Microwaves are great for cooking food quickly, but there are quite a few other tricks you can pull off with this handy kitchen appliance. Ever want to deodorize a pair of socks? Done. Want your microwave to clean itself? No problem. In this article, we’ll cover some of the handiest tricks and tips you can pull off with your microwave.
1. Get Your Microwave to Clean Itself
Okay, your microwave can’t scrub itself down, but it can do half the job for you. Getting a helping hand from your microwave is a piece of cake.
Option 1 Slice a lemon in half, squeeze the juice into a half cup of water, then throw it in the microwave. Turn on high for 3 minutes, then wait 5 minutes more until you open the microwave. When you open the door, your microwave will smell like fresh lemon and any junk trapped on the inside of your microwave will come loose easily. Wipe your microwave clean with a paper towel in seconds, and you’re done!
Option 2 Kick your odor-killing power into gear with some baking soda. Instead of lemon water, microwave two tablespoons of baking soda in a cup of water. Follow the same procedure as above, and your microwave will smell fresh and be half clean by the time it’s done. A quick wipe down and you’re finished.
Option 3 If you’re really in a crunch for time, forego the lemons and the baking soda. Simply soak a sponge with water and soap, microwave for a couple minutes, then wait a few minutes longer. Not only will many of the germs in the sponge be killed, it will have pre-steamed the microwave for you. Just a few short wipes and you’ll be done.
2. Pasteurize Potting Soil
If you’re a gardener, you’ve probably experienced the frustrations caused by fungi killing off your plants. The damping-off disease that kills your plants doesn’t have to be tackled with pesticides, though. To clear out the disease-ridden fungi from your soil, throw it in a paper bag, then toss it in the microwave. Experiment to find the right cooking time for your microwave, then use this method to kill off fungi before they kill off your plants.
3. How to Get a Quick Pair of Clean Socks
Have you ever found yourself without a pair of clean socks? Yes, it may sound unsanitary to put dirty clothes inside your microwave. But if it’s one thing microwaves are good at, it’s killing germs. To deodorize, disinfect, and clean a dirty pair of socks, simply dunk them in a bowl of soapy water and microwave on high for ten minutes. When they’re done, hang them up to try, and you’ve got a clean pair of socks!
4. Dry Herbs In Minutes
Want dry parsley, oregano, basil, or another herb? If they’re starting to wilt and grow old, don’t let them go to waste. Dry them and preserve them for later use. There’s no need to involve the oven or any other complicated drying procedures. Simply throw a cup of your fresh herbs on a paper towel and microwave for a few minutes. Crumble them, let them dry for a few more minutes, then store in a spice jar.
5. Don’t Cry Over Split Onions
Onions are a great ingredient for countless dishes, but they’re no fun to cut. To make them easier to cut and avoid crying when you slice them, break out your microwave. Cut the ends off, then microwave on high for around 30 seconds. After this, you can chop away all you want and you won’t shed a tear.
Onions aren’t the only vegetable that your microwave can help you cut, however. Microwave garlic cloves for 15 seconds to make it easier to remove the skin. The same goes for other vegetables, such as peaches and tomatoes – just add a bit more time for the larger vegetables.
6. Poached Eggs Made Easy
If you want to poach eggs, normally you’ve got to spend some time behind the cooktop. But if you’re a microwave-friendly person and don’t want to hassle with your stovetop, just microwave your way to some poached eggs. Use your electric kettle to boil water, pour it into a microwavable bowl, then add eggs and a dash of white vinegar. The vinegar will help keep the yokes from splitting apart.
Microwave at full power for half a minute, turn the eggs gently, then microwave for another 20 seconds. Pull the eggs out quickly so they don’t keep cooking, then you’re all set!
7. Soak Beans, Lentils, or Legumes
Dried beans are cheap and tasty. The only problem is that they take hours to soak. If you want your beans fast, simply toss them in some water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda, and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to use them in a recipe of your choice.
For lentils, simply cut the microwaving time from 10 minutes to 2 minutes, then use as directed.
8. Un-Stale Chips and Bread
Chips gone stale? Bread gone rubbery? No problem. To bring back the crunch to your chips, simply throw them on a paper towel and put them in the microwave. Turn on high for 10-15 seconds, then they’ll be crispy once more. To resurrect stale bread, wrap the slices in a damp kitchen towel or paper towel, then microwave on high for 10 seconds at a time. Keep going until the bread is good as new.
9. No-Bake Chocolate Cake
If you’ve got a sudden craving for moist, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, don’t wait to bake. A few ingredients and a microwave will get you fixed up in no time.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A quarter cup of flour
- 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
- A quarter teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- A dash of salt
- A quarter cup of milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Your favorite spread
Mix the dry ingredients together, followed by the milk and vegetable oil, then microwave on high for 60-90 seconds. That’s it!
10. Make Your Own Play-doh
Parents and kids can rejoice with this recipe. A few simple ingredients and a microwave is all it takes to whisk up some play-doh that will keep your kids entertained for hours.
- First, mix a cup of water, food coloring, and a tablespoon of vegetable oil together in a microwavable bowl.
- Whisk together with two teaspoons cream of tartar, a third a cup of salt, and a cup of flour.
- Cover the bowl with a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.
- Mix again.
- Microwave again for 30 seconds.
- Repeat this 2 more times.
- If your mixture is still a little water, repeat once more.
If not, let it cool and have fun!
Featured photo credit: 10 things you didn’t know your microwave could do via google.com