Can You Put Paper Towel In The Microwave? Here’s The Answer You Should Know

Microwaves are definitely not for everyone.  Questions like “Can you put paper towels in the microwave” should be asked, but before asking one’s self that question, it’s important to think about why one would want to use a microwave in the first place.  You can rely on microwaves for cooking things like popcorn, heating up leftovers, or even cooking an entire meal if you’re in a hurry.

It may be tempting to put that paper towel in there when you’ve got something hot and runny on your hands, but resist temptation. Many people will tell you that it’s perfectly safe to put a paper towel in the microwave, but this is actually one of those questions that merits a bit more research. There are actually a few good reasons not to do this.  Here‘s what you need to know about whether or not you should put paper towels in the microwave.

Can You Put Paper Towel In The Microwave?

Paper towels are one of the most versatile inventions in history. They’re strong enough to clean up spills, yet gentle enough to wipe off your hands after cooking. They can be used as a makeshift dishcloth or tea towel, and they’re even absorbent enough to use as a napkin at mealtime. But there is one question that has plagued mankind since the invention of paper towels: Can you put them in the microwave? The answer is yes, but it will have some limitations. In order to understand why paper towels can be put in the microwave, it’s important to know about microwave operation.

Food is heated inside the microwave by vibrating water molecules at a high frequency. Paper towels do not have a lot of water content, so they are unlikely to burn in the microwave. However, if the paper towel gets wet, it’s possible that it could overheat and cause a fire. You’d better check the packaging to see if the paper towel contains any chemicals or materials that could spark.

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Moreover, if you put something else in the microwave with the paper towel that could cause a spark, the paper towel could potentially catch fire. Paper towels are a safe and versatile product, but it’s always a good idea to read the packaging before putting them in the microwave.

Can A Paper Towel In A Microwave Catch Fire?

A paper towel can catch fire in a microwave if not taken out right after it’s heated up. Paper towels produce sparks when heated that can ignite other items nearby like plastic or paper, especially if there is oil on them. When using a paper towel in the microwave make sure you remove it as soon as possible and never use one with any type of oil on it near an open flame or heating element because this will greatly increase the likelihood of catching fire.

What Are The Benefits Of Putting Paper Towels In A Microwave?

Paper Towels are very useful in the kitchen for many reasons. One of these is that they can be used to clean up spills or grease without damaging surfaces. They are also great for cleaning up countertops and wiping down appliances, which makes them an excellent alternative to using sponges or cloths. For all of these reasons, paper towels make a perfect addition to your microwave oven. Here’s why.

Paper Towels Don’t Melt

The main benefit of paper towels in the microwave oven is that they don’t melt like other materials would because they are thin and made out of fibers instead of plastic or metal.

They Aren’t As Hot

Another advantage is that if you’re cooking something on low in your microwave oven, you don’t have to worry about burning yourself on a dish that’s too hot for you to handle. Paper towels are soft and easy on your hands.

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They Aren’t as Difficult to Clean

The last reason they work well is because paper towels aren’t as hard to clean up after. If you use them for a spill or something that causes the paper towel to get dirty, you can simply toss it in the trash and use a fresh one for your next task. If you use a cloth or sponge, it can be hard to get the material completely clean after just one use.

Tips For Using Paper Towels In The Microwave Safely

Paper towels are a great thing. They’re inexpensive, they come in handy when you need them and they often have some pretty interesting designs on them. But if you put paper towels in the microwave, there is a good chance that your device will be ruined and it won’t even matter what design is on the paper towel. Here are some tips for using paper towels safely in the microwave.

Water Is The Enemy

Microwave safe paper towels are manufactured to be microwave safe. They’re made from fibers that will not harm your microwave. But they can still cause problems if you add water to them before putting them in the microwave. If you use a damp paper towel, liquid can make its way into sensitive areas of your device and cause it to short out. This can lead to sparks or worse, a fire.

Use A Separate Paper Towel For Your Microwave

Even if you use microwave safe paper towels, there are still times when you shouldn’t put them in the microwave. When the paper towel has fallen on the floor of your kitchen for example, it should not go in the microwave. Even if you’re positive that there is no longer any bacteria on the towel, using a contaminated paper towel can make your device dirty and lead to hard-to-clean messes.

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Dry The Paper Towels Before Placing Them In The Microwave

Before putting a paper towel in the microwave, make sure that it is completely dry. Even a very thin layer of water can cause problems when you put the paper towel close to electrical components or food. If your paper towel was exposed to water, make sure that it is completely dry before you use it in the microwave.

Don’t Microwave A Stack Of Paper Towels

Some people like to line their drawers with paper towels for easy clean up. If you place a stack of paper towels in the microwave, they can cause problems. The paper towels can catch fire easily, and this can cause the whole stack to go up in flames. If you do use a stack of paper towels in your microwave, make sure that there is space between each sheet and avoid the temptation to overload the device with too many sheets at once.

If you follow these above tips for using paper towels in the microwave safely, you’ll be able to continue using this incredibly useful item without risking your device. From these things, you can have your own answer for the question of whether you can put a paper towel in the microwave or not.

How Many Paper Towels Can You Put In A Microwave At Once?

In the microwave, paper towels are meant to be used wet. This is because they can’t stand up on their own in a dry environment and the heat from the microwaves will make them disintegrate if they’re not moist. However, it’s important to note that there are some exceptions to this rule – for instance, most people use paper towels only when heating up liquids or sauces.

Paper towels also work well when you need something with a bit more substance like a baked potato skin. In these cases, you should dampen your paper towels before putting them in the microwave oven so that they don’t catch fire and burn up while cooking your meal! So how many can you put in at once? It really depends on what type of paper towels you are using. However, the best advice is to only put in 1 or 2 paper towel sheets at once, unless you know what you’re doing.

How Long Can You Use Paper Towels In A Microwave?

Paper towels have been used in microwaves for a long time. The paper towel is placed between the food and the dish to soak up any spilled liquid and prevent it from pooling on top of the food. This can be done with oven mitts, but generally only when you’re cooking something that doesn’t require constant attention like cookies or brownies. You’ll find this technique more often at restaurants than home kitchens because it’s easier to keep an eye on your dish if you don’t need both hands free to hold it steady. But there are many different ways people use paper towels in microwaves. Here are just a few.

Clean Off Dirty Dishes Before Washing Them

The microwave has enough power that steam will loosen the cake and allow you to wipe it off with a paper towel. It also won’t leave any water spots on your dishes, which is probably the last thing you want to do before loading them into your dishwasher.

Clean Up Leaks In Microwavable Food Packaging

Unexpected leaks can ruin our dinner plans. But if you catch it early enough, there’s often an easy fix that doesn’t require cleaning out the entire microwave. Just place a paper towel over the opening, screw on the lid tightly, and nuke it for no more than 5 seconds to draw out any excess moisture.

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Wipe Down Your Countertops

This is particularly helpful after you’ve cut up something sticky or messy. Not only will you be able to clean off the knife quickly, but you’ll also get away with not having to use a dishrag.

Tear Open Stubborn Food Packaging

This is especially helpful for anyone who’s tried opening the aluminum wrapping on microwave popcorn only to have it stick all over the place. A paper towel can act like a wedge and slide underneath the edge of the package so you can break it open and avoid tearing it all up.

Remove Burnt Food From A Microwave

Burns happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with the taste of them every time you try microwaving something. Just place a paper towel over the area, then cover it with another dish to draw out the heat quickly and evenly. In about 10 minutes you should be able to wipe it up with no problem.

Remove Food Splatters

If you’ve ever microwaved canned soup, then you know what a pain it is when the expanding steam causes the lid to blow off and leave all sorts of goopy residue on your microwave walls. Instead of scrubbing them down later, just place a paper towel over the mess and press it down so it sticks to the paper towel. Then use a credit card or other flat object to slide between the lid and can. This will peel away both quickly, leaving you with nothing but that nasty stain on your microwave floor.

Keep Foods From Getting Too Cold

If you’re microwaving something right out of the fridge, it can be hard to get them hot enough without making them too cold in the meantime. Just use a paper towel to separate your food from the actual dish. This will help keep everything more evenly heated and prevent that microwaved food chill.

Relatives Questions

What Things Should You Not Put In The Microwave?

Besides the question of can you put paper towel in the microwave, you should know things you shouldn’t put in the microwave. Actually, the microwaves in your kitchen are a powerful tool, but they’re not for everything. There are a few things you should never put inside because they will lead to disaster.


It can create sparks and damage your appliance. You also shouldn’t use anything that is toxic or poisonous as these substances could cause serious injury if heated up unexpectedly.

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Coffee In Styrofoam Cups

This is a bit of an urban legend, but it still makes the list. The idea is that when these cups are microwaved, they release dioxin into your drink. This may be true for fast food restaurants, but since at home you use less power and different machines this shouldn’t be a problem.

Glass And Ceramic

Both of these materials are unsafe for the microwave because they can shatter and cause injury to anyone near them when heated, or if they’re too close to the appliance. They also don’t conduct heat very well so your food won’t get hot enough to cook properly.

Sharp Objects

Any sharp object is a bad idea because if it gets near the machine, the chance of it getting caught in the machinery and shattering with great force is very high. That’s not to say you can’t use plastic utensils with prongs that could pose this problem.

Are Paper Bags Really Microwave-Friendly?

There are plenty of myths that have been circulated about microwaves and paper bags. One such myth is that you can place a paper bag over your head while using the microwave, and it will protect you from any harmful radiation. This is not true, as there would be no way to seal the bag around your neck or face for protection. It could also cause sparks in the microwave, causing a fire hazard. There are plenty more misconceptions out there about microwaves and paper bags so make sure to do research before trying anything new with one or both of them.

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In fact, paper bags are usually made of paper pulp, which is inorganic. This inorganic material makes it safe to use in microwaves for cooking or reheating food. The cardboard containers that hold microwavable foods are also paper products that are considered microwave safe. Paper cups and plates are okay to use as well when eating food from the microwave.

The only time that paper products should be avoided is when microwaving foods that could result in a sharp or pointed tip like rice, popcorn, and soft candy. Not using the proper type of paper products for such items can lead to cuts and injuries from the sharp objects inside the food if it spills out too quickly once opened.

Which Paper Towels Should You Not Heat?

Paper towels are used for many purposes, but most often they are intended to be heated and used as a hot towel treatment. This method of using paper towels is popular because it offers an invigorating way to warm up your face or hands on chilly winter days. It also helps soothe minor aches and pains associated with the cold weather, such as headaches or stiff joints.

It may seem like any old paper towel will do the trick if you’re just going to use them for their intended purpose- heating them up in the microwave after all! But there are certain types of paper towels that should not be heated because doing so can cause severe damage to your microwave oven, which could lead to very costly repairs down the line. The following are paper towels that are not safe for heating in the microwave:

Recycled Paper Towels

Recycled paper towels should never be used as a hot towel treatment because they contain additives that are added to create stronger fibers. If the paper towel is heated, these additives can release potentially harmful chemicals into your home’s environment.

Vented Paper Towels

Vented paper towels should not be used as a hot towel treatment because they have an absorbent foam center lid beneath each vented section. This foam center will heat up significantly during the microwave heating process, and this heat is released from the center lid of the paper towel.

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Precut Paper Towels

Precut paper towels should not be used as a hot towel treatment because they are specifically designed with perforations that allow the user to tear off smaller sections of paper towel with each use. When you heat up these pre-tore pieces in the microwave, they are likely to come apart at the perforations, creating a potential fire hazard in your home.

Any Sort Of Biodegradable Paper Towel 

Any type of biodegradable paper towel should never be used as a hot towel treatment because these paper towels are created using materials that will not break down when exposed to heat. When you use them in the microwave, the paper towel will not break down and release its chemicals, so they can collect inside your microwave oven.

For a more convenient way to heat up a hot towel treatment, you can always buy hand towels made from terry cloth. These towels have been used for years as a quick way to clean off moisture from the skin after showering or bathing. They are also thinner than paper towels, so they will not build up on the inside of your microwave oven.

What Can You Use Instead Paper Towels In The Microwave?

Paper towels have been a staple in kitchens for decades. They are an inexpensive, convenient way to clean up messes and spills. And they’re much easier to use than a dishcloth or sponge, which can require more time and effort. But there is a problem with paper towels: the danger of them catching on fire. What’s the alternative? There are several options available that will work just as well as paper towels without any worries about catching fire.

Microfiber Cloths

Microfibers do not leave behind lint like some other materials might, and they come in all sorts of colors and sizes so you can find one that fits your needs exactly. They’re perfect for wiping up spills and can even be sanitized to use again in the kitchen. And since they are not paper, you won’t have to worry about them catching on fire in the microwave.

Kitchen Towels

Kitchen towels also work very well when removing melted cheese or other sticky substances from dishes before microwaving them. They are also reusable, so you won’t have to worry about them catching on fire. Plus, they come in all sorts of colors and sizes just like microfiber cloths do. So, you can use whichever works best for your needs.

Parchment Paper

If you don’t want to invest in new towels or cloths, consider using parchment paper instead. Parchment paper will absorb the melted cheese without smoking and putting off smoke like a paper towel would. And it can be reused multiple times if you wipe up your spills while the parchment is still intact.

Fabric Softener Sheets 

If you don’t have any kitchen towels or microfiber cloths available, fabric softener sheets work well as a substitute. These can be used repeatedly before needing to be replaced, and they won’t release any harmful chemicals into the air when heated. Plus, they come in all sorts of scents so you can choose what works best for your needs.

Here is a video that explains whether you can microwaving paper towels or not. 


The correct answer for the question can you put paper towel in the microwave is yes. Although paper towels are inexpensive, convenient and easy to use, they can catch on fire in the microwave which makes them a safety hazard for your home. There are many substitutes available that will work just as well without any risk of catching on fire or releasing harmful chemicals into the air. If you need an alternative solution for heating up hot towel treatments, make sure to read this article carefully before making your decision.

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