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Sort of a bio/academic question. Will microwaves (as in the mike in your kitchen) kill viruses?

Application: For the sake of discussion, let's assume a virus as virulent as the Spanish Flu of 1918 whacks the human population again. Would microwaving letters and other objects that are microwavable kill all bacteria and viruses?

My eons-ago bio classes (didn't even have microwave ovens back then :)) tell me that it should kill anything organic including viruses, but I have never seen any directives or advice to that effect.

Any bio-brains out there in prepper land who knows for sure? Could come in handy to know these things -- think "mail box".
 

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performing monkey
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Pretty good vs. bacteria, not so much vs. viruses in general, but UV is not too shabby... good luck getting any of that rhodium compound (DPPVZPHEN? :dunno: )

Discovery Health "Virus Treatment"

Microwave Kills Kitchen Germs

Influenza viruses can be destroyed with heat, so if sufficiently heated, the microwaved virus should be neutralized. Common cooking temperatures will be hot enough, 177-212°F (80-100°C) does the trick. Some researchers hope to use microwaves to destroy viruses, but the technique has so far proved ineffective. The water surrounding viruses absorbs the energy from microwaves. The virus doesn't receive enough microwave energy to be affected, much less destroyed.
 

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Your microwave operates at about 2.4 GHz.

So does most WiFi.

And many new cordless phones.

And a lot of cell phones operate either at the same frequency or in the same range.

If microwaves killed viruses, we'd probably have the most healthy society in history.

Unless you're talking about heat killing the viruses, the microwaves probably won't do it.

Yes, I know the microwave oven uses more power but actually it's the frequency and not the amplitude that does the "killing." I know we use the slang, "nuke" for what we do to food in the microwave oven but it's not even the right frequency, let alone process (no atom splitting going on in your kitchen) to call it "nuclear."

Think about this if you doubt the amplitude vs. frequency statement above: Would you use your cell phone if you knew it operated in the "X-ray" band? (Here's a hint, your phone's signal is more powerful than a modern X-ray machine).
 

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performing monkey
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Your microwave operates at about 2.4 GHz.

So does most WiFi.

And many new cordless phones.

And a lot of cell phones operate either at the same frequency or in the same range.

If microwaves killed viruses, we'd probably have the most healthy society in history.

Unless you're talking about heat killing the viruses, the microwaves probably won't do it.

Yes, I know the microwave oven uses more power but actually it's the frequency and not the amplitude that does the "killing." I know we use the slang, "nuke" for what we do to food in the microwave oven but it's not even the right frequency, let alone process (no atom splitting going on in your kitchen) to call it "nuclear."

Think about this if you doubt the amplitude vs. frequency statement above: Would you use your cell phone if you knew it operated in the "X-ray" band? (Here's a hint, your phone's signal is more powerful than a modern X-ray machine).
wow... where to begin...

hope nobody is using a CRT monitor

http://xkcd.com/radiation/
 

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I heard (and have done) that if you put a sponge in a bowl of water in the microwave and let it boil in the microwave (for around 5 minutes), it will kill everything on the sponge. At least make it more sanitary :D
 

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Buddy the link you have given in your post is not working properly for me..!!
I think either I have a slow internet connection or the link is completely broken..!!!
Neil,
It worked for me, sounds like you are having my luck with the Internet.
 

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YourAdministrator, eh?
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I heard (and have done) that if you put a sponge in a bowl of water in the microwave and let it boil in the microwave (for around 5 minutes), it will kill everything on the sponge. At least make it more sanitary :D
If you have dish-cloths that are getting a funky smell you can wash them normally, rinse very well and then toss them into a nuker to kill off the residual bacteria. If you do not have a nuker (like myself), soaking the cloth in a vinegar / water mix for a few hours and then hang-to-dry in the sunshine does wonders.
 
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