Preventative Maintenance for Your Microwave Oven
Microwave ovens are cheaper and easier to replace than the larger appliances in your kitchen, so many people don’t worry about preventative care. However, by following a few easy steps, you can keep your microwave sparkling clean and in better condition so you don’t have to replace it for a long time.
- Keep the inside clean. By regularly wiping out the inside of your microwave, you cut down on bad smells and keep spots and corrosion from developing. Food and liquid left in the oven will continue to cook each time it’s used and will absorb the energy meant to heat up your current meal, making it less efficient. Clean any spills and splatters right away, and do a full wipe-down with a mild detergent once a week to once a month, depending on your usage.
- Keep the outside clean. Dust, grease, and other residues can build up on the outside of your microwave, especially on the controls. Old stains are harder to clean than new messes, so keep your microwave looking brand new by wiping it down regularly. This includes the areas around the microwave such as the countertop or cabinet.
- Use microwaveable containers. Non-microwaveable plastic containers can melt and even leave toxic particles in your food. Make sure you use containers that are specifically labeled as microwave-safe. These are often made of ceramic, glass, or tougher plastic.
- Cover your food. Use a microwave-safe plastic cover over your dishes or use the lids on your microwave-safe food containers. Splashes happen during the microwaving process as the liquid heats up, and preventing them from hitting the walls of the microwave makes cleanup easier and protects the paint and metal of the oven.
- Never put metal in your microwave. The microwaves emitted from the oven bounce off of metallic materials, so metal in the oven will cause the interior to heat up unevenly and can cause damage. This includes aluminum.
- Make sure the door closes properly. If the door is damaged or the seal is cracked, food won’t cook evenly and radiation can escape.
Preventative maintenance on your microwave oven can increase its lifespan significantly. It will also help keep your kitchen looking and smelling fresh.