There is no doubt that the microwave oven has brought great convenience to the modern home for well over 5 decades now.
It is difficult to imagine life without a microwave. From cooking quick meals to heating up leftovers, preparing food in a microwave is always a breeze. Can you put glass in the microwave oven though?
It is safe to use glass in a microwave oven as long it doesn’t have a metal lid, decorative paint or anything else metal on it.
That being said, you can do a fun experiment and melt glass in a microwave. More on that later in the article. Microwave ovens are famous for being able to safely take most materials except metals.
This is generally true with the exception of certain plastics that can leach out dangerous chemicals when exposed to high temperatures.
Chief among these is Polystyrene foam which is commonly referred to by the brand name Styrofoam. There has been great debate regarding whether or not it is safe for the microwave but there is a growing consensus that it contains chemicals that can possibly cause cancer and neurotoxins that when inhaled can lead to the death of neurons in the brain.
Even though the American Drug and Food Administration (FDA) has said that the chemicals which leach out of Styrofoam when heated are in quantities too low to cause any damage to the human body, medical experts do advise against pregnant women and small children eating food heated in Styrofoam.
So, is glass a safe material to use in the microwave? One of the materials that just about everyone agrees on as far as microwave safety is concerned is actually glass.
Glass can withstand high temperatures and won’t leach out toxic substances when subjected to great heat. Even if you place cheap glass in a microwave, it is generally safe to do so and it won’t get damaged in any way.
It may get damaged though when you take it out and is suddenly exposed to a lower temperature. In fact, that is just about the only thing you need to be mindful of. Sudden changes in temperature can cause the glass to crack.
I have had experiences where a Pyrex baking dish cracked because I put cold water in it while it was still hot. Pyrex is designed to withstand very high temperatures but even that can crack when temperatures change suddenly.
Avoid doing things like dropping an ice cube into a glass mug you have just taken out of the microwave or placing it in a water bath. This will surely lead to glass cracking.
Melt glass In a Microwave Oven (fun experiment)
Now, for the fun experiment, I promised at the beginning of the article. Please note that this is just for the purposes of sharing a fun fact and should not be attempted at home as it can be very dangerous to handle molten glass.
Not only can it hurt you but it can potentially damage your microwave oven as well. Technically, glass does not melt in a microwave oven.
When the glass is made, sand is melted at 1700 Degrees Celsius and so can withstand really high temperatures. The heat in a microwave oven is not going to reach those levels normally.
So, how then do you melt glass in a microwave oven? To do that, you need to heat the glass first before placing it in the microwave.
You do this by heating up a specific area of the glass using a blow torch. You then place the glass in a microwave oven for some minutes and the glass on the heated portion will gradually begin to melt.
Can you put glass in the microwave oven? The answer is a resounding yes. Even though, just about all types of glass of varying degrees of quality can withstand the microwave.
You just need to make sure that they are not subjected to sudden changes in temperature. The best approach to take though would be to make sure that you use glass labeled as microwave safe. Pyrex utensils are the recommended choice as well as any other glassware labeled as microwave safe.