Why Is My Microwave Making a Crackling Noise?

microwave crackling noise

Last updated: December 15, 2022 at 12:08 pm

Microwaves, naturally, are quite loud pieces of equipment. Sometimes, though, microwaves can make noises that aren’t familiar, and these can cause concern.

If your microwave starts to make new noises, ones that it hasn’t made in the past, then it is important that you figure out what the noises are, what they mean, and what you can do about them.

Different noises coming from a microwave mean different things, and where some are harmless, some can mean that your microwave is no longer safer to use.

With that in mind, here’s what your microwave crackling might mean, what you should do about it, and what other noises your microwave might make.

Why Is My Microwave Crackling?

If your microwave is crackling like static or electricity, it is not a good sign. Crackling is easily the most concerning noise that can come from your microwave. If you’re not sure whether the noise you’re hearing is crackling, listen carefully.

The noise will sound very similar to white noise or the buzz and crackle of electricity and will be distinctly different from your microwave’s usual noise. The crackling noise may also be accompanied by flashes of energy within your microwave.

It is important that as soon as you hear crackling/static/electrical noises or see flashes, you turn off your microwave and unplug it from the mains.

The crackling and flashing within a microwave are referred to as arcing. When a microwave arcs, there are several things that might be wrong. The first thing you should do, as mentioned above, is to unplug and turn off the microwave.

Then, remove anything you are heating inside. One of the most common causes of arcing is metal objects being placed within the microwave, so be extra diligent and make sure you’ve not left any scraps of foil or a spoon behind when you remove the items.

The other causes of arcing are a build-up of dirt and food particles, and faults within the microwave.

Related: 5 Reasons Your Oven Is Buzzing When Heating Up

Can I Repair or Prevent an Arcing Microwave?

If your microwave has started to spark or has sparked quite a lot and there is now damage to the casing, you will not be able to repair it. You should contact your provider or a support center and see if they can repair the equipment or provide you with a new microwave.


You have managed to catch the arcing before it has escalated to that point, you may be able to prevent further damage.

You can do so by removing any items from inside the microwave and giving the entire internal workings a deep clean with non-metallic scourers and sponges. This will work to prevent any further arcing and will also allow you to see if the arcing has caused any minor damage to the casing.

Any damage, no matter how small, should be looked over by a professional to ensure that your microwave is safe to continue using.

To prevent a new microwave from arcing, all you need to do is ensure that you use it correctly and safely. This means knowing what you can and cannot put in the microwave. No metal cutlery, no metal plates or bowls, no tin cans, and making sure that you keep it well cleaned.

This will prevent any grime build-up and will prevent the microwaves within the unit from reacting with the metals.

What Other Noises Might Your Microwave Make?

If you’re worried that your microwave might be on its way out, or maybe you just want to keep an eye on it, you may be interested in the other noises that a microwave might make.

These noises each mean something different. If you’re ever unsure whether you’ve correctly identified the noise or whether or not your microwave is safe to use, always contact a professional.

Humming or Buzzing

microwave buzzing

Most microwaves will hum or buzz when they are in use. This noise is sometimes mistaken for the crackling of an arcing microwave, but the likeliness is that if your microwave has made this noise since day one, it is harmless.

If the noise gets louder or changes in any way, it may be that the microwave needs repairs. Typically, humming or buzzing comes from the oscillation within the microwave, either of the magnetron, vent fan, or fan motor.


If your microwave is clicking, listen carefully to ensure you’re not mishearing it, as this could be a sign of arcing. If it is just a clicking noise that you can hear, then it is likely an issue with the rotating glass plate within the microwave.

Take the plate out and give the roller ring beneath it a good clean, ensuring that the wheels still roll. Replace the plate and ring and see if the clicking persists. If it does, contact a professional.


Popping is an incredibly common noise to hear from a microwave, and it is usually the most harmless, too. It’s most often heard when the microwave is in use or just turned off, and it is simply the noise of the food within the microwave heating up.

Usually, this noise is heard when microwaving something liquid-based like a sauce, soup, or broth. The sound comes from the bubbles popping within the liquid, or sometimes the lid being lifted by the escape of steam. If you have heard popping in your microwave recently, give it a good clean to ensure that your microwave doesn’t arc.

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About the Author: Claire

Hailing from the North-East, Claire has been writing for Quiet Living since 2020 and has built a wealth of knowledge in home improvement, with a keen interest in knowledge based articles.

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