Can You Put Paper Towels in the Microwave?

Written By David Varnes

David Varnes is an Appliance Repair Professional with over 15 years of experience.

You may have seen people put paper towels in the microwave before, but you might be wondering if it is safe to do. The answer is yes – you can put paper towels in the microwave. However, because the paper is so dry, it may scorch or burn around the outside when heated for a long time in the microwave.

In this article, we will discuss the safety of putting paper towels in the microwave and provide some tips on how to do it properly.

Is it Safe to Microwave Paper Towels?

Yes, paper towels can be used in the microwave without issue, but you should exercise caution while doing so. They have low water content. When moisture is lost from the paper towel, it dries out and becomes flammable as a result of extreme heating.

However, despite the fact that they are safe to use in a microwave, the material within the paper towel should be avoided. Some recycled paper towels include materials that can create a spark when heated in a microwave.

There is also a chance of the spark igniting due to other things placed with it in the microwave at various times.

Although most paper towel brands on the market are safe to use in a microwave, you should always check the paper towel’s ingredients and manufacturer’s instructions before using it.

Are Bounty Paper Towels Microwave Safe?

Microwaves are safe to use with Bounty paper towels, but the paper product should not be used for extended amounts of heating. The toweled are produced from virgin wood pulp and contain no water.

They have a powerful absorbing capacity and may be utilized for many types of cleaning work other than microwave usage.

Although there have been no instances of this high-quality paper catching fire, heating anything in the microwave for a lengthy period is hazardous and must be avoided.

As a result, Bounty paper towels should only be used in the microwave for a short amount of time to avoid any incidents.

Can You Microwave Paper Towels Safely?

Yes, nearly all paper towels are safe to use in a microwave. Paper towels are most often used as a plate liner or to cover food items in microwaves. If the paper towel is printed, make sure it’s facing away from the food.

When paper towels are used in the microwave, they should not be folded as sparks may result. When placing a dish inside the microwave, keep the paper towel flat on the cooking surface or open as a cover over the food.

Bounty brand paper towels are a great choice for microwaving since they are multi-layered, durable, and have a low moisture level that makes them very unlikely to catch fire in the microwave.

Why Put Paper Towel Over Food in the Microwave?

To prevent splatter, paper towels are placed over food in the microwave with a vented lid that traps steam and provides uniform heating. Food heats up quickly when covered. The use of paper towels prevents food from coming into direct touch with the microwave.

When paper towels are kept over the food, they keep it covered and splatter-free. It is suggested that before using one, you check to make sure it is microwave-safe. Several paper towels are recycled and may contain tiny quantities of metal that aren’t safe to use in a microwave. Only papers designed specifically for use in the microwave, like Bounty, are generally considered safe.

How Long Can You Microwave Paper Towel?

Microwaves are not to be used on paper towels without any food to absorb the electromagnetic energy. Although they may be nuked for a long time, there is a danger that the paper will catch fire as a result of heating.

Anything heated for an extended period of time in a microwave can have harmful consequences and is not recommended.

To effectively heat food, it must be stirred, flipped, or rotated. Food items containing liquid, such as soup, will need to be vigorously swirled in order for the contents to evenly heat.

Paper towels can be used for at least half an hour inside a microwave without causing any problems, regardless of the microwaving method employed.

Tips for Microwaving Paper Towels

  • Never microwave a folded paper towel as this can cause sparks.
  • Place the food on a microwavable plate and then place the paper towel over it.
  • If the paper towel has printing on it, make sure that it is facing away from the food.
  • Only microwave paper towels for a short amount of time.
  • Avoid using recycled paper towels as they may contain tiny amounts of metal.

What Else Can I Use to Cover My Food in the Microwave?

Paper towels aren’t the only thing you can use to cover your food and avoid splatters.

The USDA categorizes the following materials as being safe to microwave:

  • Microwave-safe containers or lids.
  • Any item clearly identified as “microwave safe.”
  • The majority of paper plates (plain and white).
  • Most napkins (plain and white).
  • Glass-ceramic (such as Corning Ware).
  • Heatproof glassware, such as Pyrex.

Things You Should Not Microwave

The following items should not be heated in a microwave. This list is based on the USDA’s official guidelines for Cooking with Microwave Ovens.

  • Newspaper.
  • China that has a metallic trim or paint.
  • Brown paper bags.
  • Chinese take-out containers with metal handles.
  • Food wrapped entirely in aluminum foil.
  • Cottage cheese and yogurt cartons
  • Metal pans.
  • Foam-insulated cups, plates, bowls, or trays.
  • Metal twist ties from packages.


As you can see, there are some things to keep in mind when microwaving paper towels. However, as long as you exercise caution and follow the tips above, you should be able to microwave paper towels without any problems.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check back soon for more informative blog posts!