Can You Microwave A Towel? (Find Out Now!)

Matthew Mountain
by Matthew Mountain

It may sound like a strange concept when you first hear it, but there are plenty of instances that will warrant you putting a towel in the microwave. And cloth towels aren’t the only towels that can go in here; paper towels also find their way into the microwave. In short, if you’re going to be putting any kind of towel in the microwave, you need to know what you’re doing.

In this article, how to use towels in the microwave will be explored in depth, and the things to avoid will also be addressed. Committing this information to memory will help you avoid problems when it comes time to heat/dry a towel in the microwave.

Generally speaking, towels can be heated in the microwave, though there are some things to keep in mind. You’ll need to make sure there’s no metal present in the towel, and you should also make sure the towel fibers are able to withstand high heat. Heating a towel in the microwave is a great alternative when a clothes dryer is not available.

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Microwaving Towels: Why It’s Done

Say, for example, you live in an apartment complex and you don’t have a clothes dryer in your room. How else are you going to get things warm in a pinch? The oven? No way. The microwave? Seems a lot more feasible.

Now you shouldn’t go popping every article of clothing you own in the microwave. You should, however, acknowledge that some things can be heated in the microwave when a clothes dryer is absent. One common example is a towel.

Say you just came back from a long workout and you need a heating pad. You don’t own a heating pad, so instead, you get a towel and throw it in the microwave. This isn’t an uncommon practice and some individuals even heat socks, pillowcases, and other small items when they need them warm.

A microwave can deliver the warmth one seeks, and in most cases, this can be done quite quickly. Just make sure your microwave is clean before you start heating things other than foods and drinks inside; you don’t want clean, white towels getting dirty because they were exposed to leftover food and drink spills.

Things to Keep In Mind

While heating a towel doesn’t seem like it’d cause a lot of problems, there are some things you should keep in mind before you put the towel in the microwave and press the “On” button.

Keep an Eye Out for Metal of Any Kind

One main thing is that you should keep an eye out for any metal tags or weights. These are often found on decorative towels and sometimes they’re hard to see. You should keep an eye out for metallic items because these can create sparking in the microwave.

When metal reacts with the electromagnets that the microwave produces for heating, the result is often sparking and even sometimes flames. This is especially important to keep in mind when drying a towel.

If sparks start flying, then there’s a good chance a fire will start, as sparks hitting cloth will often cause this result. For this reason, you should thoroughly go over your towel before you put it in the microwave, as this way you can ensure that there’s no metal present.

Also, you should not go away from the microwave when you are heating a towel in it. After all, you don’t want to be absent when sparks start flying or a flame catches.

Keep Excessive Heat in Mind

You should also keep in mind that a microwave can get pretty hot, so you shouldn’t put anything in there that can’t withstand the heat. Most towels can withstand high heat, as they are designed for clothes dryers which reach temperatures far higher than what a microwave can produce.

Also, if you’re heating items that aren’t normally meant for machine drying, you should definitely keep excessive heat in mind, as this can not only damage the items but possibly cause a fire too.

Are Clothes Microwaveable Too?

Microwaving a towel in a pinch is one thing. If you don’t have a clothes dryer close, then you should make do with what you have. But when you do microwave a towel, and you see it works, you may think that this heating method will work for other items. But here’s what you should keep in mind before you start drying clothes in the microwave:

Hot vs. Dry

You may notice at first that your clothes are not really dry but hot. That’s because a microwave is not meant to dry but heat. While a microwave heats water molecules, it doesn’t do so with clothes in the way that it does with food and liquids.

Microwaving Non-Cotton

If you’re not microwaving 100% cotton, you’re going to have a problem on your hands. For example, if there’s any polyester in your clothes, it’ll melt and then create a real big mess. And if you’re heating nylon, you can expect a similar result.

As far as spandex are concerned, you definitely want to stay away from putting these in the microwave, as doing so could start a fire. Not all natural fibers are microwavable, and the delicate ones will not react well to high heat. You may end up with a blob of fabric when you open the door expecting dried clothes.

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Microwaving an Oily Towel

What is a thorough massage without a warm towel? This is one reason why individuals heat towels in the microwave at home. You can also cover the towel in essential oils and water before it goes in the microwave; just make sure that the towel is thoroughly rung before you put it in the microwave.

This damp towel will be microwave-safe, and you should put it on a small dish before you pop it in. Heat the towel for 30 seconds on low-power mode. When it’s done, take it out and enjoy.

Matthew Mountain
Matthew Mountain

Matt loves everything DIY. He has been learning and practicing different trades since he was a kid, and he's often the first one called when a friend or family member needs a helping hand at home. Matt loves to work with wood and stone, and landscaping is by far his most favorite pastime.

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