11 Things You Should Never Put in the Microwave 

Microwaves have become a crucial part of our lives that we cannot do without. It has a maximum benefit to offer but only when we follow the safety guidelines seriously.

Photo by Vlad Zaytsev on Unsplash

By nature, we buy dishes and containers that are microwave friendly but, sometimes we put things that are not microwave safe which can be dangerous.

A microwave oven produces electromagnetic waves, and we need to be very cautious about things that the appliance can and cannot take.

Photo by Andrea Davis on Unsplash

So here is the list of things that cannot go inside a microwave.

Metal dishes and cookware

Avoid putting metals inside the microwave.

Metals are good conductors of electricity, they contain freely moving electrons. 

If you put any metal dishes or cookware inside the microwave oven, the electromagnetic wave gets reflected instead of being absorbed. Hence, it causes arcing inside your microwave. These arcs and sparks can cause damage to your microwave. In extreme cases, there might be an explosion.

Aluminum foil

Aluminum foil is a thin metal. It’s safe to wrap cold food in foil for a short period but heating the food wrapped in aluminum foil is a big no.

Photo by Mahrous Houses on Unsplash

If you do so, the aluminum in the foil will begin to leach into the food, which causes health problems when you consume it.

Just like other regular metal aluminum foil reflects the electromagnetic waves that can create sparks and ruin the appliance. They are so thin that they easily catch fire which can be dangerous.


Until you see a microwave safety sign in the plastic ware. Do not put it in the microwave.

Most of the plastics are made of Bisphenol-A and Phthalates used for increasing the flexibility and durability of the plastic. When heated to a high temperature, plastics melt, and the harmful chemicals leach into the food.

These chemicals will lead to problems like disruptive hormones or cause different health disorders like cancer,  obesity, thyroid, diabetes, and reproductive problems.

Brown Paper bag

We usually don’t hesitate to heat the food along with the paper bag. It just doesn’t feel wrong- right!! 

But stop doing that right now.

Brown paper bags are too thin to resist high temperatures. There is a high chance of catching fire. So it is not safe to put the paper bag in the microwave.

Also, you might have seen different types of prints in the paper bag, those prints emit toxic fumes when heated. 

Photo by Joel Drzycimski on Unsplash


Most of us don’t even bother taking the food out of styrofoam while heating. It is because some of the styrofoam is considered microwave safe.

However, it isn’t a great idea to put it in the microwave.

Styrofoam contains toxic chemicals like benzene and styrene. When heated at a high temperature, it begins to melt and gets into the food, posing a threat to your health and reproductive system.

So instead of putting the food along with styrofoam in the microwave, take the food out on the plate and heat it.

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Material that doesn’t have a microwave-safe sign

The first thing you should do is to check the microwave sign label in any dish you purchase. 

Do not take a risk putting anything that you feel safe inside the microwave. The microwave-safe sign is attached for a reason. 

Chances are high, your appliance will get damaged, or it will cause you harm if the material is not microwave friendly. You better check the microwave-safe sign before putting anything in the microwave.

Processed meat

Processed meat itself has many disadvantages. The chemicals and preservatives used to add shelf life to the meat have a negative impact on human health.

And microwaving processed meat results in increased production of a chemical known as Cholesterol Oxidation Products, which are said to develop coronary heart disease.


If you need to heat the water, there are several other easy ways to do it without needing to mess up.

However, if you’re thinking of microwaving the water, which seems convenient, be aware of the consequences.

After putting the water for enough time in the microwave, water comes to a superheated state without actually having come to a boil. 

As a result, superheated water could splash up. 

So you can use a stove instead, to put water into a proper boil.


The grapes trap the microwave inside them leading to heating them. 

When multiple grapes are in contact with each other, they exchange energy. It makes them much hotter. 

Placing them in contact with each other, the energy gets focused in a very tiny spot that ionizes sodium and potassium within the grapes and ignites the plasma causing the grapes to explode.

Hard-boiled Eggs

Do not think of heating the hard-boiled eggs in the microwave. 

When eggs are heated up to high temperature, the stem starts building up from the yolk which still has a little bit of moisture left, and if the cell is intact, the stem has no place to go, the egg eventually explodes.

If you don’t see anything happening to the egg, do not try to peel it immediately when it’s hot, or it may explode and shatter. Let it cool down for some time, and then go for it.

Photo by Lissete Laverde on Unsplash

Enamel mugs

Enamel mugs can be a great alternative for plastics, but just like plastics, they should not go inside the microwave.

Enamel mugs have different types of metallic materials in them. 

And as already mentioned, metals are good conductors of electricity. They reflect the electromagnetic waves when placed inside the microwave that causes arcs and sparks and hence lead to a fire.

Final thoughts

You should always be careful while dealing with electrical appliances. The obvious purpose of getting any appliance is to make your life easier, and yes they do serve the purpose, but only if you handle them with care.

Whereas any careless action will have the opposite impact. It might end up lessening the lifespan of the product itself, and in some cases, it may cost you your health.

So avoid putting the stuff mentioned above in the microwave. 


More Reading

Post navigation

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *