Microwave Safety | Shelter Insurance®

Are You Savvy About Microwave Safety?


Most of us use microwaves on a daily basis because they are a quick way to cook and reheat food. Whether it is just heating up leftovers from last night's dinner, making some oatmeal before rushing to work or even disinfecting a wet kitchen sponge, throwing it in the microwave seems to be the solution for everything! But is it? 

Most people know not to microwave metal, but some containers and dishes may have metal parts that get forgotten. Watch out for metallic trims on plates, aluminum foil, stainless steel bottles and mugs and Chinese take-out containers. Take a minute to check your container for metal parts and avoid seeing those sparks fly. 

Make sure each plastic container is microwave-safe before heating it up. The heat from the microwave can cause some plastics to melt and become damaged. Do not put plastic bags, plastic bottles or anything with a plastic wrap over it in the microwave. Yogurt cups, butter containers and other one-time use plastic also will not be able to stand the heat. Even if a container is labeled as microwave-safe, as are most storage containers are, the containers themselves could become cracked or discolored. 

Other Items
Fabric and sponges will catch on fire in the microwave if they are dry. It's tempting to put brown lunch bags in the microwave, but they also have a high risk of catching on fire. It is also generally not recommended to microwave Styrofoam because it may release harmful chemicals as well as have a risk of melting. Last but not least, not having anything in the microwave could cause the microwave itself to catch on fire.

Along with the above items, here are a few food items to watch out for when you're microwaving:

  • Eggs with shells – will explode
  • Dry herbs – will catch on fire
  • Hot peppers – will catch on fire and release harmful chemicals
  • Grapes and raisins – will explode, catch on fire and release harmful chemicals

Now that you have been informed, happy microwaving!