Are Rubbermaid Containers Microwave Safe? (Explained 2023)

When it comes to heating food in the microwave, you must ensure that the containers you use are safe and don’t release harmful chemicals into your food. One popular brand of food containers is Rubbermaid, but are Rubbermaid Containers Microwave Safe? 

In this article, we will explore the microwave safety of Rubbermaid containers and what you need to know before using them in the microwave.

Microwave Safety and Food Containers

When heating food in the microwave, using containers specifically labeled as microwave-safe is crucial. Using unsafe containers for microwave use can pose health risks, as they may release harmful chemicals into your food. Here are some risks of using unsafe containers in the microwave:

Release of harmful chemicals: Certain plastics containing bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates can release harmful chemicals when exposed to microwave heat. These chemicals can seep into your food, posing potential health risks.

Melting and warping: Some containers may melt or warp when heated in the microwave, which can cause spills and burns.

Fire hazards: Certain materials, such as metal or containers with metallic finishes, can cause sparks or even start a fire in the microwave.

To ensure your safety and the safety of your food, it’s essential to use containers specifically labeled as microwave-safe. These containers have been tested and approved for microwave use and are made of materials that can withstand heat and do not release harmful chemicals.

Materials Used in a Food Container

Materials Used in a Food Container

Food containers are manufactured using various types of materials. Some common materials include plastic, glass, and ceramic. Here’s a brief overview of each material and its suitability for microwave use:

Plastic: Not all plastic containers are microwave safe. Look for containers labeled as microwave-safe, and avoid using cracked or damaged containers. Avoiding plastic containers with recycling codes 3, 6, or 7 is essential, as they may contain harmful chemicals.

Glass: Glass containers are generally safe for microwave use if they do not have metallic elements such as gold or silver trim. However, it’s important to avoid using glass containers that are cracked or chipped, as they may shatter when heated.

Ceramic: Ceramic containers are generally safe for microwave use, but checking the label for microwave safety instructions is important. Some ceramic containers may have metallic elements or glazes that are unsafe for microwave use.

Rubbermaid Containers: An Overview

A well-known company, Rubbermaid, has produced food storage containers for over 80 years. The business is dedicated to making dependable, high-quality containers that satisfy the demands of its clients. Here’s an overview of Rubbermaid containers and how to use them in a microwave.

Rubbermaid has a long history of manufacturing food containers, starting in the 1930s. The company’s first product was a dustpan made of rubber, which led to the development of other household products, such as storage containers. Today, Rubbermaid is known for its wide range of food containers to keep food fresh and organized.

Various types of Rubbermaid containers are available in the market, including plastic, glass, and even containers made of sustainable materials such as plant-based bioplastics. Some of the most popular Rubbermaid containers include:

  1. Easy Find Lids: These plastic containers come in various sizes and have lids that snap together for easy storage.
  2. Brilliance: These containers are made of durable Tritan plastic and are designed to be leak-proof and stain-resistant.
  3. Glass: Rubbermaid also offers oven-safe glass containers up to 425°F and BPA-free lids.
  4. TakeAlongs: These plastic containers are designed for on-the-go meals and come in various sizes and shapes.

Regarding the materials used in Rubbermaid containers, the company is committed to using safe and durable materials that meet regulatory standards. Rubbermaid containers are made of polypropylene (PP), polycarbonate (PC), Tritan plastic, and glass. Materials used in these products have been tested and approved for microwave use and do not release harmful chemicals when heated.

Testing Rubbermaid Containers for Microwave Safety

Here’s a closer look at the testing standards for microwave safety and how Rubbermaid tests its containers to ensure they are safe for use.

Regulatory bodies like the FDA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) set microwave safety testing standards. These standards outline the tests that food containers must pass to be labeled as microwave-safe. Some of the tests include measuring the release of harmful chemicals and the ability of the container to withstand heat and pressure.

Rubbermaid has a rigorous microwave safety testing process, including testing its containers for heat resistance, durability, and chemical release. The company tests its containers in-house and works with third-party testing laboratories to ensure its products meet regulatory standards.

Rubbermaid’s microwave safety testing results have shown that its containers are safe for use in the microwave. The company’s containers are heat-resistant and durable and do not release harmful chemicals when heated. Rubbermaid’s commitment to safety and quality is evident in its testing process and results.

Factors That Affect Microwave Safety of Rubbermaid Containers

While Rubbermaid containers are known for their microwave safety, some factors can affect the safety of using them in the microwave. 

Container Size and Shape

The size and shape of the container can affect how it heats up in the microwave. A container that is too small or shallow may not heat up evenly, while a container that is too large may not fit properly in the microwave.

Container Lids and Seals

The lid and seal of the container should be designed to allow steam to escape during heating. If the lid is not vented properly, pressure can build up inside the container and cause it to burst. Rubbermaid containers come with vented lids that allow steam to escape, ensuring safe microwave use.

Microwave Wattage and Heating Time

The wattage of your microwave and the length of time you heat your food can also affect the safety of using Rubbermaid containers in the microwave. If your microwave has a high wattage, it can heat food too quickly, which can cause the container to warp or melt. Following the manufacturer’s instructions for heating times and wattage is important.

Container Age and Wear

Over time, Rubbermaid containers can become worn or damaged, affecting their microwave safety. Scratches or cracks in the container can cause it to break or leak during heating. It’s important to inspect your Rubbermaid containers regularly and replace them if you notice any signs of wear.

How to Use Rubbermaid Containers Safely in the Microwave

Rubbermaid containers are a convenient way to store and heat food, but using them safely in the microwave is important. To safely utilize Rubbermaid containers in the microwave, follow these steps:

Precautions to take before microwaving Rubbermaid containers:

  • Check the container for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or scratches.
  • Remove the lid or seal from the container before microwaving.
  • Do not microwave any containers that are not labeled as microwave-safe.

Steps to follow when microwaving Rubbermaid containers:

  • Place the container in the center of the microwave to ensure even heating.
  • Set the microwave to the appropriate time and wattage according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If the container does not have a vented lid, leave the lid slightly ajar to allow steam to escape.

Cleaning and Maintaining 

  • Clean Rubbermaid containers thoroughly before and after each use.
  • Do not use abrasive materials or harsh chemicals to clean the containers, as this can damage the plastic.
  • Avoid using Rubbermaid containers to store acidic foods for long periods, as this can cause the plastic to break down.
  • Inspect Rubbermaid containers regularly for signs of wear and damage, and replace them if necessary.

Other Uses of Rubbermaid Containers

Rubbermaid containers are not only useful for storing and heating food, but they also have many other practical uses. Here are some other ways you can use Rubbermaid containers:

Meal Prep and Storage

Rubbermaid containers come in several sizes and can be stacked, making them ideal for meal preparation and storage. This makes it simple to keep them in the refrigerator or freezer. Additionally, they have airtight closures that keep the food fresher for longer.

Outdoor Activities

For outdoor pursuits like camping, hiking, and picnics, Rubbermaid containers are excellent. They are strong, weatherproof, and come in various sizes to meet various requirements. They can be used to store food, beverages, and other items.

Crafts and DIY Projects

Rubbermaid containers can be used for DIY and craft projects as well. They are ideal for storing and organizing tools, materials, and creative supplies because they are versatile and come in various sizes. Additionally, you can use them to create unique storage options for your house.

Alternatives Containers for Microwave Use

Alternatives Containers for Microwave Use

While Rubbermaid containers are a great choice for microwave use, there are other containers you can use as well. Here are some alternative containers for microwave use:

Glass Containers

Glass containers are a popular choice for microwave use because they are heat-resistant and do not leach chemicals into the food. They come in different sizes and shapes and are easy to clean.

Ceramic Containers

Ceramic containers are also a good choice for microwave use. They are heat-resistant, and some are even designed to be used in the oven. They come in various designs and are often more decorative than other types of containers.

Silicone Containers

Silicone containers are a newer option for microwave use. They are flexible, easy to store, and do not leach chemicals into the food. However, they may not be as durable as other types of containers and may be prone to staining.

Pros and Cons of Using Rubbermaid Containers in the Microwave

Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Microwave-safe: Rubbermaid containers are specifically designed and tested for use in the microwave, so you can be confident that they will not release harmful chemicals into your food.
  • Durable: Rubbermaid containers are made from durable materials that can withstand the microwave’s heat and the wear and tear of regular use.
  • Easy to clean: Rubbermaid containers are typically dishwasher-safe, making them easy to clean and maintain.
  • Wide variety: Rubbermaid offers various container sizes and shapes so that you can find the perfect container for your needs.


  • Staining: Rubbermaid containers can stain easily, especially if you heat foods like tomato sauce or curry.
  • Warping: If you heat food in Rubbermaid containers for too long or at too high a temperature, the containers can warp or deform.
  • Not suitable for high temperatures: Rubbermaid containers are not suitable for use in the oven or on the stove, so you may need to transfer food to a different container for certain recipes.

Overall, Rubbermaid containers are a great choice for microwave use, but it’s important to consider both the advantages and disadvantages before deciding. With proper care and use, Rubbermaid containers can provide a convenient and safe way to heat up and store your food.


What types of Rubbermaid containers are microwave-safe?

Most Rubbermaid containers are microwave-safe, but checking the label or packaging is important. Look for containers labeled as “microwave-safe” or “heat-resistant” to ensure they are safe to use in the microwave.

How long can I use a Rubbermaid container in the microwave?

Rubbermaid containers are designed for microwave use, but following the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use is important. Typically, you can use Rubbermaid containers in the microwave for up to 3 minutes, but you should avoid prolonged exposure to high heat.

How do I clean my Rubbermaid container after microwaving?

Rubbermaid containers are typically dishwasher-safe, so you can place them in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. If you prefer to hand-wash your containers, use mild detergent and warm water to clean them thoroughly.

Can I use Rubbermaid containers in the oven or freezer?

Rubbermaid containers are unsuitable for the oven, as they can warp or melt at high temperatures. However, they can be used in the freezer to store food. Be sure to allow hot foods to cool to room temperature before placing them in the freezer, and avoid filling the containers to the brim to allow room for the food to expand as it freezes.


It is important to prioritize microwave safety when choosing food containers for everyday use. Rubbermaid containers are popular for their durability and convenience, but ensuring they are microwave-safe before use is crucial. 

Rubbermaid has a thorough testing process in place to ensure the safety of their containers in the microwave, and there are factors to consider, such as container size and shape, lids and seals, microwave wattage and heating time, and container age and wear, to minimize the risk of any safety issues. 

Following proper precautions and best practices, Rubbermaid containers can be used safely in the microwave for meal prep, storage, and other purposes. 

However, it is also important to consider alternatives such as glass, ceramic, or silicone containers, depending on personal preference and safety concerns. Always clean and maintain your containers properly to ensure their longevity and safety for future use.

James Foster

Writer and Editor

Hello! It’s me James Foster, the founder and chief editor of Foodies Gallery. I graduated with a degree in Business and Journalism and currently live in Texas, USA with my beautiful wife and daughter. I’m a good home chef and also a content writer. I love traveling the world and exploring different cuisines. In my free time, I enjoy enjoys being outside as much as possible with hiking, boating, and camping in the summer, skating, and skiing in the winter.

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