October is National Popcorn Poppin’ Month. We love popcorn, a whole grain snack that’s low in calories when seasoned simply with spices and herbs. You can also use your FDA-sanctioned two daily tablespoons of heart-healthy olive oil.
But chief among our kitchen foibles is burnt microwaved popcorn. It not only imparts a horrendous lingering odor; it also stains the inside of the microwave with yellowish blotches. We sought help from HowToCleanStuff.net.
BURNT MICROWAVE POPCORN SMELL
Want to get rid of it? Ready to begin? Gather your weapons.
For The Odor
Mug and small bowl as a saucer
For The Stains
Bowl or small bucket
Soft cloth or paper towels
Nail polish remover (100% acetone)
Soapy and clean water
Optional: rubber gloves
Now get to work.
Because burnt popcorn is so ugly, we elect to show only beauty, like these heirloom kernels. Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.
STEP 1: REMOVE THE ODOR
To rid your home of that burnt popcorn smell, there are two approaches: the coffee method and the vinegar method. Ground coffee absorbs odors, and vinegar neutralizes them.
The Coffee Method
Fill a coffee mug or small bowl with 2 tablespoons of ground coffee and ½ cup of water. Set the cup in a small bowl to catch any overflow as it boils, and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Carefully remove the hot mug. Repeat as necessary with fresh ingredients.
The Vinegar Method
Fill the bowl halfway with vinegar. Heat it in the microwave until it develops a good amount of steam. Stop the heating and let the steam diffuse for 10 minutes.
Wipe out the microwave with water and a soft cloth or paper towels. A vinegar smell may remain in the microwave, but it will dissipate in a day or two and is far more pleasant than the burnt popcorn smell.
If the odor gets into the vents of a microwave, it may just take some time to air out. If you can take it outside and open the microwave door to fresh air—or set it in front of an open window—do so.
To neutralize the smell in the kitchen, add half a cup of vinegar to a quart of water and simmer on the stove for a 10 minutes.You can also burn a cinnamon stick in an ashtray.
If the odor still lingers, check out the article, Removing Smoke Smells, on HowToCleanStuff.net.
No burnt popcorn here! Photo courtesy Belle Chevre | Facebook.
STEP 2: REMOVE THE STAINS
This method should remove most, if not all, of the discoloration of the inside walls of a microwwave.
Mix a few drops of dish detergent with hot water in a large bowl or small bucket. Dip the cloth in the soapy water and wring it out thoroughly.
Wipe down the inside and outside of the microwave to remove any surface dirt and grime.
If you have manicured nails, put on rubber gloves for the next step:
With a clean cloth or paper towel, apply nail polish remover to the walls and scrub away the yellowish stains. Wipe any residue from the walls with the soapy water and rinse.
You may need to repeat a couple of times depending on the severity of the discoloration.