Styrofoam ContainersYou probably know that putting plastic in the microwave is a big no, but what many people don’t know is that styrofoam actually contains plastic. When you put a styrofoam container in the microwave you may begin to notice that it looks like its melting or changing its shape. Well, this is because putting styrofoam in the microwave can release toxic chemicals that can be harmful to you if they make their way into the food. Maybe you’ve said to yourself that “I’ve put styrofoam in the microwave before and nothing happened.” Well, you never know what is going on in small doses that you can’t see.
NothingYes, we’re serious. It may seem odd, but actually running a microwave with nothing in it can be potentially dangerous. The radio waves that are emitted when a microwave runs with nothing in it can actually be absorbed into the microwave itself. The microwave is not meant to be run without anything inside of it, and it won’t handle all of the waves. This can actually lead to a fire or cause the microwave to self-destruct.
Hot PeppersYou may not have known this but hot peppers should not be microwaved. There is a chemical that exists in hot peppers that is called capsaicin, which is what makes the pepper spicy. After you microwave a hot pepper, the vapor that is released can actually burn your throat or eyes. The hot peppers can also explode in the microwave and catch fire.
FruitWe haven’t met anyone that actually prefers hot fruit, but you never know! It is pretty well-known that you shouldn’t put grapes in the microwave since they can explode or result in a fire. You should also not microwave raisins since grapes and raisins emit plasma when microwaved which can cause fruits to smoke and break your microwave.
Aluminum FoilAluminum foil is an item that is very obvious should not go anywhere near your microwave. Aluminum foil is a metal and like other metals, it has potential to catch fire while in the microwave. Microwaves are lined with metal, which is great for reheating food, but when it heats metal, it reflects heat instead of absorbing it. Don’t risk your safety or your microwave’s by trying it.
ChinaNice and expensive china is a big no-no when it comes to microwaves. This is especially true if there are metal accents such as gold bands as decoration. Much like aluminum foil, putting these metal accents in the microwave can have dangerous repercussions. Your beautiful dishes can become ruined or it can spark a fire. Always check for a microwave-safe label on the bottom of your dishes.
Breast MilkWe know that as a new mom you’re probably stressed and busy, so many new moms freeze their breast milk to keep up with a hectic lifestyle. It is fine to allow the breastmilk to thaw after it is taken out of the freezer, but putting it in the microwave to heat up isn’t the best idea. When you put it in the microwave, milk does not heat totally even, causing it to have some extremely hot parts that can possibly hurt your baby. The best way to heat a bottle of milk is to just let it sit under some hot water for a while.
Chinese Take-Out ContainersYes, we know how easy it is to just throw one of these in the microwave, but it’s actually not recommended. The containers themselves may be made from cardboard, but the handles are usually made from metal. Even though the handles are tiny, they can still run the risk of catching fire when they are heated up. The best thing to do is to just put your food on a microwave-safe dish to enjoy.
Frozen MeatThawing meat takes quite a bit of time, and it depends on how much meat you are thawing. Many people may try to use their microwaves to speed up the thawing process, but it can be harmful. Thawing frozen meat in a microwave can cause bacteria to grow in the meat which can end up in foodborne illnesses. This is because if the meat has different thicknesses in different places, not all of it will absorb heat at the same rate.
WaterIf you’re a tea or coffee lover, you may have put water in the microwave a few times to get it to boil. However, many times we don’t bring it to a boil, and we just wait until its super hot. If something is added to the water when it is taken out of the microwave, it has the potential to explode. This is why you should use a kettle or boiling water in a pot.
Yogurt or Butter Containers
Yogurt containers or butter containers that are being used for other purposes should not be put in the microwave. These containers may seem to be convenient for re-use, but they are only for one-time use. These containers have plastic, and so they are more likely to release harmful chemicals into your food when microwaved.
BreadPopping a piece of bread in the microwave won’t start a fire or ruin your microwave entirely, but it might make your bread unappetizing. If you put bread in the microwave it can make the texture of the bread very chewy and moist. If you experience this, all you need to do is put the bread in the oven for a few minutes to help it return to its normal texture.
Sauce With No LidIt is very important that you put a lid on all your sauces before putting them in the microwave. Sauces can easily explode in the microwave if they don’t have a life. This will create a huge mess that you will certainly not want to deal with. Cover your sauce with a lid or paper towel to save you from a mess.
Travel MugsTravel mugs are made out of stainless steel which is certainly not microwave-safe. The stainless steel material will block whatever is in your mug from heating as well as potentially causing damage to your microwave. Put your drink into a microwave safe mug or thermos which will also allow your drink to be heated.
Processed MeatYou wouldn’t think that microwaving a hot dog would be an issue, but it is actually not a good idea. Hot dogs are chock full of preservatives, which when microwaved, can lead to the production of cholesterol oxidation products. These have been linked to heart disease according to a study done in India. First things first, processed meat is not the healthiest food to start with, and microwaving it might make it a little bit worse.
You may think that microwaving greens isn’t a big deal, but it is possible that they can actually spark. A professor from the University of Colorado who teaches electrical engineering says that there is a possibility that some vegetables will spark when microwaved.