Microwave Turntable Problems

Updated February 21, 2017

The microwave turntable consists of two essential parts, and either part can cause problems. The first part is the plate, which is where the food is held, and the second part is the guide, which is the plastic or metal part that causes the plate to rotate. If you notice that your microwave turntable is having problems turning your food and heating it thoroughly, remove the plate and the guide to discover what is causing the problem.

Dirty Plate

The microwave plate is created for easy removal. Simply lift it out of the cradle of the guide. In most cases, you can lift it straight up, but in some cases, you may need to gently wiggle it back and forth first. Inspect the plate, especially the bottom where it sits on the guide. Though food sits on top of the plate, splatters of food commonly find their way underneath it as well. Clean the bottom of the plate with liquid dish soap and water, paying special attention to the grooves in the bottom. Dry it thoroughly before replacing it on the guide.

Dirty Turntable Guide

The turntable guide, also known as the guide, is the part that sits underneath the plate. After you have removed the plate, gently lift the guide out of the bottom of the microwave and clean it as well. Rollers on the top of the guide allow it to move the plate. Clean the guide with liquid dish soap and water. Dry the guide thoroughly before placing it back in the microwave, and replace the plate on top of it.

Parts Malfunction

If you notice that the turntable starts and then stops again, or if it refuses to turn at all, there may be a problem with the turntable motor or the turntable coupling. In either case, the parts need to be removed and new parts need to be installed, which is a job that is best suited for someone versed in appliance repair and should not be undertaken by the owner of the microwave.

Broken Plate

In most cases, the plate of the turntable is made out of glass. In the course of cleaning it, or even when the microwave is being moved, the plate may shatter or break into two, which does not mean that you need to buy a new microwave. Instead, look up the make and model of the microwave and order a replacement plate from the manufacturer.


A microwave is capable of delivering a severe shock. Unplug the machine before you start cleaning it or removing parts, and remove your watch and your jewellery before starting to work. Ideally you will have another person on hand to assist you.

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