A microwave is a widely used household kitchen appliance. Its utility for cooking and heating food has made lives easy for many home makers across the nation. Because of its increasingly high usage, regular upkeep and maintenance are of extreme importance. Today we present a few maintenance tips that will enhance the life of your microwave oven
Tips to maintain your microwave
Positioning and placement of Microwave
Multiple factors have to be taken into consideration while placing a microwave in the kitchen. Most of the microwaves available in the Indian market are counter top designs. That is to say, they have vents at the top or/and sides for emission of heat. Hence fitting those in cabinets is not a feasible option. Placement has an impact on the longevity of the appliance.
Placement- It is suggested that the top of the microwave should be kept free. A distance of 3-5 inches should be maintained on the sides and at the back. Heat has to be dissipated to ensure that the microwave does not get over heated while cooking and cools down sufficiently post cooking.
Source of current- Electrical socket should be available in close vicinity. The wire used should be the right size. Coiling it up on the microwave or hanging it close to the microwave while cooking may harm the microwave.
Water source- Microwave should be placed away from a source of water. Splashing of water may increase the risk of electrical hazard.
Source of heat- Sufficient distance should be maintained from gas stove or burner. Placing it close to a heat source may interfere with heat dissipation and in turn with proper functioning of the microwave.
Keep it clean:-
A microwave cover is the best for maintaining cleanliness of the external surface. It is generally a plastic cover which can be cleaned up with a damp cloth. Regular cleaning of the internal walls of the microwave not only ensures hygiene of the food being cooked but also increases the life span of the appliance.
Clean after every use- Severe damage may be caused to the components of the microwave if food and liquid traces are not cleaned regularly. It is best to clean the interiors of the microwave with a damp cloth once it cools down. This cleaning will not allow food sediment or oil particles to accumulate on the interior surface of the microwave. If this is not done, the splattered particles may impact the efficiency of the microwave when it runs later. The sediments may also get caked to the internal surface allowing germs to dwell, thus making it unhygienic.
Maintenance cleaning- A microwave compatible bowl is to be filled up with 4 cups of water. Chopped up lemon, lime orange or vinegar is to be added to water in the bowl. This is to be placed in the microwave and turned on at high. After this is allowed to boil for some time and the windows are steamed, the microwave is to be turned off. This will help in cleaning the interiors and the exterior, and will be a useful tool in microwave maintenance.
Protect it from Electrical fluctuations:-
It is best to unplug the appliance when it is not in use. Use of electrical surge protector is also a good option. Cracks and frays in the electrical cord should be checked from time to time to ensure no damage is caused to the microwave because to power fluctuations. It is suggested to keep a guard against power surges that can be caused by lightening, grid switching, or downed power lines.
Permissible dishware to be used:-
It is important to use only those bowls or utensils which are specifically permitted for microwave use. Using correct dishware is a safety measure for maintaining the quality of food as well as the longevity of the microwave. By using the correct dishware, we can ensure that the right amount of microwave heat hits the food being cooked or heated. Utensils recommended for microwave use generally include ceramic and glass dishes, Wax or parchment paper and plastics marked safe for microwave use.
Refrain from using microwave for non-intended purposes:-
One should be extremely careful as to what is being placed inside the microwave for heating. Using microwave for non food items should be strictly abstained from. Heating clothes for drying them, heating metal utensils or placing cutlery for cleaning, use of aluminium foil, placing dishware with gold or silver accents in the microwave should be refrained from.
Do not over burden the appliance:-
It is important to respect the weight limitations, if any. Do not over burden or crowd the inside of the microwave for cooking or heating function. An excessively heavy item may strain the heating component or any other part such as magnetron and thus lead to a damaged unit.
Do not operate when empty:-
Microwave should not be run without placing anything inside. Damage may be caused to the appliance if there is no food or liquid to absorb the heat generated.
Gentle and proper handling of the door:-
One has to be careful at the time of opening the microwave door to ensure the exterior is not damaged by the wall or any other obstruction. Door of a running appliance should not be opened as it may result in a fuse.
It is important not to slam the microwave door in order to close it. It should be closed gently. When a door slams shut, there are a couple of switches which need to lock and unlock in a particular sequence to allow the microwave door to shut. Hence it is recommended to handle the door gently to ensure the switches are not damaged.
Pre-set panel assists is setting up temperatures best suited for different types of cooking or thawing. This saves energy, enables microwave to run effectively and also prevents cooking accidents. This is an important means for running the microwave more effectively.
Be cautious about abnormal functioning:-
Keep an eye on any kind of abnormal functioning of the microwave and take immediate action to ensure its upkeep. Any unusual noises from the microwave or sparking at the time of heating may call for an expert to set it right. These indications may mean that the belt is failing or the motor needs to be checked. Hence, unusual signs should be addressed without any delay.
Opt for Annual Maintenance Contract:-
It is best to opt for annual maintenance contract or extended warranty for keeping up the condition of the microwave. This takes care of a number of minor to major issues which may be encountered as a result of regular use of the microwave. AMC will ensure replacements are done with genuine parts only which will in turn extend the working life of the microwave.
These nifty tips will come in useful when you are looking to extract the maximum utility value from your microwave oven. These tips will work for every brand be it L.G, Samsung or Kenstar.