9 Uses for a Microwave — That Don't Involve Cooking

Because I didn't grow up with one, a microwave is not a part of my "must-have" kitchen tools. Most of the stuff people use a microwave for — to melt chocolate, reheat coffee, steam vegetables &mdash I do old school. So I was all ears the other night when the dinner conversationturned to other uses for a microwave.

  • Kill the bacteria in a sponge. I usually toss my kitchen sponge at the end of a week. With a few seconds in the microwave, I might be able to wring another week or two out of it.
  • Warm up citrus fruits. A quick blast in the microwave will not only help them emit more juice but warming the skins means they'll emit more fragrance and perfume my home while they're serving a more decorative purpose.
  • Warm up a homemade heating pad. With my recent decision to add more exercise into my routine, I've also found the need to add a heating pad. Throw some dried beans or rice in a sock, warm it up in the microwave and voila! — a heating pad to ease the aches of the weekend athlete.
  • Warm plates before eating. Spritz a few drops of water on your plates before stacking them in the microwave to warm them up. Warm food on warm plates? Yum!
  • Clean off dried up candle wax. The freezer trick works for some items but for others (like those candles that come in glasses you'd really like to save and use again), liquefying the wax is easier.
  • Salvage dried up mascara. A quick turn in the microwave makes it usable again.
  • Warm up creams and lotions before putting them on. Okay, maybe not now, but definitely as the weather gets chillier, it's nice to put on some warmed up cream after a bath or shower.
  • And towels. If your microwave's big enough, you can warm up a towel for a touch of luxury after a bath.
  • Melt old and broken crayons and make new ones. Melt old crayons, pour them into greased cupcake tins and freeze. Pop 'em out for new, easy to use, round bits of color.

Do you have any unique ways you use your microwave?

Image: Jill Slater from Patricia's One Stop Kitchen

23 Comments