Things You Should Never Put In A Microwave

The microwave is, quite possibly, the most amazing invention to ever be thought up when it comes to the kitchen.

However, there are some hard-and-fast rules as to what you should and should never put in your microwave.

If not used exactly as the manufacturer instructs, the microwave can become dangerous. Fires can start. Explosions can even occur.

Some of these things to never put in a microwave may surprise you. But once you read through the list you won’t have to worry about your safety. Prepare food in minutes as often as you need to without fretting!

Have you ever been shocked to see sparks coming from your microwave? It’s a very scary experience. Make sure that never happens again, and always check for “microwave-safe” on all dishware!

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Hot Peppers

Hot peppers can be a nightmare to cook, even though they are oh-so-delicious. If you touch the inside of a pepper and then touch your eyes, you’re going to be in big trouble.

Similarly, if you microwave hot peppers, the steam released will hold those same spicy particles. When you open the door, you could be met with a very spicy gust that gets into your eyes and throat. No fun.

Plates With Metallic Trim

We all know that putting metal in the microwave is a big “no.” It can start a fire or cause an explosion. It can be easy to mindlessly put a plate or mug with metallic trim into the trusty microwave without even realizing it.

Whole Eggs

While you can cook scrambled eggs in the microwave if you’re in a huge hurry, you don’t want to put a whole egg into a microwave.

According to, it will heat up too fast, and the steam building up inside of the egg will not be able to escape through the pores quickly enough. This will cause the shell to explode and make a big old mess in your microwave.

Travel Mugs

Travel mugs are often made of stainless steel or plastic. As we’ve already established, metal does not go into the microwave, nor does plastic not clearly labeled as microwave-safe.

Travel mugs are for coffee on-the-go, but they aren’t always designed to reheat on-the-go. There’s a big difference.

Brown Paper Bags

According to the USDA, cooking in a paper bag in any device can result in toxins from ink or recycled materials in the paper releasing into your food. It can also start a fire, especially in the intense heat of the microwave. Just don’t do it!

Plastic Storage Containers Not Labeled For Microwave Use

Some plastic containers are made specifically for microwave use and are labeled as such.

However, if you use just any old plastic container in the microwave, you risk chemicals from the plastic making their way into your food, according to Harvard Medical School.

Unlabeled Styrofoam

Like all other materials containing plastic, you’re going to want to check to see if the styrofoam is microwave-safe. Some styrofoam is, while others contain chemicals that will leach into your food. Harvard can’t stress enough how important it is to check the label.


If you only put a little bit of a substance in a microwave, the amount of energy and electricity that goes into that small mass can be too much. If you’re not careful with grapes, specifically, you can end up with a little explosion powerful enough to ruin your microwave, according to the Department of Physics at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

A Whole Potato

If you don’t pierce the skin of a potato before you put it in the microwave, it just may explode on you. Much like the case with the whole egg, the steam needs a place to escape, as noted in a lecture from the University of Virginia.

A simple tip is to stab a raw potato with a fork a few times so that you don’t have any unnecessary messes or startling loud bangs coming from your kitchen.

Nothing At All

If you turn a microwave on with nothing inside of it, there’s nowhere for all of that energy to go. According to the University of Virginia’s website, when there is nothing to absorb the microwaves themselves, the magnetron will absorb as many as it emits.

This is very bad for the machine and can cause some serious damage.

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