Microwave Ovens FAQ

In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the most common questions that we face regarding microwaves ovens and will also have a look at some of the myths that surround them. There seems to be more superstitions and urban legends surrounding the microwave oven than any other cooking appliance. We’re going to set the record straight and hopefully answer any queries you have.

All You Need to Know About Microwaves

Are Microwave Ovens Safe or Dangerous?

Because microwaves use waves of electromagnetic radiation to heat their contents, there is an air of distrust around whether they are safe or not. The main scare surrounding microwave ovens and health is that they can cause cancer.

There is no evidence to suggest a link between microwave cooking and occurrence of cancer. Having said this, there is an argument that certain plastic packaging that goes in the microwave can release harmful carcinogenic compounds when cooked. Best practice is to remove food from plastic packaging before cooking if you want to be safe. The issue there lies with packaging and not the microwave oven itself.

Microwave ovens are by and large, very safe. If you want to exercise caution, try not to overcook your food in them, follow the instructions for any microwavable food, ensure all packaging is microwave-safe and stir your food at intervals just to guarantee you get an even cook.

How Do Microwave Ovens Work?

Microwave ovens use electromagnetic radiation to heat up their contents. Inside the oven, they’ll emit microwaves. Microwaves are also used in communications, radar and for other industrial uses.

Your microwave oven will spin the food around whilst zapping it with microwaves. These waves are absorbed only by the food. Microwave ovens don’t heat the space inside the oven like a conventional oven does, but rather focuses in on the food inside.

Microwaves do not have radioactive material inside of them. Microwaves have a component called a ‘magnetron’. Using a heated filament, this component agitates electrons, which in turn generates and releases microwaves.

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How to Recycle a Microwave Oven

Microwave ovens, contrary to popular opinion, do not contain radioactive material inside of them. There’s not a small tank of glowing green goop inside that is then zapped into your food. Having said this, they do contain parts that can be hazardous to handle just like many other appliances and household machines.

You can’t stick microwave ovens into your recycling bin and expect it to be taken away. You need to dispose of it properly at a designated facility. Find out where your nearest facility is here. We can also recycle your old appliance for you, too.

If your microwave is in working order, and you simply got a new one, consider donating it instead of recycling. Donating it to a charity shop is a great way to help someone out and raise a bit of money for a good cause too. Not everyone that needs a microwave oven can afford one, and charity shops are a great way for someone to acquire a great, time-saving, convenient device.

Can Microwave Ovens Be Repaired?

Microwave ovens can indeed be repaired if you run into some trouble with it. Nothing lasts forever, and eventually, your microwave oven may develop some faults. They’re not impervious to errors, but luckily, they can be fixed.

You can fix your microwave oven yourself if you have the know-how. We’d only recommend this if you have the right tools and working knowledge of electronics. Be careful and make sure you don’t give yourself a shock.

Alternatively, call in a professional to help fix your microwave. There are microwave oven repair services and as they’re not as expensive or cumbersome as conventional ovens, it’s normally always a fairly routine, run-of-the-mill service. There’s not too many parts of a microwave that can go wrong, so any problems you have should get fixed. Microwave manufacturers should be able to direct you to your nearest microwave service company.

However, a new microwave oven doesn’t cost that much more than the cost of repair. If you’re going to fork out to get it repaired, and if it needs repairing that probably means that it’s old, you may as well just get a new one.

Are Old Microwave Ovens Safe?

The idea that old microwave ovens are less safe than new ones probably stems from the other misconception that there is radioactive material inside of microwave ovens.

If you are using an old microwave, and it has no clear damage or warping to the door or holes in the mesh, there’s no reason to think that it would be any more harmful than a new one. If you aren’t convinced, the manufacturer of your microwave will be able to put you in contact with your local microwave service company. They will be able to tell you if its leaking or not.

As mentioned previously, if your microwave is so old that you are worried about it leaking, the best course of action is to buy a new microwave oven. Because they’re relatively inexpensive, it’s much less hassle and more cost-effective to just buy a new one.

Do Microwave Ovens Wear Out?

Microwave ovens will not last forever. They last a mighty long time, but eventually its performance will deteriorate. It may take you a long time for you to even realise its deterioration as it is so gradual.

The magnetron component of a microwave oven, which generates the microwaves, does eventually wear out. Microwave ovens may be a hugely convenient, easy-to-use device, but they sadly have an expiration date.

You can expect to get over 10 years of use out of your microwave. However, after 5 to 10 years is when performance starts to decline. It will take a long time for it to get to a point where you feel like you have to upgrade it. But, as a relatively cheap appliance, it’s pretty good going that you can expect 10 years of use out of your microwave oven with some of the most basic models going for less than £50.

To ensure you get a long life out of yours, the best thing you can do is shop around and buy your microwave oven from a known and trusted manufacturer. Whilst there are cheap microwave ovens in supermarkets and so on, these are the ones most likely to have problems and not perform as well. Buying from a top brand could mean you don’t have to replace it for 20 years.

Hopefully, this has answered any queries you may have had about microwave ovens. If you’re still not satisfied, call us to share your query or come in-store to talk to our experts. We know everything there is to know about household appliances, so we’ll be able to answer your question.

You can shop from our wide range of microwave ovens right here. With Samsung Microwaves, Bosch Microwaves and more, you’ll also find dedicated sections of Combination Microwaves and Microwave Grills. You’ll also find fantastic range cookers, built-in ovens, hobs and loads more in our cooking section. We only stock appliances from the best of the best, head over there and revolutionise your kitchen today.