Get a handle on your microwave and get it working again

July 29, 2015

You use your microwave for easy heating when there's not time for the stove, so you want it to work as well as it can, for as long as it can. If yours has lost its handle, here's how to repair it.

Get a handle on your microwave and get it working again

Replacing a handle

Some microwave ovens — particularly those models designed for installation over cooking ranges — don't use a push lever to open their doors. Instead, the door uses a plastic handle to pull it open and push it closed.

Over time, the plastic bolts inside the handle can wear out and cause it to break off at one or both ends. The microwave itself probably still works fine; you just can't open it. Worse still are the exorbitant prices some manufacturers charge for replacement parts. If your old handle is still in one piece, however, you may be able to call it back for active duty. Here's how:

1. Open the door. If both ends of the handle have broken off, you may be able to gently pry the door open using a wrench or screwdriver.

  • Use some medium-grade sandpaper to lightly scuff up the detached end(s) of the handle.
  • Try to remove the bolts if they are still intact to make sure they won't get in the way when you stick the handle to the door.

2. Clean the handle with a cloth moistened with some general household cleaner, wipe it dry, then mix up and apply some clear two-part epoxy to the detached end(s).

  • Put a small amount on the corresponding surfaces on the door as well.

3. Press the handle in place. Use a damp cotton cloth to wipe away any big drips before the glue sets, but don't worry if a little epoxy squeezes out and remains on the outside of the joint — it will form a stronger bond between the door and the handle.

  • Hold the handle in place for a couple of minutes; then place a rubber band around both the handle and the door to keep things in place. Leave it alone for at least 24 hours.
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