Can You Microwave Towels? (Things you Need to Know)

A hot towel can work wonders after a long, tiring day. Whether you want to relax, get some relief from muscle pain after a hectic shift, or just want to open up your pores, a hot towel can be therapeutic. 

And the easiest way to get a hot towel at home is by simply microwaving one. While it sounds a little absurd, you can safely heat up a towel in a microwave, wrap it around your neck, and relax with your favorite TV show. 

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

And while it’s clear that you can microwave towels, how do you go about it? Is it safe to do so? Read on as we answer these questions and more!

Can you microwave towels?

Yes, you can microwave towels as long as the fabric can handle the heat. It should also be not too big or heavy, otherwise, it will weigh down on the microwave plate and hardly move. Microwaving the towel is a great alternative for when you don’t have access to a dryer. 

Keep in mind that not all towels are safe to put in the microwave – you need to be mindful of the fabric. If a towel is safe to put in a dryer without it being damaged, then you can safely microwave it.

You also need to make sure you only microwave a washcloth or hand towel. There’s no point in microwaving large, heavy towels since it will be very difficult for the heat to make its way through. 

And before you put your towel in the microwave, make sure the appliance is clean and that there are no spills or leftover food stains inside. After all, you don’t want your clean, white towel to become dirty.  

Is it safe to microwave towels?

It is safe to microwave towels as long as they are made of fabrics that can handle microwaving like cotton. They also should not have things that can cause an explosion in the microwave, like metal tags or lining.

The fabric of the towel determines if it’s safe to microwave or not. Only 100% cotton towels are safe to put in the microwave. Synthetic towels contain different levels of plastic that can melt in the microwave, so it’s better not to nuke them. 

And while some plastics are safe to microwave, you should only microwave such towels if you’re completely sure about them.

You should also not microwave polyester towels since they’re not microwave-safe at all. In fact, microwaving them will cause their corners to melt and it might even result in a fire. 

In addition to the material, you should make sure the towel doesn’t have any metal pieces or tags, especially if it’s a decorative piece. If you don’t, it can cause the microwave to malfunction and can even cause an explosion.

Some other safety tips to remember when microwaving towels are:

  • Never leave the microwave unattended. Make sure to keep a close eye on it so that you can instantly take action in case something goes wrong.
  • Never overheat the towel, even if it is made of cotton since it can ruin the fabric and even cause some kind of accident. 
  • When monitoring something that can’t withstand very high heat, make sure you closely monitor the temperature and switch off the microwave before things get out of hand. 

How to microwave towels

Microwaving towels involves just three simple steps. You apply some oil to it, run it under water, and microwave it for 30 seconds. Once the time is up, you just need to take it out and enjoy it!

If you want to have a spa-like experience and want your hot towel to have a soothing effect while smelling nice, you can start off by adding some drops of your favorite essential oil. 

This can be really helpful if you’re looking to get some much-needed relief from muscle pain. Some therapeutic oils I definitely recommend trying out are sandalwood, eucalyptus, and lavender. Similarly, you can use it to alleviate flu and cold symptoms by putting some vapor rub on the towel.  

Open up the towel you want to heat and note the part that will rub against the body part you’re targeting. For instance, your face if you want to open pores, or the back of your neck if you want to relieve tension. Add a few drops to this part.

Then, put the towel under cool water. A dry towel can be uncomfortable and even abrasive. Dampening the towel can help get rid of this problem. Plus, the steam from the hot towel can permeate the skin and help loosen tight muscles. 

Here, it’s important to keep in mind that the towel should be soaked but not dripping, so make you wring it thoroughly.   

With all of these steps out of the way, you can finally start microwaving. And to do that, first put the towel in a microwave-safe bowl, like one made out of Pyrex. Then, microwave the bowl for around 30 seconds. 

Once it’s as hot as you like, just take it out and apply it to your calf, chin, face, or wherever you want. In case the towel cools down before you’re done enjoying its therapeutic effect, just repeat the steps and continue enjoying the hot towel. 

Alternative method of microwaving towel

If you’re wary of putting a towel in the microwave, there’s another way around it. For this, first put the towel in a pan or bowl that’s big enough to contain around a cup of water. If you want to add some essential oils to the towel, make sure you do so before putting it in the bowl.

Next, microwave a cup of water until it almost starts to boil. For this, you will have to microwave it for 1-3 minutes, but the time will vary depending on your microwave’s wattage.

Once the water is hot enough, just pour it over the towel to soak it. Once the towel is just cool enough to touch without it burning your hand, wring it thoroughly and apply it where you want.  

How long should you microwave towels?

The time for which you microwave towels depends on the thickness of the towel, the power of your microwave, and how hot you want the towel to be. But in general, you should nuke it for around 30 seconds. 

When microwaving towels, just keep one thing in mind. You shouldn’t place very hot things on your skin since it can cause blisters and burns. So, make sure you test the temperature by touching the towel with the back of your hand. If it’s not very hot to the touch, you can go ahead and use it. 

What happens when you microwave towels?

When you microwave towels, the radiations from the microwave heat up the water molecules present in the towel. And when you put the towel on your body, the steam from it relaxes the tissues and gives you a therapeutic feeling. 

Microwaves work by converting electromagnetic energy into heat. This energy produces both an electric and magnetic field that heats the water present in the wet towel. It heats up the water on the surface and even in the fibers, drying out the towel. 

However, you should keep in mind that overheating the towel can char it or even burn it. This usually happens because the cloth fibers can’t withstand the high heat of the microwave. A dry and charred towel can be abrasive and uncomfortable, which is why you should make sure you dampen the towel before microwaving it.   

The Bottom Line

You now know whether you can microwave the towels or not and how to go about it. While it’s a fairly easy and straightforward process, make sure you double-check the material to know it’s completely microwave-safe. Also, make sure that the towel isn’t soaking wet but is not dry either; it should be just damp enough.