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Common Mistakes You Should Avoid While Using Your Microwave Oven

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It is common to make some mistakes while using a microwave oven, especially if you haven’t read the instruction manual properly before using it.

Some of these mistake may not be a big deal. However, some of them can affect the performance of the microwave oven.

To make sure your appliance works for a long time without any issues, it is important to avoid such mistakes.

In this article, we have explained common mistakes and how to avoid them. Read the information clearly to make the best of your microwave oven.

Mistakes to Avoid While Using Your Microwave Oven

Below is a list of safety tips that you should follow to avoid making common mistakes while using your microwave oven.

Mistake 1: Not Reheating the Food Properly

Let us say you want to microwave or reheat yesterday’s leftover food that you put in the refrigerator. Owing to our busy schedule, this is what most of us do. We remove the food from the oven when we feel like it is done from the outside. Not heating the food or dishes properly as required will cause a major part of it to remain cold. This may further lead to bacteria growth inside the dish, eventually resulting in food poisoning.

While it is essential for foods like meat, egg, etc., it is equally vital for other foods, as well. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends heating all foods to at least 158°F.

Not lukewarm or cold. If you are able to take a bite comfortably, it needs to go back in the oven.

Not letting food heat up properly

Mistake 2: Using Plastic Containers

The other common mistake that most of us make is using containers in the oven that are not microwave-safe. This can be a grave mistake – using plastic containers. We all know that the appliance uses high heat or temperature to cook the food. When you are using plastic containers, there are high chances for the plastic to melt and release harmful chemicals to the food, making it unsafe. Hence, it is imperative to avoid using plastic pans or containers in the microwave oven. There are a handful of alternatives available, and try to make use of them.

Even if you are using plastic containers, make sure they are microwave-safe. Pay attention when purchasing such items and if needed, try a test to confirm whether they are truly safe using in a microwave oven. Usually, the plastic that is safe to use in a microwave oven is very expensive. However, considering the benefits, it is a worthy option. Hence, be wise when choosing the containers.

Using plastic containers

Mistake 3: Irregular Cleaning

Yet another crucial thing that we often overlook is the cleaning. While it is essential to clean the microwave oven regularly, we neglect this step or rather skip, altogether. Irregular cleaning not only impacts the longevity of the appliance but also makes the food unhygienic. Make it a routine to clean your device at least weekly once, including the exteriors.

Another crucial point to consider is the bits or pieces of food particles that get stuck to the

microwave walls inside. Cleaning irregularly may cause these substances to rot and produce harmful bacteria, which, in turn, gets into your food, making you sick.

Besides that, any dust, dirt, food, and grease stuck to the appliance can hamper its performance. This may even lead to the malfunctioning of the device. Hence, see that you do not leave the microwave unclean or dirty for a long time.

Here are a few tips to help you clean the microwave oven. Make sure you try these hacks once a week. It will not take more than 10 minutes for this cleaning process:

  • Take warm water in a bowl and add some dishwashing liquid to it. Take a sponge/cloth and dip it in this solution.
  • Now, clean the interior and exterior of the microwave using it.
  • After cleaning, use a dry cloth to wipe the wet surface.

Here is another method you can follow:

  • Take a bowl and add one teaspoon of white vinegar to it.
  • Place it in the oven and turn on the appliance for a couple of minutes.

Not cleaning the microwave oven regularly


Mistake 4: Microwaving In Styrofoam Containers

Refrain from using Styrofoam containers for heating your food because this is very injurious to health. Whenever you heat food in such bowls, the toxins from the styrofoam get released into the food and then into your body when you consume it. Hence, always transfer your food into a glass container for heating it. Even it may take some time for the food to heat, we strictly recommend avoiding styrofoam containers.

from using plastic bags, brown paper bags, and aluminium foil, as they are unsafe. However, check whether they are microwave-safe or not before using them.

Microwaving in a styrofoam takeout

Mistake 5: Microwaving Your Food Uncovered

This is a very common mistake that all of us commit. We often reheat, cook or microwave the food without any cover on it. Doing this may cause the food particles to splatter on the walls of the oven. This will not only make the appliance dirty but will lead to bacterial growth.

Cover the container with a plate, lid, or a reusable napkin to prevent splatters. Heating the food covered helps trap the heat, raises the temperature inside the container, and allows speed and uniform cooking.

You can also use microwave-safe paper plates of napkins for covering.

Mistake 6: Using The Microwave As A Table

We get tempted to place kitchen items on top of the microwave, using it as a table. It is strictly not advisable. We recommend keeping the appliance free from any items on top of it, even when not in use.

Moreover, when operating, the microwave emits rays and transmissions. Extra items on the top of the oven may block these rays, resulting in an adverse effect on the device. This will further obstruct the functioning of the appliance, as well.

Make sure that you remove the items from the top of the appliance, at least when working. If needed, you can place them back on the oven after you switch it off.

Mistake 7: Cooking Food On High Temperature

To save our time, we end up using the microwave on a high heat setting during cooking. This is not at all advisable. Most of us think that cooking or reheating the food at a high temperature makes the job easier, which is wrong. It will only result in uneven heating or overcooking of the dish.

It is suggestible to use the medium heat setting always when cooking or heating. Although it will take more time, we recommend doing this to ensure proper and even cooking of the food.

Cooking food at high temperature

Mistake 8: Not Stirring The Food While Heating

Stirring the food frequently while cooking is an essential step. It applies to cooking in the microwave oven, as well. But what we do? We put the food in the oven, switch it on and forget about it.

Keep stirring the food from time to time to ensure uniform spreading of heat across the dish. Also, please note that opening the oven door frequently can negatively impact the appliance. So, maintain regular time intervals for stirring the food while cooking.

Do not forget to use the pause button for stirring the food. Pause the machine, open the door and then stir the food as and when required. This guarantees uniform heating of the food, and it is safe too.

Mistake 9: Microwaving Certain Vegetables

Not all vegetables are safe to cook in microwave ovens. Certain veggies like mushrooms and broccoli tend to lose their nutrients when cooking in the ovens. Others like beetroot and spinach may even turn cancerous when the heat hits them. Refrain from microwaving those vegetables.

Microwaving certain vegetables

Mistake 10: Not Knowing What To Cook In The Microwave Oven

Did you know that certain foods can explode in the microwave oven? Yes, you heard it right. While we neglect these things, we recommend you to be cautious when using the appliance. Many people ask this question, “Can I heat drinking water in the oven?” “Is it safe?” Experts say not to do it. They do not recommend using a microwave oven to boil the water, as the high temperatures can overheat the water and may cause an explosion. It may even hurt the person using the microwave oven. It is best advisable to use a kettle for boiling water.

Another thing that experts do not recommend doing is boiling hard eggs in the oven. Other items that you should refrain from heating in the microwave are potatoes, frozen fruits, hot dogs, etc. These items can explode when exposed to extreme heat inside the oven. To prevent damage to the appliance and yourself, avoid microwaving the above items.

Not knowing what you should cook in the microwave oven.

Mistake 11: Leaving Food Unsupervised

National Institute of Health states that leaving the food unattended in the microwave oven can lead to overheating. Especially the popcorn. It may even cause a fire inside.

Be cautious when using the microwave oven and keep watching the food. Stay close to the machine, and do not let the popcorn burn.


These are the don’ts when using a microwave oven. Make sure you follow them without fail every time you switch on the appliance. If you want to get the best out of your oven, we recommend avoiding the mistakes, as mentioned above.

I hope this article gave you a complete understanding of how to use a microwave oven the right way. Should you have any inputs to add, write to us in the comments section below. Also, share your experiences with us if you followed the above tips. We would love to hear and learn from you.

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