At some point in our lives, we have all forgotten the rule of not putting metal in the microwave. We then go through one of the most intense moments of panic when we start seeing the sparks and sprint to the microwave to correct our mistake in time.

However, some of you may have never made this mistake before or already knows what happens when you put metal in the microwave. Well, to put it in brief terms, metal in the microwave causes terrifying fireworks.

How Microwaves Work in the First Place

cake, beer, pizza, coffee
Tanya Soni

It all comes down to the parts of the microwave and how they work. I am definitely not a science major so I turned to WIRED for assistance in explaining this phenomenon. There is this nifty gadget in your microwave called a "magnetron" that releases electrons that bounce around in your microwave that cause the cavities built inside your microwave to release waves at a certain frequency.

These waves are the microwaves that reheat your food. Your food absorbs the waves which causes the water molecules in the food to bounce causing the food to heat up. That kids, is the short version of how microwaves work.

Now, How Does Metal Cause the Sparks?

coffee, beer, tea, beans
Leanna Smith

When you put metal in the microwave, the metal has so many electrons that will get pulled by the microwaves which causes a thin sheet of metal to heat up so quickly that it could burn the appliance.

Metal with kinks in it are an even bigger risk. When the piece of metal is crunched up, it can create areas of concentration of these rowdy electrons. The electrons will bounce into the air, which can make your microwave turn into a bonfire that you won't have time to roast marshmallows over.

How to Heat Food Safely

Baiyi Chen

The first piece of advice on how to heat food in the microwave without causing a kitchen fire, is to just not put metal in the microwave. Be sure that you are always aware of what you are putting in the microwave. It is also a good practice to stand by the microwave (and any kitchen appliance) when you are using it.

The next best thing you can do is to reheat your food in microwave safe containers. To know if your container is microwave safe, you can check this article to learn how to tell. Most containers you would have in a college dorm is microwave safe.

rice, chili, soup
Hannah Cather

The basic guideline to follow is to not put metal in the microwave, ever. There should never be sparks flying between you and your microwave no matter how amazing of a relationship you have with it.

Now go out and practice preaching this science to anyone else who tends to forget to take their spoon out of their oatmeal.