Even by today’s hectic standards, microwave ovens maintain their presence in almost every American home. From reheating leftovers to quickly water heating, the convenience they offer is a great time saver.
But if you only use the microwave to heat food, read on. There are other things about your microwave that you may not have known about.
1. Remove the stamp.
Philatelists can easily remove stamps stuck onto paper. Simply place a few drops of water on the stamp and microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds. This method is also suitable for removing kids’ stickers.
2. Turn soft taco shells into crispy ones.
Want to feel the crunch? Curl flour taco-sized tortillas into the coffee cups, one tortilla per cup. Microwave for one minute, and “Hi, Taco Tuesdays,” MSN says.
3. Refresh the desserts.
Do not let the usual doughnuts go to waste. Put each donut in the microwave for 10 to 12 seconds, and they will emerge soft in the pastry.
4. Increase juice output from citrus.
Next time you prepare for orange or lemon juice, microwave them for 20 to 30 seconds before squeezing or machine juicer. Fruits will be softer and produce more juice.
5. Sanitize the glass.
Putting water in a glass jar and heating it in the microwave for two minutes will kill the germs without overheating the glass. This method is often used to sterilize mason jars and baby bottles.
6. Clean the microwave.
Did you know that microwave ovens are self-cleaning ovens? Simply squeeze some lemon juice into a microwave-safe bowl and place half of the lemons in a bowl. Turn on the microwave for four to five minutes and let the hot water and citric acid work. Remove the bowl and wipe everything clean.
7. Sterilize garden soil.
Gardeners occasionally want to sterilize the soil to eliminate diseases, weed seeds, and pests. Put two pounds of moist soil in a ventilated microwave-safe container for 90 seconds to two and a half minutes, depending on wattage.
8. Make a hot compress or a heating pad.
A damp towel or cloth in the microwave for one minute makes a quick compress. A tied-off tube sock filled with uncooked rice is a reusable heating pad, after heating in a microwave (maybe with some lavender oil) is the perfect shape to soothe any sore muscle.
9. Remove gum.
Microwave some vinegar for one minute, then apply it to the stuck-on gum and quickly remove it.
10. Take the sting out of onions.
Cut off just the ends of the onions and place them on the microwave for 30 seconds, and you can chop the rest of the vegetables without shedding tears.
11. Sanitize the sponges.
The sponges are germ-free after 60 seconds in the microwave; just saturate them with water first. (Adding a little dishwashing liquid or lemon juice is optional.) 99.9 percent of household germs will be killed by this method.
Lastly, note on the safety of the microwave oven compared to conventional ovens. It is important to know that microwave ovens cannot pass through the metal caging of the appliance or specially treated glass in the door, so there should be no radiation leakage from a clean, unaltered oven. As an added precaution, the US Food and Drug Administration advises people to step away from their device when it is turned on.
Microwave ovens are more than just convenient reheating tools. Why not use your energy-efficient power to help with other household tasks?