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How to maintain your microwave safely and efficiently!

Updated: Apr 28


As the final blog post for our month of appliances we're going to take a look at the care of microwaves. While alot of people have counter top microwaves that aren't nearly as expensive as over-the-oven or built in models these tips will still help keep you safe and stretch out the life of your microwave regardless.


1. Cleaning the inner cavity


Cleaning the inside of your microwave is important for more then just sanitary reasons. Let's say you were to have food spill in the unit and decided it's not a big deal. That food will get hot the next time you use the microwave and can damage the coating in the inner cavity. If that liner was damaged, revealing the metal frame, it would cause arcing (bolts of electricity) on the surface further damaging your unit and could easily become a fire. The easiest way to clean a microwave? A simple cup of water and a rag. Place the cup in the microwave and turn it on for a minute and you'll effectively steam the inside and make the grime mush easier to wipe off.


2. Cleaning the outside


In our post on refrigerators we mentioned that dust in the back of the fridge can cause overheating, well the same can be said of microwaves. If dirt or oil builds up on a microwave or its exhaust ports in the back or bottom (depending on what kind of microwave you have) you risk causing the microwave to overheat and break down much quicker. As for the best options for cleaning it, we recommend hot water and soap. Using things like Windex or other harsher chemicals can be hard on your unit, especially if you spray it in or near the exhaust ports.


3. Be aware of what you're putting in your microwave


Most people are aware that putting metal in a microwave is a quick recipe for disaster, but how many people realize that not all plastic is safe either? All plastic containers should have a symbol on the bottom of them, this symbol is the recycle logo (three arrows pointing at one another in a triangle formation) with a number, 1-7, in the middle. For expediency, we won't be going over each classification, but five of these seven should never be placed in a microwave! If the number within that symbol is a 2 or a 6 then it's safe to use in a microwave, any of the other numbers can melt, catch fire, and even release dangerous fumes if microwaved.


4. Check your door for damage


Have you ever wondered what the honey comb patterned cage on the microwave door is for? That is what's known as a Faraday Cage. A Faraday Cage is capable of blocking certain wave lengths of energy from passing through, like microwaves. That cage on the front is to prevent the radiation of the microwaves cooking your food from also cooking you at the same time. For best practices we recommend checking your door every couple of months and making sure there are no cracks or damage to it. If there is, please discontinue use of the unit and call us.


5. Please do not try to fix your microwave yourself


If your microwave is showing signs of disrepair please call a professional. Microwaves can be one of the most dangerous appliances to work on. First you have the magnetron. This is a metal box with a round tube coming out of it and produces the microwaves. These parts contain beryllium oxide in them, a highly toxic dust. If the magnetron were cracked or dropped while removing it, you would be placing you or your family in danger. The other dangerous element is the capacitor and transformer. Both parts can produce (in the case of the transformer) or hold (in the case of the capacitor) enough voltage to kill you instantly. Even unplugging a microwave before working on it does not remove the danger. As always, we at Royal care about the safety of you and your family. If you need microwave repair please give us a call at (719)546-0442 to schedule service! For the final time we are offering 5% off any appliance work when you mention the blog and the weekly code. This week's code is MICRO24. No longer valid after close of business Friday 5/3/2024. Please call in soon as this is our final blog discount for appliance work.

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