You don’t know how critical your microwave is to your daily life until it suddenly breaks down or rusts through because of something as simple as poor cleaning. Here are some tips on caring for your microwave to increase its longevity.
1. Keep it clean
This is one of the easiest ways to increase the longevity of your microwave. Food and liquid spatter can absorb energy leading to burn spots which can damage components of the microwave. Liquid spills can cause the inner metallic surface to rust through eventually which spells the end of it’s life.
Regularly clean the microwave. Most foods and liquids can be removed with warm soap and water. For stubborn spots, you can try heating a cup of water in the microwave for 60-90 seconds so that the steam loosens the grime. Prevent such messes in the future by buying and using a microwave cover while heating food. This protects the paint and the metal of the oven from eventual rust.
Food spatter stuck inside the microwave also reduces its efficiency because it absorbs the energy that should be heating up your food. The best practice is to clean spills and spatters right away and give it a more thorough wash once a week to once a month depending on usage.
Regularly wipe down the outside too. Old stains are harder to clean than new ones so it’s best to regularly clean the microwave to keep it looking new.
2. Choose dishware carefully
Nothing metallic should ever be put in your microwave. This includes aluminium foil, metal, and dishware with silver or gold accents. The waves emitted from the oven bounce off of metallic materials so having metal objects in the oven just causes the interior to heat up unevenly which can cause damage. Materials that are not microwave-safe can cause fire or explosions so for the sake of your own safety and that of your microwave don’t use them.
Typically ceramic, glass and plastic are microwave-safe but you should err on the side of caution and only use dishware with a sticker indicating that it is microwave-friendly. If you notice that some piece of dishware gets significantly hotter than the food, avoid using it in the future.
3. Prevent door damage
Doors are by far the most abused part of the microwave. Closing the door carelessly like slamming them or using your elbow may damage the latches. Opening the door while it’s running can also result in a blown safety fuse. It’s best to cancel the operation timer entirely before opening the door.
Make sure the door closes properly. If the door is damaged or the seal is cracked, food will not cook evenly and radiation can escape.
4. Use preset cooking times
People rarely use the preprogrammed cooking times which is a mistake because they are designed to make the most efficient use of the microwave, minimizing energy loss and heating the food as effectively as possible. This is especially important when thawing food.
5. Never run it on empty
Running a microwave without anything inside it can cause serious damage. When it’s running on empty, the interior and its components absorb the heat thus produced. This is harmful to it because its components are not designed to withstand that level of heat exposure.
6. Surge, Protector,
Plug your microwave into an electric surge protector or unplug it when it is not in use. This will keep it safe in the event of power fluctuations. It’s also good practice to regularly check the cord to make sure that it has not become frayed or cracked.
Wipe down the microwave using a sponge and hot soapy water. Make sure you clean the door, touchpad controls, interior cavity, and exterior. Using a credit card is a good way to scrape off stuck food without scratching the surface.
Wash any removable parts
Sanitize it. Lemon juice is the secret to a fresh-smelling microwave. Place a bowl of water containing a few tablespoons of lemon juice in the oven and run it on high for a few minutes. The idea is to let the steam fill the cavity. Then wipe it down with a cloth.
Take these simple steps to avoid the costly and cumbersome task of having to repair a microwave or purchase a new one altogether.
Check out this article on 6 microwave hacks that will make your life easier.
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