There are some things you should never put in the microwave 5



View Profile

From time to time you might accidentally have put something your microwave that created sparks. While you’re cooking might well be out of this world (who are we to cast doubt?) it’s likely you left a metal fork in the bowl or you didn’t give too much thought to the container it was resting in. Don’t panic, we’ve all done it.

While there are many things you can place in the microwave, there are a few items that just should not get heated. Avoid your exposure to toxic chemicals and prevent a house fire by ensuring these items stay out of your microwave.


One member of the Starts at 60 team once tried to boil an egg in a cup in the microwave. It probably doesn’t take a genius to realise that such an action caused the shell to explode and the result was not just egg splattered all over the interior, but a completely busted microwave because the cup had exploded too. If you want to make hard-boiled eggs put them in water and boil them on the stove.


Save warming up your socks and jocks for the dryer. Putting them in the microwave is sure to see them melt. No kidding! Anything with elastic can melt away and potentially set fire to the material your clothes are made out of. It’s just not worth the risk.


There is a damn good reason why you’re told to never put a Styrofoam container in the microwave. It’s toxic to your health! The heat can cause the container to melt and the fumes can be deadly (and we don’t mean ‘cool’).

Brown paper bags

Similar to Styrofoam containers, brown paper bags release toxic fumes when heated and that’s bad for your health and wellbeing. The other concern with brown paper bags is the risk of them catching fire.

Travel mugs

Some travel mugs might be microwave safe, but you need to check. A stainless steel mug in the microwave can result in damage to the appliance, but it’s also worth noting that the stainless steel block prevents heat from getting to your drink so it’s probably not an activity worth doing anyway.

Aluminium foil

This is obvious, but it’s surprising the number of people who still put foil over the top of their food and then shove it in the microwave. Any kind of metal in your microwave is bad news. Foil in particular is likely to spark an electrical current that can cause a fire. Just don’t do it.

Plain cups of water

This is known as ‘superheating’. The bubbles that develop while the plain cup of water is heating might be invisible to you, but the risk here is that once you remove the cup from the microwave the hot water will explode.


You’ve probably all done this and not given it too much though. Starts at 60 even admits to being a little surprised that bread is on this list, but the reason bread shouldn’t go in the microwave is because if you don’t eat it straight away it ends up getting hard. That’s not good for your teeth and it’s probably not good for your tummy either.

Have you ever put any of these things in your microwave?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Yes if I want one boiled egg I will do it in the microwave – no hastles so long as power level is reduced to 30%. Put an egg in a cup, cover with warm water and a sprinkle of salt (salt helps hold the egg together should the shell break). Cook 30% (on defrost) 8 minutes.

    I aslo thaw my bread in the microwave….place on a paper towel (to absorb moisture) 1 piece 5-10 seconds. If your bread goes hard you’ve over done it.

    I also heat wheat bags in the microwave. Place a cup of water in the micowave at the same time and heat as required.

    1 REPLY
    • It only takes 6 minutes to boil an egg the conventional way (2 minutes to boil your electric jug for the required boiling water) and 4 minutes to then boil the egg. Why bother with the microwave?

  2. That’s good to know about putting a cup of water in with your wheat bags as after they’ve been heated umpteen times they don’t heat up so well. I don’t de-frost bread in the microwave as I find if I’m making sandwiches or toasting the bread it defrosts quickly anyway.

  3. i have cooked 12eggs rapped in foil and covered in water for 5min. pottery mugs have some metal content in them thats why they get very hot.

  4. You’d have to be a dimwit to put anything edible in a microwave. Threw mine away years ago, never looked back, don’t miss it at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *