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My checklist for Microwave Oven
Mar 16, 2002 08:47 PM 12324 Views
(Updated Feb 25, 2006 06:47 PM)

We are using microwave oven since long and now my 15 years old son wants to use it. I have asked him few questions and he could not answer. No, it's not his fault. I have never discussed with him. After his exams, he will be trained. It is important to share necessary information with new user.

In this article I have written few precautions that we should take. Some of the precautions holds good for other electrical appliances too.

Technology in brief

Microwave cooking is different from conventional cooking because of the use of Short Radio Waves to generate heat. Magnetron, an electronic vacuum tube, produces microwaves. Magnetron is placed on the top of the oven. Microwave thus produced penetrates to be cooked mass and vibrates the molecules rapidly. This vibration generates heat due to friction of the vibrating molecules which is good enough to cook the food. This heat is generated within the food so it takes less time to cook the food, retain more juices and cooking is normally uniform.

This small but expensive machine can be used safely if it is properly maintained. Cleaning is not the only activity to maintain a microwave. Few small checks will not only increase the life of the machine but also safeguard us from hazard.


  1. Electrical fitting – Use only 15 amps plug point of a reputed manufacturer. No other appliances should be connected from the same plug point to avoid overload.

  2. Earthing – Please ensure proper earthing. If required, get it checked by an experienced electrician. Presence of a copper wire near the plug point does not ensure proper earthing. What is more important is ‘continuity’.

  3. Electric cable – Check it once in a month for any damage. Damaged wire must be immediately replaced and ensure correct specification. It should be checked everyday if there are rats in the house.

  4. Space around the Oven- Please follow the instruction manual of the manufacturer. Most of the oven will have exhaust outlet at the back. We have to keep at least 10 cm free space from the wall or any other installations for air circulation. Air circulation around the oven is important.

  5. Door - Exposure to microwaves is a health hazard. Door must be properly closed when it is in use. During use there may be some deposition of food on the door. These depositions may cause leakage of microwaves but interlock of the oven-door may work as normal and cooking process will be in progress. Please see to it that door is properly cleaned after every use. Door should be handled very gently. Any defect should be rectified by trained person.

  6. Door Glass - It’s a special glass to protect us from microwaves. Not easy to break but take care of it and the joints. Replacement is expensive.

  7. Bulb - Light inside the oven is very important to know the status inside during cooking. Avoid cooking without light. Interlocks may fail someday (if you are unfortunate) so it is better to be wide awake.

  8. Utensil - Utensils must be checked before using. These must be microwave safe. Metal objects rebounds microwave and may cause arcing which resembles lightning. Will cause fire and may damage something more than the oven. Do not use recycled paper. Impurities in recycled paper may cause fire; unknown gases may contaminate the food. Paper containers may give away resulting spillage. Wooden utensils may catch fire due to heat.

  9. Exhaust outlet - Perforated sheet must be cleaned by a dry cloth or brush at lest once in a month. Outlet should be clear of any obstacle.

  10. Turn table - Wheels of the rotating ring should be properly cleaned and should be in good shape. Even one bad wheel will not allow the turntable to move freely. I prefer a glass tray/plate instead of a metal tray.

  11. Cleaning - Always by wet cloth followed by a piece of dry cloth. It is better to use mild soap solution. Take care while cleaning the panel. Water should not go inside.

Please do not hesitate to write comments, if I have missed something.

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