The foods we reheat in the microwave can leave this workhorse appliance filled with rather unpleasant odors. But, you don’t have to suffer with a stinky microwave — you can deodorize it yourself using just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have lying around the house. Follow these 5 steps to get bad smells out of your microwave.

Step 1: Clean Your Microwave

The first step in deodorizing your microwave is to give the inside a thorough cleaning with soap and water. You aren’t going to get rid of any bad smells if there are still remnants of food stuck to the walls and ceiling of your microwave.

Keep in Mind: While cleaning your microwave before deodorizing it isn’t a hard-and-fast requirement, it will make getting those stinky smells out that much easier.

How to deodorize a microwave

Step 2: Mix Water With Baking Soda

Once you’ve given it a good cleaning, the next step in deodorizing your microwave is to mix a deodorizing solution together. For this, you’ll need a microwave-safe bowl, baking soda, and water. In the microwave-safe dish, mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 cup of water until dissolved. Then, place the bowl containing the mixture in the microwave.

Helpful Tip: You can also mix a solution containing 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with 1 cup of water, or 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with one cup of water, if you don’t have any baking soda on hand.

How to Deodorize a Microwave

Step 3: Run the Microwave

Once the bowl containing the deodorizing mixture has been placed in the microwave, run the microwave for approximately 2 to 3 minutes on high. As the solution heats up, the steam will loosen any leftover or difficult to remove caked-on food and oil, while the baking soda absorbs any unpleasant odors and helps to remove stubborn stains.

Step 4: Remove the Bowl

After the microwave finishes running, carefully remove the bowl containing the baking soda and water mixture from the microwave.

Warning: The bowl will be hot, so handle with caution.

Helpful Tip: Oven mitts can help prevent burns to your hands during this step.

Step 5: Wipe Down the Microwave

Finally, once you’ve run your deodorizing solution through the microwave, all that’s left to do is wipe it down with a cleaning cloth or paper towel. There should be no more bad smells left in your microwave, but if there are, you can just repeat the process until the smell is gone.

While cleaning the microwave isn’t always the most pleasant experience, it doesn’t have to be the worst chore on your list. Sure, bad smells like burnt popcorn might seem like they’ll never disappear, but with these 5 simple steps, you can have your microwave looking and smelling like new in no time at all.