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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Microwaving water

A 26-year old man decided to have a cup of coffee. He took a cup of water and put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he had done numerous times before). I am not sure how long he set the timer for, but he wanted to bring the water to a boil.

When the timer shut the oven off, he removed the cup from the oven. As he looked into the cup, he noted that the! Water was not boiling, but suddenly the water in the cup 'blew up' into his face. The cup remained intact until he threw it out of his hand, but all the water had flown out into his face due to the build up of energy.

His whole face is blistered and he has 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face which may leave scarring. He also may have lost partial sight in his left eye.

While at the hospital, the doctor who was attending to him stated that this is a fairly common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven. If water is heated in this manner, something should be placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as a wooden stir stick, tea bag, etc.., (nothing metal). It is however a much safer choice to boil the water in a tea kettle.

General Electric's Response:

Thanks for contacting us, I will be happy to assist you. The e-mail that you received is correct. Microwaved water and other liquids do not always bubble when they reach the boiling point. They can actually get superheated and not bubble at all. The superheated liquid will bubble up out of the cup when it is moved or when something like a spoon or tea bag is put into it.

To prevent this from happening and causing injury, do not heat any liquid for more than two minutes per cup.

After heating, let the cup stand in the microwave for thirty seconds before moving it or adding anything into it.

Here is what our local science teacher had to say on the matter: 'Thanks for the microwave warning. I have seen this happen before. It is caused by a phenomenon known as super heating. It can occur anytime water is heated and will particularly occur if the vessel that the water is heated in is new, or when heating a small amount of water(less than half a cup).

What happens is that the water heats faster than the vapor bubbles can form. If the cup is very new then it is unlikely to have small surface scratches inside it that provide a place for the bubbles to form. As the bubbles cannot form and release some of the heat has built up, the liquid does not boil, and the liquid continues to heat up well past its boiling point.

What then usually happens is that the liquid is bumped or jarred, which is just enough of a shock to cause the bubbles to rapidly form and expel the hot liquid. The rapid formation of bubbles is also why a carbonated beverage spews when opened after having been shaken.'

P/s: Spread about this via email or blog. You could save life @tepuktangan


  1. hello faisal oh my
    i think curiosity leads that man to danger right

  2. hey im after to it i will post it on my blog ... in my"JUST AN AVID FAN blog"
    have a great day

  3. im done with it you can check it here

  4. Anonymous4:13 PM

    wow !
    am glad that ive never tried to boil the water in the microwave .
    fuhhh ~

  5. kadang tu teknologi menyusahkan kita..

  6. OMG so kesian oh...

    And yes, I totally agree with Ijad. Sometimes I wish that we were still living the old fashion way... It would be so much more peaceful becos we wouldn't have to worry about crazy things like bloody China and their ikat rambut condoms!

  7. Blue - I've read it on your blog and thanks for sharing this info to others which I hope we could help some peoples who don't know about it. Even I didn't know about it before (read about microwave and oven comparison I wrote in your blog). I'd agree with you, the man was curios. I'd be curious too if the drink all in sudden not boiling and keep looking at my drink wondering about it. I couldn't comment on your Vivid Fan Blog so I commented on the Top 5 Blog. I hope you don't mind. Thanks Blue for spreading this useful info :)

    Berrykisses - Good thing is I don't use microwave at home and no plan of getting one too. I've planned to get one before but after I read about microwave leads to cancer and better to buy oven, I changed my mind. I know both could grill foods but they are using different method.

    Anyway, remember to not microwaving any drink yah! :)

    Ijad - Ya. Lagi senang macam zaman dulu-dulu. Too advance pun boleh memudaratkan. Zaman sekarang ni dah macam Manusia vs Mesin kan? Hmm tu pasal ramai pekerja di kilang pun dibuang sebab mesin lagi hebat :)

    Ada pro and contra.

    Rozella - Yes Rosie. So kesian.

    We should eat and live like the old fashion way. Too much craps nowadays and I wonder what will happen in the future. I remember I watched a movie about a world that has been wiped away and a guy who will start everything from the beginning. Like Adam once upon a time... Forgot the title of the movie.

  8. Anonymous8:15 PM

    everyone says that microwave leads to cancer but i dont really get it . how can it leads to cancer ?

    oh well , i think microwaving is a faster way to heat up food , compared to using oven .
    dont u think ?

  9. Berrykisses - You can read more about it here and here.

    If its harm why should we still choose fast instead of our health? :)

  10. Anonymous8:36 PM

    thanks for the links . :)

    erm , i get your point .
    but sometimes we need to be fast in everything we do and this is when microwave is needed .
    haha . :P

  11. Berrykisses - So, your suggestion is to ignore the fact that it will lead to cancer? Isn't prevention is better than cure? :P

  12. Anonymous8:57 PM

    i know that .

    erkkk ..
    what are you ?
    are you a doctor ?
    hehe . :P

  13. Berrykisses - Haha I never learn Biology and how could I be one? :P What's your ambition girl?

  14. Anonymous9:20 PM

    so what are you ?
    you sound like a doc to me ? :P

    i want to be a doc just like my parents . BD

  15. Berrykisses - An average clerk. Haha. Oh anak doctor ye! Good :)

  16. Anonymous9:54 PM

    oic .
    for some reason , i think you have a great potential in becoming a doctor or a counsellor .
    haha . :P

  17. Berrykisses - Lol. How I wish. I do counsel some of my friends though :P

  18. Anonymous10:29 PM

    thats wonderful .
    maybe you should get them to pay you for each session .
    ahaks . :P

  19. Berrykisses - I prefer to get money from other side income. Let me do this for free. What goes around comes around. Love this karma :P

  20. Anonymous10:36 PM

    haha .
    that is so nice of you . :P

  21. Hehe thanks for the compliment ;)

  22. Anonymous10:42 PM

    ur welcome .
    lalala . ;P

  23. *reading while replying comment*

    Currently with Azizi Ali's book.

  24. hej! this story a few years back..well, it's better to be careful when you use the microwave to heat up your food or boil water and when you bring it out the possibility of explosion is there because of the change of temperature which is lower outside the microwave...;-)

  25. itu betul... atau pun terus bancuh air tu dengan something else macam paket 3 in 1 ker?? nape malas sangat nak masak air, tekan suis dan tinggal kan method nya sama jer

  26. great information and I was reading line by line without fail! Wow, never knew such thing could happen. I do put my tea and coffee in the micro to heat up a little, but well, never have I waited for water to boil in there. However, I never knew this and it's really very scary. Technology makes life easier, but negligence could cause serious injuries if not death.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  27. Danial - Hmm. I seldom use microwave or oven. In fact I don't like to eat yesterday food or reheated food. I'm a very health conscious person you know! Haha. But if it happen I have to use microwave anyhow, I'd bear this in mind :)

  28. Abg Bear - Selalunya kalau di luar negara dorang suka minum hot choc kan? Dorang akan pakai susu macam Dutc Lady tu panaskan dalam microwave, then keluarkan dan masukkan choc powder tu. Hehe saya pernah buat di Germany dulu. Cousin lah ajarkan!

    Farah - Glad that you like this post. Lucky I share it here so that you could be careful next time. Don't worry to bake your cookies and cake ok? ;)

  29. Oh wow, thanks for sharing Faisal. Must remember this story and tip next time I ever decide to microwave me some water! ;)

  30. Yeah I know of this too, do not try it at home... try it at your friend's home... haha... kidding... you can try this actually if you have a microwave oven. Put two cups containing water into it, one with a plastic spoon and one without a plastic spoon. When the heating is done, take them out, try to stir the one without the plastic spoon with another spoon and try to stir the one with the plastic spoon with another spoon. You'll see the difference. I mean you can actually visit this website... there is an experiment on this...

  31. Mariuca - I didn't realize that I have typed your name wrongly for so many times! Haha. Silly me. Yes I hope this simple post could help you to remember about this always! Do spread around this info yah?

    Joo Fei - Eh Fei you got blog? Why never tell me about this! I didn't know and if I know about it would pay you a visit!

    Fei, I went to the website given by you but there are so many things to choose. Why don't you simply give the direct link so that we can see it easily? Hopefully :)

    P/s: Still I don't understand your formula and won't try it as its risky haha. I don't want to have blind eye or any scar on my face though!

  32. Fei - L Y stand for love you? Lol. I won't be nosy but this blog actually is about what happening in your life during your preparation for you SPM? I do hope you will score 11A1s in your SPM. My prayer will always be with you. I know you can do it and if your friends think you can't, let them be. What you need to do is to prove that they are wrong and your mom is wrong to for promising that she will cry if you got all A1s since I know you will prove that they are all wrong.

    Don't think too much okay? Just live with the flow study hard, smart and good sleep. I know you can do it! Go Fei... I always support you :)

    P/s: You really need a spank when you never tell me that you got a blog! And I didn't know that your blog only for members to comment and I can't comment! since I've written this long I'll still post it here then!

  33. oh noes!
    i do that sometimes since my coffee jadi sejuk (forgot to drink it punya case lol)

    it's always a good way to know things by experimenting it.. but this is way too dangerous.. OUCH!!!

  34. Anonymous7:56 AM

    I don't trust the microwave. Dunno how it functions, so I'm pretty suspicious about it. Dunno what sort of reactions going on in the food or the plate/bowl. My wife uses it a lot to heat up leftovers. I'd rather do that over the gas cooker using a frying pan or saucepan. She also cooks instant noodles using the microwave...but not me!

  35. Faisal my name-sake,

    Saw yrt comment at Zara's.. heh.. Like she said, that's the power of blogging. To connect.. From the comments generated here looks like you're doing real great!

    Chegu Nazir? Hmm, dunno where he lives actually but somewhere near Tesco, I think SB pon interested nak tau dia kat mana gak :)

    29th he's coming down to KL, so ada laa informal TT session. I know it's far for you but who knows, maybe you're on leave or something. The Curve around 11 a.m. TT Venue TBA. Come laa..

    Be dropping by every now and then. Take care.

    Good thing I don't have a microwave. Prefer to boil it the old-fashioned way..

    -Feisal (with an 'e')

  36. bestnyer kalo ade 1 kat umah...ermmm

  37. wahh..malas nya nak masak air..buat la 3 in 1 ha..senang je..kalau idak pun, ngorat lah awek kat opis tu..suruh diaorg buat kan air..

  38. only americans can be this dumb i tell you...

  39. ew
    that's too dangerous >.<

  40. haha.. kesian die!! len kali pakai la cerek elektrik.

  41. happened to me before... lepas masak air dalam microwabe, no bubble whatsoever, then aku terus masukkan 3-in-1 Milo.... terus menggelegak... sampai tumpah2.... cisss...

  42. I nuke my coffee to reheat it all the time. I'm never doing that ever again! Thank you for letting me know about this!

  43. Aiyo... Admar !!! I've been thinking what you were talking about this evening, asking why couldn't you post a comment? You meant my blog ! I thought you meant the link I gave you and I went on searching for any comment boxes. None ! Haha, oh yeah, emm, the link ar? Emm, I also don't know where, go the to video categories and search one by one? No la, I won't be so bad. Haha, the link is here

    Emm, L Y? Can I make it a secret? Hoho, no big deal anyway. Haha, emm, and yeah, I have a blog for myself, sorry for not telling, I mean, I don't really advertise my blog haha, but I did put it up in my friendster's profile. Oh, means you didn't visit my page before ! Haha, just joking. Comment ar? Cannot? Maybe I'll change the settings if I'm free. Emm, yeah thanks for your wishes by the way, 6 days more ! Emm, I'll try my best. 11A1s? Okay la I can one ! Trust me, but how if I can't do it? Emm, yeah my friends are like that. Bad huh?

  44. :O That is super scary! Thanks for posting this. Goshy!

  45. Adila - Haha European always do that. I know. Be careful next time ok? Unless you really want to figure out about this :P

    Suituapui - Haha careful friend. Or maybe you can look at it right after your missus cook instant noodle using microwave? Sometimes high tech isn't the best solution for everything. Don't you think so?

    Mat Salo - Oh ok. I can't promise that I'll be there Feisal due to my busy schedule. Kinda hectic. But if I can make it, will let you know in advance :)

    I really want to meet him in person someday (I mean Chegu Nazir).

    Yes old fashion way is the best. Same goes with old fashion food :)

    Thanks for dropping by Feisal and you take care too.

    Ixora - Kalau ada microwave? Hmm pakai dapur arang sudah hehe :)

    Mummy - Haha akak saya buat air sendiri la. Malas suruh orang, lagi pun bukan susah pun kan. Akak pernah masak air pakai microwave? Lagi satu akak, 3 in 1 tak bagus tau sebab creamer tu. Kami kat rumah dah tak pakai 3 in 1. Semua minum yang tin je Milo or Nescafe. Tambah kalau Milo tak perlu tambah gula or susu sebab dah terlalu manis. Kalau akak perasan di hospital Milo pun dah tak digalakkan. Cuba akak tanya doc or nurse di hospital :)

    Zewt - Haha I bet European too! :P

  46. Wow! So much science here... but to cut the story short - just don't boil water inside microwave oven. Thanks for this info and will warn others about this : )

  47. Ann - Yes, very dangerous I'd say. Don't try this at home :P

    Kamal - Ni kes malas lah or nak cepat je panaskan balik minuman :)

    Rush - Nasib tak "lompat" air tu kena muka. Bahaya tau :)

    Tammy - Yes Tammy it's pretty dangerous and scary to even think about it. Maybe you can use some other ways to reheat your drink :)

    Fei - I've watched the video and thanks for sharing. I'll put the video in my next post. So people will have the idea on how it happens :)

    Yes, I couldn't comment. At first I was confuse why Google would keep asking me to enter my id and password for commenting. After tried few times I realize that its for certain people to comment and since I've typed quite a long one I decided to paste it here anyway haha!

    Yes, I didn't know that you got a blog. Your blog if full with sincerity which I enjoy reading it. Actually don't look at them that way. Try to think positive. When they are jealous of you or do not want you to be the best, that means you guys have a healthy competition. Do you think you will try harder and study harder to achieve the best result you can get if they don't this to you? Get it? So, look at positive side and you need courage and hard work to prove that they are wrong. I know you can do it and there is no IF. God is fair Fei... believe in God :)

    Aisha - Yes. If you reheat your drink next time, please be careful ok?

  48. Foongpc - Dangerous but I will put the correct way to reheat your drink in the next post ;)

  49. ouh, luckily our house don't have a microwave kan ? :P

    why should he boil the water using a microwave ? why not using a kettle ? better....

  50. nak try.. but takut la pulak
    u do the experiment can? hahaha

    but make sure to pakai mask and all
    safety reason obviously

  51. microwave is among radiation source in the house. Boleh je guna even ade EMF, but always beware!

  52. Yeah I know... I always think in the positive manner haha... I'm so mean =.=... No ler, just gotta study liao because the exam is next week ! Haha !

  53. u kene tag

    wajib jawab

  54. helo faisal just dropping by here again
    have a great day my friend and God bless

  55. Oh my fuck, Faisal, I've been doing that all my life. Fuck I think Lady Luck has always been with me kot yg I tak mati lagi. OMG gile dowh nak bakar mukeeeee. =( Gosh. How nieee. I tkt nak gune microwave dah. But how, I'm a lonely student here where life is all about microwave and nothing else. Bluekkk. guess I have to drink cold milk la pagi2 winter. =( Tak pun, idea menarik, beli pot then panas kan ape2 dlm tu. U tau tak I xde pot lagi. Motifnye: malu nk beli sbb kene angkut dlm tube/bus. Punyeee kan. bukan beli condom pun? AIH.

  56. Dayah - I don't know but when I was in Germany to boil drinks in the microwave was common. I used to drink lots of hot choc and to use the instant milk from the fridge was my favorite. Put some instant milk in the cup and put it for a while in the microwave. After a while, took it out and put some choc powder. Easy right? But at that time I didn't know about this. Thank God nothing bad happen when I was there.

    Adila - No, I hate experiment but I love to see the result. How about that? :P Since you are still young and studying, why don't you do it? :)

    As - Hmm. Radiation. Not a good word though :P

    Fei - Go and do your revision. If you keep playing, no doubt you will get spank on butt from your mom! Haha.

    Wenkt - Alamak! Foongpc punya pun belum buat tau. Ok I akan buat juga nanti. Don't worry :)

    Blue - You have a good day too :)

  57. heating food with some kuah will be fine right..

    never tried boiling water with microwave..

    i've received this from email last time.. glad that u've post it here.. too lazy to spread.. huhu

  58. Riz - OMG! Haha careful as long as you can reheat the drink correctly. I will put the video soon :)

    Lol, so you prefer to buy condom rather than pot? OMG!

  59. Myadlan - Actually depend on the method you use to reheat in microwave. I will write a 2nd entry about this. Catch up the next post ok? :)

  60. I thought that there is a clear Warning or Do's and Don'ts stated in the manual when you buy microwave or any electrical appliances, no? *sigh* This is what happen to those who regard manual book for granted. As we all know, microwave is not that good but we can't help coz sometimes we rely on it to ease our life.

  61. Zackzara - I'm not sure about the manual. Guess you are right about this. But how many of us do read the manual? I doubt half out of ten would raise their hand! Lol.

    Do you use microwave to reheat your drink Zara? Hmm :)

  62. I don't reheat drinks in microwave, Faisal. I only use microwave to reheat non-fluid based foods or leftovers like pizza or fast foods..the rest is over the pan.

  63. ishhh ishhh ishhh... tapi ej pun baru tau nih haa, baru tau yg ada orang panaskan air dlm microwave... alahaiii...

  64. As a tea drinker I thanks you for this post. While I heat my water atop the stove in a teapot, I occasionally use the microwave...


  65. Zackzara - Oh that's good then but I heard using microwave to reheat foods is not good either. I have no evidence yet :)

    Ej - Hehe Ej tak pernah buat ka?

    Mike - I hope this info could help you. Just keep it in mind and it will remind you always :)

  66. whoa.. thanks for d info and wif d follow up..

  67. sian la kat pakcik tuh...ish ish ish...spread this info will help you to save others life!!

  68. Sib baik tak buat camtu..tak pernah lak boil air dlm tuss..sbb ada bio ken kat umah tak yah masak2 dah..tekan jer...ting!..hehe...

  69. Oh shoot!!! Aku memang selalu panaskan air dlm mug kat microwave aje sebab malas nak masak satu cerek bila nak buat kopi secawan. Gotta be more careful now...

  70. Zhoe - Watch the video in part 2 :)

    Axim - Yes, saving life is the best thing we could do and better if its this easy :)

    - Hehe taknak buat experiment ke? :P

    - "Mau secawan" macam iklan kopi dalam TV lak hehe. Kadang-kadang kita tak sedar. Sama kes dengan ketuk-ketuk lepas isi minyak tu. Bahaya tu! :)


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