The only things you should put in your microwave are food, liquid beverages, and microwave-safe cups and containers.
However, knowing which ones are safe can be difficult. Ideally, you can use any cups out there, but you might not be aware of the repercussions of doing it.
How can you tell if a cup is microwave-safe? Most manufactured glassware and mugs are known to be microwave-safe as long as they do not have metals. Many companies also use “Microwave Safe” labels in their products, so you can look at the bottom to be sure.
In this article, find out how to determine whether your cups or mugs are microwave-safe. Also, learn what names you should be looking out for in terms of brand.
Figuring out if a Cup Is Microwave-Safe
There are reasons why you shouldn’t microwave your cups labeled as not safe for the microwave.
Non-microwaveable materials are known to melt, crack, or even break your microwave itself. It is also a possibility that they can leak dangerous chemicals into your liquids.
Also, not all cups and mugs are labeled as microwave-safe, so it is a good thing to test whether a cup is safe to use.
Testing Your Cup
- Fill the cup with water. It is important to use a microwaveable cup or mug on this test. To test if another cup is microwave-safe, you can put the microwave together with the microwave-safe mug.
- Microwave both cups and mugs and then place them side by side. You need to microwave both of them at high power for at least a minute.
- Perform a touch test. After a minute in the microwave, you can use oven mitts or even a potholder to remove the cups. Once they are on your table, place your hand on the cup in question to feel how warm it is.
If the cup in question is warm and the water is cold, it is unsafe for the microwave. A warm cup means it absorbs all the heat. On the other hand, if it is cool and the water is warm, it is safe to use.
- Once you have figured out which one is safe and which one is not, you can label your cups. This is to help you keep track of which cups are microwave-safe and which ones are not. You may even use a permanent marker to label the bottom of the cup.
Recognizing Microwave-Safe Materials
When it comes to finding out which cup is microwave-safe, look for the microwave-safe label. This will be the easiest way to determine if your cup is microwave-safe.
The label can usually be found on the bottom. It is typically written in words like “Microwave Safe” and “Microwave Friendly.” You might also see wavy horizontal lines.
Note that most ceramic, glass, and china are perfectly safe to use in the microwave.
- If the manufacturer indicates that the dishes are not microwaveable, this means that, even if they are ceramic, glass, china, or porcelain, they are not safe to be used.
- If the cup has metal paint or decorations made of metals, do not put it in the microwave.
- If the material is glazed with lead, this is not safe, as lead is not good for the body.
Recognizing Microwave-Safe Names
It is also important to be familiar with microwave-safe brand names. There are several of them. You can look for manufacturer brands that offer a lot of heat-proof cookware.
This means that they are also safe for use in your microwave. Some companies that make these items are Anchor Hocking, Duralex, Pyrex, Corningware, and Visions.
You can also rely on microwavable paper cup products, as some of them are safe to microwave.
Just make sure that there are no inks or dyes in your paper cup because these can leach into your food.
Also, do not use cups with their brand name printed on them, as these are not safe.
It is important to know and understand when and how to microwave plastic cups, as some plastic cups have been made especially for microwaving.
These kinds of plastic cups do not contain plasticizers that can leach into your food when you heat it.
Just a fair warning that if you want to microwave plastic cups, make sure that the label indicates that they are microwave-safe.
Avoiding Materials That Cannot Be Microwaved
This part is important because you do not want any risks in your kitchen and your microwave. Many materials do not belong in microwaves, and first on the list is metals.
Do not microwave metals, as this can lead to sparking, fires, and a malfunctioning microwave.
Watch out for cups with metallic paints or even a decorative metal trim. Do not microwave wire twist ties, and note that some take-out containers have metal linings or handles.
You should be able to recognize which cups have a lead glaze, which is commonly used for dishes in many countries.
Never use a cup with a lead glaze because the lead can easily be transferred to your beverages or food.
Lead is extremely toxic, and if you consume it, it can be hazardous to your health.
If you microwave a cup that is made with a lead glaze, even more lead can leach into your food. Here are some of the cups that are likely to have a lead glaze:
- Clay cups with a shiny or transparent glaze
- Handmade artisan cups
- Cups with bright and vibrant colors on the inside
- Antique cups
- Highly decorative and shiny cups
Overall, the easiest way to tell which cup is microwave-safe and which is not is by looking at their labels.
Most manufacturers of these cups include labels on the bottoms so that you can see if they are microwave-safe.
The other method is the water test, in which you microwave the cup to see if it gets hot.