The designer of the microwave has found a way to harness the power of short frequency radio waves in order to heat or cook food up in a handful of minutes instead of almost an hour of conductive heat. The microwave uses a magnetron to shoot microwave radiation unto food to vibrate its water content.
Further reading: How Does a Microwave Work?
This then results in quick-cooking using the food’s own juices. With the right recipe (and without a convection mode), there are various things you can cook with a microwave.
Can You Use a Microwave without the Glass Door?
The glass or clear plastic window on your microwave door doesn’t protect you from microwave radiation at all, contrary to popular belief. Therefore, if the glass door is removed, you can technically microwave without any leakage whatsoever theoretically.
In practice, any chances of microwave bombardment should be avoided. If your microwave door is broken or the clear plastic or glass window is shattered then you shouldn’t use your microwave at all despite this alleged safeness.
It’s more important to check if the perforated shield has compromised itself. Many electricians and manufacturers will suggest against using a broken microwave though since it raises leakage risk.
Should You Use a Microwave without the Glass Door?
Yes, some industrial microwave ovens don’t have that window but instead only have the shield. It has no glass or plastic window at all and it works fine. However, if your microwave has a cracked window, it’s best to have that fixed first before taking the risk.
You shouldn’t because once the glass or plastic window is damaged there’s a chance that the perforated microwave shield is soon to follow.
It’s Okay to Err on the Side of Caution
Even though there’s no microwave leakage with a broken glass window as long as the perforated shield is still intact, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not use a microwave with broken anything on it. Many microwaves won’t even turn on if it detects an open door or even door window damage.
Long story short, while you can use a microwave without the glass door—and some microwaves don’t even have that preview window installed—you shouldn’t use a microwave with a broken glass or plastic window.
What Actually Defends You from Microwave Radiation?
The thing that defends you from microwave radiation is the microwave shield. Even if the glass door is damaged it shouldn’t be a problem as long as the shield itself is undamaged. However, there are many dangers associated with microwave radiation, including permanent blindness.
It’s not recommended you work with a broken microwave, even if it’s only the glass or transparent window part of the door.
Blunt Impacts Can Break More Than the Door Glass
Sure, some argue that the glass has no real function save for retaining the moist environment while the food is being nuked or microwaved. However, whatever broke the glass can also break the microwave shields.
It’s more ideal to use a working microwave with the glass window on your microwave door intact. There’s a reason why some microwaves prevent you from turning them on if the door isn’t closed or if it’s damaged altogether.
Can a Microwave Hurt You If the Front Glass Isn’t There Anymore?
Many people have reservations regarding microwave leakage from a microwave door without the front glass. Some even fear developing cancer from exposure to microwave leakages the same way x-ray exposure can cause you to become radioactive.
There’s a chance for microwaves to escape from a damaged or broken glass door mostly because the way it’s been damaged can also damage the microwave shield.
Fix the Microwave or Replace It Instead of Risking Leakages
If the screen on your microwave door is missing, have it fixed. Broken glass or transparent plastic can take with it the inner screen. There are microwaves without glass windows, but they still have shields on the door itself.
The inner metal screen should not be compromised. You shouldn’t use any microwaves that still turn on even with the door opened either. Many modern microwaves automatically stop when you open the door and won’t work until you close the door.
Can Microwaves Cause Cancer?
Microwaves don’t cause cancer because of their non-ionizing nature. They’re instead known for warming up whatever that’s exposed to them by vibrating water molecules. If in theory you’re exposed to microwaves, you can probably jump away before prolonged exposure could occur.
However, you don’t want your eyes or skin to get exposed to microwaves. You could damage both your skin and eyes badly by microwave leakage. It’s also for this reason that you should never put small animals like hamsters, rats, or kittens inside the microwave oven then microwave them.
It results in cruel and unusual punishment as well as animal abuse. They could end up dead, burnt internally, blind, or handicapped after even only a few seconds of microwave exposure.
How Does the Perforated Microwave Shield or Screen Block Microwaves?
Although microwaves or short radiofrequency waves are “micro” and can permeate through the interior of food in order to raise its temperature by water molecule vibration, they’re not so micro or small in order to pass through the screen.
The metal screen doesn’t allow the microwaves to pass through its holes because their amplitude is bigger than these very holes. Without the screen and the auto shut off, the microwaves will cook anything directly in front of the device—including your face.
What You Ultimately Need to Know
On one hand, the microwave is dependable enough to make you various meals with the right recipes. They’re not as extravagant as the ones you make with the gas or electric range or stovetop as well as the gas or electric oven.
However, you can make various lightning-fast stapes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. On the other hand, your microwave is built to be as safe as possible with its microwave shields. Even without the glass door, the microwave can still remain microwave-leakage-free as long as the shields are intact.
If its glass or plastic window were broken and whatnot, it’s best to not use it even if it’s not the shields that’s been compromised.
- “Can a microwave hurt you if the front glass is not there anymore. Can it have effects like cancer?“, Quora.com, May 16, 2016
- “Can you use a microwave if the front glass is broken but the inner door is fine?“, Quora.com, August 30, 2018