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/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

As much as I love them, I’ve always had one minor complaint about microwaves: If you don’t cover up your food, it tends to splatter all over the place. Sure, it’s a minor price to pay for the speed and convenience of reheating food in mere seconds, but it’s still a pain to clean up afterwards.

Growing up, we encountered this problem often in my house, and my mom eventually developed a few tricks to keep our microwave clean. At first, she’d just cover food with a paper plate to catch the splatter, but she soon graduated to a simple plastic microwave cover she found at a local discount store. Now that I have my own home, I’m following in her mess-proofing footsteps and use a microwave cover all the time.

For over a year, I used the same $1 microwave cover as my mom, and it did a pretty good job at preventing splatter. Soon enough, though I encountered the same problem my mom always did: The cheaper design became increasingly difficult to clean and stained quite a bit. That’s when I came across the Tovolo Vented Easy Grip Collapsible Microwave Cover a few months ago.

Tovolo Vented Microwave Cover, $8, Amazon

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Also available at Buy Buy Baby and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

The first thing I noticed about the Tovolo cover was admittedly its eye-catching color — it comes in red or blue — but I was also pretty impressed to find out that you can use it flat or expand the cover to 3.5 inches tall. While reheating food in larger bowls, it’s always easier to have a taller cover that stretches to shield your microwave, so I immediately appreciated this cover’s flexibility.

The cover catches nasty splatter with ease.Chrissy Callahan / TODAY

Expanding the cover is a piece of cake, too. I simply pop it up using my thumbs, and flatten it back out again when I’m finished. Being able to store the cover flat makes a big difference, especially since I have limited cabinet space in my small kitchen.

At 10.5 inches in diameter, the $8 cover can easily shield all of my dishes from splattering all over my microwave. In turn, it saves me plenty of time in cleanup, since I cook a lot of sauce-based foods (think yummy meatballs, pastas and barbecue), that tend to splatter when reheating.

My microwave before (left) and after using the Tovolo Vented Microwave Cover. Chrissy Callahan

Several lid perforations that let steam escape (but also keep food nice and moist) are the key to this magic device. Plus, it’s super easy to clean, and is BPA free and dishwasher safe!

I like to keep a clean house, but if there's a shortcut I can take to speed up the cleaning process, I'm all for it. That's why I'll keep using this life-saver!

Tovolo Vented Microwave Cover, $8, Amazon

Also available at Buy Buy Baby and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

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