Did you spend quite a bit on that sleek microwave oven for your brand new kitchen? There are more uses to it than reheating food. Here are some microwave oven hacks every homeowner should know.


■ Instead of soaking beans and lentils overnight, simply submerge them in a bowl of water, along with a pinch of bicarbonate soda and microwave at high temperature for 10 minutes. Let stand for another 40 minutes.

■ To get the skins off tomatoes and peaches easily, place them in a microwave and heat at medium temperature for 30 seconds.

■ To soften brown sugar, place a damp paper towel in the container, and close tightly. Microwave it at medium temperature for 30 seconds.

■ Get more juice out of your citrus fruits by first heating them at medium temperature for 20 seconds in a microwave.

■ Chop your onions without crying by trimming off the ends, and microwaving them at medium temperature for 30 seconds. Remove them from the oven and chop immediately.


■ To remove a stamp from an envelope, simply place two drops of water on the stamp before microwaving it at medium temperature for 20 seconds.

■ Disinfect your cutting board in a microwave oven by rubbing a cut lemon all over the cutting surface, and then microwaving it on medium heat for 60 seconds.

■ Did you know that you can disinfect your potting soil in a microwave? Place 400g of potting soil onto a flat dish and microwave it for 1 minute and 30 seconds.