If your microwave door glass has just broken, the fix is easier than you think.
The microwave window is a critical part of the appliance design. You need that window to tell if a meal is finished cooking or is about to boil over. The window gives us insight into how food cooks in the microwave and serves as an endless source of entertainment for younger family members. Of course, the microwave window is also often made of glass and, therefore, has the potential to break. Whether your microwave door glass has broken from an impact, during a move, or spontaneously due to a manufacturing flaw, you’ll need to take action. It’s not safe to use your microwave with broken door glass but you can repair the appliance back to good-as-new. Even better, the process is surprisingly easy once you understand the way a microwave door works.
Assuming that your microwave door glass has just broken, we’ll walk you step-by-step through what to do next.
Put On Shoes and Work Gloves
Any time there is broken glass, the first step must always be safety. The biggest risks are stepping on glass and picking up glass without protection. Leave the kitchen immediately and carefully to put on shoes if you are not already wearing shoes. Then find a pair of work gloves, gardening gloves, or thick rubber cleaning gloves (not the thin kind) to protect your hands as you clean up the glass.
Alert any other members of the family or guests in the house that there is broken glass in the kitchen. Don’t allow anyone to enter the kitchen without shoes or to help with the cleanup without gloves. If you have a family pet, keep them out of the kitchen during the cleanup.
Clean Up Any Broken Glass
Glass cleanup is the very important second step. Bring a trashcan over. Then start by picking up the largest pieces while wearing protective gloves. Pick up progressively smaller pieces until you’re down to fingertip-sized pieces and smaller. The next stage of cleanup is a broom. If you have a small hand-broom, use this to help you pick up most of the small pieces. Start in a radius around the microwave and carefully move outward, closely inspecting the floor and counter for sparkles of broken glass. Sweep firmly and slowly, being careful not to ‘fling’ glass shards with quick strokes of the broom. This will help you control the situation.
Lastly, apply the vacuum cleaner. Use the hose to pick up small pieces and sparkles in hard-to-reach areas. Then run the vacuum over the entire kitchen floor and finish by edging with the hose. This should pick up the vast majority of glass pieces, shards, and sharp dust. From there, keep an eye out for the next few days for signs of glass that escaped the cleanup.
If Spontaneous, Report to the Manufacturer
Consider how your microwave door glass was broken. If there was roughhousing or if the microwave was dropped, that’s an understandable and normal reason for glass to break. However, if the glass shattered spontaneously, this is a manufacturing error. What happens is sometimes tiny bubbles are allowed into the glass during the factory manufacturing process, which can weaken the glass and cause it to break later during use.
If this happens, it’s not just dangerous or disappointing. It’s also something the manufacturers need to know and might refund you for. If your microwave door glass spontaneously shattered, contact the manufacturer. They’ll want to know the make and model of your microwave, when you bought it, and whether anyone was hurt. Sometimes, reports like this can lead to recalls that will keep other consumers safe from buying a product with a dangerous flaw.
Replace Your Microwave Door
If you want to repair your microwave instead of buying a new one, the easiest repair is to replace the entire microwave door. It is sometimes possible to order and replace just the door glass, but the repair is actually easier to accomplish and about the same cost to simply replace the microwave door as a whole part. Here’s how to do it:
- Unplug the Microwave
- Any time you start messing with an appliance, cut the power. Replacing the door is not an electrical repair, but it’s better to be safe.
- Pry Open the Inner Panel
- The hinges can’t be reached to uninstall the door without first removing the inner half of the door. This is an inner panel with a glass or plastic window.
- Carefully pry the panel open using a putty knife, flat-head screwdriver, or spatula. You will need to release the hidden plastic clips all the way around, then pull the door panel out.
- Don’t worry about breaking the clips, since you’ll be throwing away this door.
- Pull the Hinge Pins
- With the inner panel removed, the metal hinges should be revealed. Pull the pins that hold the hinges. This should cause the door to fall away.
- You can now remove and throw away the old door.
- Fit the New Door
- Grab your new microwave door and align the door with the hinges of the microwave cabinet.
- Set the Hinge Pins
- Fit the hinge pins back into the hinges to secure the door.
- The microwave door should hang level. If not, adjust the hinge screws.
- Secure the Inner Panel
- Finally, grab your new door inner panel and fit it into the outer door.
- Press gently until the plastic clips slide and click into place.
Enjoy Your Microwave
Congratulations. If you have just followed the previous steps, then you have fully repaired your broken microwave door glass. From cleanup to door replacement, your microwave can be good as new again without having to buy a new one. Open and close your microwave door a few times to confirm that it works correctly and consider performing a microwave containment test. With the right replacement microwave door, breaking the door glass doesn’t have to delay enjoying your microwave by more than a few days.