Microwave Keeps Running When Door Is Open: Causes & Explanations

Microwaves are not the most complicated appliances in your home. They cook food and turn it into delicious meals that you enjoy with friends and family while spending time together. But like anything else, microwaves can break or malfunction, leaving them running even after you’ve finished cooking your meal.

And if this happens to you more than once, it might seem like there is nothing you can do about it. Fortunately, there are some easy fixes out there-some of which don’t cost very much at all. Keep reading to find out how to fix the problem that the microwave keeps running when door is open.

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Microwave Keeps Running When Door Is Open: Causes & Explanations

You may be asking yourself, “why is my microwave running when the door is open?” or “How can I stop my microwave from running while the door is open?”. There are a few different reasons why your microwaves might keep running and some of them are potentially hazardous to you and your family. If you notice that your oven keeps cycling even though it appears to be off, please read on for some possible solutions.

One of the most common reasons that a microwave oven keeps running when you open the door is that someone has spilled liquid on the control panel and they may not realize it. This liquid messes with the sensors and sends incorrect information to the computer, which in turn activates all kinds of things. If your microwave oven is running and you notice a burning smell, turn it off immediately. If you can’t turn it off because the door is open, unplug the unit from the wall outlet.

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There is a second possibility, which is that you need to clean around the sensor holes. When you remove the metal cover on a microwave oven, there usually are several small round openings where microwaves enter and exit. You should look at those areas to make sure they’re clean because if the entrance holes are clogged with dirt or food particles, your microwave oven will keep running.  These areas are very sensitive and they need to be clean in order for the oven to work properly.

What Happens When A Microwave Runs With Nothing In It?

The microwaves in a microwave oven are generated by magnetrons. These devices produce short, high-frequency bursts of energy which excite the molecules in food placed inside the oven until they heat up enough to be cooked. Unlike other types of cooking, microwaving does not require any water or oil to conduct heat so it is also possible to cook foods that would normally spoil when submerged in liquids such as eggs or bacon.

Microwaves penetrate food more deeply than most other forms of cooking and this will often result in quicker cooking times for certain dishes compared with conventional methods. However, because there is no air inside a microwave cavity, some moisture can escape from the surface of foods being heated and this can lead to less moist results unless steps are taken before cooking to prevent it.

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When there is nothing in the microwave, there is no food for the microwaves to cook and so they build up inside the device until they escape through any gaps that exist between its outer casing and door. This can be very dangerous since these high-frequency waves can cause damage to electronic equipment or even bodily harm if they are not safely contained.

To prevent this, some microwaves feature interlocks which automatically turn the magnetron off if the door is opened and so they must be reset after cooking to work again. If you want to run a microwave oven with nothing inside it for any reason then it is important that you check your device’s instruction manual beforehand to check if this is possible and if so how it can best be done.

How Can You Reset A Microwave?

The microwave is one of the most useful appliances in your kitchen. The problem with microwaves is that they sometimes have a mind of their own and refuse to turn off, even when you close the door. This guide will show you how to reset your microwave so it never happens again.

The Power Cord

It might have a short in it. Unplug the microwave and plug it back in, if that doesn’t solve your issue, look for a button labeled “reset” or “off/on.” This will either reset or turn off the microwave. If neither of these things work, the cord might need to be replaced. If this still does not work, the circuit board will likely need to be replaced.

The Door Switch.

The door switch is a small button usually located at the bottom of your microwave which tells it if the door is open or closed. The problem with this is that sometimes over time, people accidentally bump the button and leave it in the open position. This can cause your microwave to run continuously. To fix this, simply press the button back into place, or replace it if that doesn’t work.

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The Control Panel

Unplug your microwave if none of the other options work for you, then open up the inside of the microwave and press the stop button several times to reset it. If this does not work, you will likely need to replace the control panel unless your model specifically allows for user control of the power level and time setting. Replacing this part requires a bit more expertise.

The Fuse

If you have a fuse-type model, the problem could be a blown fuse that prevents your microwave from turning on. Simply replace the old ones with new ones and it should fix your issue. If none of these things work, there might be an internal problem with the microwave that will require it to be replaced.

Inspect the power cord, the door switch and the control panel for signs of wear or corrosion. If you have any concerns about your microwave being safe to use, contact a professional electrician as soon as possible for further inspection.

Tips For Using Microwaves Safely

A microwave oven is an excellent appliance for cooking and reheating food. But it can also be dangerous if not used properly, which is why you should follow these tips to ensure your safety when using a microwave.

Don’t nuke your dinner while you’re still in the room

Always leave the microwave door closed while it is operating, even if you’re not within range of its radiation. If something inside overheats or catches fire, the microwave will automatically shut off. However, if you’re in the room, you can be exposed to potentially harmful emissions from a damaged oven.

Open the door with caution

If you must open the microwave while it is running, stand as far back as possible and carefully remove your food, using insulated mitts or pot holders. The microwaves will continue until they are turned off manually, so it’s important to get away from the door to avoid this radiation.

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Don’t hold your head near the oven while it is operating

As with any electronic device that emits radiation, including cellphones and other kitchen appliances, constant proximity can prove harmful over time. While not all microwaves produce levels of radiation high enough to cause problems, it’s best to keep your head at a reasonable distance while it is running.

Close the microwave when finished

Remember to always unplug the microwave when you’re done with it. Like any other appliance, microwaves will continue to draw electricity if left plugged in, which not only wastes energy but can be potentially dangerous. If you do not unplug it, your microwave could be damaged by an electrical surge when you try to use it later.

Don’t use metal in your microwave

Metal can cause sparks and should not be placed inside a microwave. Pots containing hot liquids and pans which have metallic coatings should never be heated in a microwave. Metal absorbs microwaves, which can lead to sparking and damage the machine. Even such common objects as twist ties, staples or aluminum foil can cause sparking and damage to your microwave.

Don’t turn the microwave on if the door is damaged

If your microwave’s door has a hole or any damage, don’t use it until it’s been repaired. The radiation levels in a faulty oven can be high enough to melt plastic and cause fires.

When you’re done cooking, remove the turntable

It’s best to remove the turntable from your microwave before you shut it off. Not only does this prevent food particles from getting stuck around the rotating plate, but it also reduces wear-and-tear on the appliance.

Limit cooking time for small items

When microwaving food in plastic containers, turn them over halfway through to help distribute heat more evenly. Use lower power levels and shorter cooking times for small items like eggs or potatoes.

Don’t use styrofoam, plastic wrap or paper to cover food in the microwave

While these materials help to heat the food faster, they can also be harmful when used as a cover. They melt easily and allow microwaves to escape. This is harmful to the food and can cause a fire.

Remember to use a microwave-safe plate when reheating food

These plates have been treated so that they won’t melt from the heat of microwaved foods. Using other types of dishes for this process may result in harmful chemicals leaching into your food. Replace these potentially unsafe dishes with microwave-safe ones.

Be wary of metal pans used in microwaves

Avoid using metal pans or tins rather than glass or ceramic dishes for heating food in the microwave. Metal containers, especially those with sharp edges, can spark and cause damage to your oven. This is particularly important if oven cleaner has ever been used on your microwave’s exterior.

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Always use pot holders when removing food from the microwave

Hot steam and foods can cause severe burns. Always be careful to avoid contact with the containers, as they will be hot. This is especially important when removing plastic or paper packaging from microwaved foods, as these materials tend to retain heat more than glass or ceramic dishes.

If you spill food on the inside of the oven, turn off the oven and unplug it before cleaning up

To clean spilled or splattered food from the inside walls of your microwave, place a microwave-safe bowl filled with water and lemon juice (or vinegar) inside for several minutes to loosen any particles. To clean difficult stains, make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stains. If you use a sponge, be sure to only use the soft side.

Make sure you clean your microwave regularly

Food particles can create odors and may even attract insects. Regularly cleaning your microwave is important for keeping smells from getting trapped inside. Fill a bowl with water and lemon juice (or vinegar) and microwave for several minutes. Sprinkle baking soda on top of the mixture, let it stand for a couple of minutes, then wipe with paper towels or clean rags.

Microwaves are a convenient and very popular appliance in the kitchen. It’s important to use them properly so that they will not pose any danger to you or other household members. While microwaves emit radiation, using them according to these tips above will keep you safe.

Best Microwaves Recommendations 2022

SaleBestseller No. 1
TOSHIBA EM131A5C-BS Countertop Microwave Ovens 1.2 Cu Ft, 12.4" Removable Turntable Smart Humidity Sensor 12 Auto Menus Mute Function ECO Mode Easy Clean Interior Black Color 1100W
  • Pre-programmed sensor menu for optimum heating of popular foods like pizza, potatoes, veggies and more; Rated Voltage: 120V - 60Hz
  • Black Stainless Steel exterior, 20.5 x 17.1 x 12.8 inch (w x d x h), large 1.2 cubic feet capacity, cavity 13.07 x 15 x 9.5 inch (w x d x h), turn table 12.4 inch (diameter)
Bestseller No. 2
Farberware Classic FMO07AHTBKJ 0.7 Cu. Ft. 700-Watt Microwave Oven with LED Lighting, Brushed Stainless Steel
  • QUICK & EASY: Prepare meals and snacks in a snap with this compact microwave that packs 700 Watts of output power. 1-6 min. Express cooking and plus 30 sec. Button offer simple press-and-go speed while the memory function lets your store your most used customized settings
  • CONVENIENT: Farberware 0.7 Cu. Ft. microwave oven is the ideal anywhere you need it small microwave solution for home or office. Full-sized cooking that fits in a compact space.
Bestseller No. 4
Bestseller No. 5
Farberware Compact Countertop Microwave Oven, 0.7 Cu. Ft. 700-Watt with LED Lighting, Child Lock, Easy Clean Grey Interior, Retro Black
  • QUICK & EASY: Prepare meals and snacks in a snap with this compact microwave that packs 700 Watts of output power. 1-6 min. Express cooking and plus 30 sec. Button offer simple press-and-go speed while the memory function lets your store your most used customized settings
  • CONVENIENT: Farberware 0.7 Cu. Ft. white microwave oven is the ideal anywhere you need it small microwave solution for home or office. Full-sized cooking that fits in a compact space.
Bestseller No. 6
BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven with Turntable Push-Button Door, Child Safety Lock, 700W, Stainless Steel, 0.7 Cu.ft
  • Pre-programmed buttons for popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage and dinner plate
  • 700 Watts with 10 power settings, clock and kitchen timer, 30 Seconds Express Cooking
SaleBestseller No. 7
Cuisinart TOB-60NFR Toaster Oven Broiler with Convection , Silver(Renewed)
  • Stainless steel and industrial style design with 1500 watts capability and 500 DegreeF temperature range
  • Precise toast shade dial, tinted glass oven door, 0.6 cu. feet
Bestseller No. 9
Commercial Chef Countertop Counter Top Microwave Oven, 0.7 Cubic Feet, Stainless Steel
  • 10 cooking power levels provide great cooking flexibility
  • 6 convenient quick cook settings include popcorn, baked potato, pizza, Beverage, reheat and frozen dinner
SaleBestseller No. 10
Samsung MS14K6000AS/AA MS14K6000 Speed-Cooking-Microwave-ovens, 1.4 cu. ft, Stainless Steel
  • Sensor Cook automatically adjusts cooking time
  • Senses both moisture and temperature to provide optimal heating
Bestseller No. 11
COMFEE' EM720CPL-PM Countertop Microwave Oven with Sound On/Off, ECO Mode and Easy One-Touch Buttons, 0.7 Cu Ft/700W, Pearl White
  • Stylish stainless steel finish, compact size: 0.7 cubic-foot capacity, 700 watts and 11 power levels
  • Mute function, settings, clock, kitchen timer, child safety lock, easy auto-cook functions: Popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen veggie, beverage, reheat
SaleBestseller No. 12
Farberware Countertop Microwave 1.1 Cu. Ft. 1000-Watt Compact Microwave Oven with LED lighting, Child lock, and Easy Clean Interior, Stainless Steel Interior & Exterior
  • QUICK & EASY: Prepare meals and snacks in a snap with this compact microwave that packs 1000 Watts of output power. 1-6 min. Express cooking and plus 30 sec. Button offer simple press-and-go speed while the memory function lets your store your most used customized settings
  • CONVENIENT: Farberware 1.1 Cu. Ft. microwave oven is the ideal anywhere you need it small microwave solution for home or office. Full-sized cooking that fits in a compact space.
Bestseller No. 13
Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven with Sound On/Off ECO Mode and LED Lighting, 0.9 Cu Ft/900W, Black Stainless Steel
  • Stylish black stainless steel with timeless design; Rated Voltage: 120V- 60Hz; Rated Input Power (Microwave): 1350W; Rated Output Power (Microwave): 900W
  • Pre-programmed menu for 6 popular foods like popcorn, pizza, potato and more
Bestseller No. 14
RCA RMW733-BLACK RMW733 0.7 Cu. Ft. Microwave, Black
  • COMPACT: Our RMW733 Countertop Microwave is 29 inches long making it the ideal choice to fit into your dormitories, apartment kitchens or workplace.
  • DIGITAL PANEL: Our microwave features a Digital Control Panel that makes it really easy to use and provides choices for express cooking, altering the power level, postponing the start, setting the time, and stop/cancel features.
Bestseller No. 15
Mainstays 700W Output Microwave Oven, Red
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
SaleBestseller No. 16
Galanz GLCMKA07RDR-07 Microwave Oven, LED Lighting, Pull Handle Design, Child Lock,Retro Red, 0.7 Cu.Ft
  • 700W With 6 Variable Power Levels : Galanz 0.7 Cu.Ft, 700 Watts Microwave Oven With Lighting Pull Handle, Microwave Oven Offers Six Power Level To Cook. It Is Easy To Defrost
  • Defrost & Led Display :For All Your Frozen Foods, Defrost By Time Or Weight So You Can Enjoy More Flavorful Foods. Easy-To-Read Led Display Clearly Shows Remaining Cooking Time. And When The Cooking Procedure Have Finished, Three Beeps Sound Will Be Heard
SaleBestseller No. 17
GE 3-in-1 Countertop Microwave Oven | Complete With Air Fryer, Broiler & Convection Mode | 1.0 Cubic Feet Capacity, 1,050 Watts | Kitchen Essentials for the Countertop or Dorm Room | Stainless Steel
  • AIR FRY MODE - Cook healthier, crispier versions of your favorite foods in less time, thanks to an air fryer built into your microwave
  • CONVECTION MODE - Achieve crisp, golden brown results in this microwave oven with convection, which includes a special rack that allows air to circulate around foods for even heat distribution
Bestseller No. 18
1.1 Cu. ft. 1000 W Mid Size Microwave Oven, 1000W, Stainless Steel,20.60 x 16.50 x 11.80 Inches
  • 6 quick-set menu buttons: popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage and dinner plate
  • 99'99" cooking timer and digital clock
SaleBestseller No. 19
COMFEE' CM-M092AAT Retro Microwave with 9 Preset Programs, Fast Multi-stage Cooking, Turntable Reset Function Kitchen Timer, Mute Function, ECO Mode, LED digital display, 0.9 cu.ft, 900W, Apricot
  • Retro design in soft apricot fits all types of kitchen style and adds to the gaiety of your house.
  • 9 preset programs satisfy your daily cooking needs: popcorn, beverage, vegetable, meat, pizza, potato, pasta, soup, reheat.
Bestseller No. 20
0.9 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave Oven
  • 900W power/10 power levels
  • 6 auto cooking menus

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Microwave

There are many factors to consider when choosing a microwave. The following is an outline of some important things to take into consideration.

Size and Space 

Is there enough space for the appliance in your kitchen?  Has this been taken into account when deciding on the size of the appliance?  It is worth considering how much space you will need before making any decision about either feature. Generally, smaller microwaves tend to be more expensive than larger ones because they offer less cooking power. However, if you have limited space in your kitchen then it may be worth opting for a smaller model with fewer features but that can still cook well. On the other hand, if you do not mind paying more and want all the bells and whistles then a larger model could be a good choice.


The amount of power you have in your home will have a considerable impact on what kind of microwave you buy. Those with more powerful microwaves can get food cooked faster even if they are made from frozen or cold ingredients. On the other hand, less powerful microwaves may take much longer to cook the same food. Therefore, it is worth considering whether you need a powerful microwave or whether one with less power will be sufficient for your cooking needs.

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Not all microwaves have convection features which means that if this is something you are interested in then it may be best to opt for a model that includes this. To take full advantage of the convection feature you will need to consider what kind of cooking tasks you would like it to be used for such as baking, defrosting or just heating up food in general.

Not all convection microwaves are created equally when it comes to power either. The higher the power rate the more effective the convection heating system should be.


The features of different microwaves vary greatly depending on the brand, model and price you are willing to pay for it. Generally, more expensive models will have many more additional features than cheaper ones although this is not always the case. Some microwaves come with the standard array of features that include several power levels, pre-programmed settings and a digital clock. Other more advanced models may also come with additional features that include convection cooking, rotisserie motors, wire racks for baking or grilling capabilities.

Size of food 

It is important to consider what size dish etc you want to heat in the microwave before making a final choice. This is because some microwaves may only be able to fit certain sized dishes inside them whereas others can accommodate larger ones. On the other hand, if you will be heating up smaller portions then a smaller microwave should suffice.

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Some microwaves are easier to clean than others and this is something that needs to be taken into consideration. If your preferred choice of model is difficult to clean then you may need to opt for another one that comes with an easily removable glass turntable tray or “door.” Some microwaves also come with special features that allow you to clean them more effectively such as the steam cleaning option.


If buying a microwave for your business, it is worth considering how often it will need to be repaired and whether the warranty that comes with it will cover these repairs. In general, microwaves that are more expensive tend to have a longer warranty than cheaper ones so this may be something to consider when choosing between different models.


When buying appliances it is worth opting for well known brands as these will usually come with better quality. Larger, expensive models are more likely than cheaper ones to be made by a reliable brand so you can feel more confident that they will last you for several years without having to be repaired or replaced.


As already mentioned, some microwaves are more expensive than others. In general, you get what you pay for when it comes to microwaves so if you opt for a cheaper model then you may have to replace it sooner rather than later.

FAQs About Microwave

– Can microwaves be used to sterilize dishes and utensils?

Yes. In fact, using your microwave oven to zap away microorganisms is a great way of quickly cleaning your utensils and dishes. Place the items in a dishwasher bag or on a glass tray with high edges. Put some water in the bottom of the tray or bag, cover with cling film and cook for 1-2 minutes. Watch out though – never use power this high when cooking food in your microwave.

– Can I use my microwave to dry snacks such as nuts, seeds and fruit?

Yes. Spread the items out on a tray or mesh screen and place in the microwave for 1-5 minutes on full power. This is great if you like your snacks crispy. However, they go from dry to burn very quickly so keep an eye on them.

– Can I use my microwave oven to cook raw meat?

Yes, you can. However it is not recommended unless you are familiar with the safe practices of microwaving food. Firstly, there is no need to thaw frozen meat before cooking it because microwaves generate heat so fast that they can actually start cooking food from frozen. However, thawed meat is to be avoided because the heat it takes to do this can encourage growth of bacteria. Secondly, if you are cooking more than one piece of meat make sure they are roughly the same size so that they all cook evenly.

– Can I put metal in my microwave?

Metal items cannot go into a microwave oven because metal reflects microwaves and this will make the oven work harder. Metal also affects the cooking of food, so you should avoid putting metal in microwaves. This is for a couple of reasons. Firstly, metal containers heat up faster than glass ones so you need to leave more time for them to cool down before removing them from the oven. Secondly, microwaves have been known to explode after coming into contact with metal objects in them – not something you want happening while you’re cooking!

Here is a video on how to fix microwaves easily.

– Do microwaves cook from the inside out?

Yes. Microwaves enter the food from all angles and penetrate deeper than traditional methods of cooking such as boiling or grilling. This is why they are good for wholesome meals that cook quickly and evenly while retaining moisture. However, there are still some foods that microwave ovens struggle to cook properly, so you may want to experiment with them.

– How long should I microwave food for?

Each recipe will have a recommended cooking time or you can refer to your manual. You should start with this and adjust depending on the results you get. Leave the oven on for slightly less time than required if you want food that is just cooked, add a few minutes more if it is half done and leave it in for longer if you want to cook your food thoroughly. Be particularly careful when microwaving bread or cakes as they can easily go from perfect to burn very quickly.

– How long does food need to rest after microwaving it?

It depends on what you’re cooking. For example, fish can be served straight away but meat will still be piping hot even when it looks like it has finished cooking so you should leave it for a while before serving. You definitely don’t want to eat microwaved fish that’s still raw!

– How long does food need to cool down after microwaving it?

Most food will start cooling down as soon as you take it out of the microwave. It should reach room temperature within half an hour which is when it is safe to be eaten. However, you can speed up this process by leaving the door open so that the hot air can escape.


Microwaves are a great way to cook food quickly and evenly, but they come with their own set of rules. You can’t put metal in them or even open the door when you’re cooking because microwaves use radiation that bounces off metal objects. If your microwave keeps running when door is open, it’s probably time for an update in your home.

Remember to follow these microwave cooking tips above and enjoy wholesome meals without worrying about the dangers associated with microwaving food that is either raw or overcooked.

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