Can you put a dry paper towel in the microwave?




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Ever found yourself in the kitchen pondering, “Can I safely put a dry paper towel in the microwave?” Well, you’re not alone. As someone who spends a good chunk of time whipping up recipes and experimenting with cooking hacks, this question buzzed in my mind quite frequently too! In this blog post, we’re going to embark on an exploratory journey where we dissect all you need to know about microwaving paper towels – safety measures needed, potential risks involved, and some savvy alternatives for those still wearing their skeptic’s hat.

Ready to solve this culinary conundrum? Let’s get cooking!

Key Takeaways

  • It is generally safe to put a dry paper towel in the microwave, but you need to follow safety precautions.
  • To safely use a paper towel in the microwave, make sure it is plain white and check if it is microwave-safe.
  • Avoid heating paper towels for too long as they can catch fire or break down.
  • Consider using alternatives like microwave – safe covers, containers, or silicone lids for covering your food in the microwave.

Can You Put a Paper Towel in the Microwave?

Yes, it is generally safe to put a paper towel in the microwave, but there are some important safety precautions and risks to be aware of.

Safety precautions

As a home cook, it’s important to follow safety rules when using paper towels in the microwave. Here are some key points:

  1. I always make sure to check if the paper towel is microwave – safe.
  2. I use plain white paper towels only and avoid printed ones.
  3. I don’t microwave wet paper towels because they can get too hot.
  4. While microwaving, I keep an eye on the paper towel so it does not burn or catch fire.
  5. I never leave a paper towel in the microwave for more than a few minutes at a time.
  6. After heating, I handle hot paper towels with care to avoid burns.
  7. I make sure to dispose of used paper towels safely after microwaving food.
  8. If the food I’m heating is oily or high in fat, I don’t use a paper towel to prevent the risk of fire.
  9. When covering my food with a paper towel, I ensure there’s enough space between them so that heat can circulate freely.
  10. Never reuse paper towels that were previously heated in the microwave as they can break down and even catch fire.
  11. Even though microwaving dry paper towels is generally safe, it’s best not to leave them unattended while heating.

Risks of using a dry paper towel in the microwave

Using a dry paper towel in the microwave can be risky. If you heat it for too long, it can catch fire. The heat from the microwave can also cause the paper towel to break down. So, it’s important to keep an eye on it while heating and not leave it unattended.

To reduce the risk of fire, use plain white paper towels instead of ones with prints on them. And remember, never put wet paper towels in the microwave as they can burn you.

Alternatives to Using a Dry Paper Towel in the Microwave

There are several alternatives to using a dry paper towel in the microwave, such as using microwave-safe covers, containers, or silicone lids.

Microwave-safe covers

If you’re looking for a way to cover your food when microwaving it, using microwave-safe covers is a great option. These covers are specifically designed to withstand the heat of the microwave and prevent any splattering or messes.

They come in various sizes and shapes, so you can easily find one that fits your needs. Microwave-safe covers are made from materials like BPA-free plastic or silicone, ensuring they won’t melt or release harmful chemicals into your food.

Just place the cover over your dish before microwaving, and it will help retain moisture and heat while preventing any messes in your microwave. It’s an easy and convenient way to safely cook or reheat your food without worrying about spills or splatters.

Microwave-safe containers

I always make sure to use microwave-safe containers when heating up food in the microwave. These containers are specially designed to withstand the heat generated by microwaves, reducing the risk of melting or warping.

Using non-microwave-safe containers can release harmful chemicals into your food and damage your microwave. So it’s important to check for labels or symbols indicating that a container is safe to use in the microwave.

By using these containers, you can ensure that your food heats evenly and safely without any unwanted risks.

Microwave-safe silicone lids

Microwave-safe silicone lids are a great alternative to using paper towels in the microwave. These lids are designed to be heat resistant and can safely cover your food while it heats up.

They help prevent splattering and keep your microwave clean. Silicone lids are also reusable and easy to wash, making them convenient for everyday use. Just make sure to choose lids that are specifically labeled as microwave-safe to ensure they can withstand the heat.

Using microwave-safe silicone lids is a handy way to safely cover your food without the risk of fire or paper towel breakdown in the microwave.

Tips for Using Paper Towels Safely in the Microwave

To ensure safe use of paper towels in the microwave, it is recommended to dampen the paper towel before placing it over food or using it as a cover.

Dampening the paper towel

To use a paper towel safely in the microwave, you can dampen it with water. Here’s how:

  1. Wet the paper towel: Lightly dampen the paper towel with water. This will help prevent it from drying out and potentially catching fire.
  2. Cover food: If you’re using the paper towel to cover food in the microwave, place the dampened paper towel over the dish. Make sure it completely covers the food to prevent splattering.
  3. Monitor closely: Keep an eye on the paper towel while microwaving your food. If you notice any smoke or burning, immediately stop the microwave and remove the paper towel.

Using only plain white paper towels

I always make sure to use plain white paper towels when I need to heat something in the microwave. This is because printed paper towels can contain dyes or other additives that may not be safe for microwaving.

Plain white paper towels are generally considered safer because they don’t have any extra chemicals that could potentially leach into your food. So, next time you need to cover a dish or absorb some moisture in the microwave, reach for a plain white paper towel.

Unfolding the paper towel

To ensure even heating and prevent hot spots, it’s important to unfold the paper towel before placing it in the microwave. This allows the heat to distribute more evenly throughout the towel and helps to avoid potential fire risks. So, remember to unfold your paper towel before using it in the microwave!


In conclusion, it is generally safe to put a dry paper towel in the microwave. However, it’s important to exercise caution and avoid heating them for too long to reduce the risk of fire.

Using plain white paper towels and monitoring them closely will help ensure a safe microwaving experience. Remember to follow any specific instructions on the packaging or from the manufacturer for best results.

Stay safe and enjoy your microwave cooking!


1. Can I put a dry paper towel in the microwave?

Yes, you can put a plain white paper towel in the microwave. It is safe if used properly and with caution. Absorbent paper towels are often used for covering food.

2. What should I be careful of when microwaving paper towels?

When heating paper towels in the microwave, make sure to use only plain white ones. Avoid printed or colored versions because they may catch fire.

3. Is it safe to put wet paper towels in the microwave?

Yes, microwaving wet paper towels is usually safe as well but always follow proper use guidelines and precautions.

4. Can using a paper towel result in a fire hazard?

If not cautious, there could be risks such as fire hazards tied to heating both dry and wet types of absorbent or printed varieties of this product.

5.What alternatives can replace puttingpaper towel in the oven?

The USDA recommends only using items that are made for cooking as per their safety rules rather than resorting to usual home items like this one.

6.Is there something I must do after correctly microwaving my food covered by these wipes?

After heat-treatment completes, make sure you’re disposing of them right so no residue remains which might cause safety problems later on.

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