Are Rubbermaid plastic containers microwave safe? That really depends on which generation of Rubbermaid food containers you are using. If you want a quick answer, scroll to the bottom or if you like a little history with your answer, keep reading!
A Little Rubbermaid & Microwave Oven History
Rubbermaid was founded in 1920 and then became a subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid in 1999. They are most famous for food storage containers and trash cans. It was in 1956 that Rubbermaid started creating plastic products, including containers.
Commercially available microwaves have been available since 1946, the first one sold as the “Radarange“. It was not until the late 60’s did microwave ovens become safe enough and financially viable for the general public to start using until 1967. It was just a matter of time before a Rubbermaid container found its way into one of these ‘magical’ microwaves.
Most glass containers are fine to microwave (you still want to double-check with the manufacture), the problem was plastic. We all know that plastic will melt under high temperatures. If the plastic in the food container is not built to withstand the microwave radiation, it will melt or leach chemicals into your food. And it’s the latter part of that is causing the most concern.
BPA Joins & Ruins The Party
Enter “Bisphenol A” or better known as BPA. This stuff was first discovered in 1891 by a Russian chemist. In the late 1950’s it started being used in plastic. Then in 1997 laboratory experiments showed ‘possible’ adverse effects of low dose BPA exposed to laboratory animals. The dam broke and as of today, research and debates continue on whether this BPA should be banned and exactly how harmful it is.
The problem with older plastic containers that contain BPA, is if they are heated in a microwave oven, that chemical (and others) can leach into the food.
How to Know For Sure
So with the history lesson over with, the question still remains, are Rubbermaid containers microwave safe? The good news is they are, but you still need to take precautions. To be 100% sure the easiest way is to look on the bottom of the food container (glass or plastic) and make sure you see either “Microwave Safe” or something to that effect. You may also look for the microwave safe symbol, which is three wavy lines.
In 2009 Rubbermaid updated all their products to be made with BPA free plastic. Rubbermaid, you are awesome! If you are using a Rubbermaid product before 2009, we recommend you to upgrade to one of the newer models.
Here are a few top-selling Rubbermaid microwave safe food storage containers that are all BPA free:
- Rubbermaid Easy Find Lid Snaps – Glass, 22-Piece Set
- Rubbermaid Food Storage Container with Easy Fine Lids – Plastic, 12-Piece Set
- Rubbermaid Easy Find Lid Food Storage Container – Plastic, 6-Piece Set
- Rubbermaid LunchBlox Sandwich Kit – Plastic
- Rubbermaid Easy Find Lid Food Storage Container – Plastic, 34-Piece Set
Are Rubbermaid plastic containers microwave safe? If you are using one of their food storage containers made of plastic or glass anytime after 2009, they all should be microwave safe. Notice the “should”. To be 100%, consult the packaging or look on the bottom of the container for the microwave safe symbols. If you are using a product from 2008 and earlier (just to be safe), it’s time to upgrade!