Everyone has a microwave; they come standard with homes nowadays. But not a lot of people realize that besides heating up some leftovers, baking a potato, or reheating a cup of coffee, the microwave will do a lot of surprising things. Here are twenty-eight.
Next time you want to chop or slice onions, cut the ends off and microwave the onions for 30 seconds on high. No more tears or irritated eyes!
Get rid of the bacteria that grow in your kitchen sponge by soaking it in water and microwaving on high for 2 minutes. (Then wipe the inside of the oven out with paper towels and voila! A bright, clean oven and a bacteria-free sponge, too.)
Fruit like peaches and tomatoes can be difficult to peel, but not if you microwave them at 50% power for 15 seconds first. It causes the moisture to separate the skin from the fruit, leaving the peel easy to remove.
Garlic is also easy to peel once the clove has been zapped for 30 seconds or so.
Fill a microwaveable bowl with beans or lentils covered with water and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Then let them sit for half an hour and they’re ready to add to your recipe, just as if you soaked them overnight.
Proof bread by sitting it in the microwave with a cup of water and microwave on low until it doubles in size; rehydrate stale bread by wrapping it with a damp paper towel and zapping it on high for a few seconds. Take moisture out of a dry sandwich by wrapping it in a dry paper towel and heating it for 30 seconds on medium.
Dry herbs or make potato chips by spreading them single layer on paper towels and cooking them on high for about four to six minutes.
Leave your corn on the cob in the husks and cook on high for about 8 minutes.
Bake a single serving cake in a mug by adding ingredients in the mug, stirring, and cooking for about two minutes on high.
Some unusual uses are to sterilize soil, unclog mascara, or dry a pair of tights in the microwave.
Soften hard brown sugar by putting a wet paper towel in the container and closing the lid. Microwave about 30 seconds.
Toast nuts and spices and prevent stale chips by laying them out on paper towels and zapping them for a couple of minutes.
Put a couple of drops of water on a stamp affixed to an envelope and microwave for ten seconds; the stamp will come right off.
But here are some things you should never put in the microwave. Chinese take out cartons invariably have wire handles, and nothing metal should ever go in the microwave oven. Lunch bags can catch fire and also give off toxic fumes. Single use containers, like yogurt cups, will melt, as will styrofoam containers (which also release toxic fumes). Hot peppers, eggs in the shell, metal travel mugs, aluminum foil, and, believe it or not, never turn your microwave on with nothing in it.