Unfortunately, the makers of microwave ovens were not thinking like some of us, and putting your clothing in one is not the smartest idea you can have. Easier and simpler are not the best answers all the time.
Can you microwave fabric? Yes, you can microwave fabric. Most natural fabrics can be microwaved safely which is why cotton towels are used in many massage therapy spas. But if there is any metal on those fabrics or they are made from synthetic fibers then avoid using the microwave to heat those items.
To learn more about microwaving fabrics just continue to read our article. It fills you in on what items are safe for the microwave and the purpose of that appliance. Take a few minutes to learn why doing this is not always a great idea.
To be item specific, 100% cotton, wool, and most likely hemp and linen are microwave safe. generally speaking, almost all-natural fibers are safe to heat up in that appliance.
Now we say heat up because the microwave is not a dryer. Its purpose is to heat things up. If the microwave was a dryer then you would not be able to design any meals with liquids in it. Those dishes with sauces, water, or milk, etc., would be dried up and ruined.
What this means is that if you need clothes or fabrics dried in a hurry the microwave cannot help you out. All it will do is make those items hot and keep you warm while also keeping you a little bit damp.
If you are not in a hurry, then put those 100% natural fabrics in a bag and crank the timer to 7 minutes or 10 minutes. This will dry your socks out but maybe not your clothing.
Unfortunately, there is no mention on any tags attached to fabrics that says they can be microwaved. That means you have to go to indirect communication and read the other labels to get an idea if you can put them in that appliance or not.
The key information you are looking for is the fire hazard info. If that tag says they are flammable at low temperatures, then those fabrics are not microwave-safe. next, check to see what fibers they fabrics are made from.
The rule of thumb is if those fabrics are made from synthetic fibers then you can’t microwave them. There may be some exceptions to this rule but in general, if they are made from plastic, they will melt.
Third, look for any metal included in the fibers. If there is metal on the fabric or the fibers are made with metal, then you can’t put the fabrics in the microwave. Always look before you leap to make sure you do not ruin an expensive piece of your wardrobe.
If it is said on Facebook it must be true. That seems to be the mentality of many. Let’s face it, people lie, even on Facebook. We say this because there is a Facebook rumor going around that says you can sterilize face masks in the microwave.
You can’t and for the reason we have already stated. Plastics melt. Cotton and other fabrics may burn and you may start a fire in your home even with only sterilizing face masks.
If you want to disinfect your fabrics, use your washer. That is the safest appliance to use and normally, your clothes won’t get ruined. They won’t burst into flames either. Microwaves are a cooking tool, not a drying tool and as simple it is to use this appliance it is not made to disinfect.
To disinfect stick to using good laundry soap, commercial bleach, or natural bleaching options.
It is best not to try. That is the best answer for every fabric even if they are microwavable. For felt, it would depend on the fabric it is made from and the type of ingredients that went into making that material.
Not only do you have to worry about the flammable nature of the fibers, but you also have to worry about the flammable nature of any chemicals that might be used in creating this material.
Also, felt should melt on you if it has polyester or other synthetic fibers in its construction. Some people have said it is okay to microwave fabrics using polyester thread but be careful, all results are different as they depend on many factors that change from person to person.
Then keep in mind, one, that microwaves heat from the indies out. That means you may not get all the moisture out of the material. Two, it heats unevenly so you may have a big mess to clean up or the felt will be distorted in some way.
If you have had success heating felt in the microwave in the past, keep your fingers crossed that your luck does not run out.
It is possible and you should make sure the wool material is damp before you place it inside that appliance. Just watch the temperature of the fabric when you pull it out of the microwave. It retains heat longer than cotton does.
Also, make sure to moisten the material before you place it in that appliance. Remember you will have a tough time drying any wool in the microwave but that appliance is great for straightening out knitting yarn and for dyeing the wool another color.
The microwave does have its uses when it comes to fabrics but as always, even if it is 100% natural wool, you should monitor the process and be careful. If you smell burning hair, you have left the material in the microwave for too long.
Also, check the label to see what the flammable level is before turning on the microwave. All fabrics can burn and if they are treated with different chemicals, you may not have the heat room you think you have.
If it is 100% cotton, yes you can. If you have ever been to a masseuse or have gotten a facial you will see them heating up towels to warm up your skin and open those pores. Normally those towels are made from 100% cotton. Sometimes they are made from 100% linen.
Notice that we 100% a lot in this article. That is because anything less than that you may have trouble when using the microwave to heat up your towels. 100% cotton is probably the most microwaved fabric there is.
That is how safe the material is. But even cotton has its limits and you should be careful especially if it has been treated with colorfast non-shrink or other chemicals. Those additives, including fiber blended in with cotton, change the material’s properties and make microwaving them dangerous.
When you are considering using the microwave have a little checklist in the back of your mind so you know what to look for before placing the fabric in the microwave and turning it on.
The answer here will be the same as it is with most fabrics already mentioned. It will depend on what fibers the flannel is made from, how long you have it in the microwave, and what temperature you set that appliance to.
100% natural fabrics are usually microwave-safe and the keyword is usually. There are always exceptions to the rules though. But if you see steam or evidence of gas coming from your microwave, you probably forgot to moisten the fabric and cooked the fabric from the inside out.
Or you put the wrong type of flannel in your appliance. Polyester made flannel will probably melt on you and burn from the inside out. You will also probably get a lot of toxic fumes in your kitchen.
You will also need to clean up the mess the flannel left behind and you should not throw hot ashes or residue in the trash. Simply transfer the ash, etc., to your sink in a heat-protected bowl or pan and flush the remains down the drain with lots of water.
Some fleece seems to be microwaveable but that may be because the material is made specifically for heating pads or similar products. But again, you have to be careful as not every fleece fabric will work in the microwave and the results you get will vary.
Homemade heating pads using fleece also use cotton and rice. Then the pad is only in the appliance for about 1 minute. That time frame is one of those factors that may allow you to heat up synthetic fibers in the microwave. The longer the time frame the more risk you are taking.
The one thing about using rice in heating pads or rice bags is that those grains tend to trap mold spores and other allergy triggering bacteria. A good substitute would be corn or cherry pits.
Again, when you are considering placing fleece in the microwave will be dependent on its flammability level, the chemicals involved and other factors already mentioned.
we can’t say this often enough on this topic-- it is always better to be safe than sorry-- which means avoid using the microwave when fabrics are involved if you can.
You can take a little strip of Velcro and do a test first to see if your material is safe for the microwave. Then if it passes the test, keep liquids from getting too close to the Velcro closure and keep the temperature level lower than usual. Also, don’t set the microwave timer for too long.
If you are using Velcro in a sewing project that will be heated in the microwave after you are done, do not use regular glue to affix the closure to the fabric. Don’t even think about using super glue or anything similar to that. You will get toxic fumes flowing out of your microwave if you do.
Hand stitch the Velcro in place or use a non-toxic microwave-safe adhesive to make sure you are not harming yourself or your family. Then concentrate on setting those microwave dials. Accidents will happen so focus on what you are doing until the microwave is turned on.
Avoiding accidents is the best way to protect yourself from harm or from ruining your fabrics.
Amazon sells a lot of microwave-safe batting. From the looks of the labels on the many different items that the marketplace has on sale, 100% cotton batting is the safest fabric to use when you need to put something in the microwave.
Wool batting and other natural fibers like hemp and linen should be safe for the microwave as well. Just be careful when using any natural synthetic fiber batting blends as those options may catch fire, melt and leave your microwave in a very messy way.
Check the labels to see the type of fiber used and follow the information we have already provided in previous sections. It is best to err on the side of caution and only go with 100% cotton batting and there are many varieties to choose from that are microwave safe.
Also, look at the flammable notice. The temperature levels should be listed but if not, the words flammable or highly flammable should clue you in and you should avoid putting that batting into the microwave.
To see the list of microwave batting Amazon has just click here.
How can we say ‘no’ in such an emphatic way that you will never consider putting nylon in the microwave? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Does that do it for you? While there are plastic and synthetic materials that are relatively safe to put in that appliance, it is best to avoid nylon-made items.
Nylon will melt first then burn especially if it is made into fabrics. There may be some exceptions to the rule and again we emphasize reading the labels first to make sure before you decide to use your microwave.
You also have to be careful about any toxic fumes that may arise from heating the nylon material. Some people have said that if the nylon is in a blend and you have rice, corn, cherry pits, or some other type of filler inside the nylon container, then the nylon may be safe to put in the microwave.
That is because the filler is absorbing the microwaves, not the nylon. But again, this is more of a case by case situation, and do not assume that will happen every time. Some nylon, plastic, or polyester type containers may be heated up 10 times or more but that still doesn’t mean they won’t melt the 11th, 15th, or 20th time.
This is a third party fabric with characteristics of both natural and synthetic ingredients to create its fibers. According to the scientific study we are about to link for you, it seems that it is okay to put rayon in the microwave. Read it here.
But like all scientific studies, different parameters produce different results. As do the types of microwaves, the quality of the fabric, and so on. With that said, read the labels first and do not rely on studies, as the manufacturers know what they are putting into their fabrics and how flammable they are.
Like all other questionable fabrics, err on the side of caution and ask yourself this simple question-- why would you need to put the material in the microwave? There are legitimate answers to this question but those answers do not apply to all fabrics.
With rayon, your main concern will be the chemical used to create the fibers. The wood chips will be like cotton in a manner of speaking in that microwaves should not affect them that much. But if you are looking to dry the material, hang dry instead and remember that rayon and heat do not get along.
That factor should keep you from placing that material in the microwave.
Putting fabrics into the microwave will depend on the purpose that fabric is being used. For legitimate cooking, baking and similar activities stick with all-natural fibers and avoid synthetic ones.
For drying the material avoid the microwave and stick with the dryer. Read the labels to make sure.