8 Mistakes to Avoid to Keep Your Microwave Oven in Excellent Condition

Microwave ovens are convenient, economical, and versatile. They can reheat and cook food quickly, and they are hassle-free compared to other cooking methods, which makes it suitable for households with a busy lifestyle. It is no wonder a microwave is now a must-have appliance in the modern Filipino kitchen.

Perhaps, you are planning to replace your old microwave because it is no longer functioning as it used to. If so, you should keep two essential things in mind. First of all, make sure to find an appliance store that offers the best microwave oven deals to save valuable pesos; secondly, learn how to keep and maintain the appliance properly so that you can use it for longer.

Read on to get an idea about what exactly the kinds of practices you should avoid to keep your microwave oven in excellent working condition.

Failing to Clean Your Microwave Oven Regularly

You may not realize it, but the food and liquid splatters, grease, and dirt inside your microwave oven can hamper its performance and cause the appliance to malfunction. This is why you can’t keep your microwave oven dirty for a long time. Give your unit a thorough cleaning once a week using warm soapy water, a sponge, and a clean, dry washcloth. Dip the sponge in the soapy water, squeeze it, and wipe the interior of the unit clean. End the process by drying the microwave using a clean washcloth.

Positioning the Unit Too Close to the Wall

When placing your microwave oven on your countertop or kitchen cabinet, make sure that your appliance has room to breathe. Allow at least three inches of space between the wall and the back and sides of your microwave oven. It’s worth noting that the vents release heat whenever you use the appliance. This means positioning the oven too close to the wall can lead to overheating issues.

Turning on the Microwave Oven with Nothing Inside

Every time you turn on your microwave to cook, a device called a magnetron sends microwaves into the food or liquid to heat them up. If you turn on your unit without anything inside, there will be no recipient of the microwaves. As a result, the magnetron will reabsorb these microwaves, which, over time, could eventually cause damage to the unit. This simple mistake can also cause your microwave oven to catch fire, so be extra careful.

Microwaving Food Uncovered

Perhaps the easiest thing you can do to protect your microwave oven and keep it in good condition for a long time is to cover the food or liquid you intend to heat before hitting the buttons. Forgetting to do so can cause significant spills and splatters, especially if you’re cooking something with fat or oil. However, keep in mind to cover the container just lightly. Microwaving food or liquid in an airtight container is also a huge no-no. This is because the container can explode due to the steam or pressure being trapped inside.

Placing Items on Top of the Microwave Oven

Keep the top of your microwave oven clutter-free. Placing jars, placemats, small appliances, and other items on top of it can hurt your unit. If you have no other choice but to use the top of your microwave oven to hold other kitchen items, make sure to remove the clutter whenever you’re going to use it to prevent any issues.

Slamming the Microwave Door

You don’t have to slam the door of the microwave oven to close it. All you need is a gentle push to get it done. Closing the appliance door carelessly can damage its latch mechanism, which means you’ll no longer be able to open and close the microwave door properly. When this happens, you’ll have no choice but to send it for repair or to replace it with a new unit.

Microwaving Heavy Food Items or Containers

You may not realize it, but your microwave likely has a maximum weight capacity. That means you can’t just microwave any type of food item or container for as long as it fits the unit. Placing extremely heavy items beyond the weight capacity of your microwave oven can damage the turntable and motor. As such, better check the user’s manual before you try microwaving particularly bulky foods or heavy containers.

Heating Food Products and Containers That Are Not Meant for Microwave Ovens

Knowing what kinds of food and containers should not be going inside your microwave oven is crucial for preventing serious damage to your appliance. For instance, paper bags can catch fire while aluminum foil can spark if heated. Here are other food and non-food items that can spark, overheat, explode, melt, or start a fire when microwaved:

  • Eggs with their shells on
  • Hot dogs
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes
  • Styrofoam
  • Metal items
  • Containers with metal trimmings
  • Aluminum foil
  • Squeeze bottles
  • Non-microwaveable plastic containers

Are you guilty of committing any of the mistakes mentioned above? If yes, now is the best time to mend your ways. After all, microwave ovens are not cheap, so you better take care of your investment. Make an effort to follow the helpful tips discussed in this piece, and you will surely extend the life of your microwave oven.


6 Responses

  1. These are great tips, Raymund — great idea to post them! (Going to make sure I’m in compliance!) We often will warm our dinner plates in the microwave… how bad is that? What do you think?

  2. These are some really helpful tips. I actually am thinking to get a new microwave…got rid of my old one years ago and find it a bit inconvenient sometimes without one.

  3. suituapui says:

    Have not had one for a long time since the old one called it a day.

  4. Great tips here, Raymund! I am definitely guilty of some of these things over the years, although I like to think I’m more careful these days. Thanks for sharing/reminding!

  5. Hannah says:

    Microwaves are such fascinating tools. I actually don’t have one anymore, but I do miss the convenience. These are great tips.

  6. Joan Hays says:

    Great information for the seasoned and unseasoned cooking community. Thank you so much for sharing this great blog with us.

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