1. Microwave a plastic cutting board for 1 minute to disinfect it.
Wash the board well, rub it with the cut side of a lemon, then zap for 1 minute.
2. Microwave dried-up mascara for 30-40 seconds to get more life out of it.
Zap dried-up mascara with a cup of water next to it to help add moisture.
3. Microwave leftover fresh herbs for 1 minute to dry them out.
Rosemary, thyme, oregano, and marjoram work best. Spread fresh herbs on a plate lined with two paper towels, and cover the herbs with a towel. Zap on high for 1 minute, then continue microwaving in 20-second increments until the herbs are dry. Completely dried herbs will crumble when you try to bend them.
4. Microwave sea salt for 3 minutes to use it in a compress.
Heat coarse sea salt in a microwave-safe dish for about 3 minutes (longer if the salt isn't hot after 3 minutes). Fill a large, white sock with the hot salt, and tie a knot with the loose end (or use a rubber band). Test the temperature of the sock by placing it on your inner wrist, then apply it to sore areas, or use it as a heated ear compress. Sea salt is naturally antibacterial, and the heated salt will help draw moisture and toxins out of the infected ear.
5. Microwave soil for 90 seconds to create a sterilized environment for seedlings.
Spread soil onto a flat dish and heat on high for 90 seconds or until the soil starts to steam.
6. Microwave garlic for 15 seconds to easily remove skin.
After 15 seconds, be very careful peeling the skin–it’s hot! The heat from the microwave causes the garlic to release steam, which helps break down the bond between the clove and the skin.
You can stick an entire bulb in the microwave if you need more garlic (or want to prep cloves ahead of time). Cut both ends of the bulb off, and squeeze one side until the cloves slip out of the peel.
7. Microwave uncut citrus for 10-15 seconds to get more fruit juice.
Zap whole oranges and lemons. The heat will make it easier to squeeze out more juice.
8. Microwave stale bread for 20 seconds to make it edible again.
If you have stale bagels or breads that are too chewy to enjoy, wrap pieces in a moist paper towel and microwave. The moisture will soak into the bread.
9. Microwave a stuck-on stamp for 20 seconds to loosen the adhesive.
Collect stamps? Or maybe you messed up the address on an envelope that’s already stamped. Salvage those cents by patting a few drops of water onto the stamp and zapping it. The heat should loosen the adhesive, allowing you to re-stick it onto a different envelope.
Note: This works best on recently applied stamps. If you plan to peel a stamp that came with a piece of mail, you may have to put a little more effort (more careful peeling/longer microwaving).
10. Microwave a damp sponge for 1 minute to disinfect it.
11. Microwave gel eyeliners for 10 seconds to make them usable again.
12. Microwave an onion for 30 seconds to prevent tears when chopping.
First, trim the ends off an onion then microwave on medium heat.
13. Microwave dried beans in water for 15 minutes to cut the soaking time.
Soaking dried beans can take hours. Significantly decrease the soaking time by covering the beans in water (make sure there’s about two inches of water over the beans), then microwaving them on high for 15 minutes. Allow the beans to stand covered in the microwave for another 15 minutes. Cook the beans immediately after.
14. Microwave peaches and tomatoes for 30 seconds to easily peel the skin.
Let tomatoes and peaches stand for 30 seconds before peeling.