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Keep These 15 Things Out of Your Microwave

How many times have you heard contradictory advice on what can and can't go in the microwave? Perhaps your husband's mom swears you should clean sponges by throwing them in the microwave for a couple of minutes, but your aunt insists the sponge will explode.

Though it can be funny to notice the difference between everyone's microwave theories, microwave safety is no joke. If you try to microwave a non-microwave safe item, you might break the microwave and sustain serious injury yourself.

Be especially careful with the following items.

1. Water

No one likes to wait for a pot of water to boil. For a simple solution, you can just pop a glass of water in the microwave, right? Wrong!

If heated for too long, water can easily reach over 100 degrees without bubbling, and it continues to heat after the microwave turns off. As a result, pressure builds up in the mug or glass. When you dip a spoon or similar object into the water, it releases the pressure, and the water violently reacts in a sea of boiling bubbles. The mug or glass might even explode.

2. Uncovered Red Sauce

Uncovered red sauce doesn't pose a danger to your health or to the immediate functionality of your microwave, but it will coat the inside of your microwave oven.

Additionally, if you don't clean the mess and repeatedly reheat red sauce in the microwave without covering it, the dried sauce will start to clog the ventilation.

3. Metal Utensils

It's easy to forget your fork on a plate when you reheat food. However, even a small amount of metal can severely damage your microwave.

Metal reflects the microwaves, which not only keeps your food from cooking, but it also sends those waves erratically through the microwave oven. This can damage the oven, the magnetron, and the micro electrons. In extreme cases, it can even ignite the microwave.

4. Whole Fruit

As the microwaves heat your fruit, pressure can build up inside and cause it to explode.

Grape skin, for example, traps the pressure inside, until the skin can't hold it anymore. The grapes (and their dried counterpart, raisins) explode in the microwave and can even catch on fire.

However, you can minimize the pressure buildup by piercing the skins with a fork or knife.

5. CDs

After watching a Youtube video, your children might want to enjoy the CD light show at home without realizing that the sparks from the CD can seriously damage the microwave oven.

Talk to your children about what can and can't go in the microwave.

6. Eggs

Eggs are similar to fruit, in that the outer shell doesn't allow pressure or steam to escape the food. Once the shell can no longer contain the pressure and steam, it can explode all over the microwave.

Do not try to hard boil an egg in the microwave.

7. Anything Alive

This should go without saying; however, some people try to dry off their furry friends in the microwave. Remember, a microwave cooks things by radiation, which can damage living cells and tissue. Do your pets a favour and let them dry on the porch, not in the microwave.

8. Electrical Items

Similarly, some people try to dry their electrical items like phones or tablets inside a microwave. The electromagnetic waves damage the batteries and electrical components. Even if the microwave evaporates the water inside, your phone won't likely won't recover.

9. Chinese Takeout Boxes

The cardboard and paper box isn't a big deal on their own, but the metal handle can start a fire in your microwave.

Remember, metal sparks in the microwave, and paper and cardboard are highly flammable. Put your leftovers on a separate plate when you reheat your food.

10. Dried Hot Peppers

These peppers can do more than make your mouth feel like it's on fire-they can start a real fire in your microwave. Peppers contain the chemical capsaicin, which is volatile. And the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it has.

Even if the peppers don't ignite, microwaving them can release the chemical into the air, burning your throat and stinging your eyes.

11. Aluminum Foil

As stated before, metal is bad news for the microwave. Even a small sheet of aluminum foil can spark in the microwave and cause serious damage.

12. Travel Mugs

Most travel mugs use stainless steel or plastic, which are both bad options for your microwave.

Before you heat some cocoa in your mug, check the bottom for a microwave-safe mark. If it isn't there, prepare your cocoa in another dish and pour it in afterwards.

13. Plastic Ware

Most plastic ware will warp in the microwave. Additionally, it can leak harmful chemicals into your food. Before you put plastic containers into the microwave, check the bottom for a microwave-safe marking. If it's not there, heat up your food in a different dish.

14. Styrofoam Boxes

Styrofoam is plastic, and it can therefore melt and leak chemicals into your food, which is not good for your health. Put your takeout on a different plate before heating up your leftovers.

15. Sponge

Many people microwave their sponges in the microwave to kill bacteria. This is safe if the sponge is damp. But if the sponge is too dry, you could end up with a burnt oven and no sponge.

Stay safe and avoid a damaged microwave. Educate your family on what can and can't go in the microwave.