Helpful Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Microwave

Get more out of your microwave than disappointing leftovers with these helpful tips.

By Benjamin St. Jacques

 

Microwave ovens have been standard kitchen appliances for decades. They’re great for quick food prep, frozen meals, and of course, popcorn. But there’s so much more your microwave can do. Check out these seven tips for getting more from your microwave.

 

1. Easy Squeezy

If you’re making a recipe that calls for fresh lemon, lime, or orange juice, turn to your microwave first. Heat the citrus on high for 20 or 30 seconds. This softens the rind of the fruit allowing you to extract significantly more juice than you otherwise could.

 

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2. Sponge Sanitizer

Kitchen sponges are magnets for grime and bacteria, but you can keep them clean and make them last longer with the help of your microwave. Simply soak the sponge in water and a splash of vinegar for about 5 minutes. Then, squeeze out the sponge and microwave it on high for 60 to 90 seconds. Your sponge will come out germ-free and ready to use.

 

3. Flavor Saver

Do you grow fresh herbs? Use your microwave to quickly dry them and preserve all of that great flavor. First, pick the leaves off of your herbs and pat them dry to remove as much moisture as possible. Then, sandwich the leaves between two paper towels and place everything on a microwave-safe plate. Heat on high for a minute. If the herbs aren’t dry after that first blast of heat, then continue to heat them in 20-second bursts. Once dried, transfer them to a glass jar for safe storage.

 

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4. Postage Protector

Have you ever placed a stamp on an envelope only to make a mistake when addressing it? Here’s a way to get your stamp back. Place a drop of water on the stamp and microwave the entire envelope for about 20 seconds. The steam created from the heat will loosen the stamp’s adhesive and allow you to gently pull it off and re-use it.

 

5. Clean Cutting

Cutting boards used for meat and fish can host all kinds of bacteria that may make you sick. Sometimes it takes more than soap and water to make sure your cutting board is completely clean. The next time you use your cutting board wash it as you normally would. Then, cut a lemon in half and rub it on both sides of the board and microwave on high for one minute. That quickly kills all bacteria.

 

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Photo by Pixabay

 

6. Soap Savior

You know how bar soap eventually turns into little soap slivers that are virtually useless? Don’t throw them away anymore! Place those little soap slivers in a bowl with a few tablespoons of water. Then, heat on high for 30 seconds to a minute. That will melt the soap a bit, allowing you to stir and combine it all together. After it’s combined, pour the mixture into ice cube trays (or another mold of your choosing) and let it stand at room temperature. In a few hours, you’ll have a brand-new bar of soap.

 

7. Soft and Sweet

If you’re a baker, then you know the frustration of big, hard lumps of brown sugar that are impossible to work with. Place those hardened lumps in a food storage bag with a few drops of water, then heat on medium in 15-second bursts. That will soften the sugar so you can easily use it in your favorite recipes.

 

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Photo by Pixabay

 

Your microwave is just sitting there waiting to do more just nuke last night’s pizza. Try some of these tricks and let your microwave magically make your life easier.

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