Most people who use their kitchens need storage options because there are so many cool gadgets that accumulate and take up the space you need for food prep and other kitchen activities. Finding a place for everything can be a challenge, and some places seem ripe for storage, including on top of the fridge.
But is this really a good idea?
Kettles are safe on top of fridges, but it is not ideal, nor recommended, because they can fall when you open the door, which can cause serious injuries. However, storing your kettle on top of your fridge is not overly dangerous and is an optional storage space.
In the paragraphs to come, we’ll talk about why storing your kettle on top of your fridge isn’t the best idea and provide some ideas and options for other storage methods.
Is It Dangerous To Store My Kettle on My Fridge?
While it can be dangerous to store your kettle on the top of your fridge, the odds are pretty low of a kitchen accident befalling you because your kettle was on top of your refrigerator. Still, low odds don’t mean “never happens.”
Perhaps the most likely accident happens when putting the kettle up or getting it down.
Refrigerators are tall, and it’s possible that someone might drop the kettle on their head or foot. A greater danger comes from the fridge itself, as storing anything on top of a refrigerator can shift the appliance’s center of gravity.
If you’ve got several items on the top of your appliance and any of them have any real mass to them, the fridge will start to become top-heavy. Reaching up for something could theoretically result in you toppling the refrigerator onto yourself.
This can also be a problem with refrigerators on wheels. If a wheel is damaged and the unit becomes unbalanced, any weight on the top of the fridge would make the problem more pronounced.
At this point, we’re again talking about the possibility of your refrigerator tipping over, which is dangerous whether it falls on you or not.
Yeah, But How Often Does That Stuff Happen?
Admittedly, these accidents don’t happen very often, but the possibility exists and needs mentioning. That said, there are other reasons– perhaps with a little more immediacy– not to store your kettle or other appliances on top of your refrigerator.
Again, storing your kettle there is not an overt danger to your house and home, but it isn’t recommended, as doing so can shorten the life of your refrigerator. If you’ve ever tried to retrieve something that rolled behind your fridge, you probably noticed that even though it keeps stuff inside of it cool, it puts out warm air from the back.
That heat comes from the compressor as it does the work of keeping your food cold, and it has to go somewhere. Hot air rises, so it tends to leave the refrigerator’s exhaust vent and rise.
If you have piled a bunch of stuff on top of your refrigerator, that hot air will have a harder time escaping, and the heat will not dissipate efficiently, which leads to your refrigerator being warmer than it should be.
Your compressor will then need to work harder to do its job, thereby shortening its life and increasing your electricity bill.
You already paid a lot of money for your refrigerator, so it would be a shame if you had to pay a lot more money for a new one because you stored a $20 appliance on top of it.
And it’s not just a kettle that may cause this. Many people keep a variety of things on top of their refrigerators. On any sitcom, you’re likely to see cereal boxes on the fridge in the background. Anything up there is going to interfere with heat dissipation.
If you’re going to store things up there, keep in mind that a refrigerator can safely support about 60 lbs (27.22 kg). Even though this number is out there, no matter how few pounds are up there, the safety issues mentioned above apply, so be careful.
What To Do With Your Kettle Instead
Depending on how you use your kettle, you have other options for storage. If you are someone who makes a cup of hot tea every day, it is reasonable to consider storing your kettle on the stove.
After all, that’s where it ends up every day, right? And if it comes to the point where you need a pot or pan on every single one of your six burners, set the kettle to the side until there’s a free spot. But really, how often does that happen?
If you choose this option, be sure to empty the kettle completely after each use, as leaving water in your kettle overnight will contribute to the buildup of minerals from harder water, called limescale.
Once it’s there, you’ll be able to taste the limescale in your beverage, which can flake off into the liquid, leaving white floaties in your tea. Gross.
If you don’t use your kettle regularly, storing it on top of the fridge seems logical, as it is out of the way but still accessible. However, putting it away in a cabinet under the counter works as well, because it’s out of the way, and any difficulty you have retrieving it won’t be that big of a deal since you don’t do it all that often.
It is important to remember that even if you store your kettle on top of the fridge, you’ll need to let it cool before removing it from the stove. It had boiling water in it just a few minutes ago, and there was a source of extreme heat on it.
Throwing it immediately into a cabinet or on the top of the refrigerator can damage the storage surface or even create a fire hazard.
Other Storage Options
You can use the problem of where to put your kettle as an excuse to do a little kitchen modification if that’s your thing. Many options exist to add storage to all sorts of nooks and crannies so you can maximize space and store items safely.
At the very least, if you’re storing things on top of your refrigerator, you should put down a non-slip pad. Non-adhesive shelf liners work well for this.
You can choose a solid sheet, like the Topbooc Non-Slip Liner from Amazon, or an open weave like Duck Brand Liner to allow for heat escape. These will keep items from sliding around and they’ll be less likely to fall on you. Even a heat-resistant drying mat like the Luxet Drying Mat could work well for this.
You might also choose something like the Acrux7 Storage Baskets available on Amazon.com, which allow you to group your things stored on top of the fridge and make getting to specific items a little simpler.
There are also larger bins like the StorageWorks Bins with metal frames to prevent them from collapsing when you are piling stuff in there. Depending on your style and your kitchen’s decor, you’ll be able to find a series of bins that work for you.
Lighten Your Kitchen’s Burden
If these solutions aren’t solving your problem of putting your kettle other than on your refrigerator, it might be time to look at what you have in your inventory. Many of those who enjoy being in the kitchen tend to accrue appliances and then use them only sporadically.
Do you use that awesome bread-making machine that seemed like such a great idea? Chances are, it sits behind a closed pantry door for more days than it doesn’t.
Did your mother-in-law give you an Espresso machine for Christmas, but you don’t really like coffee? Do you have a deep fryer for some reason, like there isn’t enough fried food in your life without you making your own?
Pare that stuff down. When I was a kid, when it was time to donate stuff, the rule was, “If you haven’t played with it in six months, you’re giving it away.” If you haven’t run your blender in the last couple of months, how badly do you need it?
Are you really going to, one day, say to yourself, “If only I had a blender”? Probably not.
If you’re a person who makes smoothies every day, sure, keep the blender, but put another appliance in its place. How often do you use that popcorn maker? Never, because you live in the 21st century and own a microwave, which is an appliance you would never jettison to make room for kettle storage.
Storing your kettle on top of your fridge is not recommended, but it will not be the end of the world if you do so. The chances of injury and the possibility of your kettle getting damaged in a fall are small but do exist.
If you choose to store things there, take some precautions and institute a storage system so it’s not a cluttered mess up there. If you can, avoid storing anything on top of your refrigerator so that the unit doesn’t have to work harder than it has to, and consider purging your rarely used appliances.