The microwave is the workhorse of the modern kitchen, whether at home or in the office lunchroom. All day long, it dependably handles quick grab-and-go chores, as well as more complex food prep chores. But don't take it for granted. To keep it working, here is a look at five things you should never put in your microwave.
Did you know a standard paper bag from the grocery store can catch fire in the microwave? That's because it doesn't have susceptors, a specialized material that can handle the radio waves produced by the microwave. Popcorn bags have them, but everyday bags don't. As a result, fumes and toxins from the paper get released during the heating process, potentially causing a fire.
The metal interior of your microwave is made to reflect back radio waves, which are usually called microwaves. These waves are responsible for the electromagnetic energy that warms up food. Aluminum foil reflects back the waves. The results are sparks and potentially a fire.
Plastic and Steel Travel Mugs
These handy cups are perfect for sipping coffee on the go. But don't try to reheat your tea or coffee in them. Steel mugs can cause friction from the buildup of energy in the appliance. Many plastic mugs can't take the heating process. Some plastic on-the-go coffee mugs do say "microwave safe" on the outside. In that case, it's ok to use them.
Eggs too Hard Cook
An eggshell traps steam that forms when the microwave does its job of heating. When that reaches critical mass, it can explode. The result is a very messy, hard-to-clean microwave.
Takeout is often packaged in polystyrene foam, better known as styrofoam. But don't try to reheat your General Tso's Chicken or your breakfast burrito in the container. The material can melt, releasing unappetizing and unhealthy toxins into your food.