How To Tell If Your Container Is Microwave Safe

This kitchen trick should ensure you use your containers right.

Do you often use a mug filled with water and place it in the microwave so you can heat it up quickly? Have you reheated a plastic food storage container with leftover kaldereta or a plate of food your mom left out for you for your dinner in the microwave? Have you ever reheated food in your microwave only to discover that not only did your food not heat up enough yet but your container is hot, too?  

What you’ve just discovered is that your container is probably not microwave-safe.  

The easiest way to tell if your food container is microwave safe is by looking at the labels. If it says it’s microwave safe, you’re safe so go ahead and use it in the microwave oven. However, not all containers or dishes have labels that state that it’s microwave safe or not. 

How can you tell? Here’s what you do: 

Fill your container with water and heat it up.
Photo by Majoy Siason

1 Fill your container with water. 

Do this for any container, whether it’s a mug, plate, or storage container that doesn’t have a label that it’s microwave-safe. Fill it up with water to about an inch or at least halfway up its sides. 

Is your plate microwave safe?
Photo by Majoy Siason

2 Heat it up. 

Place your container in the microwave and heat on High for about 30 seconds. It doesn’t have to be boiling hot for you to tell if the container might be microwave-safe but you do need the water to become hot so depending on your microwave, set the timer to count down the seconds until the water becomes hot. 

Once you have heated the water hot enough, take the container out with a pair of oven mitts or a kitchen towel for safety and place it on the table. 

Is the mug hot only where the water reaches or above the waterline, too?
Photo by Majoy Siason

3 Test the heat. 

Feel the mug, plate, or container. If the water is hot but so is container above the waterline, it’s probably not microwave-safe. However, if the container above the water line is cool enough to touch but not as hot as the water, it might be or is probably microwave-safe. 


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The only sure way to know for certain if your kitchenware is safe to use in the microwave is really to use dinnerware that is labeled microwave-safe. However, when you’re unsure, try out this easy kitchen trick. It’s the quick fix to find out if you can use that plate, mug, or food storage container in the microwave. 


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