5 Things to NEVER Put in the Microwave

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The microwave is the workhorse of the kitchen – whether at home or in the office’s break room. It has turned cooking and re-heating into an easy task, but don’t take it for granted! To keep your microwave working longer, NEVER try to heat up these items:

  1. Paper Bags. Not including popcorn bags, your standard paper lunch sack can catch fire in the microwave! Popcorn bags have special susceptors in it that keeps the bag from burning. Next time you pop a bag of popcorn, look inside and find the dark gray rectangle on the “this side down” half of the bag. That is a thin layer of plastic created to handle the radio waves produced by the microwave! Because regular paper bags do not have this layer, the fumes and toxins from the paper are released during the heating process, creating the potential to cause a fire.
  2. Aluminum Foil. We’re taught at a young age to never microwave metal (such as silverware). Yet when we use metal for food storage, it’s easy to forget and to simply keep the food covered in aluminum foil in the microwave. The metal interior of your microwave is made to reflect back radio waves that warm up the food. Aluminum foil and other metal reflects back the waves. This will result in sparks and potentially a fire.
  3. Plastic Travel Mugs. These handy cups are perfect taking your coffee on-the-go, yet they should not always be put in the microwave. Plastic mugs that are not specifically labeled Microwave-Safe may release carcinogenic molecules when heated in the microwave. These chemical could harm you in the long run.
  4. Eggs in its shell. Eggs can be cooked in the microwave – but always crack them out of their shell when doing so! When eggs heat to a certain temperature, they explode. It is a very messy consequence. There have also been cases where the egg will stay in tact until taken out of the microwave, exploding in a little girl’s face causing damage to her eye. While this case is extreme, always err on the side of caution and leave the shell outside of the microwave.
  5. Styrofoam. Styrofoam is great for storing restaurant leftovers and hot drinks, but do not reheat your food or drink using that container. Similar to Plastic Travel Mugs, styrofoam is a type of plastic that releases harmful toxins when microwaved. The material is also prone to melting onto your food when it reaching high microwave temperatures.

For more information on what you should or should not microwave, refer to your user manual before microwaving anything that is not specifically labeled “microwave-safe.” If your microwave is broken, call Westside today to schedule your repair at 515-276-8899.