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Old 02-29-2012, 05:58 AM
 
Location: NY & Fl
10,961 posts, read 7,558,525 times
Reputation: 8939
Default Paper towel starts fire in MW

Maybe I'm the only one that didn't know a paper towel can catch fire in a microwave but just in case there are others, let me tell you, it can be an shock to turn around and see flames inside the oven!
The only possible answer I have found is that recycled paper can contain minute specks of metal.
I can't check mine since the packaging is long gone so just be aware.

Added.....just checked new roll and there is a big warning on the package. Guess I've just not been paying attention.
Do have to say, I've used them over the years and it never did happen before.

Last edited by old_cold; 02-29-2012 at 06:17 AM.. Reason: added comment
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal
12,272 posts, read 12,017,317 times
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That's scary and never, ever occurred to me. I use paper towels in my microwave all the time.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Where Trolls get BBQ'd
131,636 posts, read 42,753,128 times
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I do to. I will check before I by now. I know there are non microwavable wraps. Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Islip,NY
11,198 posts, read 7,780,655 times
Reputation: 8916
Hmm I did not know that either. I rarely use paper towels anyway. I use those sham wow cloths. But I do use an occasional napkin in the microwave.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:24 PM
 
1,011 posts, read 2,434,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
paper towel can catch fire in a microwave
Something to be vigilant for I guess . . frequently prepare jerky-like niblets using a weighted paper towel over a paper plate to dehydrate sliced (eBay spam slicer) turkey franks (boiled to reduce sodium) in a microwave for around 2˝ minutes, and have not experienced any sparking or combustion so far. The paper towel allows steam to escape better, as compared to something like a microwave omelet maker that traps the condensation inside.



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Old 02-29-2012, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,744 posts, read 37,204,368 times
Reputation: 28714
I would imagine that one single paper towel blazing away inside a closed microwave is pretty likely to burn itself out before it sets your house on fire. Light one with a match and throw it in your MW and slam the door shut, and see what happens.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Cedar Park/NW Austin
1,301 posts, read 1,631,800 times
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Good to know. I don't typically use paper towels to microwave things on, but at work, I'll wet one down and cover a bowl with it to help keep the food moist and prevent splatters.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Islip,NY
11,198 posts, read 7,780,655 times
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Never ever microwave styrofoam . We had a co-worker do that when I worked in daycare. She was microwaving a hot pocket on a styrofoam plate, it caught fire and left smoke. It stunk for 2 days. Fire department had to be called to bring in fans.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:43 AM
 
2,402 posts, read 1,899,761 times
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If & when I use microwave (rarely)...
I do use (moistened) paper towels to create steam to help cook my foods (mostly asian style items like siumai, shrimp rice noodle dimsum or frozen sticky rice etc.).
Never do I have any paper towel catch fire on me... but touch on wood, never wanted that to happen either.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:15 PM
 
2,157 posts, read 1,384,209 times
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I've never heard of this either. My husband always puts a paper towel on top of his food. I complained so many times when he blew food up all over my microwave he finally started covering it. I think the chances of me training him to use the "6" power setting instead of "10" isn't going to happen, but at least I got him to cover stuff now.
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