Can you put a paper towel in the microwave? Find Out Here

Microwaves are very useful kitchen appliances. They are great for reheating leftover food, defrosting frozen food, and even cooking quick meals. But if you need to cover your food quickly, you may wonder if it is safe to use a paper towel.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about using paper towels in the microwave.


Microwaves are a great way to heat and cook food quickly and easily. They use electromagnetic waves to heat food from the inside out, which is why they are so efficient. However, some materials can be damaged or even catch fire in the microwave, and paper towels are one of those materials.

Is it safe to microwave paper towels?

Whether or not it is safe to microwave paper towels depends on the type of paper towel and the way you use it. To safely and effectively use the microwave, it is important to know what to do and what not to do with paper towels.

What are the risks?

  • Putting paper towels in the microwave can be dangerous because they can catch fire. Paper towels are made of cellulose, that can easily burn. When microwaved, cellulose can quickly heat up and start to burn.
  • Another risk of microwaving paper towels is that they can produce sparks. This is because they may contain small pieces of metal, such as staples or staples. When microwaved, these metal pieces can heat up and produce sparks, which can ignite the paper towels.

What types of paper towels are microwave-safe?

To safely use paper towels in the microwave, choose ones that are labeled “microwave-safe.” This means that the paper towels have been tested and approved for use in microwaves. Do not use recycled paper towels, paper towels with printing, or paper towels with any other additives, as these may catch fire.

Using Paper Towels in the Microwave

To use the product safely, follow these tips:

What you can do

  1. Covering Food: Use a paper towel to cover food items to prevent splatters and keep the microwave clean.
  1. Absorbing Moisture: To prevent vegetables from getting soggy, place a paper towel underneath them to absorb any extra moisture.
  1. Warming Breads and Tortillas: To keep bread or tortillas moist when microwaving, wrap them in a wet paper towel. This will help to keep them soft and chewy.
  1. Handling Greasy Foods: Put a paper towel underneath greasy food before microwaving it. This will soak up any extra oil and keep the microwave clean.
  1. Serving as a Splatter Shield: To prevent sauces or liquids from getting messy, place a paper towel over your dishes.
Paper Towel in front of a Microwave

What to Avoid

We have discussed the proper use of paper towels in the microwave. Now, let’s talk about what you should not do.

  • Do not microwave paper towels that are not made for microwave use. These towels may have chemicals that can hurt you if you breathe them in.
  • Do not microwave paper towels that are wet or damp. Because they can easily catch fire in the microwave.
  • Do not microwave paper towels for long periods of time. Even if the towels do not catch fire, they can become dry and brittle and break apart, creating a mess inside the microwave.
  • Do not microwave paper towels with metal objects, such as aluminum foil or utensils. This can create sparks and start a fire.
  • Using too many layers of paper towels can create excessive heat and increase the risk of a fire. Stick to one or two layers when covering food.
  • Be cautious when reheating greasy or oily foods with paper towels. They can become extremely hot and potentially catch fire due to the oil.

Foods Safe to Microwave with Paper Towels

  1. Vegetables: You can microwave most vegetables with a paper towel to keep them from becoming too soft and to absorb any extra water. This is a quick and easy way to cook vegetables, and it’s a good option if you’re short on time.
  1. Leftovers: Covering leftover dishes with a paper towel helps retain moisture and prevents splattering.
  1. Breads and Tortillas: Wrapping bread or tortillas in a damp paper towel prevents them from drying out during reheating.
  1. Bacon: Placing bacon between layers of paper towels can help absorb excess grease while microwaving.
  1. Pizza: Using a paper towel to cover pizza slices helps keep them moist and prevents the toppings from drying out.

Best Alternatives

If you are concerned about your safety or would like to explore other options, please consider the following alternatives:

1) Microwave-Safe Lids

Microwave-safe lids can replace paper towels completely. They are designed to withstand microwave heat and prevent your food from drying out, making it safe to eat.

2) Microwave-Safe Plates

Instead of using paper towels, you can use microwave-safe plates to heat and cook food in the microwave. These plates are designed to be used in the microwave and are safe to do so.

3) Reusable Microwave Covers

Reusable microwave covers are a sustainable and convenient way to heat your food. Made of silicone or BPA-free plastic, they prevent splatters and keep your food moist.

Paper Towel in front of  a Microwave


Paper towels can be used safely in the microwave, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, choose high-quality, microwave-safe paper towels. Avoid using recycled paper towels, as they may contain metal fibers that can spark in the microwave. Second, use a microwave-safe plate. Third, cook food on short intervals and check on it frequently. This will help to prevent the paper towels from catching fire.


Let’s address some frequently asked questions

Can I microwave pizza on a paper towel?

Yes, you can microwave pizza on a paper towel. It helps absorb excess moisture and prevents the pizza from getting soggy. Just make sure the paper towel is microwave-safe.

Should you put wet or dry paper towel in the microwave?

It’s best to use a damp (not soaking wet) paper towel when microwaving. This helps add moisture to the food and prevents it from drying out, but be cautious not to make it too wet.

Are Bounty paper towels microwave safe?

Bounty paper towels are microwave-safe for brief heating or covering food. However, avoid using them for extended periods as they may catch fire if exposed to high heat.

Is it safe to use a paper towel to cover liquids in the microwave?

Yes, it’s generally safe to use a paper towel to cover liquids in the microwave. However, make sure to leave a small opening or use a microwave-safe cover to allow steam to escape. This prevents the buildup of pressure and potential splattering.

Can I reuse a paper towel that I’ve used in the microwave?

It’s not a good idea to use paper towels again after you’ve microwaved them, especially if they’re wet or have been in contact with greasy or oily foods. Microwaving can make the paper towel fibers weaker, so they’re more likely to tear or catch fire the next time you use them.

Learn More:

What Are Paper Towels Made Of?


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