Can You Microwave Styrofoam: The Answer and Reason

Do you know that Styrofoam is dangerous? It is not only harmful to your health but even detrimental to nature too. This so-called plastic is created from petroleum-based components. So if people have doubts or ask questions like “Can You Microwave Styrofoam?” the answer is no. We all know that plastic is not safe if it is heated in the microwave. But if a Styrofoam is microwave-friendly, then it is safe.


Can You Microwave Styrofoam?

What Happens When You Microwave Styrofoam

Most people are well aware that microwave is one of the kitchen appliances which is quite powerful to lead to an explosion and even cause sparks. So, whether you have queries like "Can you microwave Styrofoam?", then it is necessary that you use it in a proper manner.

What Happens When You Microwave Styrofoam?

Sometimes, the toxins present in the Styrofoam will leach from the container and get mixed with the food. Whenever you are heating your food and placing it in the Styrofoam containers or plates, you might come across the burnt smell of plastic. Now if you really want to heat the food, then you must first transfer all the contents present in the Styrofoam into a glass container.

Related video: What Happens When You put Styrofoam In The Microwave for 15 Minutes?

Such kind of containers is the best and safest bets while you are heating food in this appliance. But it might be better if you use glass containers which are made from microwaveable components. In addition, if you aren’t able to get a glass container which is microwave-safe, then it is better if you use towels or paper plates, and make sure that they are microwaveable, as certain cups will be coated with plastic.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Styrofoam

Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Styrofoam

One of the important characteristics of the Styrofoam is that it has a dangerous chemical known as styrene. This particular substance is linked with causing various diseases like impaired memory, cancer, loss of vision and hearing, etc. Now as you often heat the food in styrene containers, there are chances that you might experience irritation to the eyes, skin and other gastrointestinal diseases.

See below infographic about the Styrofoam Health Info for more information:​

Styrofoam Health Info

But there are certain kind of polystyrene containers and Styrofoam which are safe to use in microwaves. Most importantly, you must check the label properly if you really want to get the reply to the query "Can You Microwave Styrofoam?". Also, keep in mind that each of the Styrofoam products will be labeled with numerals that are often categorized through its makeup.

Common Styrofoam Items Used In Microwave

Common Styrofoam Items Used In Microwave
  • Coffee Cups – Commonly, the Styrofoam coffee cups are often used to serve hot chocolate and coffee. In addition, they are often used as one of the best and cheapest alternatives to tiny bowels which are commonly used for serving stews, soups, and chili.
  • Cup Noodles – If you check a classic noodle cup, there are two basic steps to heat it. One method is where you simply pour boiling water and another method is by filling the cup with tap water and putting the thing into the microwave.
  • Styrofoam Plates – Compared to the other disposal plates available, this is one of the cheapest one suitable for all kinds of parties. However, the major concern is that they are commonly used for heating food of the previous day and for individuals who arrived late to any event.

What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Styrofoam?

can you microwave styrofoam

Some of the basic and major side effects of ingesting the harmful chemicals of heated Styrofoam are the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Clinical Depression
  • Hearing Loss
  • Stomach And Eye Irritation

Frankly, it is difficult to comprehend on a number of side effects that Styrofoam can use. There is various studies and research which point out that besides the above-given diseases, there are other incurable ones which cause even death.


can you freeze Styrofoam

Now there are various people who feel it is fine to consume food in Styrofoam boxes which are microwaved take-out. But one thing that most people are not sure about is whether it is safe or not. So, why should one take a risk? But really can you microwave styrofoam? No! However, there are other options.

All you have to do is place the food in another container and then heat the food. Not only it will be a good option but a safer one too. Most health experts feel that people can simply reduce the cooking time or the microwaving time of food stored in Styrofoam. Rather than heating food for minutes, you can try to heat food stuff for seconds.

Keep in mind that if the Styrofoam becomes too hot, then it will simply cause the plastic to just leach on to your food. Frankly, it is better if you go for containers which contain the label “microwave-safe”. Even you can use containers having associated icon. In addition, whenever you are heating food in the microwave, there is no need for heating it for quite a long time. Of course, certain labels might have the description “Recommended for limited microwave usage”. Furthermore, there are products which have cautious information like “Reheating boiled liquids will just melt the product”.

Such products are a safer bet as they provide a basic information on how to use them and how much heat can be used for cooking or heating the food.

Emma Claire

I’m Emma, and I’m absolutely in love with food blogs. I’m a foodie at heart but being the mother of 3 kids, it’s not always easy to keep up with fancy dinners… so I rely on the support of other blogging moms like me to help along the way.

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