Can You Microwave Cardboard? [Things You Need to Know]

A corrugated box or cardboard box is one of the materials most manufacturers or sellers use to wrap their goods. Cardboard is box made of paperboard paper. In daily life, we can see cardboard is used for packing various objects. Some of the things we usually find use cardboard as a wrapper, such as cigarettes, shoe packaging, and also foods.

One type of food that most often uses cardboard as a wrapper is fast food. Some of your favorite foods, such as salads, pizzas, donuts, to Chinese food, are usually wrapped using cardboard. In this case, the cardboard that the seller uses is the food grade one.

The thing is, those of you who often buy takeaway food may often save leftovers. After storing it in the refrigerator, you may want to reheat it the next day. The question is if the packaging uses cardboard, can you heat it using a microwave? Or do you have to transfer it to another container before placing it in the microwave? Here is some explanation you need to know.

Can You Microwave a Cardboard?

Before placing a cardboard container in the microwave, make sure that there is a “microwave safe” label in the box. If there is such a label on your food container, it should be safe for you to microwave it. However, you still can’t use the microwave for too long.

Before using the microwave to heat the cardboard, make sure you remove all the metal from the packaging. It is because metal objects, such as handles or staples, can pop and damage your microwave. Therefore, it is important to make sure you have removed all the metal elements on the cardboard first.

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Besides, make sure that the cardboard container does not contain plastic or wax coating. It is because it can melt or emit toxic fumes when you heat it. If the cardboard container contains plastic or wax, you should put the food in another safer container before placing it in the microwave.

How Long Can I Put A Cardboard in Microwave?

There are no definite rules as to how long you can heat a cardboard container in the microwave. However, if you thought that heating food in cardboard containers would save you more time, then you are wrong. Otherwise, it may take you more time to inspect and prepare it than to transfer the food to another container before heating it.

In essence, you can’t put it in microwaves for too long because it can destroy your cardboard and food. Also, make sure to set your microwave to a low-temperature mode to avoid fires. Next, check it periodically so that it doesn’t overheat or burn. You also can’t leave your microwave while heating the food because it is dangerous.

Some of the Risks

Paper and cardboard are flammable materials. Because of this, there is a possibility that the cardboard container could catch fire or burn when you heat food in the microwave. However, because it absorbs water and food moisture, there is little chance of fire as long as you don’t heat it for too long.

Another risk you have to face is chemicals. Some cardboard containers are made from recycled materials. As a result, your food cardboard containers may contain metal that does not microwave safe. Therefore, always check the labels of your food containers before heating them in the microwave.

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Apart from the metal, wax, ink, and glue found in some cardboard can also be dangerous if you heat them. In this case, the chemicals can poison your food and make it dangerous if you consume it. In other words, even though there is a “microwave safe” label, heating a cardboard container in the microwave is not advisable.

How to Safely Heat Food on Cardboard Using a Microwave

Apart from ensuring that your cardboard does not contain metal and wax, you may need to take additional steps to make sure everything is safe when you microwave the cardboard. One of them is by lining the bottom of the cardboard container with parchment paper. In addition, you may also want to cover the top of the cardboard box with a napkin or paper towel.

Those are some things that might answer the question: can you microwave cardboard. The point is, even though there is a label that states your cardboard food container is safe for you to reheat in the microwave, you still need to be careful. It is because of the risk of chemicals materials and the possibility of a fire if you heated it for too long.

In short, it is much safer to transfer your food to another container before you microwave it. That step is safer than having to run the risk of poisoning and fire. After all, moving food to containers or plates doesn’t take much time. In other words, you better avoid inserting cardboard into the microwave.

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