Asked on Sep 20, 2015

Ideas to rehab rusted interior microwave interior rehab

by Zulemaya
The interior of my 1997 GE microwave is rusted and is dripping paint and rust flecks. It works great but for the yucky interior. Of course I cover my food carefully during use. Anyone know if I can rehab the rusted interior? Thank you in advance for your brilliance!!!
The brown rust and flaking paint on interior roof of GE microwave oven.
  47 answers
  • Connie Phillips Connie Phillips on Sep 20, 2015
    I would put that microwave to rest. I wouldn't want to eat anything that came out of there. I'm sure safety measures have improved since this model came out. A used one should be easy to find or if that isn't in the budget, ask your friends or the hometalk community if they have an extra one to donate to you. Sincerely, Connie
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Sep 20, 2015
    Sorry to say but I agree with connie. The rust inside makes me a little leary of what chemicals are going into your food.
  • Rose Rose on Sep 20, 2015
    Really! I think you have gotten all the use out of this microwave as your gonna get! Time to get an early Christmas present! Happy shopping!
  • Sheri Ketarkus Sheri Ketarkus on Sep 20, 2015
  • Patty Patty on Sep 20, 2015
    I was told by the EPA to trash microwaves that get that way because it's already toxic to be using it as I see it,,I think you should trash it for health reasons! Good luck
  • Joan Gondeck Joan Gondeck on Sep 20, 2015
    Microwaves are so cheap now, replace it!
  • Bunny Bunny on Sep 20, 2015
    Get rid of it. Anything that damages a microwave can potentially enter your food. Don't take a chance. I saw one at WalMart for about $70.00. It's just not worth the risk.
  • Linda Linda on Sep 20, 2015
    I would worry that the rusted metal would allow leakage of microwaves, as all metal inside should be covered to prevent this, & also uncovered metal can spark & cause a fire. If you are determined not to buy a new oven, try sanding off all the rust, make sure the surface is very smooth, wipe with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dust, leave it to dry thoroughly, then apply 'white touch up paint for microwave oven interior' that can be bought from Kitchenwareonline on Amazon, leave to dry thoroughly (overnight) between coats so the enamel can harden, making sure there are no bubbles on the surface. The tins only contain 14ml so you might need a few, I would recommend 3 coats as there can be a lot of condensation when cooking food/drinks, also to prevent rusting happening again, make sure you wipe out the oven immediately after using it with paper towel to mop up the condensation, & leave the door slightly ajar when not in use. I don't use a microwave oven as I'm sensitive to radiation so can't guarantee that this paint will work. There may be different makes, & larger tins, google search 'Paint for microwave oven interiors' or 'Microwave cavity paint' & see what comes up. I personally would replace the oven for peace of mind :)
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Sep 20, 2015
    Wow, I am with the others. Ditch it!
  • Barbara Aragon Barbara Aragon on Sep 20, 2015
    Replace it. This happened o my GE after only 2 years, I called them and they replaced it, saying that I was using too harsh of chemicals to clean it. I was very careful to use mild cleaner after that...but the replacement did the same thing (but 5 years later). No more GE microwaves for me. I now heat a cup of vinegar in the microwave to soften any splatters, then wipe it out with a wet wash cloth.
  • Cynthia Nye Cynthia Nye on Sep 20, 2015
    Is it rust or built up splatters? Heat a big cup of water to boil, let steam and wipe out with soft sponge. No need for chemicals
  • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Sep 20, 2015
    I would replace this microwave right away. Newer microwaves are more energy efficient & have more features. They're lighter weight and easier to use, too. That being said - I wipe out my microwave immediately - every time something splatters. I use a rag with warm water. I also cover up anything with fatty or acidic food - like spaghetti or bacon. These foods will damage the inside of a microwave.
  • Marie Marie on Sep 20, 2015
    FYI,,,My microwave stopped heating, I looked up the possible causes and what I found out from every source was that you don't mess with microwaves if you are not a professional, they are extremely dangerous, look it up, I'm glad I found this out!!
  • Karine Karine on Sep 20, 2015
    It is not worth the repair ... Microwave ovens are dirt cheap these days. Using it in the current condition could be dangerous to your health !
  • Gigilambert Gigilambert on Sep 20, 2015
    You should have tossed that away a long time ago. The gaskets wear out long before the microwaves do, and it is hard to tell when it is leaking radiation. Back in the 80's they recommended replacing every three years now I believe it is every 10 years. I could be wrong but I don't trust them. I see more and more people eliminating them from the homes. Its probably safer that way.
  • Bess Bess on Sep 20, 2015
    Get rid of it. It is a health hazard!
  • Jean Quintana Jean Quintana on Sep 20, 2015
    There is no saving this old microwave. Dump it.
  • Nita Nita on Sep 20, 2015
    Toss it in the recycle bin, you should have long ago, they are cheap enough to get a new one.
  • Nancy Spencer Carlson Nancy Spencer Carlson on Sep 20, 2015
    The 'get rid of it' answer is pretty obviously unanimous. My next question is 'What can he make from the box?" Any ideas?
  • Renata Renata on Sep 20, 2015
    With some paint and some legs or a stand U could turn it into a kids play stove /oven ...( taking off all the electrical stuff of course).
  • Linda Partridge Linda Partridge on Sep 20, 2015
    It has had it's use,time to throw it away and be ones don't cost all that much now days..especially when on sale...made better and safer..
  • Linda Linda on Sep 20, 2015
    definitely ditch it and buy new, it is not worth your health to try and paint it. see if there is a recycling area near you to avoid it going into the landfill.
  • Tamara Tamara on Sep 20, 2015
    For your health and safety replace it.
  • Nancy Nancy on Sep 20, 2015
    I agree with above comments...ugly and not safe! And new ones re so reasonable! Treat yourself!
  • Swan Road Designs Swan Road Designs on Sep 20, 2015
    If you've had it since 1997, in addition to being in questionable shape, it is hugely outdated as far as size and energy efficiency. I suggest as others have already mentioned, get rid of it and purchase a newer one. In the nearly 20 years since you got yours, microwave ovens have progressed. The overall size, relative to its cooking capacity, has reduced. They no longer are the size of a bus, plus they use a lot less energy than the ones of the era in which yours was made. Treat yourself, your kitchen space and your utility bill to a new microwave oven.
  • Subodh Jain Subodh Jain on Sep 21, 2015
    You can repaint the same. I did it for myself. take the unit of the socket. take the appliance in an open place with good amount of natural light to see the inside properly. Use a coarse sand paper for metal and remove all the rust and the paint using your hand with sand paper. Once you see the bare metal surface. Take a Zero No. metal sand paper and prepare the surface till smooth. Now take a Small 1.25" paint brush, paint the bare surface with metal Primer Coat( available at all paint stores.).take the smallest available packing. else the remaining shall have to go as waste. Once this is dry in sun, take a metal paint matching the color of the inside of the microwave and put one coat on the entire prepared surface area.Let it dry. Once dry use once again the zero No. sand paper used earlier to rub the painted surface gently. Clean the entire surface with a soft cotton cloth and put a second coat of paint and let it dry in full sun. Check if you require another coat if you find the surface is not even. Once fully dry. It is ready for use. keep in mind not to use any water any given point of time. I have done my self and using for the last more than 10 years now without any problem.
    • See 1 previous
    • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Sep 21, 2015
      I you absolutely must use that microwave, Subodh Jain's suggestion sounds reasonable. However, if it's in your budget, get a new one. It will much more efficient. And if don't want to put the old microwave in the landfill, use it as a planter.
  • J K  Weigle J K Weigle on Sep 21, 2015
    Get a new one.
  • Marilyn Marilyn on Sep 21, 2015
    Microwaves are super cheap. Please run to Walmart and buy a new one asap!!
  • Lola Lola on Sep 21, 2015
    What the heck, I bough a perfectly fine one at an estate sale for 15.00. Get a new one, unsafe and disgusting.
  • Kaye Watkins Kaye Watkins on Sep 21, 2015
    Go to a store & buy a new one.... dump that old microwave.....
  • Donna Bennett Donna Bennett on Sep 21, 2015
    Buy a new one, don't use it you could be poisening you family.
  • Kathryn Pluto Kathryn Pluto on Sep 21, 2015
    You can buy a tiny bottle of appliance touch up paint about the size of a bottle of nail polish for only a few bucks. Sand & paint spots. Just make sure it's clean & dry first. Works great!
  • AmericanWoman AmericanWoman on Sep 21, 2015
    I agree that this product is dangerous.
  • DJ DJ on Sep 22, 2015
    The older ones can be leaking...not safe. Buy a new one...they aren't that when you bought that one way back when
  • AmericanWoman AmericanWoman on Jun 26, 2016
    GE did business in the Middle East after they were told to stop. Never again will I buy their products.
    • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Jun 27, 2016
      Didn't they avoid paying a lot of taxes, too?? n We don't buy GE or Nestle. (They paid under $600 to the state of CA for the water they bottled to sell last year. They don't think the public should have personal water rights.)
  • Jean Quintana Jean Quintana on Jun 27, 2016
    I've bought 2 Panasonic microwaves in the past 4 years that the paint has worn off the inside. The first one rusted and sanding and repainting did not help, the rust came back. I thought it was because so many of my daughters friends used it. With the new one , it's just my husband and I and it's fairing no better. The paint is wearing out fast, metal is starting to show, but no rust yet. Other that baked potatoes and corn on the cob, it's only used to heat leftovers.
  • AmericanWoman AmericanWoman on Jun 29, 2016
    I don't know about the taxes but whatever the Feds say will be a lie and a lot of wasted time.
  • Marilyn Marilyn on Jun 30, 2016
    Buy a new microwave!!! They are soooooo cheap!
    • See 2 previous
    • Jean Quintana Jean Quintana on Jul 06, 2016
      Maybe don't buy a Panasonic. They work great, but they rust fast.
  • Subodh Jain Subodh Jain on Jul 04, 2016
    It is not a matter of taking any chance. It is a matter of using a perfect gadget. If you wish to try it is not leaking. Put your cell phone inside the microwave, shut the door and dail your cell no. from another ph.. If it does not ring ( since waves can not enter the closed microwave oven , it is safe but if it rings, it sure needs immediate replacement.
  • AmericanWoman AmericanWoman on Jul 05, 2016
    Crossed Nestle off my list.
  • Barb Adams Barb Adams on Aug 30, 2016
    Microwaves can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. This one has provided almost 20 years of service. Let the old girl go! It'll be safer for you and you will get the benefit of improvements made to microwave technology over the years.
  • Joan Gondeck Joan Gondeck on Aug 31, 2016
    Like others have said, they are pretty reasonable. Replace it.
  • Nadine Hartman Bourne Nadine Hartman Bourne on Jun 23, 2017

    If you are crafty toss that nuker and save the glass turntable you can make a lazy Susan out of it. I just made one that I love.

  • Teresa Teresa on Jul 12, 2017

    Mine did that same thing. I trashed it.

  • Laurie Harry Laurie Harry on Jul 12, 2017

    Perhaps you could sand down and paint it. I believe they have appliance paint available. But really and truly, with the low price of microwaves now you should just trash and replace it.

  • Zulemaya Zulemaya on Jul 13, 2017


  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on May 25, 2023

    You need a new microwave.