Can You Microwave Paper Towels? Is It Doable Or Not?

can you microwave paper towels

There is no denying that paper towels are known as trusted household items.

They allow you to clean your kitchen and utensils with ease.

You can also use them to clean other things in the house.

But is it possible to microwave them?

We have done some testing and research to help you answer this question.

So, let’s read on.

Can You Microwave Paper Towels?

Yes, you can use paper towels in the microwave. It is safe to use as long as it’s the correct paper type.

However, you must be careful doing it.

Most tissues are microwave-safe because they don’t have a high water content in most cases, so they are unlikely to burn during microwaving.

Even if they get wet, it is unlikely to reach the temperature needed to ignite.

Besides, you should avoid crumpling, folding, or layering it. It is safest to lay your paper towel flat when microwaving.

It is best to stay away from those with ink stains.

Also, make sure the one you use does not come with any metal pieces.

You can also watch the following video to understand why this towel caught on fire when microwaving.

Why Should You Not Use Recycled Ones?

The reason is that they are more likely to contain materials that are not microwave-safe, such as small pieces of plastic, metal, or something else.

Those materials have the potential to melt, spark and eventually cause a fire.

Why Put a Paper Towel Over Food When Microwaving?

It helps prevent splashing and allows food to heat up more quickly and efficiently.

Coating them over food allows steam to escape, preventing them or the food from catching on fire during microwaving.

In addition, this effort helps limit your food contact with the microwave.

They are also helpful for wrapping food.

The reason is that these towels can keep moisture from escaping, which is what often happens when microwaving something.

How Long Can You Heat Paper Towel By Microwaving?

In general, they can be used for at least half an hour in the microwave without causing any problems.

However, always make sure to keep them open instead of folded. In addition, do not put the paper towel in the microwave without food.

How Should You Use Paper Towels in Microwaves?

can you microwave paper towels

Microwaving these towels is possible. However, it’s not always safe when you do that. Here are some valuable tips that you should apply when using them.

  • Use an unfolded one.

Folded ones can ignite fire because of the compressed heat inside the compact material. So, keeping them flat is the best!

  • Not all paper towels are microwavable.

You should carefully read the manufacturer’s recommendations printed on the product packaging before microwaving them.

  • Avoid using recycled ones.

Recycled products may contain chemicals or metal pieces that cause fires inside the microwave.

  •  Use them to cover above or below the food.

Always keep them above your food in an unfolded position.

  • Keep the printed ones away from your microwave.

Some products come with chemicals, such as printing ink, that can make them flammable or contaminate your food.

Is Using The Paper Towel Harmful to Health?

Many studies have been shown that they may contain cancer-causing chemicals, such as dioxins.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dioxins are highly toxic.

These chemicals can cause cancer and reproductive and developmental problems.

In addition, it also damages the immune system.

The tissue you use rarely contains these chemicals. Yet, we recommend placing them on your food. You also should not use these towels to wrap your food.

What To Do If Your Paper Towel Catches On Fire?

If these towels catch fire when microwaving, here’s what you should do:

  • Turn off your device immediately
  • Extinguish the fire
  • Start the cleaning process


In short, paper towels are microwavable.

However, you have to make sure they do not contain any materials or chemicals that are not microwave-safe. 

Also, you should avoid crumpling, folding, or layering them.

Hopefully, this article will be of benefit to you as you gain knowledge on this topic.

Thank you for following this post.

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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