If you have an over-the-range microwave oven, also known as an OTR microwave, your handy cooking appliance has a grease filter. Different OTR microwave ovens have slightly different formats and filter types, so it is best to consult the manufacturer’s manual to learn more about the filter in your specific appliance. Here, you can learn about how exactly the OTR microwave works and how to clean the microwave filter.
How Over-the-Range Microwave Ovens Work
An over-the-range microwave oven sits in place of a traditional exhaust fan. The exhaust fan sucks grease, odors, steam, and hot air from your cooking and takes them through a duct system to the outdoors.
Microwave ovens come with one of two types of vent systems. One is a vented system that works just like a regular exhaust fan, taking grease and odors out of your home. However, it has a smaller area of coverage than a range hood. The other type is a recirculating system that uses a filter to catch grease before channeling clean air back into your kitchen. Your microwave oven may have either a reusable filter or a charcoal filter, which must be replaced after each use.
How to Clean the Microwave Filter
If you have a reusable microwave grease filter, there are several easy steps to take to keep it functioning at its best. The first step is to gather your tools: soap, baking soda, a basin or sink, a rough sponge or bristle brush, and gloves.
The second step is to unplug your microwave oven. When removing parts of your microwave oven, it is best to keep yourself safe from a potential electric shock.
The third step is to locate and remove your microwave oven’s filter. It is typically located under the microwave oven and looks like a square or rectangular mesh screen. All you need to do is to slide the filter out of its slot or remove it as directed by your manufacturer. If the filter is very dirty, wearing gloves can keep your hands clean.
The fourth step is to clean the microwave filter. Use hot water to drench and soak the grease filter. Scrub it well with soap, baking soda, or both. Allow it to dry completely, and replace it in the microwave oven.
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