Is it Safe to Use a Burnt Microwave? [Find Out Here!]

Microwaves have become a staple in our kitchens, making it quick and convenient to heat meals and snacks.

But accidents can happen, and sometimes your microwave might get burnt while cooking.

You may be wondering, is it safe to use a burnt microwave?

In this article, we'll help you assess the damage and determine whether or not it's safe to continue using your microwave.

Is a Burnt Microwave Safe to Use?

Repair of a sparkling microwave by replacing the mica plate. Broken microwave with self replacement burnt mica sheet

Generally, the answer is no. Electronics with burn damage are potentially unsafe, as they may pose a fire hazard.

Using a microwave that has experienced a fire can risk your and your family's lives.

Instead of trying to salvage the burnt microwave, we recommend investing in a new appliance is advisable to ensure safe and efficient operation.

You might also like: Why Is My Toaster Oven Smoking?

Reasons Why My Microwave Has Burn Marks

Dirty microwave oven. With burnt paint on the walls and traces of grease

A burnt microwave can be a worrisome sight, and you might wonder about possible causes. We've outlined a few below.

Food or Liquid Burning

One reason may be due to food or liquid burning inside the cavity.

When certain materials, such as foil, are heated in the microwave, they can cause arcing, which results in burn marks.

Faulty Power Supply

Another reason could be a malfunctioning power supply that burns internal components within the microwave's housing.

It is a risk with any electronic appliance and can lead to dangerous microwave fires.

Waveguide Cover

Sometimes, the burn marks might not be as alarming as they seem.

Microwaves typically have a waveguide cover made from a cardboard-like material to cover sure internal holes.

These covers can sometimes catch fire and leave black stains inside your microwave, which may appear as burnt marks.

How to Remove Burn Marks On My Microwave

You can remove burn marks inside your microwave by following the tips below:

Detergent Solution

You'll need to prepare a cleaning solution that can dissolve the burn marks effectively.

Mix warm water and dish detergent until suds form in a bowl or sink. Soak a sponge and scrub to remove burned-on food and food stains.

If the stains are stubborn, use a coarser pad to scrub the affected area.

Baking Soda

baking soda and glass of water

If the stains persist, it's time to bring out the big gun: baking soda.

Baking soda works as a mild abrasive and helps remove burnt residue.

Wet a rag with warm water, and sprinkle some baking soda onto it. Gently rub the rag against the burn marks until they disappear.

Related article: How To Clean Inside A Microwave [A Complete Guide]

Water and Vinegar Mix

Another effective solution is a mix of water and vinegar. Fill a microwave-safe cup or bowl with 1 cup of water and 1 tsp of vinegar.

Place the cup in the microwave and cook on high for 5 to 10 minutes.

The vinegar steam loosens food debris, making it easier to wipe away.

Microwave-Safe Paint

If there are any remaining burn marks, you can touch them up with microwave-safe paint.

Clean the burnt area using soapy water and dry it thoroughly.

Sand the spot down to the bare metal using fine-grit sandpaper. Then, apply a thin coat of microwave cavity touch-up paint.

Want your own cavity paint? Follow the link below!

See this Microwave Cavity Spray Paint on Amazon.

Why Does My Microwave Smells Burnt?

Young man covers nose because of the burnt oven.

Here are the potential reasons for a notable burnt smell coming from your microwave.


One reason your microwave might smell burnt is due to overcooking.

When food is cooked for too long at a temperature, it can cause scorching or burning, which leads to an unpleasant burnt smell.

To avoid this, try setting your microwave to a lower power setting and closely monitor your cooking time.

Food with High Sugar Content

a melted bun, burnt to embers, lies on a plate in the microwave. Spoiled food, sweets

Foods with high sugar content, such as candies and pastries, can cause a burnt smell in your microwave when heated.

The sugar in these foods caramelizes and burns when overheated, producing a telltale odor.

Make sure to use lower power settings and shorter cooking times for sweet treats.

Buildup in Microwave Walls and Ceilings

Microwave usage over time often results in food particles adhering to the walls and ceilings of the appliance.

The buildup can also cause a burnt smell, especially when it starts to deteriorate or overheat during microwaving.

To address this problem, clean your microwave regularly with steam and a wipe down or use a microwave-specific cleaning solution.

Faulty Microwave

Worker repairing microwave oven in kitchen, closeup

Sometimes, a burnt smell in your microwave can indicate a faulty appliance.

Damaged wiring, electrical components, or inadequate ventilation could lead to overheating and a subsequent burnt smell.

If you notice any visible damage to your microwave, you must stop using it and consult a professional technician for an inspection.

How to Get Rid of Burnt Smells from My Microwave?

When you accidentally burn food in your microwave, it can leave behind an unpleasant odor.

We shared the four simple methods to eliminate burnt smells from your microwave below.

Vanilla Extract

A friendly approach to mask burnt smells is using vanilla extract.

Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to a microwave-safe bowl with one cup of water.

Microwave the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, and then let it stand for 15 minutes. The vanilla scent will help neutralize the burnt smell.

Lemon Juice

freshly squeezed lemon juice in small bowl

Lemon juice is a natural deodorizer. Place a cup of water and 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice in a microwave-safe bowl.

Heat for 3 to 4 minutes, allowing the mixture to steam and release the lemon scent.

Once the steam condenses, wipe down your microwave's interior and enjoy a fresh-smelling appliance.

Orange Peel

Instead of throwing away orange peels, you can use them to remove the burnt smell from your microwave.

Simply add water and the rind of one orange, covering the bottom of the microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave for 5 minutes and let it sit for several more minutes.

The orange zest will release a pleasant citrus scent, helping neutralize the burnt odor in your microwave.

Charcoal Briquettes

charcoal briquettes texture background.

Place a few charcoal briquettes in a bowl and set it inside your microwave overnight.

The charcoal will absorb odors and help remove the burnt smell.

Make sure not to turn on your microwave with the charcoal inside; this method relies on the natural absorption properties of charcoal.

Want an effective anti-burnt-smelling charcoal briquettes? Try this one!

Check out the Olivette Organic Charcoal Briquettes on Amazon.

What Are Signs My Microwave Is Going Bad?

Burnt paper bag with melted and burnt popcorn in the greased and dirty microwave oven, after the explosion and fire

It's crucial to stay aware of the signs that indicate your microwave might be going wrong.

Here are some telltale signs your microwave may be on its way out:

  • If you notice loud or unusual noises, such as humming, it could mean your microwave's parts are struggling to do their job.
  • Pay attention if your food takes longer to cook or if there is uneven heating.
  • Unplug the appliance immediately if you notice any sparks, smoke, or burning smells while using your microwave.
  • Poor door sealing could lead to microwave radiation leaks. Make sure the door is tightly sealed when closed.
  • Issues with the control panel or overheating can also indicate that your microwave is no longer safe for use.

Continue reading: Why Is My Microwave Sparking With No Metal Inside?

Final Thoughts

Image of a dish in oven that was burnt and failed

You should never ignore the signs that led to the burning incident.

It's crucial to identify and address the factors that caused the issue.

Avoid cooking food for too long, and watch out for overheating or even an outdated or faulty microwave. 

Ensuring your appliance's safe operation is crucial for preventing kitchen mishaps.

Investigate the extent of the burn and consider consulting a professional if necessary.

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