I heated water in the microwave and it exploded inside. Water was pouring out even though the door was shut. I now know that I'm not supposed to heat water in the microwave. But I did and now after the water explosion, I'm not sure if I can use my microwave. Twelve hours after the explosion inside the microwave, I tried to warm up some vegetables and there were crazy noises and flashes of orange. Is this because the water hadn't dried out yet or is the microwave completely ruined?

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    Sounds your "exploded" water short-circuited something. Hard to say whether the damage is permanent, but it's likely. Let it dry well (as in days, not hours) in a well-ventilated area, then try again. Be prepared to blow a fuse, so don't run the test while you do a computer backup or similar. Welcome to the site!
    – Stephie
    Aug 24, 2015 at 19:05
  • The exploding water is caused because the surface of the water was too smooth -- you need some disruption for the bubbles to form and the boiling to start -- if you don't, when you open the door and reach in, the whole thing can seem to instantly boil (and scald you). It sounds like this same thing might've happened (luckily, before you opened the door).
    – Joe
    Aug 24, 2015 at 19:30
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    It's a good idea when heating water (if you're trying to get it to boiling) to either float a toothpick in the container, or place a wooden skewer in there.
    – Joe
    Aug 24, 2015 at 19:35
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    You overheated water with following explosive boiling, user manual of my microwave insists on putting a spoon to the cup heated. They even attached a sticker about it under its door. Aug 25, 2015 at 3:20
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    It is more likely the container broke than the water flashed to steam, as the rotating base keeps enough agitation in the water. Tilt the unit and keep the door open to let it dry out. If the flashing inside deposited carbon in inaccessible areas, it may be easier to replace the unit than taking it apart to clean. Aug 27, 2015 at 13:47

1 Answer 1


Joe is essentially right. Bubbles form in a liquid at what are called nucleation sites - small irregularies in the container or in the liquid itself. If you look at the bottom of some beer glasses, there are little nodules (often in the shape of the brewer's logo) that nucleate bubbles of the CO2 that's dissolved in the beer. Much the same occurs with water - to nucleate bubbles of steam requires nucleation sites and, without them, the water can superheat to beyond it's normal boiling point of 100 C. When you then disturb the liquid, and so provide nucleation sites, a whole lump of it can turn to steam in an instant.

Permanent damage to the oven is possible but I'd leave it for a few days and then try again.

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