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Can You Put a Plastic Bag in the Microwave? (Microwave Safety Tips)

Plastic Bags on the Floor

When you’re trying to reheat leftovers, the last thing you want to do is create more dirty dishes. So, if you can just throw that storage bag in the microwave, that’s one less thing to clean up!

But can you safely put a plastic bag in the microwave, and if so, how do you do it safely? The truth is that it all depends on what type of plastic bag you’re trying to microwave. Keep reading and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about safely microwaving plastic bags.

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Can You Microwave Plastic Bags?

The answer to this question depends on what kind of plastic bags you’re talking about. Most types of plastic bags cannot go in the microwave. These types of bags include grocery bags, product packaging, and more.

However, while most plastic bags can’t go in the microwave, there are some exceptions to the rule. But even with the exceptions, there are some basic safety requirements you need to follow to keep everyone safe and your microwave in good working order.

plastic cellophane bag
Image By: John Cameron, Unsplash

Can You Microwave Ziploc Bags?

Generally, you should avoid putting plastic bags in the microwave, but Ziploc storage bags are an exception. Ziploc bags are microwave safe as long as you follow a few basic safety requirements.

First, you need to open the bags up by at least an inch to allow for proper ventilation while microwaving. Second, you need to be careful with what you’re microwaving inside the bag. Plastic melts at higher temperatures, and if the food inside the bag gets too hot, it can end up melting the plastic.

Finally, when removing the Ziploc bag from the microwave, be careful. The contents in the bag can get extremely hot, and it can burn you if you’re not careful.

Small transparent ziploc plastic bag
Image By: Dzhamilia, Shutterstock

Can You Microwave Other Storage Bags?

While we’d love to give you a complete answer here, the truth is that it all comes down to the brand of storage bag you’re using. To find out if you can put your specific storage bag in the microwave, check out the labeling on the box the storage bags came in.

If the box says the bags are microwave-safe, you’re good to go. But if the container doesn’t state it’s microwave safe or you don’t know, play it safe and don’t put it in the microwave.

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Safety Tips When Using a Microwave

pressing buttons of a microwave
Image Credit: Zyn Chakrapong, Shutterstock

Now that you know a little more about whether you can put plastic bags in the microwave, it’s a good time to highlight a few additional safety tips you should follow when using a microwave. These are four of the most important safety tips when using a microwave:

1. Allow Things to Vent

If you don’t give containers the opportunity to vent when in the microwave, you’re risking an explosion. As things expand inside the packaging, it needs to have somewhere to go. Otherwise, the pressure will build up inside the packaging and create a potentially dangerous situation.

2. Read the Owner’s Manual

Before using a microwave or putting anything in your microwave, you should take the time to read the manufacturer’s instructions that come with it. The instructions will tell you exactly what you can and can’t do with the microwave, and you should follow all the procedures and safety precautions.

3. Be Careful With Water

One thing you need to be careful about microwaving is water. When microwaving water, it often doesn’t boil. Instead, it becomes “super-heated.” This means the water is past the boiling point, but it’s not boiling!

But a slight disturbance to the water can cause it to explode, creating a dangerous situation that can lead to severe burns.

4. Only Use a Microwave With a Closed Door

If your microwave’s door doesn’t completely close, you shouldn’t use it. The door keeps the radiation from leaking out into the room, and prolonged use of a microwave with a faulty door can cause long-term health problems for people close to it.

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Final Thoughts

Check out the manufacturer’s instructions for the microwave and look at the labeling for any bag you’re considering putting in the microwave.

Play it safe whenever in doubt and don’t put it in the microwave. While you might need to clean an extra dish, it’s better than purchasing a new microwave or making a last-minute trip to the emergency room!

Featured Image Credit: Anna Shvets, Pexels


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