Mar 21, 2009

Don’t try this at home

I needed a fast dinner last night and decided to fix chicken egg rolls and a package of pre-mixed Chinese noodles (a lot like Raman noodles but with a better taste and less sodium). I put the egg rolls in the oven and read the directions for the noodles. Simple enough. Open the package of veggies, put them in with the noodles, add water, microwave for 6 minutes, add liquid seasoning. You didn’t even need to pass Cooking 101 to do this one.

About 4 minutes into the cooking of the noodles, I came in to the kitchen to check on everything and smell smoke. Then I SEE smoke – rolling across the stove top. I assume the egg rolls are burning and I open the oven, but – nothing. Meanwhile, the entire kitchen if filling up with noxious fumes and dark smoke is rolling across the ceiling. I look into the microwave and there it is… a boiling black mess of bubbling plastic and black worms… and it dawns on me.. I forgot to add the water!

100_2278 I will tell you, this is probably the WORST kitchen accident I have had. The black toxic smoke (and honestly, it smelled toxic!) discolored the inside of my microwave. The smell rolled through the house and permeated everything. I turned on the fan over the microwave and it only made things worse. Apparently the charcoal filter in the microwave absorbed the fumes and didn’t want to let go.

First I tried washing down the entire microwave with baking soda and water with a Mr. Clean Miracle Sponge. That did, thank goodness, take the discoloration away. But the smell didn’t even lessen. You know the smell of burned microwave popcorn? Well, this smell was a thousand times worse!

I googled “burned smell in microwave” and found all kinds of suggestions – hot vinegar, lemon juice, coffee grinds and more. I tried them all, with little success. Of all of them, the coffee grinds seemed to remove the most smell.

I finally took a kitchen towel and saturated it with Extra Strength Fabreze (for air and surface) and tucked it up into the vent spaces underneath the microwave and turned the fan on for a few minutes, then shut it off and let the Fabreze do it’s thing. I repeated this every 30 minutes or so and finally the smell eased up. I sprayed the same Fabreze all over the house several times, opened all the windows, and burned some Yankee Candles. Then I lit a fire in the fireplace, and hoped that everything would just travel out the chimney.

It’s worked to a point. The house no longer smells of toxic fumes and the microwave is no longer discolored and smelly. However, the minute you turn the fan on on the microwave, the smell returns. I ordered a new charcoal filter for the microwave and hopefully it will arrive on Tuesday.

On a lighter note, as I’m typing this, my grandson and my husband are sitting in the family room, discussing television shows. My husband is telling Mr. B that a car race is on (NASCAR), or they can watch a TV show about a boat that goes under water (Treasure Quest). Mr. B politely says, “Umpa, when is America’s Next Top Model on?” LOL! My husband says, “I think that’s on tomorrow.” Mr. B says, “Good, that’s my favorite show.”   THUD.


Karen said...

ohhhhhh.....what a sorry mess that was! A big oopsy! In my family that would mean years of teasing.
America's Top Model, huh? You better watch that kid!

Lisa said...

Wow! I always cook those types of noodles on the stove, and after hearing that story, I guess I'll continue doing it that way! What a bummer that you had to spend the day cleaning up after it :(

The Calico Quilter said...

Oh, dear, I can't imagine how badly that smelled. I'm sure when you replace the charcoal filter the rest of the smell will go with it. But isn't Febreze a wonder? It's rescued me a couple of times; the worst was after buying a car from a smoker, where the cigarette smoke had permeated every soft surface in the interior. It took two bottles of Febreze, but the smell finally vanished! For months my evening routine upon arriving home was - pull into the garage, roll down all the windows, douse the car with Febreze, let sit overnight. But even a car saturated with cigarette smoke couldn't have been worse than eau-de-burnt container!

Carol said...

Just think of our kitchens as being science laboratories :)

Your grandson's comment definitely made me chuckle.