HomeIndustryElectronics12 Things You Should Never Put In The Microwave

12 Things You Should Never Put In The Microwave

The microwave is one of the greatest inventions of all time. Over 96% of U.S. households own a microwave and what makes it so special is that a time-saver, versatile, inexpensive, and compact.

Things You Should Never Put In The Microwave
Serge van Neck / Unsplash

How Do Microwaves Cook Food?

Here are a few of the things you should avoid heating up and why.

Aluminum Foil

You should never heat your food covered in aluminum foil (never, ever). The waves generated by the microwave are reflected off the item, causing the aluminum foil to burn rapidly and ignite. It is dangerous not only it is toxic but you can burn your house.

Hot Peppers

If you want to make homemade pepper spray, microwaving hot peppers is the solution (please, do not try this at home). When heated, your pepper can possibly spark and cause a fire, and also, peppers release a chemical called capsaicin that may cause you to choke and even burn your eyes. Whilst some might see this as the perfect April Fool’s prank, we say this is not a good idea.


Heating up grapes in the microwave causes them to burst into flames and the hot spots get even hotter forming plasma. Plasmas are formed when a gas is heated and ionized, releasing electrons.


Eggs in shells tend to heat up faster than normal, and trying to cook an egg in the microwave would create an abundance of steam within its shell and that’s a bad idea. This could end in an explosion or eggsplosion. Have fun cleaning!


a bowl of rice  Things You Should Never Put In The Microwave
Pille R. Priske / Unsplash

Why you should not reheat home-cooked rice?

According to the UK Food Standards Agency, rice can be contaminated by spores from a type of harmful bacteria, Bacillus cereus that isn’t killed during the cooking process, which can cause food poisoning. If cooked rice is left standing at room temperature, the bacteria can multiply and cause vomiting and diarrhea. Reheating the rice will make it worse.

Sauce or dip without a cover

Is it safe to microwave sauce?

Always cover your sauce before heating in the microwave, that’s because sauces have the reputation for exploding and you will be spending your time cleaning up rather than eating. In conclusion, it isn’t toxic to reheat but your t-shirt and the microwave will be collateral victims.

Your t-shirt

Is it safe to microwave clothes?

Don’t try this!!! The microwave will heat up the water in the clothes, resulting in damaging the fabric and even hot enough to burn them. If you are in a hurry, the best option is a tumble dryer (a little bit expensive but it’s worth it)

Styrofoam in Microwave

styrofoam Crawfish pie takeout meal at Trenasse restaurant in New Orleans
Denise-Marie Ordway / Wikimedia Commons

Polystyrene foam containers, commonly known as Styrofoam, don’t belong in your microwave. Those containers are potentially poisonous when heated, the process can release toxic chemicals directly into your food and you don’t want it.

What to do instead? Transfer your food or drink to a “microwave-safe” container before heating it up.

Paper Bags

The bag of popcorn is different than the conventional brown paper bag you use to carry your groceries. The bag of tasty popcorn is equipped with susceptors, a material that’s made to consume the radio waves produced by microwaves. The paper bags you buy in the supermarket don’t have susceptors and can release toxins when warmed up, and also the bag could catch fire from the microwave’s heat.

Take-out containers

Be sure to take it out of the box. Most takeout boxes (typically Chinese) include a thin metal handle and are not microwave safe. Take-out containers designed for one-time use should not be re-microwaved.

Plastic storage containers

When heated, plastic releases Bisphenol A, or BPA, an organic compound. Studies show that exposure to low doses of BPA could have effects on human health. It is recommended to transfer your food or drink to a glass or a microwave-safe container before heating.

Nothing at all

You may have wondered what happens if you let the microwave run by itself without placing anything in. Well, is a sure way to ruin your appliance. The radio waves released must have a destination, without it, the waves bounce off each other and are absorbed by the microwave, causing it to combust.

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