9 Things You Didn’t Know Your Microwave Oven Could Do

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It may be hard to believe but the microwave oven has been around since the year 1947!  A meal that once took hours to cook can be prepared in a microwave oven in a fraction of the time. The vast majority of the time they are used to prepare food, but microwave ovens have a number of other uses that you may not be aware of. You might be surprised to find out how many other tricks the microwave has up its sleeve and chances are good that at least a few of them will come in handy for you some day.

1. Gardening

Some people enjoy growing their vegetables and other plants from seeds which they start indoors. In order to make sure soil is sterile and does not contain damaging bacteria or other micro organisms that can cause problems for seedlings, you can stick soil in the microwave oven to sterilize it. It’s best to use plastic containers and put a thin layer of soil in them and then microwave them for about 90 seconds for each 2 pounds of soil.

2. Stamp Removal

We are, of course, talking about stamp removal for the right reasons, like if you prepared a letter to put in the mail and later changed your mind about sending it. To remove a stamp that has already been applied to an envelope, put a drop of water on it and then place it in the microwave oven for about 10 seconds. It should loosen up nicely and peel off with little effort.

3. Clean Sponges

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The kitchen sponge is about as close to a cozy home for bacteria as you can get. They tend to stay moist much of the time and have all kinds of nooks, crannies and holes for bacteria to settle into and multiply. Rather than spreading bacteria all around your kitchen, take a minute to poke it in the microwave and run it for about 60 seconds. Make sure it is moist first because microwave ovens work by heating up the moisture content of whatever is placed in them. Another good way to clean a sponge is to place it in the dishwasher when you run it, but you can throw it in the microwave whenever you want, so it’s definitely more convenient.

4. Heating Pad

For a quickie solution you can wet a wash cloth or hand towel and throw it in the microwave oven for 30 seconds or a minute, but if you want to have something a little more more permanent you can make your own heating pad. Take an old sock and fill it with rice and sew the end closed. Heat it in the microwave whenever you want to apply it to sore muscles. Always test to make sure anything like this is not too hot before you apply it to your body so you can avoid a nasty burn.

5. Resurrect That Bread

We all know what happens to bread that’s been left out for a day or so. It can end up having the consistency of a cinder block! To bring it back to a more palatable state, wrap a piece of bread in a moist paper towel and zap it in the microwave for about 15 or 20 seconds.