Microwave Safety: Can You Put Things on Top of a Microwave?

Microwave Safety: Can You Put Things on Top of a Microwave?

You may think you know everything about microwaves, but do you know if it’s safe to put something on top? From condiments to kitchen utensils, this article will explain why certain things are not suitable for the top of your microwave and how you can properly and safely use your appliance.

With helpful tips, you’ll be an expert in no time!

The simple answer to the question of whether you can stack items on top of the microwave is that it depends. There are certain considerations that need to be taken into account when deciding if stacking items on top of a microwave is safe and appropriate. This article provides a guide to understand the risks and determine if it is safe to place items on top of a microwave.

What Can You Put on Top of a Microwave?

Whether you’re looking for additional counter space or just want a place to put small kitchen appliances, finding items that can safely be placed on top of your microwave is important. While it’s best to avoid putting any items directly onto the front, back, or sides of your microwave, there are a few things that you can safely set on top.

One common item to place on top of a microwave oven is an array of cookbooks or recipe cards. Make sure these are kept at least 2 inches away from the edges and corners of your appliance as heat may be generated if they touch it. You should also make sure these books or cards don’t block any vents that may be located along the sides and back.

You may also choose to store frequently-used cooking tools such as graters, cutting boards, kitchen towels, strainers, and timers on top of the microwave oven. As long as these items don’t cause too much clutter – which could block air vents – they can usually be stored here without issue.

If you plan to stack multiple items on your microwave oven at once, then consider adding a mat designed for this purpose. This type of mat not only adds a decorative touch but also serves as insulation against heat generated by the microwave itself. These mats should have grip strips along their underside so they won’t move from their designated spot while in use.

Benefits of Placing Items on Top of a Microwave

Many people store items on top of their microwaves for convenience, such as flatware and kitchen accessories. But there are also some benefits of doing this, such as providing extra counter space and making certain items easier to access.

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Storing microwave-safe dishes or even the microwave itself on top of a countertop model helps save space in smaller kitchens. This is especially useful if your kitchen does not have enough cabinet or drawer space to house all your dishware. It can be convenient to store your frequently used dishes, such as plates, cups, and utensils conveniently nearby when you need them.

Flat-screen microwaves offer a lot of space above them, meaning you can easily reach items stored there. In addition to making storage easier and more accessible, it also eliminates the need to purchase or install shelves within the kitchen area if you don’t have any already installed. One thing that is important to note though is place all loose items away from the microwave area so they are not affected by the heat generated from cooking food inside it.

Adding a decorative touch can instantly give your kitchen an updated look just by placing other decorative items on top of the microwave like flowers or plants. The possibilities with this form of decorating are limitless! Just be sure all table decorations won’t come in contact with cooked food being removed from a hot oven; it would be wise to remove these decorations while microwaving meals or snacks so they do not become damaged or overheated during this process.

Potential Risks of Placing Items on Top of a Microwave

Although microwaves generally offer an efficient and safe way to prepare food, there are some risks associated with placing items on top of one. In addition to potential health hazards and fire risks, use on the microwave can be affected if combustible material is placed too close to it. Therefore, it is strongly advised not to place anything plastic, paper or combustible material on top of the microwave.

Health Hazards: Placing items such as vinyl kitchen utensils and other plastics on top of a microwave can be hazardous as the heat produced by the appliance is not controlled or filtered in any way. As a result, these objects may melt due to the intense heat present at close range, especially when cooking items with higher fat content such as bacon or French fries. If ingested, melted plastic items contain harmful toxins that can cause vomiting and digestive problems in humans.

Fire Risks: Objects such as paper towels or cloth napkins should also never be placed directly onto a hot microwave surface; this could increase the risk of fire since these materials could combust from the heat generated from the appliance. Any combustible materials placed too closely to a hot surface may cause sparks that could start fires if unattended.

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Use of Microwave: In addition to posing potential health and fire risks when placing objects on top of a working microwave therefore should be avoided for safety reasons. Doing so may also affect performance of your oven due to interference caused by outside air flow obstructions which could lead to uneven cooking results or overheating depending on how close they are placed in relationto the unit itself.

Tips for Safely Placing Items on Top of a Microwave

Placing objects on top of a microwave is a great way to keep the countertop clear and organized. However, it is important to make sure that microwave remains safe and operates properly when it’s time to use it. In order to do this, you should follow these tips:

  1. Ensure that any items placed on top of the microwave are not heat conductors and are not too heavy. Heat conductors will absorb heat, which can either damage the microwave or cause items on top of the appliance to become hot enough to start a fire. Heavier objects can cause instability and compromise safety in general.
  2. Keep all flammable materials away from the top of a microwave – meaning no paper towels, plastic bags or even kitchen towels should ever be in reach above your machine for any reason whatsoever! Flames + Flammables = Danger!
  3. Place plates and bowls onto trays or stands before putting them on top of your microwave – as this will prevent them from rubbing directly against the surface of your appliance and becoming overheated. This is especially important if you plan on regularly placing heavier items (like dishes) up there while you cook with your machine below!
  4. Check that all surfaces remain dry at all times – Particles collecting on wet surfaces (like water droplets or drops of oil) can easily spark an electrical fire if they come into contact with a live wire inside your machine – which would spell disaster!

By following these tips, you can rest assured that placing items on top of your microwave won’t put you at risk for any type of danger related to electricity or heat – so go ahead and take advantage now!

How to Clean Items Placed on Top of a Microwave

When items are placed on top of a microwave, they should be cleaned periodically, as dust and grease can build up over time. To keep the surfaces clean and safe, there are a few steps to follow:

  1. Make sure the microwave is not running before cleaning it. Unplug the appliance and allow any items sitting above it to cool completely.
  2. Use a mild detergent or all-purpose cleaner with a soft cloth or sponge to remove any dirt and debris buildup from items sitting on top of the microwave. For tougher stains, use a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water to remove them from the surface. Be sure to use circular motions when cleaning to get rid of stubborn dirt, but don’t scrub too hard or you could damage the finishes on your countertop appliances.
  3. Rinse off all remaining residue with warm water and dry thoroughly with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.
  4. Once everything is dry, check around for signs of wear and tear or discoloration caused by heat exposure that may require further action such as sanding and refinishing or repainting the area in question.
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With some basic maintenance steps completed on occasion, you can ensure that your kitchen stays looking its best!

Alternatives to Placing Items on Top of a Microwave

There are several alternatives to placing items on top of the microwave, some of which include:

  • Elevating the microwave onto a shelf or countertop. This will allow more space above the microwave and will also reduce its energy consumption while in use.
  • Creating a slimmish shelf or rack above the microwave that can be used to store items such as spices, cookbooks, recipe cards and small kitchen appliances.
  • Reorganizing cabinets and drawers in your kitchen so that there is more storage space for items that do not need to be stored on top of the microwave.
  • Using free standing storage units such as carts or stands for additional storage options within your kitchen.
  • Installing overhang style shelves above your cabinets for easy access storage.

By considering some of these alternatives, you can ensure adequate ventilation around your microwave and increase accessibility to stored items without having to place them on top of the appliance.


To summarize, it is not recommended to put any metals in a microwave and you should be aware of any limitations specified in the microwave’s user manual before placing anything on top of the device.

Some materials that are safe to be placed on top of the microwave include:

  • paper towels
  • wooden cutting boards
  • linens
  • plates

Placing an oven-safe container with some form of insulation between it and the top surface can also help protect the microwave from damage. It is important to monitor food items thoroughly if they are cooked in metal containers or dishes as metal can reflect heat and cause sparks, which can be hazardous.

In all cases, it is best to consult your user manual and exercise caution with regard to what you place on top of the microwave oven.

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