You’ve probably heard that you can’t microwave plastic. That’s because the molecules in plastics react to heat and become toxic, which is why we are all so aware of it now. The same goes for paper. However, not just any paper. You can’t easily pop a piece of printer paper or old newspaper in the microwave and expect no consequences. That being said, there are some types of paper that you absolutely can safely put in your microwave. A plate made out of paper? Well, yes — a paper plate is safe to put in your microwave as long as it’s not lined with wax or some other material that will catch fire from the microwave. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t just go throwing any old piece of printer paper into the microwave but do keep reading to find out more about when it’s safe and not safe to use a paper plate instead of a regular one.
Can You Microwave Paper Plates?
Yes, you can microwave paper plates. Paper plates are designed to be heat-resistant, so they won’t catch on fire or melt in the microwave. However, you should avoid using paper plates that have metallic foil or decorations, as these can cause sparks and damage your microwave.
Why Can’t You Microwave Plastic?
- Plastic is a synthetic material that has been developed to be used in food packaging, medical equipment, and more. The plastic that we use in our daily lives is meant to be microwaved, but you really shouldn’t.
- Microwaving plastic can cause it to become toxic. This means that you could burn yourself or ingest some of the plastic if you put it directly into your mouth.
- Plastic can also leech chemicals such as BPA into your food if it’s in contact with the outside of the item for an extended period of time.
- Microwaving plastic causes it to melt and then decompose, which can create a bad smell and a lot of garbage if you don’t properly dispose of it properly afterward.
- Even if you do find a way to safely microwave plastic, there are still chemicals associated with its products that are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors that may cause health problems in humans over time.
What Types Of Paper Can Be Microwaved?
1. Paper Made From Cotton
This type of paper is usually lined with wax or some other coating that makes it fire-resistant. The wax will catch fire because of the microwaves and then burn up, but the paper underneath will still be safe to use.
2. Paper Made From Hemp
This is a type of paper that’s made from hemp fiber, which is a very strong fiber that’s also non-toxic. You can put this in your microwave and not worry about the wax coating catching fire and turning into toxic fumes. This is also a good choice for those who are environmentally conscious because it’s biodegradable, so you don’t have to worry about putting it in the trash when you are done with it.
3. Paper Made From Pine
This type of paper has been tested by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and found to be safe to use in your microwave as long as it isn’t lined with wax or other materials that would catch on fire from the microwave radiation.
4. Uncoated Paper
This is paper that’s not covered with a wax coating or any other material that will catch fire. This type of paper is safe to use in your microwave, but you should be sure to put it on a plate or some other surface that won’t catch fire.
5. Paper Made From Recycled Material
This type of paper is made from recycled materials, which means it was once used in a product and then thrown away, but instead of being trashed, the manufacturer took an old product, recycled it into another one, and sold it to the consumer. This type of paper isn’t safe to use in your microwave because the recycling process can cause chemicals to leak out into the finished product and cause problems when heated by microwaves. Instead, you should try using one of the types of recycled paper listed above for safe microwaving purposes.
When Can You Microwave A Paper Plate?
When it’s lined with wax or other flammable material
The best thing you can do to keep your paper plate safe from any sort of danger is to make sure that it is lined with non-flammable materials. If you are using a paper plate with wax on the bottom, then you’re going to have a problem. Wax is not nearly as safe as the plastic used in normal plates and if a fire were to break out, then it could easily spread. This means that if you are using a paper plate lined with wax, then you should probably stop using it altogether and switch to using a normal plate instead.
When the plate is made out of paper
If you are making your own microwaveable paper plates, then this one isn’t an issue for you at all because nobody will be putting anything flammable on the bottom of your plates anyway. However, if you are looking for an already made product that has been made out of paper and not plastic, then yes — there will be no problem at all because the only thing that will be on the bottom of these plates is plain old white flour or corn starch (and possibly some food coloring). This means that even though they aren’t lined with anything flammable, they still won’t catch fire just by being put in the microwave.
When it doesn’t have any food coloring added
Just like regular plates (unless they have been made out of wax), paper plates that have had food coloring added to them are also safe to put in your microwave. This is because food coloring is not made out of flammable materials and so it won’t catch fire in the microwave.
When it’s completely covered by a thin layer of wax
If you are using a paper plate that has a thin layer of wax on the bottom, then this isn’t an issue at all. The only reason why you would have this problem is if the plate was made out of some sort of plastic and you were trying to use it for something other than eating off of it (like for something like a serving platter). If you’re just looking for a plate to eat off of, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use this one!
When the plate has been treated with flame retardants
In some cases, if you’re looking to use your paper plates in your microwave, then they may already be coated with flame retardants. These types of coatings will stop any sort of fire from spreading but they can also make your paper plates extremely flammable. This means that if you are planning on using these fire-resistant plates in your microwave, then make sure that they don’t have any flammable material on them (like wax or plastic). You should also make sure that they aren’t lined with anything flammable either (like wax or plastic). If you are unsure whether or not your plates are coated with flame retardants, then you should check the packaging to see if it says anything about them being flame retardants.
When Is It Not Safe To Microwave A Paper Plate?
If you have a paper plate lined with wax, don’t even think about it. There are several different types of wax and they all react differently to heat. The biggest concern is the possibility of fire which is why you shouldn’t microwave anything that has been lined with wax. Other types of wax include paraffin and shellac.
Plastic Lined Paper Plates
Plastic-lined paper plates are also not allowed in the microwave because they can catch fire from the microwaves. If you want to cook with a plastic-lined paper plate, you have to line it with something else like aluminum foil or parchment paper first before putting it in the microwave so that the plastic lining doesn’t catch fire from the microwaves.
Pencils don’t typically burn but their graphite will melt if put into a microwave oven for an extended period of time and then come back out hot enough to burn you or someone else if it comes into contact with your skin or clothes when it comes out of your microwave later on (just like melted wax or plastic). That being said, pencils can be used as an ingredient in some recipes so feel free to experiment but be sure not to let them get too hot or they could cause serious burns! You should never use pencils as a cooking utensil unless you know what you’re doing because there is a risk of breaking them, which can cause them to splinter, which can cause you to get a splinter in your mouth.
Sharp objects like knives, forks, and spoons all have the potential to burn or hurt you if they come into contact with your skin or clothes when they come out of the microwave later on so it’s best not to put them in there. You can use them as an ingredient in some recipes but be sure not to leave them sitting around for too long because sharp objects can also break and cause you harm.
Plastic bags aren’t safe to use in the microwave because they can catch fire from the microwaves just like wax-lined paper plates and pencils above. If you have plastic bags that are lined with anything other than plastic, don’t put them in there! You should never throw plastic bags away either! They are great for storage and they last forever so don’t throw away something that is useful and reusable just because it isn’t safe to use anymore!
The Bottom Line
Microwaves are designed to heat food quickly and efficiently, which is why you can’t just throw any old paper plate in there and expect everything to be fine. At the same time, microwaves are also notorious for causing foods to lose nutrition and vitamins. While many nutritionists recommend avoiding the microwave whenever possible, it’s not always easy to do so. Thankfully, there are ways to make microwaving more nutritious. With a little bit of research and care, you can ensure that your paper plate is microwaved as safely as possible. And remember, not all paper plates are created equal.