I was attempting to warm up some food recently and completely didn't notice that there was a small/thin ring of metal running around a plate I own.

So I put the plate in the microwave to warm up food for 30 seconds and during 5 seconds of warmup, I saw a few sparks.

I quickly stopped the microwave, opened the door and took the plate out.

I have 2 related questions:

  1. Has my microwave been rendered useless because of this?

  2. If microwave is not broken, will any future food warmed up in it be toxic because of the sparks?

  • 1
    First I'd suggest trying it and see if it works; it won't explode or anything like that. Next, it won't kill anyone or be toxic. The sparks come from the current being pulled on the metal - like an electrical wire. It's just electricity on it, not nuclear waste.
    – TFK
    Mar 5, 2016 at 2:37
  • Many of us have done this. Don't worry about it.
    – keshlam
    Mar 5, 2016 at 2:57

2 Answers 2


Nope, everything's fine. I don't know of & haven't heard of any damage nor hazard unless & until there is physical damage to the microwave itself.


A microwave that has sparks , this is only a problem if the reflected power damages the magnetron, then it would not heat. If the microwave still works there is nothing you need to worry about. Microwaves work with RF (radio Frequency) that excites the water molecules. This is how the unit creates the heat. So they work or they don't. The design of the magnetron it can't change the frequency it creates.

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