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By Kevin Hartmann November 18, 2021

FAQ: How do I Maintain my Built-In Microwave?

The way you use and care for your microwave can have a significant effect on its longevity. Microwaves typically last from five to 10 years with proper maintenance, but many people use their microwaves every day without giving a second thought to care and maintenance, not knowing the damage they might be causing!

However, adopting just a few simple habits can be a big help to your microwave’s lifespan! With these tips, you may be able to keep your microwave running for at least a decade – perhaps even longer! 

Proper Maintenance

  • Keep it Clean. Quickly clean up any spills or crumbs, which can absorb some of the microwave’s energy and create hot spots that could damage the interior. Using a cooking cover can help prevent messes. Periodically steam the microwave with water and vinegar as needed for easy cleaning.
  • Degrease the Grease Filter. It’s easy to forget the grease filters – out of sight, out of mind! However, grease build-up can cause your microwave to run less efficiently and pose a fire hazard. Luckily, they are easy to clean – all you need is a few common household items and about 10 minutes of active cleaning time. 

Proper Use

  • Run the Exhaust. A microwave exhaust fan isn’t as efficient as one on a range hood, but you should still use it! Otherwise, moisture can collect on the appliance’s electronics and soak its life expectancy. 
  • Be Gentle. Your microwave door has several plastic safety interlock switches that disable operation when the door is open. Avoid slamming the door, which can break these components and render your microwave inoperable.
  • Don’t Run it Empty. Most of us have accidentally run the microwave empty when we meant to use the timer. A short blast might not do much damage if you catch it right away, but an empty microwave can overheat in no time and burn or break it.
  • Use Proper Cookware. Avoid most metals, which can cause arcing—actual sparks inside the unit! If metal touches the interior, arcing can burn a hole in the cavity wall and permanently ruin your microwave. 
  • Use Preset Functions. Presets help prevent food from overcooking and spattering, as well as user error – it’s easy to accidentally set 50:00 instead of 5:00!

Know Your DIY Limits

  • Keep up With Easy Replacements. Replacing parts such as light bulbs, door latches, turntables, turntable motors, and charcoal filters are typically safe to DIY. 
  • Do Not DIY Electronics Repairs. Your microwave can produce a fatal electrical shock, even long after it’s been unplugged! If your microwave needs electrical repair, get an estimate first: it may cost less to replace the appliance.

Questions about what a Platinum Home Warranty covers, or what you need to maintain to ensure warranty coverage? Let us know!

*Links to external sources are for informational purposes only and deemed reliable at the time of posting but not guaranteed.