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Is It Safe To Place Things On Top Of A Microwave?



Is It Safe To Place Things On Top Of A Microwave


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No matter how small or big a kitchen is, there is never enough storage space. It leads to the need to stack things up and make use of all the space. If you are facing the same issues, you might be tempted to use the microwave top to store stuff. 

But is it entirely safe to put things on top of your microwave oven to save up space? Can it hamper your appliance and the stuff you are keeping on it? While you can use your microwave to store extra things, there are many things to keep in mind. 

Dive right into this detailed guide to know how and when putting things on the microwave top is okay. 

How Safe Is It To Put Things On Top Of A Microwave?

It is safe to keep items on top of a microwave only when you are not using it. However, you must ensure that the items are not very heavy and don’t block the vents, which can lead to overheating. 

An important thing to remember here is that you need to remove everything from the microwave before you switch it on. 

Although microwave tops are sturdy enough to store, some items may cause damage to the appliance or even cause issues. Opening or closing the microwave door can wobble these things placed on the surface, often causing them to fall and break and even hurt someone.

Make sure you pay heed to the instructions from the manufacturer when putting things on top of the microwave to prevent such occurrences in the future.

Another important thing you must make sure of is that there is enough ventilation, which enhances the microwave’s lifespan. If you block the vents, it could lead to severe accidents, such as fire. If putting items on top is restricting ventilation, you must avoid it. 

Does The Top Of Your Microwave Heat Up?

This appliance generates heat, and the top or sides of a microwave might get hot when you are using it. Due to this, it is best not to keep things on top of it while cooking as it may lead to melting, causing damage to the items placed on top as well as the microwave itself.

When you switch on the microwave, electricity transmits through a cavity magnetron and later converts to radiation. The radiation moves via a waveguide, which directs it to the cooking chamber. The waves start bouncing inside the shielded box because of this and promote an even heating pattern.

The electromagnetic waves heat not only the food but also the microwave. Although it will take longer to heat up the appliance, it is still not ideal for placing anything on top of the microwave until it cools down completely. But remove everything from the microwave before you hit the switch button. 

What Can’t You Leave On Your Microwave?

Even though it is safe to put items on the microwave when it is not in use, not everything should be placed there. Here are some things you must avoid keeping on top of a microwave:

Coffee Maker

When it comes to putting a coffee maker on a microwave, although you can, it is not an ideal location. Since it is both heated and contains liquid, you have to be cautious to ensure your safety or find a different place for your coffee machine. 

If you keep it on the microwave, the overfull coffee tank might spill water on not only the coffee maker but also the microwave. You would also have to put a silicone mat that can catch spilled liquids. In my opinion, it is best to avoid keeping the coffee maker on the microwave. 


Since toasters don’t have a shielding level like other appliances, with only an underneath metal plate, they can end up getting hotter than your coffee maker. Owing to this, placing a toaster on top of another appliance, like a microwave, might not be a good idea.

Besides the heat, the crumbs from the bread can go into the heat vents and hamper its operation.

Even after using a silicone mat to gather breadcrumbs or disburse heat, placing your toaster on top of the microwave can prove to be hazardous. 


Many people want to keep houseplants in the kitchen, but due to lack of space, they end up taking up space on the microwave.

Although plants don’t produce heat, they need and store water. There are chances of dampness and water leaks that will be detrimental to the microwave. 

Along with the water, the weight of the ceramic pot and dirt can also cause damage. Moveover, this placement is also harmful to your plant’s health.

Plants on microwave
Not ideal to put plants on a microwave

The electromagnetic waves emitted by the appliance cause damage to the cells of the plant, leading to them wilting. The microwave’s heat can also make the plants dry. 

Plastic Wrapped Foods

While it may seem okay, putting foods wrapped in plastic on the appliance might not be entirely safe. The thin plastic can melt easily and block the vents. Besides that, the heating of plastic can release toxic chemicals in your food.

Here you can use a relatively lightweight box or container to resolve this issue. Just make sure you remove it from the microwave when cooking things in it. 

Heavy Utensils

Avoid putting heavy utensils, like cast iron pans or pots, on the microwave. The heavy weight can cause damage and even cause disruption to the working of the microwave.

Liquid Items

Another thing you must avoid is liquid. When it comes to placing any liquid items on your microwave, such as a soup bowl or tea mug, there’s always a chance of spillage and it could even lead to the leaking of water in the microwave.

You may think that a little spilled water might not be a big deal, but it can turn out to be dangerous. If water comes in contact with the microwave’s electrical components, it can lead to a short circuit and cause damage to your appliance or even start a fire. 

Which Items Are Safe To Keep On Top Of A Microwave?

Not that you know what you can’t keep on the microwave, there are few things that are safe to place on it. They are: 

  • Lightweight plates
  • Empty glasses and mugs
  • Magazines
  • Books
  • Small plastic containers
  • CDs
  • Bread loaf


A microwave can make cooking and meal prep hassle-free and smooth, even for people who don’t enjoy it much. However, you have to be careful with it, especially when it comes to placing it in your kitchen. 

Make sure you avoid putting heavy appliances, liquids, plants, and thin plastics on top of the appliances, and stick to lighter items like books and plates.

However, take down everything while you are using it for cooking meals, and your microwave will continue working seamlessly! 

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