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Why Is There Mold in My Microwave? (Answered)

Mold is something that irks us and even the thought of it can make our skins crawl. Not only is the presence of mold unhygienic, but it is also known to be harmful to human health.

Now it is one thing to find mold around the walls and crevices of your rooms, but it is worse to find mold in your microwave. Here are a couple of reasons why there might be mold growth in your microwave.

Reasons for mold in the microwave:

The most common reason why there might be mold in your microwave is a lack of cleaning and maintenance. Accumulated dirt, together with leftover food particles and settled or spilled water can form mold spores in the microwave. Blocked microwave vents can also trap moisture which creates mold.

Mold is mostly found in places around the house that are constantly exposed to heat and humidity or moisture.

The buildup of these along with spores can cause mold to thrive. You would be surprised to know, that although microwaves use heat for operation, it is not common for mold to grow and sustain in microwaves.

The appliance is enclosed and does not contain or collect moisture as often. With that mentioned, if your microwave still gathers mold, you would have to know the conceivable reasons so that you can get rid of it and prevent mold from forming further.

Here are possibilities of why you have mold in your microwave:

Settled or leftover water:

We are all heating water, juice, or caffeinated drinks in the microwave up to a point that it comes to a boil.

Most of the time, we don’t put a lid on it. Whether you are heating a bowl of soup or a mug of water, water may boil and spill on the microwave stray. Water particles from this liquid food also spill over the walls of the appliance.

Although the microwave is a rather dry place, the only way moisture gets into the appliance is through spilling or boiling liquid.

As these moisture particles sit on the appliance, mold spores get their breeding ground if the water is not cleaned.

Food Particles:

You may wonder whether would mold spores originate from inside a dry microwave.

Since you are using a microwave or heating food almost every day, sometimes multiple times a day, food particles get spilled into the appliance.

Sometimes if you are too busy or leave for a vacation for a longer period without cleaning the microwave, the same food particles start to form bacteria, from which mold growth begins.

Leaving food inside the microwave and forgetting about it is another reason for spores to grow.

Irregular or proper cleaning:

Most of the problems with mold occur in appliances like a microwave when it has not been cleaned properly.

If you leave your microwave dirty to collect water and food for too long before wiping out the moisture, you can expect mold to grow inside the microwave.

Microwave vent:

Microwave vents are one of the most important, yet overlooked parts of the appliance that helps to keep the moisture out. When microwave vents out the moisture to keep it dry inside, mold cannot form.

However, if, for some reason like dirt, dust, or a wall, the vent gets blocked, the microwave would not be able to exert its moisture out. This buildup of moisture inside the oven, along with the heat and spores would lead to mold formation.

Is mold in the microwave dangerous?

Mold in your microwave can be quite visible to the human eye. Just by its color, you can spot mold inside the curves and crevices of your appliances. Here is what each colored mole in a microwave means and how toxic it can be for you:

Black mold in the microwave:

Black mold in the microwave is also called tachybotrys chartarum or toxic mold.

In defiance of its rather detrimental name, black mold does not cause harmful disease in someone when it builds up in your microwave.

Black mold in your microwave, however, possess the risk of triggering and causing allergic reactions such as cold, runny nose, rashes, and even asthma. However, it is toxic and can cause sickness in people.

Pink mold in a microwave:

Pink mold in the microwave may not be considered to be as dangerous or toxic as the black mold.

With that mentioned, pink mold, when allowed to breed and grow in a microwave can get into your food. If you ingest it, there are high prospect that it could cause gastronomical issues and urinary infections.

Green mold in microwave:

Green mold in microwave is more common since this shade of fungus grows due to the presence of food particles.

Green mold is considered to be highly toxic to human health. Green mold in microwave may emit a element that is known as mycotoxins.

This element is harmful to pets, children, and adults, holding the possibility of causing severe illness.

White mold in microwave:

White mold in a microwave is not so common. White mold is not as dangerous as green or black mold but can cause allergic reactions.

How to properly clean it?

Here is how to properly clean mold from your microwave:

Wear safety measures:

Before starting, make sure you wear protective gloves, a mask, and goggles to clean moldy microwaves. Start by removing the stray from the microwave.

Use damp sponge:

Using a damp sponge and some mild detergent, wipe off the walls of the microwave. Make sure to get into the corners. Separately, also use the sponge on the tray to clean it.

Use small brush:

Use a small, soft brush to scrub off any hardened food particles. Use the damp sponge again to clean the appliance with only water.

At this stage, you can also use a cleaning spray both inside and outside the microwave. You would have to let the spray sit for a few minutes before cleaning it off.

Make vinegar solution:

You can either make a solution of vinegar and water in equal parts and use the solution to wipe off the microwave thoroughly.

Once you have used vinegar, you would want the vinegar to work its magic and for that, you would have to let the vinegar sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

Another way to use vinegar is to place a microfiber towel lightly soaked in vinegar inside the microwave. Run the microwave for about a minute before cleaning further.

Clean with fresh water:

Now you have to clean the vinegar out using fresh water. For this step, using a microfiber towel is advised.

If you are worried your microwave smells like vinegar, you would just need to keep the microwave door open for a while. The smell of vinegar would disappear within a few minutes.

Wipe dry:

Before ending the cleaning, wipe the microwave completely dry with a cloth or towel. Keep the door open for a while before using the appliance again.

Solutions to mold in the microwave:

Preventing mold formation inside your microwave is simple and involves regular cleaning and maintenance. You can prevent mold by wiping the microwave after each use. Keeping the microwave dry by using a towel or tissue also helps. Deep cleaning once a week using detergent and vinegar also helps.

As they say, prevention is always better than cure. Mold does not grow inside a microwave unless it has been uncleaned and neglected for several days at a stretch.

If you wish to avoid the appalling situation when you have to clean the mold in your microwave, here are a few tips to prevent it in the first place.

Clean particles:

The very first solution is to clean or wipe the insides of your microwave after each use. Every time you heat a bowl of food or a mug of milk, some of the particles are left behind. Cleaning them would not allow spores to form at all.

Always dry:

Mold cannot grow inside a completely dry microwave. Always wipe your microwave tray and walls with a dry cloth to make sure there is no liquid remaining or spilling inside.

Level room humidity:

Keep the room humidity in check. If your microwave is placed somewhere in the kitchen, chances are moisture can build through humidity. Keep the windows open or the exhaust vent turned on.

Keep it clean:

Make sure the microwave vent is not blocked due to dirt accumulation. This would make sure that moisture is vented out and the microwave is kept clean.

Deep cleanse:

Once in a while, deep cleansing of your microwave would prevent mold formation. This would also involve using vinegar as it could usefully clean out any bacterial birth.

Final thoughts

Mold can form due to the presence of liquid spills, blocked vents, dirt, and left-over food particles in the microwave. The color of the mold can also tell a lot about what kind of mold had grown in your microwave and how dangerous can it be if ingested or inhaled.