The Dish Towel Hack That Eliminates Fishy Odors From Your Microwave

Whether it's salmon, tuna, or even shrimp, fish dishes can be delightful. But with this sumptuous dining experience comes a lingering consequence: the persistent fishy odor that seems to hold your microwave hostage long after the meal is over. Not only can it be unpleasant to the senses, but it also serves as a reminder of past meals. Of course, there are countless hacks and techniques to rid your microwave of odors, but for a simple method that utilizes an everyday item most of us have in our kitchens, look to your dish towel. This hack is not only straightforward but also effective.

In case you're wondering, the reason for the unmistakable scent of fish, which sets it apart from other meats, is its chemical makeup. Fish, especially those from deep-sea or marine environments, contain a compound called trimethylamine oxide (TMAO). When fish is cooked, or even just begins to spoil, the TMAO breaks down into trimethylamine (TMA), which has that characteristic fishy odor. This compound is more prevalent in fish than in red or white meats, making the smell more pronounced and persistent. Thankfully, with the dish towel hack, you can eliminate this lingering odor sooner rather than later.

Getting rid of fishy microwave odors using the dish towel technique

Start by selecting a clean dish towel and dampen it with cold water. It should be very damp but not dripping wet. Squeeze a few drops of your regular dish soap onto the towel and massage it in. This helps in cutting through the greasy residue and odors. Place the soapy, damp dish towel on the microwave turntable. Set your microwave to a low power setting. This is crucial since high heat can cause the dish towel to dry out too quickly, posing a safety risk. A low power level ensures the towel remains damp, producing steam that helps remove the odor. Next, turn on the microwave for a few minutes, keeping an eye on it constantly.

Once the microwave goes off, let it sit for another few minutes without opening the door. Now, carefully open the microwave (it might be steamy!) and remove the dish towel. Use the warm, damp dish towel to wipe the inside of the microwave. The combination of heat, soap, and steam should have loosened any food particles and absorbed most of the odors.

After wiping, leave the microwave door open for a few minutes to let it air out. Voila! The pesky fish odor should now be gone, replaced by the mild scent of your dish soap.