Expert warns against trying viral microwave cleaning hack on TikTok

This is one hack your microwave really doesn't need

Have you cleaned your microwave filter? If you're anything like us you probably had no idea your microwave's had one until we stumbled across the viral microwave filter cleaning hack on Tiktok.

However, according to a cleaning expert, if you want to keep your best microwave in good working order, this is one hack to swerve.

silver microwave set in kitchen cupboards under counter top

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Microwave filter cleaning hack

The hack first came to our attention when TikTok user @mamasknowbest revealed the grimy secret hiding in your microwaves charcoal filter.

'This is your reminder to change your microwave charcoal filter,' she says. In the clip below, she removes the cover of the top of her microwave to reveal a dirty-looking filter.

'You're supposed to change the filter every 6 months. So while I wait for my new one to come, I'm going to just clean this one,' she writes, captioning the video.

White cupboards in kitchen with wooden counter tops and a silver microwave

(Image credit: Future PLC)

@mamasknowbest, who often shares home care and cleaning tips on her account, soaks the filter in sudsy water and scrubs the area under the cover with a sponge. She cleans the cover too, before rinsing everything off.

The video has received 236k likes and has been shared 41.5k times since it was first posted. However, according to cleaning expert, Lily Cameron at Fantastic Services, the last job you should be adding to your cleaning to-do list is the microwave charcoal filter.

Cleaning expert warning

She explained that not all microwaves have these filters, it is mainly over-the-range, fan microwaves, which aren't all that common.

'Those filters can be charcoal (such as the one in the TikTok video), and grease filters, which are made of either stainless steel or aluminium,' says Lily.

silver microwave on kitchen counter top under blue cabinet

(Image credit: Future PLC)

While you should be cleaning and regularly replacing the grease filter, she explains that it is best to just replace a charcoal filter.

'It’s extremely important to clean or replace [grease filters], as they clean the air that circulates in your kitchen.' If those filters are covered in grease, they will not be able to filter the air at all.

She explains that cleaning charcoal filters is a pointless exercise. They simply just cannot be cleaned. After a while, they will need replacing instead as they aren't reusable, long-term filters.

If in doubt, read up on how to clean a microwave. Or, check your manual for instructions - if you can find it...

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.