Does Microwave Kill Mold?

A few controversies have sprouted out, with a lot of people debating the potency of microwave radiation. Although the microwave produces heat, you may not be sure it is intense enough to destroy mold. Nevertheless, the question which persists in people’s minds remains the one that enquires about the ability of microwaves to kill mold. 

Microwave radiations do not possess the capacity to kill mold. Therefore, even though the heat produced may inhibit the proper functioning of mold spores, it does this to a minimal degree. Also, relying on a microwave to kill mold or mold spores would be a disappointing venture, as it is grossly ineffective. 

Molds being resilient and unwavering in their survival mode do not affect the principally weak microwave radiations.  As a result, even if foods placed in the microwave oven for a while may get heated, these molds, if present, do not get degraded. Due to this, mold present on different materials may require drastic steps to get obliterated and removed. 

When I was a child, after keeping food overnight after preparation, I noticed some mold growth. Being determined not to let the food go to waste, I packaged it and heated it in a microwave oven for a while. Finally, when I took it out, it still carried that stale smell. Thus, l could still not eat it and had to throw it in the trash.

This heating method does not degrade the mold, although it could affect the mold spores and reduce its reproduction. In a moment, you’ll understand why the microwave does not kill mold and how you can handle mold and its growth.

How Does Microwave Affect Mold?

Because heat kills germs, as general knowledge portrays, you may insinuate that microwaves should be able to destroy mold. However, the radiation from your microwave isn’t enough to destroy mold. 

Although setting your microwave heat level high may neutralize the action of some mold patches, it doesn’t efficiently do the job. Also, some microwave radiation levels would only affect mold spores and not the already established mold.

Therefore, you should not rely on a microwave to destroy mold because it would utterly disappoint you in the end. Instead, it would help if you looked at the proper ways of removing mold, which we will discuss shortly.

What Amount of Heat Can Destroy Mold?

It is common knowledge that molds are very sensitive to heat, getting destroyed by temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius. Although some molds produce spores resistant to heat, these spores may not survive hot conditions for long. The reason for the above being that they would require sufficient oxygen to survive.  

Take, for instance, where mold on vegetables gets pickled with the veggies but survives the heat. However, not all molds survive high-temperature treatments, although they are degraded in the absence of air.

How Does Mold Grow in a Microwave?

Because molds have minimal survival requirements, they possess the ability to grow In any environment, including a microwave oven. Therefore, just like all other organisms, molds need a food source to live on. 

Thus, food particles left behind after microwaving provide enough sustenance for the mold in the microwave oven. Also, layers of dirt in the oven that have not been cleaned for a while provide enough nutrients for molds. 

In another vein, if water collects in an oven without being removed, this gives the mold a suitable medium to grow. Thus, mold grows in unclean and unhygienic environments as it feeds on the debris present within these environments. 

Cleaning your microwave oven and keeping it dry at all times consequently deals with mold infestations. 

How do I Clean Out Mold from My Microwave? 

Cleaning mold from a microwave is not an ultra-hard thing to do. The reason for this is; despite the strength and resilience of mold, microwave radiations slightly affect its spores adversely. Therefore, mold becomes more prone to the activity of antibiotic agents in the presence of microwave radiation.

When mold forms in your microwave and begins its rapid stages of growth, there are some things you should do right. These actions are explained step-by-step and immensely help to remove these molds. 

  1. Use a damp sponge or towel to remove the visible patches of mold from your microwave. It would help if you did this vigorously to remove as much of the mold as can be removed.  This activity reduces the quantity of mold in the microwave and sets it up for further cleaning.
  2. Microwave a mixture of water and vinegar in the microwave-safe bowl. While doing this, you should set the microwave on high, which should proceed for two minutes. 

This step aims at destroying the mold and mold spores already established in the microwave. Although vinegar is not a strong antibiotic, it won’t affect you if consumed, so it is ideal for this application. 

  1. Leave the microwave closed for three to four minutes so that the surface gets ridden with the vapor. Although the vapor loosens most patches of mold and mold spores, waiting for a while gets it done better. 
  2. Now, you should wipe the internal compartment of the microwave with a damp paper towel or abrasive sponge. Again, it would be best to do this vigorously to remove the dissolved mold particles from the microwave.
  3. Using a disinfectant, use another towel to wipe the inside of the microwave. Be reminded that the step is meant to destroy the few mold and mold spores particles that may persist in the microwave. Thus, you should carefully do this, and cleaning should cover every inch of the internal compartment of the microwave oven. 

Clean the gasket around the microwave to remove hidden patches of mold that may be out of sight.

  1. Finally, dry the microwave thoroughly using any style of choice. Again, it would be best to quickly do this to prevent redeveloping mold using the few spores that may have survived the cleaning process. 

Drying also deals with a few mold spores that may still be present in your microwave oven. 

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