Can I Microwave Styrofoam. When it comes to convenience, microwave ovens are a must. With these great appliances, you can quickly reheat your leftovers or take out meals in the same kitchen where you cooked them.
It isn’t the most popular appliance – in fact, some people don’t even know how to use the idea of microwaving food has eaten in plastic containers of any kind since they aren’t serving food.
Still, unfortunately, not all plastics are alike, which means that not all want-to-cook plastic containers are safe to be placed in your microwave.
Can I microwave Styrofoam
Styrofoam is a registered trademark of Dow Chemical, but it’s commonly used as a less-than-appetizing alternative to referring to all plastic foam material.
While Styrofoam might be popular because it is light and inexpensive, the heat from your hand can easily make it melt.
This depends on several factors, such as the material’s thickness, what it’s made from, and how long you hold onto it before taking a bite (or get frustrated and let go).
Experiments have shown that lukewarm water would take about twelve seconds to melt one centimeter-thick Styrofoam plate. Warmer temperatures can speed up this process.
Types of Styrofoam
The two main types of Styrofoam are at different heat sourcing levels, with one being more environmentally friendly than the other regarding microwaving.
You should never put any Styrofoam in a microwave because many contain hazardous material that could be released into your food and cause ailment.
1. Traditional Styrofoam
It is highly unwise to microwave this type of Styrofoam. It’s dangerous, and you might risk getting burnt if you try it, but it will also release toxic chemicals known as styrene into your food.
Styrene is a potential carcinogen that may mainly lead to negative health effects on the reproductive system, even though other health threats are linked.
2. Microwave-safe Styrofoam
There are less common types of food you can microwave. One of the better options is microwave-safe Styrofoam, which is made with safer materials and much healthier than its predecessor.
This alternative material also has greater stability when heated by microwaves.
A few more thoughts on microwave reheating
- If you’re unsure whether your box of Styrofoam is microwave safe, transfer the food to another box that indicates it’s microwave safe.
- When reheating foods in a microwave, use parchment paper or wax paper. Be careful when using plastic wrap when microwaving because it might get too hot and melt during heating.
- Any foods that are stored in containers that have been microwaved or that are scratched or cracked can potentially allow hormonal disruptors to transfer into the food, making it impossible for one to feel their best.
Is it safe to reheat food in Styrofoam?
Food-use Styrofoam containers made from polystyrene will begin to soften at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and melt at 464 degrees Fahrenheit.
While these containers are safe on a cold day, you never want to reheat food in the oven using this material. So it’s a good idea to throw away any leftovers and make sure you’re using something oven-safe!
How long can you microwave Styrofoam?
However, seemingly irreversible damage can still be done to your Styrofoam containers should they remain in the microwave too long.
While it is possible to microwave Styrofoam for a short amount of time — 30 seconds or less you must use a microwave-safe container and set the microwave on medium power to help defray this risk.
There is a lot of information on how to handle Styrofoam in a microwave, but having so many options can lead to doubt about the best way to proceed. Hopefully, this article has helped clarify what you are dealing with when you are facing either heating or cleaning Styrofoam items.