Having a microwave at home is more like a luxury in most Indian households. For example, only 13 per cent of Indian households had a microwave in 2013. But apart from having a microwave you must know how to clean a microwave.
Although, the popularity of this appliance has been gradually rising. As more and more individuals become aware of the microwave oven’s efficiency and usefulness.
You can reheat previously cooked food if you have a microwave oven. You can also cook food with very satisfactory results. But a microwave’s optimum use also depends on how well you maintain it. Our tips for microwave maintenance will help you keep your microwave oven in top shape. Therefore it will last longer, and with every use, it gives better results.
Microwave Maintenance Tips
In India, you can not place most of the microwaves at the countertop. For successful discharge of heat, they have vents on the top and the sides. Therefore, when you put a microwave in the kitchen, there are numerous considerations.
Distance From Wall
When you use it, your microwave body heats up, and the vents you see on top of the sides dissipate the heat. It would be best if you placed it in the position that has enough space around the unit to do that effectively.
The heat dissipation is no longer efficiently carried out if you hold the microwave too close to the wall. Therefore it results in a microwave that takes longer to cool down after cooking. It may also overheat during the cooking process.
A variety of microwaves now come with distance limiters. For instance, plastic strips tell you how far you should keep the microwave from the back wall. Even if you do not have such a facility, keep the microwave at least 3 inches away from the rear wall.
It would help if you tried to maintain a distance of at least 3-5 inches from the wall. Keep the top of the microwave clean. Play on the safe side and review the directions on the manual of the manufacturer. It will help to know how much clearance your specific microwave requires.
Place your microwave in such a way that the wire stays within easy reach of the electric socket. The wire should not be pulled excessively in any conditions to enter the socket. Also, make sure it is not loose. Don’t coil the wire on top of the microwave. Again, try not to hang the wire too close to the sides while you operate the microwave.
Other Heat/Water Sources:
Don’t hold the microwave too close to the gas oven or the sink where water can splash on it. Having it near a hot section of your kitchen may interfere with the microwave’s heat dissipation. Make sure you keep it at someplace cool to avoid any accident.
Also, do not keep the microwave anywhere near the water tap or any other water source. It may create the risk of a short circuit using water splash.
To keep it running optimally, try to clean the microwave daily using a damp cloth.
Switch the microwave off after each use, and unplug it from the socket. Please wait for it to cool down and wipe it using a damp cloth. Also, before cleaning it, make sure it cools down completely. Otherwise, you can hurt yourself with it.
Make sure to clean the crumbs or food particles before you start cooking. It may cause an accident because the leftover food particles can catch fire.
It is crucial because the next time you operate the appliance, they can take up some microwave energy. Also, if there are food particles and splatters inside the oven, it will reduce efficiency.
Also, germs could grow on the inside of the oven if you don’t use the microwave. They are thereby making it very unhygienic.
Once a week, clean your microwave correctly. To do this, you can use homemade cleaners. You can disinfect the microwave using vinegar or lemon. Add one teaspoon of white vinegar to a bowl of vinegar and turn on your microwave for a few minutes.
Alternatively, on a microwave plate with a little water, place two halves of a lemon and run your microwave for a minute. Then, shut the microwave off, unplug and remove the turntable. Wipe off the insides absolutely with a soft cloth or paper towel.
Clean and wipe the turntable in the sink like you’d clean a glass plate. Apply some lemon juice with vinegar for tough stains. And then leave it for 5 minutes before scrubbing them off.
You can also use a standard dishwashing liquid to clean the microwave interiors and exteriors. Please make sure that you clean the ceiling and walls. But do not take the damp cloth near the machine. To clean and deodorize your oven, you can also use baking soda and water.
Before you use the microwave oven again, hold the door open. Besides, it would help if you unplugged the microwave before it dries up fully. When you clean the microwave using hot vinegar/lemons/baking soda, please wear gloves.
Use Correct Dishware
Using the right dishware for reheating or frying is one way to maintain your microwave. It means that the correct number of microwaves hits the food. And when you use it, there is no harm to either the food or the microwave oven itself.
Also read: 10 Best Microwave ovens in India
How to Clean the Inside of a Microwave?
You can find a marking below for any utensil recommended for microwave use.
- Glass and ceramic dishes,
- Plastics marked as microwave-safe
- Paper towels
- Wax or parchment paper
- Aluminium or stainless steel
- Baking Trays and pans marked as safe for prolonged use in a convection environment
- You can also use silicone in a microwave oven.
Naturally, you can use bread, cookies, muffins, tarts, cakes, or roast meat and vegetables using a metal container/tray. You can see glass and ceramic pans or containers for casseroles and pies.
Silicone pans are suitable for very light-coloured cakes, pieces of bread and muffins. Microwave-safe plastic containers are ideal for reheating. But some people suggest not to use plastic containers at high temperatures.
You can use aluminium foils and cling film in the convection mode, but not in any other mode.
What not to do:
It would be best if you did not use wooden pans or something with a handle made of wood. Besides, it would help if you did not use any pan with metallic paint or trim adhesive designs or pans. Make sure not to use Brown paper bags or foam-insulated containers.
Know What Can Go In It
Knowing what food can get into a microwave can avoid kitchen disasters. For example, experts suggest that you should never use a microwave oven to heat water. In the microwave, too high temperatures will superheat the water.
There are no bubbles created to suggest that the water is boiling in the absence of a nucleation point. The superheated water bottle can cause an explosion that leads to significant burning and damage to the microwave. Therefore, use a kettle to boil water at all times.
Similarly, you should not cook eggs in the microwave. It would help if you did not use tomatoes, chilly peppers or hot dogs in the oven as they are at risk of exploding under such extreme pressure.
On the inside, heat is trapped and causes these objects to burst from their skins. Please note what food products can and can not go into the microwave to avoid damaging the microwave and harm yourself.
Maintain The Door As Well
People also use their elbows to slam the door shut with hands full. It is a dangerous thing to do because there are three separate switches that you should close in a specific order when a microwave door closes.
These switches should be closed in sequence to close the door properly. It would help if you kept this thing in mind as it can lead to damage. Before using the microwave, know the dos and don’ts. It will allow you to use the microwave more effectively.
You can destroy one or more of the switches by slamming the microwave door shut or closing it too hard. Although an approved service member can fix these switches, please know that the repairs are not inexpensive. It will cost between Rs. 800 to Rs. 1000 for each turn.
You should shut and open the microwave gently. Also, make sure that it doesn’t crash against a wall or other obstacle when you open the door to avoid harm to the outside.
Do Not Run Empty
If you are preheating your microwave using convection mode, never run it empty. The microwave works like any other oven when you use the microwave in convection mode, and does not use microwave heat.
On the other hand, when the microwave mode is on, make sure not to keep leftover food inside it. Also, clean the walls and the magnetron inside the oven absorb the microwaves. It can seriously damage these components, and repairs can be expensive. Before you run it, always place food inside the microwave oven.
Know When To Call For Help
Microwaves are intricate appliances. Even after you unplug the microwave, the capacitor can retain a significant amount of charge. It would help if you did not try to fix any part of the microwave oven yourself, apart from regular cleaning.
A microwave can provide you with any number of mechanical or electrical failures. Therefore calling an approved service member for repairs is the best way to deal with it.
Get Extended Warranty
Problems with a microwave can vary from small to large. You may have to face the quick patch, a blown light bulb that does not turn and a blown magnetron. Therefore an approved service member must investigate every issue in the microwave.
In most cases, a manufacturer’s guarantee would protect the microwave oven for a year. But after that, you will have to pay for any repairs.
Having an Extended Warranty on your appliance is the only way out of this. Multiple concerns are taken care of by an extended warranty. Therefore it eases your time and saves you money.
Any replacement can only take place with legitimate spare parts. But it will prolong the life of your microwave in general. Therefore, pay a little more and purchase an Extended Warranty when you buy your microwave. Consequently, you can ensure more comprehensive security for it.
There is usually no need to think about the weight range of the microwave. As most dishes and food products are within its capacity. But you can sometimes check the weight capacity of the device. You should check it when microwaving large frozen products and heavier dishes.
You can get most of the information on the microwave door. Also, you can find it online or in the user manual. The turntable and motor could be physically strained by a weighty object and left damaged.
Try Preprogrammed Cooking Times
Many people seldom use pre-programmed cooking times for microwaves. You can use this method to allow the most efficient use of the microwave to minimize energy loss and heating the food as efficiently as possible.
Try these preset cooking modes. You can find that not only does your food work better, but you can also help avoid some of the other microwave damage. For example, messes that lead to burning spots.
Necessary maintenance decreases wear and tear on your microwave oven. And you should perform certain types of maintenance independently. It is essential and inexpensive to repair components such as light bulbs, door latches, turntables, motors, and charcoal filters.
Many of these issues are reasonably simple to diagnose. One of the only necessary pieces is a charcoal filter. You may find it difficult sometimes to find the charcoal filter. For this, you can ask the serviceman to change it.
It typically means that grease has built up and a new filter is needed. If your filter looks greasy or if your microwave vents odd odours you must change it.