Preventing Common Microwave Mishaps

For many of us, microwaves have aroused curiosity since childhood and been the central piece to countless home experiments gone wrong. But, do you know the basics of what actually can and can’t be microwaved? Test your knowledge below:
Someone Getting Ready to Open a Microwave Door


Plastics (No)

This should hopefully be common knowledge for everyone who owns a microwave. While some food containers are classified as “microwave safe” by the manufacturer, others run the risk of melting and damaging the inside of your machine.

Wax and Parchment Paper (Yes)

This is one that many people are often leery about placing in their microwave. It seems like the wax might pose a risk, but in all actuality, it’s perfectly fine and approved by the National Sanitation Foundation. No worry here.

Travel Mugs (No)

Although it may seem like a good idea to quickly nuke your coffee while running out the door in the morning, if it’s in a travel mug, then you’ll be disappointed. The metal lining prevents heat from warming the liquid inside and it can also be damaging to your machine.

Styrofoam Containers (No)

Unless otherwise stated by the manufacturer, these should be treated the same as other plastics, because it is essentially plastic.

Grapes (No)

What? No hot grape snacks for lunch? Exactly. Grapes, when placed in the microwave, essentially become tiny fruit-filled cherry bombs, or in this case, grape bombs. This may excite your inner 8 year-old, but if you want to avoid a sticky mess, leave the grapes to the fridge.

Glass (Yes)

That’s right. No surprise here, really. If you’re a common microwave user, chances are you microwave glassware on a daily basis, and chances are you already knew this was acceptable, so let’s continue on.

Hot Peppers (No)

No is right. It’s just redundant, isn’t’ it? Why heat-up something that’s already, well, heated-up? If you do accidentally nuke a hot pepper, be sure to steer clear of the microwave for a bit, as the heat causes them to smoke and release a chemical that can burn your eyes and throat.

Metal (No)

Metal containers and aluminum foil should not be used in the microwave. They will begin to spark and become a huge fire hazard. However, there is some current debate about whether or not certain amounts of some metals are ok to nuke, but we highly recommend avoiding them altogether when using the microwave.


How did you do? Hopefully you either confirmed your understanding of basic microwave etiquette, or now know what to watch for. Either way, you should always be cautious when using the microwave and take steps to preserve it. Consider getting a home warranty from AHS® and you can protect your budget from unexpected breakdowns and repairs on your microwave and other major home appliances.

Next > Home Matters: Oven and Cooktop Cleaning Tips

AHS assumes no responsibility, and specifically disclaims all liability, for your use of any and all information contained herein.

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