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Microwaves are indispensable appliances in the kitchen. Fulfilling various purposes, from reheating to cooking entire meals, many kitchens are simply incomplete without it. However, if, on a stroke of curiosity or inattentiveness, can we put stuff, like magnets on a microwave?
To be generally safe, you can’t put magnets in a microwave, especially metallic ones. Metal is not safe to put inside a microwave, as they reflect back the microwave energy produced by the appliance, damaging and killing it almost immediately.
Ordinary household magnets are often metallic, and metallic objects are definitely not safe to place in a microwave. The arcing sparks that you’ll see as you turn on your microwave will indicate that this was a bad idea. However, the damage that microwaved magnets will cause is not due to them being magnets, but rather because they’re metals.
Do Magnets Ruin or Destroy Microwaves?
Magnets, by themselves, do not cause major interference or damage to the microwave. However, metallic magnets, of which most household magnets are, cannot efficiently absorb the energy that microwaves emit as well as water-containing materials, like food, can.
Instead, the energy that hits their surface will bounce around the area. The only other place this highly-concentrated energy would go to would be the internals of the microwave itself. You would see this manifest into arcing sparks inside the microwave, which are very dangerous.
This can instantly render your microwave unusable, as these sparks can easily touch any circuitry in your microwave and damage it. That’s ignoring the potential fire hazard that this situation is becoming.
Microwaves with metallic magnets inside would often be beyond repair, costing you a lot of money in exchange for sheer curiosity.
Are Magnets Safe in the Microwave?
You may have heard that a microwave has a magnetron inside it, which may be damaged if you place a magnet inside. Although it is true that there is a magnetron inside and placing a magnet will damage the microwave, it is not because of that magnetron.
A cavity magnetron is a component inside the microwave oven that generates microwave energy using a strong magnetic field. Many would assume that putting a magnet inside would interrupt this magnetic field and therefore affect the microwave’s operation. In practice, household magnets would barely nudge this magnetic field.
In fact, you can also place magnets outside the microwave as long as you don’t put too many. Despite having a weaker magnetic force, too many magnets can indeed interfere with your microwave’s operation.
However, these magnets would not fare well inside. At the very least, they will heat up, especially smaller magnets. If they stay too hot for too long, the magnets would demagnetize. However, that would happen way after your microwave broke because of a metallic object inside it.
Magnets can be fun gadgets to have in a kitchen. However, can you put magnets on a microwave? Most definitely not. They’re better off on the door fridge, holding together cute pictures of your family and away from becoming a dangerous fire hazard.