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Dealing with external rust on steel microwave oven

Discussion in 'Home and Garden' started by Angilion, 15 Sep 2021.

  1. Angilion

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 5 Dec 2003

    Posts: 20,110

    Location: Just to the left of my PC

    I've got a microwave oven that's steel throughout, no coating internally or externally. I've had it for many years and it continues to work very well. There's no corrosion inside the microwave (unlike most microwave ovens I've seen, which corrode through the coating surprisingly quickly) but there's surface rusting on the outside in places. I'd like to get rid of it or at least stop it spreading further. That would usually involve chemical processes to remove the rust or convert it to something else (ferric tannate, usually), but I'm wary of doing that with an oven. Even on the outside, since some of the rust is on vents on top that open into the oven (obviously - there'd be no point in them otherwise) and some of the rust is around the frame next to the door. I don't know enough to assess the risk, if any.

    I could replace it, of course, but I dislike binning stuff that's still useful, even if I have had plenty of value for money from it. The oven was quite expensive, but I've had it for at least 15 years and it still works perfectly apart from the internal light which died a few years back and which I don't care about. I've never found any need to see inside the microwave oven during cooking, so the light is irrelevant to me.

  2. EssexBoy

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 13 Jun 2013

    Posts: 1,416

    Location: Essex/East London

    Lemon juice and salt if you want to be on the safe side
  3. Destination


    Joined: 31 May 2009

    Posts: 20,889

    V fine sandpaper and oil it after?
  4. jpaul


    Joined: 1 Mar 2010

    Posts: 16,038

    I think I'd try vinegar applied topically, tape on a cotton wool pad
    - and maybe investigate varnish of some kind, on a less visible panel initially - combi parents have does get hot though, so not sure if there is an appropriate varnish.

    lights are not usually too difficult did the parents a while back - how do you tell whats happing otherwise
  5. bobuk


    Joined: 25 Jan 2009

    Posts: 493

    Brillo pad
  6. Psycho Sonny


    Joined: 21 Jun 2006

    Posts: 38,366

    Honestly? You are cooking food in it. Whilst there isn't a huge risk rust isn't a good sign and I would just buy a new microwave.

    Even a top end microwave is £200. So 15 years worth of usage has more than paid for itself. I just replaced a £200 air fryer after 3 years as an example. It was fine in reality but a real pain to clean so I gave it away for someone else to use. So it's still not in landfill yet.

    Give it away on gumtree and get yourself a new one. Panasonic are best.