Every Excuse Has a Shelf Life

VERY messy microwave at

A few weeks ago, it took forEVER to clean the house for our weekly church home group meeting on a Sunday night. This was because the meeting hadn’t been weekly for several weeks due to weather-related-cancellation and spring break and such.

Right. I’m saying that even though my house is infinitely more livable than it was pre-blog, and even though I’ve figured out how to keep the kitchen and living areas under control, I still let things go waaayyyy too far when life is crazy and there are no impending doorbells for an extended period of time.

Anyway . . . as I worked in the kitchen, I actually thought something like this: “I’m going to count on the fact that no one will need to use my microwave tonight. Surely, there will be no reason for anyone to look in there . . . ”

Even though people often bring food. And people occasionally need to use my microwave.

It was a gamble, and I lost.

Sure enough, the evening’s chef encouraged people to microwave if needed.

So I began nonchalantaly blabbing about my hideous microwave. As I tend to do.

“Did you know spinach explodes?” I said.

I just didn’t mention how long ago our spinach had exploded.

People were understanding and allowed me to do any microwaving needed so I could keep them from seeing the green-leafy hideousness.

And then the next Sunday afternoon, as I did MUCH less cleaning since I was only working to recover from a single nowhere-near-as-crazy week between doorbells, I happened to notice my microwave again.

Equally as green-and-leafy as the week before. It hadn’t bothered me one single time during the week between. So I cleaned it. I microwaved a bowl of water with a squirt of lemon juice in it and began scrubbing. In just a few moments it looked like this:


Far from perfect but oh-so-much better. (It will never be beautiful again after a certain child hit 14:55 instead of 1:45 when making popcorn a few years back!)

But this post really isn’t about how quickly I can clean my microwave once I get after it, it’s about how my motivation was that I couldn’t pull off the same excuse two weeks in a row.

People are willing to laugh about how messy your microwave is, but the second week it’s not as funny. And that second week, you can no longer hope people will assume that it just happened a few days ago and not a few weeks ago.


Every Excuse Has a Shelf Life pin at

--Nony get-how-to-manage-your-home-without-losing-your-mind-wherever-books-are-sold


  1. 1

    My microwave looked pretty bad for not quite as long (probably 4 or 5 days) but I kept thinking, “Oh, I’ll get to it eventually.” Finally I DID get to it and 4 minutes work made it look SO much better. I’m sure you thought what I did — why didn’t I do that earlier?

    It looks great :-).

  2. 2

    I use a measuring cup with vinegar to clean mine. Put it in there for like five minutes and then wipe the whole inside down. Takes care of any smells, too! I then leave the door open to let it completely dry and air a bit! I have to admit, though, that the microwave is one of my OCD things. If it gets dirty, it gets cleaned immediately. Even my husband knows not to let it sit dirty! 🙂

  3. 3

    This is one of those jobs I just despise. For me it requires dragging out a foot stool and getting the cleaning stuff out. Of course it really only takes a few seconds, but I feel like it will take much much longer. I always tell myself that I’m going to do it, but, big surprise, I don’t. I’ll admit that my microwave has looked exactly like that for much longer than a few weeks. Sigh one day I’ll get it figured out.

    • 4

      Andrea…I have the same problem. Mine is above the stove and I can’t see over the top of a salad plate in there much less reach more than a few inches in anywhere.

  4. 5

    Small group is tonight — no one EVER uses our microwave, BUT there’s a lemon-water mug microwaving right now, because, yes, my excuses have too expired. Thanks for the motivation!!

  5. 6

    I so don’t know what you’re talking about…is a gigantic lie! Okay, okay. I’ll clean it as soon as I finish the HIMYM finally.

  6. 7

    This post made me laugh out loud, literally. I can’t believe the popcorn went in there for 14:55. Maybe microwaves should have a time limit on them, so they can’t go that long… 🙂

  7. 8
    Susan in England says:

    I really really really do not like cleaning the microwave, which strikes me as somewhat irrational as I happily clean other things (except the car!).

    So, I use a food cover so that any exploding food is contained and the revolving plate and the cover can be washed along with the dishes. I insist that the cover is used for practically everything and the microwave stays pretty clean..

    I get my covers in the UK but I’ve checked and they are available on

    Whilst talking about microwaves, I find a microwave plate/tray exceedingly useful to lift hot dishes out of the microwave. It’s saved a lot of burnt fingers or juggling with oven cloths or gloves.

  8. 12

    I did the same thing with pop corn years ago. It resulted in yellow staining and a burnt smell that stayed in the microwave no matter how much I scrubbed. It always looked dingy and the stink… well it wasn’t right. I told myself that I deserved a new microwave and went and bought one. What I didn’t realise was the smoke damage could have ruined the wiring and the microwave was a fire hazard due to the damage. I should have bought a new one sooner. I don’t regret our new one a bit. I got stainless steel and it was on sale and I got the display model.

  9. 13

    I distinctly remember ruining a microwave with popcorn when I was really young…maybe 6? We also had a toaster-oven start on fire because my mom’s friend bumped the dial from 250 to broil and then forgot about it for about an hour till the fire alarm went off! Ahh kitchen appliances–such a love/accidental-destruction relationship haha

  10. 14

    have you all beat..once with an impeding visit from inlaws and a way too gross microwave and a 39.99 special…we just bought a new one…I KNOW HORRID>…I still feel guilty (a little)

  11. 16
    Danielle B says:

    LOL… my microwave resembles your before pic lol. Loveeeee how I’m not the only one who makes excuses, and hope people buy it. lol. It eventually gets clean…. Eventually.

  12. 17

    And about 15 minutes after reading this post and realizing that your microwave didn’t even look as bad as ours, my microwave is now as sparkly as the day I bought it. Thank you for the motivation. 😀

  13. 18
    TwoDiffSocks says:

    Cleaning microwave after exploding anything or just regular cleaning——Mr Clean Magic Eraser with your fave cleaner or plain hot water.

  14. 19

    I always put cleaning my microwave off too long. I hate the fact that it’s over the stove (whoever thought of that idea had to have been over six feet tall). I can’t clean it without a step stool. It wouldn’t be so bad if everyone in the house would remember to cover whatever they’re warming up with a paper plate or towel, but I guess that’s too hard to remember. :/

    • 20

      Mine is over the stove too. I am only 5, 1″. This is my excuse. I can’t see the mess its waaay up there. I have seen a microwave in a drawer on HGTV. To quote Nony, “That would solve all my slob problems.”

  15. 21

    Great article. Question – my microwave has grease from the stove coming out from the inside top ceiling. How to clean this?

  16. 23
    YankeeGirlCHT says:

    I used to have four little people living with me. It usually looked like a bowl of Spaghettios had exploded in there, since that happened almost daily. Anyway, I found that there are some things that really steam up the microwave – baked potatoes, rice, certain veggies- and if you grab a rag and wipe everything down after cooking one of those, it cleans up. I now never miss an opportunity to wipe down a steamy microwave. It literally takes seconds.

  17. 24

    One of the reasons I love the microwave splatter-guard-thing. Otherwise who knows what would be in there. Stalactites made of swiss cheese? Probably. Splatters of water, vegetables, coffee, hot cocoa. Remnants of “left-overs” night. Like this… Totally worth it. And it’s easier to take that out and wash it and the microwave try with dishes…than always scrubbing the microwave.

  18. 25

    I use a cover but also I use the Clorox wipes for the counter and use the same one for a quick swipe in the microwave. It usually doesn’t look too bad but I happened to take a look at my stove hood today and was grossed out. Found out that fumeless oven cleaner is just a spray and wipe clean process with it!

Speak Your Mind


© 2009 - 2015 A Slob Comes Clean All rights reserved. | Blog Header and Button design by Many Little Blessings.