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Fires and Other Fun With Microwaves
Oct 14, 2001 09:05 AM 8293 Views

When I was a child, I enjoyed nothing more than tormenting the microwave oven.  Despite my mother's attempts to control her oldest, most rebellious child, I kept finding ways to destroy household products, food items, and even the microwave itself eventually.  So, the number one rule of maintenance is:  DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN PLAY WITH THE MICROWAVE.

So, what interesting things did I do?  (Children: If you happen to follow these VERY COOL instructions, please don't tell your parents where you got the idea.  Blame the annoying friend that comes over and eats all the marshmallows or something.)

1.  Barbie's Nuclear Meltdown.  When placed in a microwave that features an automatic carousel with glass plate(which is a pain to clean, trust me), Barbie and Ken - not to mention Skipper and all the other rotten little Barbie spin-offs - experience an interesting nuclear meltdown.  It stinks up the whole house but, if you're an avid doll-hater like myself, it's worth it.

You can even add to the fun by pretending to be her executioner:

'Barbie, you are hereby charged with the crime of cheating on Ken with G.I. Joe.  You will be executed for your heinous crime.' blah blah blah.  Okay, so maybe I was too smart and law-minded when I was thirteen, but you get the point.

2.  Flaming Food.  I've managed to set food on fire in the microwave before.  No aluminum foil or other metal - not even any paper products or plastics - were in the microwave.  I managed to char Hot Pockets, popcorn, donuts, and even broccoli once.  There's nothing like a contained fire in the house to liven up the weekend, trust me.

3.  Metal Mania.  No forks, no aluminum foil, and no Pop-Tart wrappers.  These kill microwaves faster than you can blink - and if you don't believe me, check out the big Sharp microwave sitting on my Mom's counter as a constant reminder that I was a very naughty little girl.  (This really puts a damper on coming home for the holidays.)

Basically, don't let your children play with it, and you seriously reduce the chance of breaking the appliance, wasting food, destroying household goods - or, most importantly, harming your family members.  And, there are some people out there who have put their pets into the microwave after bathing them in order to dry them quickly.  Don't.  I've never done it, but I have heard some nasty rumors via the ASPCA.

Also, regular cleaning of the microwave is never a bad idea.  Put a paper towel or plate underneath the food you're cooking so that it won't cake up on the bottom of the appliance.  Wipe the insides down with a mild detergent solution(don't forget to run over it again with a'clean' sponge) every so often.  The microwave my brothers and I totaled had a built-in carousel with a large glass plate that sat on the bottom.  It made cleaning so much easier, as most of the food spilled onto the plate.  We tossed the plate into the sink for Mom to clean.  Hehe.

Make sure you don't let the microwave get wet.  That may sound a bit insane, yes, but it was the final straw for my poor Sharp.  Yes, that's what killed it - we managed to get water into the power supply doing only God knows what with the innocent, fragile appliance.  We're lucky we didn't start an electrical fire, now that I think about it.

Basically, keep it clean and try not to let the kids have too much fun with it.  Also, as a side note, be careful when you're trying to change the light bulb inside the microwave: They can get brittle, and they do shatter easily, so make sure you unplug it before you even think of messing with it, and wear gloves if you possibly can.

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