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There are a few references to speeding up the process of drying flowers using ceramic tiles (apparently ones for this purpose) and a microwave, but not many of the videos and guides are very specific about the length of time and power of the microwave that works best.

Obviously this also depends on the type of flowers, but I am wondering if there are some tips that are useful while someone is trying to experiment and work out the best settings and parameters to set for doing something like this.

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The following might be suboptimal, but it worked several times for me (and is purely empirical):

  1. Set the microwave at minimum power.
  2. Put the flower in a folded paper towel which you place in a tupperware.
  3. Put the tupperware a few seconds in the microwave.
  4. Open the tupperware, change the paper towel and dry the vapor in the tupperware.
  5. Restart at step 3 until you are satisfied.

Of course, the number of seconds depends a lot on the type of flower. Typically, I start with 5-10 seconds and then decrease the amount of time. I never did it for flowers with petals, but I guess that you'll have to reduce the time in this case. Note that keeping small times allows a better control on your experiment.
I should admit that I never could get it as dry as after a long natural process, but you can definitely boost it with this technique.

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It may take some of the guesswork out of the process to use a microwave flower drying kit. These became available after this question was asked. Microwave ovens vary in power, so there is still some experimentation involved, but the kits simplify the process and remove some of the variables, and the materials are optimized for the process. The kits also come with instructions and guidance so you aren't starting from scratch.

I'm aware of several models in different sizes under the name Aboofx and there may be others. I haven't personally used one yet, but have seen crafter videos where they do. One is demonstrated in this video. They appear to do a good job and the crafters swear by them.

I plan to get one this spring and will supplement this answer with my own experience.

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  • +1 thanks for the answer. I am using pressed flower petals for origami and have been trying to work out how to prepare the petals so that they are suitable for folding. So I will be keen to find out about your experience with the kits if you do purchase one :) Mar 13, 2023 at 2:04
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Using microwave doesn't actually dry, but either burns or cooks the flower. I tried different levels.

The best way is to let it dry by its own. I use a box I custom made with glass, and the box is left with a small gap at the bottom for the moisture to escape. The box is to be kept outside in direct sunlight, which naturally dries the flower. It takes less than a day to finish the job.

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    Perhaps indicate your geographical location to improve expectation on the natural drying time. I know that in a UK Winter direct sunlight, even under ventilated glass, will not be strong enough and the day not long enough for a flower to dry in that time. Summer, maybe, on a good day!
    – BeaglesEnd
    Jun 17, 2016 at 11:37
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    Also, a microwave excites water molecules, increasing the energy, allowing the bonds between molecules become looser, and thus change state. All the processes in drying are about removing moisture and a microwave is a good targeted method with the right timings. I think this is what the OP is asking for. However, you are right to point out that overheating, either through a prolonged single heating or too many individual heatings, can damaged the flowers.
    – BeaglesEnd
    Jun 17, 2016 at 11:46

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