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A Hypothetical Microwave / Honey Cleaning Question

Jacquilynne Sep 28, 2013 10:50 AM

Let's suppose for a moment that someone who shall not be named had accidentally melted an entire container of honey into the microwave in an attempt to decrystallize gone awry. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

How exactly would that person best go about removing the honey from the microwave? The honey in this could possibly have happened but totally didn't scenario might be approximately at the softball stage of candy making, and could be imagined to be about a quarter of an inch deep in the bottom of the microwave. The turntable was theoretically removed to a sink full of hot water where the honey is figuratively melting away, but that's not an option for the honey that would theoretically still be in the bottom of the microwave because it overflowed the turntable.

  1. Jacquilynne Sep 28, 2013 10:52 AM

    As this situation is hypothetical, the photos you are about to see obviously do not exist.

     
     
    1. o
      ohmyyum Sep 28, 2013 11:18 AM

      Ok to be completely honest, I have no idea but thank you for the laugh. My best guess would be to use something absorbent, like oat bran to soak it up and then scoop that out with w paper towel before wiping it down. But I don't know, it could create a bigger mess.

      1. 512window Sep 28, 2013 11:34 AM

        First thing - give the little bear a decent burial.

        Let it cool. I'd just start scooping it up with a spoon into a container to be discarded. Then use a sponge wetted with very hot water and start wiping. It's not going to go quickly.

        How old is the hypothetical microwave? Could it be time to replace it with a much better model?

        1 Reply
        1. re: 512window
          Jacquilynne Sep 28, 2013 11:39 AM

          Alas, the microwave is both relatively new and built in, so very expensive to replace.

        2. cayjohan Sep 28, 2013 12:00 PM

          We had a not-so-hypothetical young person make a similar mess with pancake syrup about 10 years ago. The microwave survived and is with us to this day. Take heart.

          As 512window says, scrape as much off as you can. Our mess was a bit shallower, but it's still a pain. I then made a sort of hot-towel poultice, and curled it in the well for the turntable to completely cover the goo. You want the towel wet enough to really contact the goo and soak it, but not so wet as to seep a lot. Nuke until hot and steamy, and get to the elbow grease. Repeat as necessary. Don't skimp on the towels. it's hard to rinse the sticky goo out to reuse the poultice for subsequent rounds. And: wear some heavy rubber gloves. It's hot work.

          Now, I don't know what if any differences in horrible-mess-ness there are between the pancake syrup and honey, but if one's willing to try anything, it's worth a go.

          1. a
            autumm Sep 28, 2013 01:12 PM

            Sorry for your hypothetical problems, but thanks for the laugh. I've been having a rough afternoon, but better than the poor bear's day.

            For scraping the remains up, do you have an old dollar store type spatula or one you don't really care what happens to to give you some leverage?

            1 Reply
            1. re: autumm
              cayjohan Sep 28, 2013 01:20 PM

              I used a cheap plastic spackling knife for this. The rounded handle end helped with the curves of the turntable well sides. It worked pretty well, being rigid, and it was a cheap sacrifice to toss it.

            2. o
              ohmyyum Sep 28, 2013 01:18 PM

              I thought honey didn't ever actually crystallize into hard or soft ball stages like sugar? In that case, shouldn't you be able to rewarm it to get it liquid again if it's stuck?

              2 Replies
              1. re: ohmyyum
                Jacquilynne Sep 28, 2013 05:57 PM

                Hrmm, that might be true -- it definitely melted readily as I was reheating it with water. The consistency of the honey was softballish, but that could have just been because I nuked a bunch of water out of it and not the result of any real structural change.

                1. re: ohmyyum
                  babette feasts Sep 28, 2013 06:04 PM

                  Soft and hard ball stages are not crystallized (or if they are you either have a problem or are making fudge or fondant), they are an indicator of how much water is left in the solution. If you boil honey until enough water evaporates, it will thicken considerably.

                  I agree with whomever recommended the hot wet towel poultice. Let it sit and the sugar will absorb enough moisture to soften, even melt. Time is your friend here. If you can, let it sit several hours or overnight and save yourself some scrubbing.

                2. mrbigshotno.1 Sep 28, 2013 01:25 PM

                  Tese types of things (among others) are why I still drink.

                  1. monfrancisco Sep 28, 2013 02:16 PM

                    No help here, I'm sorry to say, but thanks so much! Makes me feel better about my work-in-progress, The Day the Blender Wasn't Assembled Properly.

                    1. Jacquilynne Sep 28, 2013 05:55 PM

                      So, fortunately, this turned out not to be as hard to clean up as I had anticipated. I used a couple of dessert spoons to scrape up as much of the honey as I could, using the handles to dig into the smaller rings of the microwave bottom.

                      Then I soaked a towel in vinegar and water, and microwaved the towel for a couple of minutes on medium and sopped up what I could of the honey. Rinsed the towel out a bit and did that again, scrubbing the second time to get the bits of honey that hadn't melted off the microwave yet.

                      It was a pain in the ass, because my microwave is at about shoulder height, so I was doing all of this with my arms at head level, but it could have been way worse.

                      Hypothetically, of course.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Jacquilynne
                        cayjohan Sep 28, 2013 09:04 PM

                        So glad you had success; our syrup had burned in places and it was a crap cleanup job.

                        For whatever weird rotten reason my family has had more than its fair share of nightmarishly messy microwave situations to clean up. (Sigh.) The syrup was nothing compared to when a gaggle of otherwise sensible teenaged girls managed to blow up some concoction-or-other containing, among whatever other (esoteric teenaged-worthy-rummaged-ingredient) they came up with: canned chocolate frosting. A lot of it. All over the microwave interior. Sticky chocolate everywhere, like one of those sprayed-on "cottage cheese" textured ceilings. You know all those little vent holes inside? Ugh.

                      2. EWSflash Sep 28, 2013 08:50 PM

                        Immerse it in water before you go to bed. It will part with the honey by the time you wake up

                        1. EWSflash Sep 28, 2013 08:51 PM

                          Same with the glass turntable. If it has drooled out beyond that, use a wet clean cloth to wipe the stuff up

                          1. k
                            kitchengardengal Sep 28, 2013 09:03 PM

                            Reminds me of the time my BFF's 12 year old daughter babysat my two boys while we went out for the evening. I came home to a microwave splattered all over with wax inside, and a wax covered saucepan in the sink. Seems that our young babysitter had the brilliant idea of turning the wax candy bottles she'd brought with her into candles. She'd tried both the microwave and stove to melt them, but it didn't really work, so she and the boys went off and found something else to do.
                            My BFF didn't understand why I "made a big deal of it", because her daughter was just "being creative".

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: kitchengardengal
                              cayjohan Sep 28, 2013 10:15 PM

                              I should be very grateful that my parents didn't get a microwave until well after I'd grown out of a rather focused "what else can I do with a lot of hot melted wax" phase. (I think my mother was ready to kill me in the batik portion of that phase; lots of hot wax and dyes.) That sounds like something I'd have tried if I'd had a microwave. Thank the stars my kids never thought of it. They thought of quite enough, but it was generally food, at least.

                              But: it is kinda creative, no? <grin> I'd never have thought of those wax bottles!

                            2. r
                              rainey Sep 28, 2013 10:30 PM

                              I would put a container of water in the microwave and boil the water then let it sit. Let that sit in there until the cavity has been thoroughly steamed. Honey is hydroscopic so it should soften again. Then I'd get a small squeegie and a small dust pan and squeegie up as much as possible. If you need to, make it anything relatively stiff and a credit card. And maybe it would take 2 or 3 steamings to get it all soft enough to do this. Then I'd finish up with paper towels with hot water. Lots of hot, wet paper towels.

                              It ain't gonna be fun but the good news is it's do-able.

                              1. hill food Sep 28, 2013 10:54 PM

                                sometimes when a (uhh 'friend') friend has had similar problems with other products (honey, really?) a quick call or website visit to the manufacturer can answer these problems.

                                of course it's good you've prepared yourself ahead of time should this ever happen in real life.

                                1. p
                                  phantomdoc Sep 29, 2013 06:41 AM

                                  Set the oven on the kitchen floor and get a small dog......

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