Can You Microwave Paper Towels?

Can You Microwave Paper Towels?

Can you microwave paper towels? It’s a common question, and one that has generated a lot of debate. Some people swear by the method, while others claim it’s a dangerous fire hazard.

So what’s the truth? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at if they are any potential risks to microwaving paper towels. We’ll also provide some tips on how to do it safely, if you decide to give it a try.

It really is an interesting question, let’s explore it a bit more.

So, Can you Safely Microwave Paper Towels?

Is It Safe To Microwave Paper Towels?
Photo by Brandon Cormier on Unsplash

Yes, paper towels can be microwaved safely. In fact, there are several benefits that you can gain from microwaving paper towels.

One of the main benefits of using paper towels in the microwave is that it can help to prevent spatters. Sometimes food in the microwave can pop or bubble up when it starts to get heated. With a paper towel covering the food, the spatter hits the towel instead of the inside of your microwave. It thus prevents messes from happening, saving cleaning time and energy.

They can be used to keep food moist when reheating them in the microwave. In this case, a damp paper towel works best. Simply run the paper towel under your tap for a few seconds and then wrap the food item in it. By wrapping the food in the damp towel you retain moisture and keep the item soft. This works with food such as tortillas.

Finally, they can also be used as vents when heating food. Placing a paper towel atop a bowl with food creates a vent that allows for the circulation of heat that lets the food heat evenly.

How Long Can You Microwave Paper Towels?

There is no definitive time limit for microwaving paper towels, but as a best practice try not to microwave them on their own. Without any food to absorb the electromagnetic energy, paper towels can combust.

With food, whether used as a covering or wrapping, the paper towel should be fine for whatever amount of time the food item takes to be heated.

Tips For Using Paper Towels In The Microwave

To prevent any unintended consequences, there are some guidelines that you should follow when using paper towels in the microwave. Check them out below.

  1. Use unfolded paper towels for best results. When they are folded, paper towels can trap heat and cause fire to spark inside the microwave
  2. Just as every plate is not safe for the microwave, not every type of paper towel is safe for the microwave. Check the manufacturer’s label for guidelines. 
  3. As a rule of thumb, recycled materials and paper should not be used in the microwave. This is because they sometimes contain traces of metals and can spark fires in the microwave.
  4. Avoid using printed paper towels. The heat might cause the ink in the paper to bleed into the food or cause fumes which may not be safe to be emitted.

Wrapping It Up

You can definitely microwave paper towels safely, with some precautions. Whether as a wrap or cover, paper towels can help foods heat more evenly and prevent messes. Be sure to always unfold the paper towel to prevent it trapping too much heat and combusting.

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