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Is It Safe To Use A Microwave With Rust? (Explained!)

Antonio Forde
Updated: June 2, 2024
7 min read

The usage of microwaves has increased as technology progresses globally. Even though microwaves are convenient and efficient to use, rusting is one of the main concerns in maintaining these appliances.

Read on to see how rusty microwaves can affect your safety and health.

Here’s if It’s Safe to Use a Microwave With Rust:

It is not safe to use a microwave with rust! Cooking food in a rusty microwave can cause danger and harm to your family’s safety and health. External rusts are not dangerous unless it gets into the inside chamber and causes arcing. A rusty microwave oven might leak microwave radiation. Rust on the outside of the casing is not usually problematic, but it can be dangerous elsewhere. 

Microwave ovens are still the most convenient and time-saving method of cooking and reheating dishes today.

This appliance, however, is constructed of metal, and when people speak metal, they think of long corrosion. Rust is neither attractive nor functional, regardless of why your microwave caught water or because of typical wear. It may even put your health and safety at risk.

One of the main reasons your oven rusts is that it is probably an older model. Ovens rust with age, especially if you live in a hot climate with high humidity levels. Another issue is that water spills inside the microwave from time to time, and homes do not clean it correctly, resulting in a rusted microwave oven.

Microwave ovens cook food using microwave radiation. These waves cause food particles to vibrate quickly and generate heat. The heat thus produced cooks the food.

Microwaves bounce off the inside surfaces and containers placed inside an oven. When these surfaces have rust, microwave radiation can cause health and safety hazards in the following ways.

Exposure of the metallic surface to air and moisture produces rust. The oxygen in the air causes the exposed metal surface to oxidize, resulting in a rust deposit.

However, more crucially, it impacts the device’s efficiency and quality. Rust can obstruct the device’s operation and lead it to behave erratically. Rust can also cause dangerous sparks and fires.

Rust inside the oven is harmful. For a while, you can get away with ignoring rust on the outside.

The rust inside is more difficult to remove. If you ignore it for too long, rust will eventually destroy the device.

What Causes a Microwave to Rust?

There are several reasons why microwaves rust.

Microwaves are not only cheap but also extremely delicate. Because the metal within these ovens is thin and weak, even a few drops of water or food particles on the base can easily break it.

As a result, the appliance is a perfect breeding place for rust. In addition to this issue, harmful chemicals might build up inside the unit.

The formation of rust is also due to its age. Environmental factors such as humidity and moisture can produce rust as well.

Microwaves also wear out after using them for years. Typically, the paint inside the microwave will begin to chip, followed by oxidation and the formation of rust.

Rust weakens the metal and finally breaks it down once it forms. In addition, failing to clean the inside of the microwave oven may result in a buildup of food debris, which contributes to rusting.

Microwave radiation can seep from a rusty microwave oven. Rust on the outer shell is not always harmful to your health, but rust elsewhere can be dangerous.

Is there rust in the microwave? Microwave ovens rust on the inside due to four variables. Environmental aids, food spills within the appliance, humidity, and the microwave’s age are among them.

In general, the cavity of a microwave is composed of metal. The inside metal walls consist of paints to maximize radiation effects. The risk of metal corrosion increases when the microwave-safe paint peels away.

The more your microwave becomes old, in more cases, rust occurs. Rusting happens because of the frequency of use, has been exposed to the environment more frequently, and so on.

If you do not remove the paint coating properly, exposure to dampness awaits the interior of your microwave. When the metal walls react with the oxygen in the air, the rusting process begins.

How Can I Stop a Microwave From Rusting?

Microwave ovens are prone to physical damage as they age. The paint on the insides of the appliance may peel, resulting in exposure to the environment.

You can keep your microwave in good operating order by cleaning and maintaining it regularly. After each usage, wipe the interior of the microwave using a moist rag.

Allowing spilled food to settle will cause it to solidify on the surface. This leftover food will crisp up and form a thick layer every time you microwave it. Later, removing it can cause difficulty. The residue will corrode the inside of the oven over time.

To avoid rusting from food residue, take the following actions to remove stains and spills:

  • Place a container with water and a lemon slice inside the microwave oven.
  • Allow the water to evaporate in the oven at a low temperature.
  • With a wet cloth, gently coax the residue away.
  • When cleaning the inside of the oven, avoid using any robust cleaning solution or abrasive substance.

When cleaning the oven, be careful not to scratch the paint off the surface, exposing the bare metal underneath.

In terms of removing rust in your microwave, these are the tips that can help you.

Not all paints are suited for microwave oven interiors. Specially designed microwave paints can withhold high temperatures inside the microwave. Using regular paint in microwaves, on the other hand, peel off after a few days.

The microwave oven’s interior material is metallic. On top of this base cavity, you have to apply specific paints to seal it and keep it intact.

The metallic surface is exposed when a portion of the paint peels away. It rusts when it comes into contact with moisture from food, spilled liquids, or even the elements. Rust can spread quickly and infiltrate larger sections of the cavity. It can potentially endanger one’s safety and start a fire.

As a result, you should thoroughly inspect and restore any rust inside the microwave oven. If you see any paint chipping, you must repaint the inner surface right away to prevent further damage. However, you must first remove any existing rust before repainting it.

With a scraper or metal brush, gently scrape off the flaking paint. To remove the rust streaks, sand the corroded area. Then wash off the surface to make it smooth.

Finally, use many layers of microwave paint to coat the cavity. Allow drying time between layers and allow the paint to dry completely before reusing the equipment.

If you do not know this field, contact authorized service personnel to do the rust removal and repainting. Continue to avoid using the microwave until the problem is solved. Doing so puts you at greater risk of an accident.

Never wait until the corroded region produces small holes before removing it. It shows significant damage if any of the rust patches develop small pinholes. The microwave oven is beyond repair at this point. Because it is no longer safe to use, discard the equipment.

If the coating on your microwave oven is flaking or the paint within the cavity is peeling, you should consider replacing it.

However, you will find some aspects in the following section that will assist you in keeping your microwave clean.

To begin, clean your microwave using baking soda and water. All you have to do is mix baking soda with water and apply it to the rusted and filthy area.

If your microwave has a terrible stench, mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with a bowl of water and microwave the bowl for 5 minutes, which will eliminate the stink.

Finally, a broader brush microwave oven cleaning, using hot water, can be used. It is important to note that you do these tips at least twice a year.

Observe regular and proper maintenance to your appliances, specifically to microwaves. Lack of maintenance will most likely destroy your appliances, leading to repair or replacement.

What Are the Proper Procedures in Maintaining a Rust-Free Microwave?

Cleaning Once a Day

You should turn off the microwave and unplug it from the outlet after use. Allow it to cool completely before wiping down the insides with a damp cloth. Please wait until your microwave has completely cooled before proceeding.

It will clean up any splatters during the cooking/reheating process before they become caked on the interiors.

Regular cleaning is significant because food particles and splatters on the inside of the oven will absorb microwave energy the next time you run your appliance, potentially reducing efficiency.

Furthermore, if you do not use the microwave for even a day after such splatters occur, germs may grow on them on the interior of the oven, making it highly unsanitary.

Protect the Door

Because their hands are not free, microwave users frequently use their elbows to slam the door shut. However, this is dangerous because three different switches must close in a specific order when a microwave door latches shut.

Although you cannot see them in action, these switches must close and open in sequence to notify the microwave that the door is closed or open.

If you slam the microwave door shut or close it too hard, one or more of the switches may be damaged. While an authorized service technician can repair these switches, please remember that the repairs are not cheap.

Also, make sure that it does not slam against a wall or other obstruction, as this will cause damage to the outside. Maintaining the microwave door is also to protect proper ventilation and avoid malfunctions.

Be Knowledgeable in What You Put Inside Your Microwave

Knowing what foods to cook in a microwave can help you avoid kitchen disasters. Experts, for example, advise against using a microwave to heat water. Extremely high microwave temperatures can superheat the water.

However, no bubbles form in the absence of a nucleation point, indicating that the water is boiling. When you remove the container, the superheated water is disturbed, resulting in an explosion and severe burns to you, and damage to the microwave.



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Written by
Antonio Forde
I'm the head-writer @ Ask The Home Geek (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing & editing the majority of the content here). Current learning project: Korean.
Have any questions? Write us a message.
Antonio Forde
I'm the head-writer @ Ask The Home Geek (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing & editing the majority of the content here). Current learning project: Korean.