Can You Microwave Napkins? [Answered]

Some foods cannot be microwaved without placing something over them.

However, can you microwave napkins?

Yes, you can microwave a napkin to stop splatters and direct heating of a meal. Put your meal in a microwavable bowl, place an open napkin over it, and microwave.

I use both the disposable or cloth napkin depending on the one available. I have noticed that disposable napkins have a habit of sticking to meals, especially fatty meals, which are unhealthy.

This article responds to whether it is possible to microwave napkins. The safety of the process and how to do it are also included. The article ends with answers to frequently asked questions on the topic.

Is it Safe to Put a Napkin in The Microwave?

Putting a napkin in the microwave is safe if it is not heated at high power and for a long time. It prevents your food from directly getting heated or splattering.

Both disposable and cloth napkins do not face an immediate threat of burning up when placed in the microwave. They contain little moisture that can keep them going for about five minutes before they finally become too dry and start curling or scorching from the edges.

I prevent the possibility of a napkin catching fire in my microwave by microwaving my meals at low heat for a limited amount of time. Most importantly, I do not let my napkin get into contact with my meals.

Curling and scorching are the first signs that the napkin is about to burn in the microwave. Stop the microwave immediately and get the napkin out.

Leaving it for longer will lead to a fire that might damage your microwave and give a burning taste to your meal, which will not be too pleasing.

What Happens When You Microwave Napkins

Not much will happen if you microwave a napkin at low power for 30 seconds to 1 minute. However, microwaving the napkin for longer leads to curling, eventually catching fire.

Napkins have little moisture, so they will not burn up immediately after you start microwaving. The moisture keeps them intact by reacting with the microwave radiations until the moisture is eliminated by evaporation.

When no more moisture is left in the napkin, it becomes vulnerable to heat. That’s when the edges begin to curl, turning black. Suppose you continue microwaving; the napkin will catch fire.

I prefer using a napkin over a meal when reheating. Reheating will not take long, and you can also use low heat. When cooking a meal in the microwave, I opt for a microwavable lid that can survive high microwave heat for the longest time possible.

Will Napkins Burn in the Microwave?

Yes, napkins will burn in the microwave if microwaved at high power for a long time.

Some disposable kitchen napkins are designed for kitchen purposes, and their packets even have a microwave-safe label. However, they, too, cannot be microwaved for long and at high power.

Despite the possibility of a napkin catching fire while microwaving, it should not stop you from using them as long as you use them correctly. It is better to know the possible outcome so that you prepare and always be on the lookout for such incidents.

How Long Can you Microwave Napkins Without Catching Fire

The longest time to microwave a napkin should be 5 minutes at a temperature below 480 degrees Fahrenheit.

The main secret to preventing the possibility of a napkin catching fire in the microwave is making sure the napkin does not stay in the microwave for longer under extreme temperatures.

Therefore, only use a napkin when reheating meals that do not require high temperatures and those that do not need to be microwaved for more than 5 minutes.

The more I use napkins to cover my meals while reheating in the microwave, the more I learn new tricks. For instance, I noticed that larger and thicker napkins last longer in the microwave than thin small ones.

The larger thick napkins have a larger surface area; therefore, microwaves will take longer to exhaust the moisture in them to the point of catching fire.

Why Do You Cover Food with Napkins in the Microwave?

A napkin prevents splatters, contributes to killing bacteria in the food, traps moisture, and ensures even cooking.

1. Napkins prevent splatters on the walls of the microwave

I have come across most foods, especially those that are fatty, which have a high tendency to cause splatters all over the walls of the microwave when heating.

Therefore a napkin will contain the splashing so that you do not have to spend so much time cleaning it after cooking.

2. Napkins will keep the moisture trapped

When microwaving a meal without covering it with a napkin, it loses its moisture through evaporation. Without enough moisture, the food dries out and may become too bland for tasting.

3. The presence of napkins ensures even cooking

When the napkin traps moisture in the food container while heating, the steam expands, looking for a space to escape. In the process, it finds its way to cold spots yet to be heated evenly by microwaves.

4. Napkins ensure bacteria in the food are terminated

The same moisture produced and trapped in a food container while microwaving a meal covered with a napkin ensures the bacteria in the food is entirely terminated by aiding even cooking.

How to Use Napkins in the Microwave

Place the napkin over the container carrying your food, and heat the food in the microwave. Remove the food from the microwave, dispose of the napkin and enjoy your meal.

Below is a step to step procedure on how to use a napkin in the microwave

1. Transfer your leftover meal to a microwavable container

Using a napkin to cover a meal you are reheating in the microwave is better than cooking. Leftovers take less cooking time, and you do not need much heat. Also, make sure the container holding the food is microwave safe.

2. Unfold the napkins before placing them on top of the container

Folded napkins may prevent the microwaves from fully penetrating the food in the microwave. Instead, the microwaves will concentrate more on the napkins, eventually causing them to burn even when the food is not fully cooked.

Secondly, do not let your napkin touch your food, primarily if you use a disposable napkin. Such napkins get stuck on the food surface.

3. Microwave your meal at low power and for a short time

A napkin should not be microwaved for longer than 5 minutes and not above the temperature of 480 degrees Fahrenheit. Or else the moisture in the napkins will be exhausted by the microwave radiation, and you will begin to observe the curling and darkening edges of the napkin.

Safer Alternatives to Using Napkins in the Microwave

Instead of napkins, other safer alternatives include paper plates, glass lids, paper towels, parchment paper, and Ceramic plates.

1. Ceramic plates

Ceramic plates can best replace napkins since they are made of the right material to handle microwave heat for longer.

2. Glass lids

Like ceramic plates, glass lids are also known for surviving in the microwave despite the high temperature. Instead of using a napkin to microwave a meal that will cook for longer than five minutes, consider using a glass lid.

3. Parchment paper

Parchment paper is also a great alternative to a napkin. It can cover your meal and act as a barrier between a meal and the container surface. It prevents food from sticking to food surfaces.

4. Paper towels

You can use paper towels instead of napkins; however, ensure they are made from microwave-safe material before use. You wouldn’t want paper towel material melting into your meal. The same goes for paper plates and wax paper.

Faqs on Can You Microwave Napkins

1. Can you put tissues in the microwave?

Yes, you can place tissues in the microwave. However, avoid microwaving the tissues at high power and for longer.

2. Can you microwave food on a paper towel?

Yes, you can microwave food on a paper towel. It is better if the food is not too moist or too fatty, or the food will stick to the paper towels.

3. Is microwaving paper OK?

There is no harm to microwaving paper as long as the paper is not microwaved under extreme heat and for longer.

4. Why do paper towels not burn in microwave?

Paper towels do not burn immediately when placed in the microwave. However, the longer they are microwaved at high power, the more they lose moisture and become too dry. Their edges will then begin to curl and eventually burn.

Final thoughts

It is possible to microwave napkins. Placing napkins over meals prevents splatters caused by the heating of meals and aids in the better heating of meals.

It is better to prevent the napkin from touching the meal so it does not get stuck.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top