Can You Microwave Melamine? – Is It Safe?

melamine dishes

Melamine is not the best material to put in the microwave. Both glass and ceramic work much better in the microwave, as does stone. While melamine has many advantages, microwave usage is not one of them. Keep in mind most dishes now come with labeling on the bottom to let you know if they can go in the dishwasher or the microwave.

What is Melamine?

Melamine is a type of plastic resin and sometimes wood pulp that’s extremely durable and lightweight. As a result, it’s less likely to break when dropped like typical fragile dishes such as glass or ceramic. However, the material should avoid the microwave because the heat can damage the plates and cause chemicals to leach into your food, including formaldehyde.

The benefits of melamine include affordability, food-safe, lightweight, temperature resistant, dishwasher safe, sustainable, and versatile. However, while melamine can withstand high temperatures, it should not contact food when the plate is hot because it can cause problems. Furthermore, melamine cannot go in the oven or be cleaned with abrasives.

Serving hot food on melamine will not cause the chemicals to leach into food; a hot melamine dish will. Despite this major health complication, many people still microwave melamine plates. When the temperature of the dish exceeds 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it dries out the plate and makes it brittle, which means it will break easier too. The brittleness can cause the dish to break, chip, and crack, which can also release substances you should not eat into your food.

If you can keep your melamine out of the microwave and preferably even the dishwasher, you can keep the dishes longer. While melamine is dishwasher safe, the heat from the dishwasher will deteriorate the material much faster than washing in warm water. While melamine in small amounts may not be harmful, consuming melamine-contaminated meals on a frequent basis increases the risk of kidney stones, renal failure, high blood pressure, and kidney infection.

While modest levels of melamine may not be hazardous, eating melamine-contaminated foods on a regular basis raises the risk of kidney stones, renal failure, high blood pressure, and infection. It will become unstable and emit bubbles as its structure breaks down if it absorbs enough heat. It includes nitrogen, which prevents it from burning.

As a result, it is reduced to its basic components of urea and cyromazine. Unfortunately, these two chemicals are exceedingly hazardous and poisonous. According to experts, melamine is toxic when inhaled, eaten, or absorbed via the skin. In addition, when melamine and cyanuric acid enter the bloodstream, they produce crystals that can obstruct the renal tubes, causing kidney damage or failure, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a result, heating it in the microwave is a no-no!

Overall, melamine should not go in the microwave as it’s not worth it to your or your family’s health. Many other dishes can go in the microwave but not this one. Check the bottom of your dishes to check for a no microwave symbol, and avoid putting any dishes in the microwave that have a no microwave symbol as these can be harmful to you, the microwave, and the dishes.

Final Thoughts

While melamine has many benefits, you should avoid putting it in the microwave as it can leach harmful chemicals into food and cause deterioration to the dishes as well. So, now that you know about safety, you don’t have to throw away your dinnerware. All you have to do now is ensure that you use them with caution. Remember that this tableware is safe to use as long as it is not heated. So, put your melamine plates and bowls to good use and enjoy your meal. Just remember to keep them out of the microwave.