Microwave ovens offer a quick way to cook and reheat food. However, you’ll sometimes find that water droplets form on the inside panels and windows of the appliance. That’s known as condensation or sweating, and there are ways you can minimize or stop it entirely.
You can stop condensation or sweat in a microwave by not microwaving foods with high moisture content. Besides that, close the microwave door fully to ensure no cold air enters the hot appliance and causes condensation. Check that your microwave vents aren’t blocked. If you’re microwaving multiple items back-to-back, wipe down any sweating, so it doesn’t build up into a puddle.
Condensation and sweating are entirely manageable. This guide will show you the different causes and what you can do to stop them from happening again.
How Do I Stop Condensation In My Microwave?
Condensation in a microwave can come from two sources: from within and the external environment. So stopping it will depend on where the condensation is coming from and causing it.
Here are the most likely reasons there is condensation in your microwave and how you can stop it:
Food With High Moisture Content
What it is: Some food items naturally have more moisture content than others. In other words, not all food items have the same water content inside.
For example, broccoli carries much more water than bread. That difference in moisture content will affect how much steam is released when you cook those items, whether on a stove or in a microwave oven.
How it happens: Typically, condensation in a microwave comes from within. More specifically, it comes from heated food items in the appliance.
As mentioned above, some food items have higher content and produce more steam than others during cooking.
That’s certainly the case when you reheat food in a microwave. These appliances have vents and fans to help remove some of that steam. However, some of it will still condense on the microwave’s internal panels and window.
How to stop it: You can minimize this kind of condensation in your microwave by sealing the food you reheat. A proper seal will ensure that your food can reheat thoroughly while minimizing the release of steam from the container.
Be careful! Do not cover your food with an airtight lid, which could cause the container to explode. Instead, use a ventilated cover or leave the cover slightly open so heat can escape.
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Door Not Fully Closed
What it is: The door on a microwave is critical for keeping the microwaves contained within the appliance. After all, those microwaves will harm you if you’re exposed to them directly.
That’s why microwaves are designed to stop immediately whenever the door is open. So no matter what instructions you input through the keypad, the microwave won’t continue heating your food until the door is firmly shut.
How it happens: Condensation occurs when cold air and hot air combine. That’s why it’s possible that the sweating you see inside your microwave originates from the surrounding environment, not the food inside.
For example, once you finish reheating your food, the microwave will still be hot on the inside for a while. If the door is left ajar, cold air from outside will enter the microwave and cause the condensation you see.
That will continue until the microwave’s internal temperature matches the kitchen around it.
How to stop it: You can prevent this kind of condensation by shutting the microwave door firmly after you’re done using it. That way, the microwave can cool down gradually without any surrounding cold air entering through the door opening.
As a result, there will not be any condensation forming the next time you open your microwave door.
Blocked Microwave Vents
What it is: All microwaves have one or more vents as part of their design. Some vents are there to help cool the microwave’s components and prevent overheating.
However, some vents allow things like steam and smoke to escape the microwave’s compartment.
Depending on the microwave model’s design, these vents might be accompanied by ventilation fans that help drive air through more efficiently.
How it happens: As you saw at the beginning of this list, the food you heat in a microwave naturally has water that will convert to steam. Under normal conditions, the microwave vents will help that steam flow out of the compartment and into the surrounding air.
However, that’s not possible if the vents are blocked. Any blockage in or around the vents will prevent steam from escaping, resulting in the sweating you find in your microwave oven.
How to stop it: Microwave vents are often blocked by objects placed behind or beside the appliance.
For example, you might have the oven on your kitchen counter surrounded by various bottles or food containers. These items can crowd around the vents and prevent smooth airflow from the microwave.
If that’s the case,
Besides that, vents are often clogged with dust if not cleaned regularly.
Moisture From Previous Use
What it is: Another source of condensation or sweating often overlooked is the previous food items heated in the same microwave.
Even if each food item has a relatively low moisture content, heating them in the microwave causes a small moisture buildup.
As you continue heating other food items one after the other, the buildup reaches a point where you’ll see moisture on the microwave panels and window.
How it happens: A microwave can only be used when the door is completely shut. That means any moisture inside won’t have a chance to escape the microwave when you’re heating multiple items back to back.
That’s why condensation is incredibly easy to form inside the appliance.
How to stop it: One way to reduce the condensation buildup is to leave the microwave door open for a few moments after microwaving one food item. That will give some of the steam a chance to escape quickly.
Besides that, you can also wipe down any excess sweating inside the microwave with a dry cloth. Doing so will help you reduce any puddles from forming inside the appliance.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few more questions and answers to help you manage the condensation in your microwave:
Can You Replace Just The Door Of A Microwave?
Yes, microwave doors are typically replaceable. However, you don’t need to do that if you find condensation or sweating trapped within the door. Instead, leave the microwave door open and give that moisture time to evaporate naturally.
Do I Need To Vent My Microwave?
Standard countertop microwaves have vents built into them. However, you’ll need to ensure that the appliance isn’t crowded with objects around those vents. The microwave relies on those vents to remove moisture and other things (like smoke) from the inside.
Is It OK To Microwave Water For Coffee?
No, you should not microwave water in your microwave for coffee, tea, or any other beverages. The water can quickly get overheated and cause injury when you try to remove it. Besides that, much of the water will evaporate, resulting in lots of condensates forming inside the appliance.
Are You Supposed To Cover Your Food In The Microwave?
Yes, you should cover your food in the microwave, especially if the food has high water content. However, you should never use an airtight cover as that could cause the container to explode from all the heat within. Your covered food must always have a small opening to let hot air escape.
What Can I Use To Cover Soup In The Microwave?
You can cover your soup with a plastic cover or microwave-safe splatter cover. These will prevent the soup from splattering and minimize sweating.