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Can You Put Metal in the Microwave? (Microwave Safety Tips)

man using microwave

If you’re like us, people have always told you never to put metal in the microwave. In fact, you can find several guides out there that will tell you that you should never put metal in the microwave. But then why do some microwaves come with metal components that you put in the microwave?

The truth is that you can microwave some metals. But before you start throwing metal into the microwave, you need to learn a little more about how to do so safely. We’ll highlight everything you need to know before you put any metal in your microwave for you here.

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Can You Put Metal in the Microwave?

While there’s a lot of science behind all this, the truth is that there are only two things you need to check for before putting metal in the microwave. First, are there multiple pieces of metal next to each other?

Objects like forks that have multiple tines cannot go in the microwave, as they’ll start to spark and potentially cause a lot of damage.

Next, does the metal have any extremely thin or sharp edges? Objects like knives, aluminum foil, or any decorative pieces with small pieces of metal throughout should not go into the microwave.

Finally, keep in mind that the walls inside a microwave or typically metal too, so if you’re putting metal in the microwave, ensure there’s plenty of space between the metal object and the walls of the microwave or they might arc.

And when in doubt about any of these potential red flags, play it safe and don’t put it in the microwave. It might take a minute or two longer and get another dish dirty, but it’s better than your microwave arcing when you’re trying to heat something up!

Top 5 Microwave Safety Tips

Now that we’ve upended one safety myth about microwaves, it’s time to highlight a few you absolutely should follow. We’ve highlighted five safety tips you should always follow when you’re using a microwave.

1. Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Chef reading microwave instruction manual
Image By: Chaiyoot Wilipun, Shutterstock

This is the number one rule for any microwave. Only do what the manufacturer says you can do. That means if the instructions say don’t put metal in the microwave or only use the microwave a certain way, only use it that way! Each microwave is a little bit different, and the manufacturer recognizes this when they’re putting together the instructions.

2. Don’t Use a Microwave With the Door Open

While a microwave shouldn’t work with a door open, sometimes, a malfunction can lead to a microwave that will work even with an open door. Unfortunately, this sends a ton of radiation out the front of the microwave.

This is an extremely dangerous condition, especially with prolonged use, so stop using a microwave immediately if it’s operating with an open door.

3. Be Careful With Water

warming up a cup inside a microwave
Image By: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock

If you put water in the microwave, it will not boil. Instead, a microwave will heat the water past the boiling point. When you move the container the water in the container can explode, leading to severe burns.

4. Don’t Microwave Flammable Objects

This might seem self-explanatory, but too many people don’t think about just how much a microwave can heat something up. Paper and other flammable objects should not go inside a microwave for any amount of time.

5. Don’t Microwave Sealed Containers

Woman's Hands Closing Microwave Oven Door And Preparing Food At Home
Image By: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

If you’re trying to heat up food, ensure the container you’re cooking the food in has a way to vent before putting it in the microwave. This goes for Tupperware containers or sealed products. If you don’t create a space for the containers to vent, they can explode as they heat up.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re still feeling a little uneasy about putting metal in the microwave after reading through our guide, don’t worry about it. Just because you can put some metal in the microwave doesn’t mean you need to put metal in the microwave.

There’s nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution and keeping all the metal out of the microwave. As a matter of fact, it’s almost always better to err on the side of caution.

Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock


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