The microwave gets a lot of use during the holiday season. Here are some tips on extending the life of your appliance, and learn what can and can't be microwaved.
The holidays are just around the corner, which is exciting for you but not so much for your kitchen appliances. Perhaps no appliance will see a greater spike in usage than the microwave, which goes from being a device used mostly for popcorn and lukewarm coffee to a key player in the ongoing pursuit of the perfect leftover turkey sandwich.
With so much on the line — and so many counting on that little box on the counter — ensuring your microwave is ready and performing at an optimal level is of paramount importance as we head into the most wonderful time of the year.
So, what can you do? Here are a few tips:
Keep your microwave clean
The best way to ensure the longevity and reliability of your microwave is by cleaning it regularly. Whether you realize it or not, food and liquids spread across the inside of the unit and actually absorb heat later on, leading to burns and damaging the inside of the machine. By periodically wiping down the inside of the microwave, you can prevent that from happening and lengthen the lifespan of your appliance.
Know what can and can't be microwaved
Are you using microwave-safe dishes? You better be. If not, you may have a fire or even an explosion on your hands. Never microwave aluminum foil or metal. Instead, opt for ceramic, glass or plastic items. To be safe, check for the "microwave safe" symbol on the bottom of the dish.
If you’re microwaving food and notice a portion of the dishware has become significantly hotter than the food, refrain from using that dish in the future, as it could be problematic. And with a house full of guests, you may want to stick with paper plates for your serving needs. It’ll save you from loads of dishes and ensure no one puts anything harmful into the microwave.
Don’t microwave nothing
It may seem silly, but be cognizant of what is and is not being microwaved. Running an empty microwave is a problem because the energy produced within the unit has to be absorbed by something. When there’s no food in the microwave, the energy must be absorbed by the microwave’s own inner components, which are not designed to withstand that kind of concentrated exposure.
If guests need a timer, make sure they actually use the timer feature on the microwave or on a smartphone. Running an empty microwave to time something else should never be an option.
Prevent power surges
A power surge is one of the worst things that can happen to your microwave and can be caused by a host of events, including lightning and damaged power lines. Of everything in your kitchen, the microwave is perhaps the most vulnerable to damage during these times. So, what do you do?
You can unplug your microwave between uses, but that will likely lead to frustration. The better option is a top-notch surge protector to safeguard the appliance from any unexpected power changes. If you're worried about your microwave, American Home Shield offers a home warranty that covers built-in microwaves to keep you protected from any unexpected problems.