out a replacement microwave that works for you.