Can You Microwave Number 5 Plastic? (What You Should Know)

People who use the microwave regularly know that certain plastics are microwave-safe. However, plastics come in numbers, and it is worth knowing which ones you can heat.

If you have number 5 plastic, you might be wondering whether number 5 plastic can be microwaved. I looked into it, and here is what I found!

Can You Microwave Number 5 Plastic?

Number 5 plastic or type 5 polypropylene is safe to microwave. Plus, number 5 plastic is considered the safest plastic you can use in the microwave. Apart from being heat resistant, number 5 plastic does not melt or warp when exposed to heat. Additionally, number 5 plastic remains cool even after several minutes of microwaving.

In case you are interested in knowing how to microwave number 5 plastic and whether all forms of number 5 plastic are microwave-safe, keep reading!

Can You Heat Number 5 Plastic Containers In The Microwave?

You will find that number 5 plastic containers are often labeled as microwave-safe. This means that the container will not only hold up under heat, but the container will not get hot.

However, if the number 5 plastic container is not labeled as microwave-safe, it is best to consult the manufacturer first.

Can You Heat Number 5 Plastic Wrap In The Microwave?

Number 5 plastic wrap is safe to use in the microwave. Nonetheless, you should always look for a microwave-safe label on the packaging just to be extra sure.

Additionally, plastic wrap should never touch the food you are microwaving even if the plastic wrap is made of number 5 plastic.

Can You Heat Number 5 Plastic Cups In The Microwave?

Experts advise against microwaving plastic cups in any situation, and this includes the number 5 plastic cups.

If the number 5 plastic cup is clearly labeled as microwave safe, number 5 plastic is likely safe to use.

Otherwise, avoid the risk and simply use traditional containers that are guaranteed to be microwavable.

Can You Heat Number 5 Plastic Bag In The Microwave?

If the number 5 plastic bag is designed for reheating food and has a microwave-safe label, you do not have to worry about microwaving the number 5 plastic bag.

Nevertheless, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, manufacturers discourage filling microwave-safe plastic bags completely.

Moreover, if the number 5 plastic bag is meant only for dry storage, grocery shopping, or other activities, do not use the number 5 plastic bag in the microwave.

Can You Heat Number 5 Plastic Tupperware?

Can You Heat Number 5 Plastic Tupperware?

Tupperware that has a number 5 label is microwave-safe. You do not have to worry about food contamination or the Tupperware getting hot after being microwaved.

Can You Heat Number 5 Plastic To-Go containers?

Plastic to-go containers are safe to microwave if the to-go containers are labeled with the number 5 or the microwave-safe sign. 

For your safety, it is best to remember that most to-go plastic containers are not suitable for the microwave. It is always better to transfer the food to a microwave-safe dish instead.

Can You Microwave Number 1 Plastic?

Number 1 plastic or PETE should never be microwaved. Since number 1 plastic can only withstand a maximum of 120°F, number 1 plastic is likely to warp and melt in the microwave.

Can You Microwave Number 2 Plastic?

Number 2 plastic, also known as HDPE or high-density polyethylene, is a microwave-safe plastic. However, this does not mean that number 2 plastic cannot be distorted when heated.

At 266°F, number 2 plastic will likely begin warping. Any higher and number 2 plastic will surely melt.

Moreover, number 2 plastic is usually found in the food service industry. If you buy food in a number 2 plastic container, you can microwave the plastic container at low to medium heat.

Can You Microwave Number 3 Plastic?

Number 3 plastic is also known as polyvinyl chloride or PVC. While number 3 plastic is a sturdy material, number 3 plastic must not be microwaved.

Several types of food wraps, baby toys, and bottles for cooking oil are made of number 3 plastic. As such, these items must never be placed in microwaves for safety reasons.

Is Number 4 Plastic Microwave-Safe?

Number 4 plastic, also known as Low-Density Polyethylene or LDPE, can be microwaved, but you should expose number 4 plastic to high temperatures.

Additionally, if an item made with number 4 plastic is labeled as microwave-safe, that means the item will not melt, but not that the item is 100% food-safe.

Is Number 6 Plastic Microwave-Safe?

Number 6 plastic, also known as polystyrene or styrofoam, should not be used in the microwave unless the container has a microwave-safe label.

Even then, you should avoid exposing number 6 plastic to high temperatures to reduce the risk of melting or chemicals leaching into your food or beverage.

In case you use a microwave-safe number 6 plastic container and the container shows cracks or signs of breakage afterward, discard the container and any food in the container.

Can You Microwave Number 7 Plastic?

Number 7 plastic is where plastics that cannot be categorized under numbers 1 to 6 are placed. Generally, all number 7 plastics are not considered microwave-safe.

Furthermore, number 7 plastic containers that are used for food storage are designed to keep the food warm so that you will not have to reheat the food in the microwave.

How Long Can You Microwave Plastic?

How long a microwave-safe plastic can last in the microwave depends on the manufacturer. Typically, all microwave-safe plastics can be heated several times in the microwave.

Nevertheless, if you plan to reheat food in the microwave for longer than 5 minutes, it is safer to use glass or ceramic microwave-safe containers instead.

How To Know If Plastic Is Microwave-Safe?

To know if plastic is microwave-safe, look for a label underneath the plastic item that indicates the item is made of number 5 plastic.

Just to be extra safe, look for a microwave-sign label too. Usually, microwave-sign labels include several wavy lines.

Check out our other articles to discover if you can microwave nothing, if you can microwave napkins, and if you can microwave bacon.


Number 5 plastic is the safest type of plastic to use in a microwave. You will know if an item is made of number 5 plastic based on the label underneath the item.

Typically, the label is characterized by a number 5 inside a triangle. Compared to other types of plastic, number 5 plastic does not warp, melt, or get hot when microwaved.

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