Microwave ovens have become a necessity in every home today due to our busy lifestyles. At just the touch of a button, this appliance can warm food, defrost frozen foods or even cook food for you right from scratch in just a few seconds.
The popularity of this appliance has been steadily growing over the years for its efficiency. Since microwave ovens are regularly used, it’s important that you maintain them well.
Here are some maintenance tips that will help you keep your microwave working in the best possible condition for longer.
The simplest way to keep your microwave running for longer is to clean it once a week. Did you know that food and liquid spatters in the microwave absorb energy too? Plus, they leave an unusual odor if not regularly cleaned.
A weekly cleaning session may hardly take 10 minutes and can easily be done using some warm water, liquid soap, a sponge or clean cloth. Dip the sponge/cloth in the solution and clean the microwave from the inside and outside.
The other option is to use vinegar or lemon. All you need to do is, place a bowl of vinegar with 1 tsp of white vinegar in the microwave oven and turn on the microwave for a minute.
If you do not have vinegar, you can put two halves of a cut lemon on a microwave safe plate with some water and run the microwave for a minute. Next, turn off the microwave, unplug it, remove the turntable and wash it. Using a paper towel, clean the insides.
If the food stains are stubborn, you can heat a cup of water in the microwave for 2 minutes. Once the steam helps loosen the grime, clean it with a cloth. You could also dip the sponge in some lemon juice with vinegar and clean the insides.
Once cleaned, unplug the microwave and keep the door open for sometime until it is completely dried up.
Place It Rightly
Get a cabinet made for the microwave or you could buy a ready microwave stand. Ensure that you leave a good 3 inches from the wall and on the sides, as the body of the microwave heats up when it is in use.
The vents from the side release heat, so accordingly leave ample space around the microwave to avoid any heat damage to the appliance. Make sure the microwave has a wire that is within the reach of the electrical socket, so that the wire is not pulled.
Also, the wire should not hang too close to the microwave sides when in use, as the vents release heat.
Lastly, ensure that the microwave is kept away from the gas oven / kitchen sink or it can overheat and there can be water splashes, which will leave your microwave damaged.
Never Put These In The Microwave
Knowing what food shouldn’t be going into the microwave can really prevent disasters in the kitchen.
If you want to keep your microwave safe, avoid heating food with paper bags, as they can release toxins that could potentially catch fire. Also avoid putting any metal bowls, silver foils, plastic containers in the microwave oven, as they can cause serious danger to the appliance. They are not meant for microwaves.
We only recommend using glass, ceramic and plastic containers labelled for microwave oven use.
If the container is microwave safe, it will come with a label on it. In fact, some experts recommend never to use a microwave for heating water.
Extremely high temperatures in the microwave can super heat the water and either lead to an explosion or leave the microwave damaged. Super-heated water is when the water is heated beyond its boiling temperature, without signs of boiling. So, we’d recommend using the microwave only for some warm water and a kettle for boiling hot water.
Lastly, if you want hard boiled eggs, boil them on the stove and not in the microwave or it can be a complete mess. The high temperature can cause the eggs to explode.
Prevent Door Damage
Most of us end up slamming the microwave door instead of pushing them gently. We may not realize it but slamming the door can cause damage to the microwave latch in the long run.
Most microwave oven door latch mechanisms have three switches that need to be closed in a certain manner. Closing the door roughly can destroy these switches. Also remember that once closed, the microwave door should be completely sealed.
This is an important safety feature, designed to keep radiation contained.
Know Its Weight Limitations
Usually, there is no need to worry about the microwave’s weight capacity as most dishes and food items are within its capacity. But sometimes while microwaving large frozen items and heavier dishes, you should check the weight capacity of the unit.
The information is available on the microwave door, online or in the user’s manual.
An extremely heavy item could mechanically strain the turntable and motor and leave it damaged.
Protect It With An Extended Warranty Plan
Issues with a microwave can range from small to major. Right from a blown light bulb to turntables not turning, any problem in the microwave oven needs urgent attention. The manufacturer’s warranty may cover the microwave oven for a year, but beyond that, you will be required to pay for repairs.
The best way to avoid this is to get your microwave covered with an Extended Warranty plan. The Onsitego Extended Warranty plan can take care of all the defects and malfunctions in the appliance, just like how it is covered in a standard manufacturer’s warranty.
The good thing is, Onsitego can get the microwave fixed from an expert at the convenience of your time and place. Any replacement will only be done with genuine spare parts, and in general, extend the life of your microwave.
So if you plan to purchase a new microwave, we would recommend investing a little more and buying the Extended Warranty plan along with the appliance for longer protection. Click here for more information on the Extended Warranty plan.
Difference between a conventional and a convection microwave?
A conventional microwave oven emits microwaves that pass through glass and plastic containers to cook food. A convection microwave oven, on the other hand combines basic microwave technology with radiant heat and circulates hot air to let you roast, brown, and grill foods.
Convection microwaves have a heating element as well as a fan to circulate the heated air. This results in a more thorough, even job of cooking. Also known as speed-cook models, these units promise juicier pot roasts and crustier pizzas.
Another alternative heating method combines microwaves with intense light from a quartz halogen bulb to grill and roast food. This technology is said to add colour and taste to the meat while speeding up the cooking time.
Since convection microwave ovens allow multiple cooking modes in a single oven, they’re expensive as compared to conventional microwave ovens.
Are Microwave Ovens Harmful?
Even today there are some people who avoid using microwave ovens because they believe that it changes the chemical nature of food or leads to tumours because of radiation.
However, these facts have been refuted by many researchers over the years. Radiation can only leak if the oven door is damaged or doesn’t seal properly. Even in such a case, the leakage will be too small to cause any health risk.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Microwave Oven
The size of the microwave can be chosen based on how big the family is. If yours is a small family with over 2-3 family members, a small sized microwave (18-20 litres) should work best for you. Cooking a meal for a large family would require a larger microwave with high power. The mid-sized ones (20-23 litres) would be more suitable.
Popular brands like Samsung, LG, Toshiba and IFB are some leading microwave oven manufacturers in India. IFB and Godrej mostly offer a 3-year brand warranty on heating elements and body, whereas other brands only offer a 1-year warranty. Similarly, you can compare the features and other benefits offered by the brands and take into consideration the after sales services and then plan on buying one.
Microwave ovens with automatic sensor shut down automatically when the sensor feels that the food is perfectly cooked. It prevents overheating of food. So do check for this feature in the microwave before you make a decision.
The higher the power rating, lesser will be the cooking time. The smaller sized ones usually consume less power (800-1000 watt) than the larger one’s (1000-1600 watts). We wouldn’t recommend buying a larger microwave than your family needs.
It is better to buy a microwave with a mechanical or a combination of both mechanical and touch control panel. The only drawback with touch control panels is that they are prone to failure, so it has to be used carefully. Most companies nowadays have started providing mechanical control panels for their high-end products.
Child Safety Lock
This is another important feature that should be considered while buying a microwave oven, especially for families with kids. The Child Safety programme enables the control panel of the oven to be locked so that children cannot operate it. Basically, this electric lock system prevents the happening of any misuse of the oven, thus avoiding accidents.
The best brand microwaves with all of the above features are available in the price range of Rs 12,000 to Rs 20,000, both online and offline across India.