Microwaves are very handy, but like most appliances, they can easily damage if you are not careful when using them.
If you leave food, a paper bag, or plastic in your microwave for too long, it can catch fire.
You can still use your microwave even if it catches on fire as long as the microwave itself is not damaged. If only the contents of the microwave burn, it will not damage the microwave, especially if you put out the fire on time.
Kitchen mishaps are inevitable, and microwave fires are quite common. In this article, you’ll learn what you do with your microwave after it catches on fire.
What Determines If You Can Use A Microwave After A Fire?
A fire can damage your microwave, sometimes beyond repair. But even if that doesn’t happen, several things should determine whether you use your burnt microwave.
When The Fire Only Affects the Food
In some cases, the food in the microwave catches on fire, but the fire does not affect the microwave itself; it only affects the food.
If only the food burned, you can clean it from the microwave and keep using it.
If the Microwave Door Seals Perfectly
Secondly, if the door or the microwave frame is not damaged or distorted, you can keep using the microwave. If the fire destroys the door’s frame, the door won’t seal.
And, if the door of your microwave won’t close, it’s dangerous to use it. If a fire should happen again, it could damage more than the microwave. So, if the door is damaged, replace it or toss the microwave.
However, if the rubber seal around the door isn’t damaged, there is no need to get rid of the microwave.
The Exterior of The Microwave isn’t Hot During Use
In addition, your microwave may work after the fire, but if the outer part of the microwave feels hot to the touch during use, it may be time to buy a new microwave.
Suppose the outside of the microwave is hot to the touch when you’re using it. It will be safer and energy efficient to get another microwave.
The Interior isn’t Completely Blackened And Foul-smelling
This consideration is both a matter of safety and convenience. If a fire in the microwave has completely blackened the interior, it may smell too.
And, if you keep using it, the smell will also get in the food you put in the microwave.
If that’s the case, throw it out. But, if the interior needs to be completely blackened and you can get rid of the smell with a good cleaning, you can keep using it.
Fire affects microwaves to different degrees, especially depending on how long the microwave is on fire.
If the microwave isn’t completely damaged, you can use it with a good cleaning. But in some cases, you have to throw it out.
|Damage||What to do|
|Blackened interior||Replace Microwave|
|The door does not close||Replace Microwave|
|The exterior does not feel warm when in use||Clean the Microwave|
|The rubber seal is melted||Replace microwave|
Can You Use A Microwave With A Burnt Spot In It?
You can use a microwave with a burn spot; the metal mesh is the most important thing if the metal mesh is still intact.
Often, the burnt marks can come from metal kitchen utensils, aluminum foils, and other items that aren’t safe for the microwave.
The aluminum foil, metal utensils, and twist ties cause sparks in the microwave, and the sparks then make burn spots in the appliances.
Turning on your microwave when no food will spark and leave burn spots, or the whole interior will become blackened.
If the whole interior is damaged, you’ll have to get a new microwave, but if there are only a few burn spots, your appliance is fine.
Most of the time, the spots don’t cause any safety issues, and with just a little cleaning, you can get the burning smell out of the microwave and keep using it.
You must clean the burnt area thoroughly, peel off the plastic sheet, use a damp rag to clean off the blackened area, and air it out until the smell is completely gone.
How Do You Fix A Microwave That Caught On Fire?
Fixing a microwave that caught on fire depends on the extent of the damage to the microwave after the fire.
If the damage is extensive and you can’t use the microwave anymore, it’s better to throw it away and get another one.
But, if the microwave isn’t completely damaged, there are a few steps that you can take to make the microwave fit for purpose again.
Keep in mind that it can never be the way it was before, and there is a chance of the microwave catching on fire again, so always supervise it closely when using it.
Here are the steps to fix a microwave that caught on fire:
- After an episode of microwave fire, some food may be stuck between the internal shell and the cover.
- Remove the cover and use some sandpaper to sand down the area until it is smooth. Then use some metal-adherent paint to coat the area.
- If there are burn spots in the waveguide, conduct the cleaning and replace the waveguide as well.
- Finally, if there are burn holes in the microwave cavity, don’t use them. If you don’t want to replace it, call a technician to take a look at it.
How To Remove Burnt Smell From the microwave after catching on fire?
Microwave fires are more common than you may think. After an episode of microwave fire, you’ll need to clean your microwave thoroughly to confirm usability.
The smells of burned food or plastic can be particularly difficult to remove. Simply cleaning with a sponge and dish soap usually does not do the trick.
But if you follow the steps below, you can easily remove the smells and materials you probably already have lying around the house.
Below is a step-by-step procedure to guide you;
- Remove any pieces of burnt plastic, debris, or food lying around in the microwave. Also, wipe any spills or splatters, even on the microwave ceiling.
- Pour one tablespoon of vinegar into a cup of water.
- Pour the mixture into a microwave-safe container and heat for 6 minutes. You’ll notice steam filling the microwave as the solution begins to boil.
- After 6 minutes, turn off the microwave but let the container remain in the microwave for at least 20 minutes so the smell can dissipate.
- Afterward, remove the container and wipe the microwave with a clean kitchen towel.
- If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you can use lemon juice, vanilla extract, or coffee grounds.
- If the solution does not completely remove the smell, you can use baking soda to eliminate any offensive odor.
- Pour the baking soda into an open container and leave it in the closed microwave overnight.