The microwave is the ultimate convenience appliance. You use it when you’re running out the door and want a hot beverage or when you’re re-heating leftovers. When you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to forget that you can’t put anything and everything in your microwave. If you treat this small appliance properly by being careful how you use it, you will lessen the chance of needing microwave repair. Here are a few of the major no-no’s you need to avoid.
- Metal objects. Your microwave’s interior is made of metal and functions as a mirror to reflect the radio or microwaves that heat your food. When these waves bounce off metals such as aluminum foil or the handles on Chinese food containers, they quickly ignite and create sparks. In short, this is a dangerous situation you should take pains to avoid.
- Paper bags. Not all paper bags are created equal. Your average grocery sack, for instance, is not made like a bag designed for microwave popcorn. The popcorn container is made of materials that absorb the radio waves, whereas a standard bag is not. A standard bag could easily catch fire in your microwave and also has the potential to release toxins.
- Plastic bags and containers. When placed in the microwave, a plastic grocery bag or container can release toxic BPA and other organic products that have been found to be damaging to humans. The last thing you want is destructive hormones in your dinner.
- Travel mugs. These are usually made of a combination of plastic and metal, both of which we already know do not agree with your microwave. For that reason, it makes much more sense to heat your beverage in a microwave-safe mug and transfer it to your to-go cup.
- Styrofoam containers. Although it is tempting to simply heat up your restaurant leftovers in the container in which they came, it’s not advisable. That’s because when Styrofoam is heated, some of the chemicals with which it is made can leach into your food. In addition, the container can start to break down, enabling your food to leak through.
- Nothing at all. Your microwave isn’t like a regular oven that you can turn on without anything in it and leave for an extended period of time without any danger. In fact, you always need to have something, whether food or beverage, in your microwave when in use. That’s because the microwaves need something to bounce off of. If nothing is available, they will simply hit against each other and be absorbed by the appliance, ultimately causing your entire oven to catch fire.
When you’re in a rush and need something heated up fast, your microwave can be your best friend. To ensure that it continues to work properly without a visit from a microwave repair service, treat it right. If you do, it will be your go-to small appliance for many years.