Are Kettles Under Cupboards Safe? – Here’s What You Should Know

Kettles are generally regarded as safe kitchen equipment, and you will encounter few issues when using them. However, certain behaviours may cause kettles to be a big annoyance to the rest of your kitchen décor. Some may also wonder if it’s safe to put them under cupboards.

Kettles under cupboards are safe and unlikely to cause fires or other heat-related disasters. However, the steam that the kettle generates can harm your cupboard’s appearance. Keeping your kettle beneath the cabinet for a long period may result in discoloured or weaker wood.

This post will discuss whether or not you should keep a kettle beneath your cabinet and if you need to provide it with other storage options. I’ll also share with you how to prevent and repair your cupboards from the heat damage caused by your kettle.

Can I Put a Kettle Under My Wood Cabinet?

It’s not a good idea to keep your kettle right beneath your wooden cabinets. That’s because it can generate a significant amount of steam under the upper cabinets. And steam from a kettle may cause steam-burn, a white film that forms on wood.

There are worse effects also. For example, steam can cause melamine and thermofoil cabinets to melt.

Even a little bit of heat can cause cabinets to dry out and fracture prematurely, producing warpage, shrinkage, and even splintering.

As a result, if you keep your kettle beneath your cabinets, you should avoid boiling water in them. However, this would render them worthless, so you might consider storing your kettle elsewhere to protect your woodwork.

Where You Should Keep Your Kitchen Kettle

It is best for you to move your tea kettle and other steam-generating equipment forward, away from your top cabinets. This is because the steam will not contact the bottom of your top cabinets using this technique.

If your kitchen has an island, you should consider keeping your kettle there as well.

However, those who want to maintain their existing kitchen layout should consider installing heat shields on their cabinets.

As the name suggests, these items assist in deflecting heat and steam from your kettle.

How Heat or Steam Affects Your Custom Cabinets

Steam or heat causes wood cabinets to expand and contract in response to changes in the humidity level. This temperature swing has a noticeable effect on the shape, structural rigidity, and even the wood’s physical dimensions.

Plywood typically bends and disintegrates more quickly than other hardwoods.

And with prolonged exposure to heat, particleboard and fiberboard will alter in thickness, and the joints will weaken.

White sapwood and heartwood become slightly darker when exposed to steam. And these color variations occur throughout the wood, not simply on the surface.

These harmful results are amplified on raw or untreated wood cupboards.

If wood cabinets are exposed to excess moisture in the air, homeowners should do everything possible to dry the wood out by boosting the kitchen’s airflow.

Dehumidifiers and fans are also recommended in kitchens that generate a significant amount of direct heat to the cabinetry. Note that excessive steaming can cause your cupboards to deteriorate and become ineffective.

It’s good to keep humidity levels in the kitchen around 35-55% to prevent cabinet deterioration. Generally, once an adequate humidity level is accomplished and maintained, damage indicators will lessen or vanish.

How Do I Protect My Cabinet From a Kettle’s Steam?

Your kitchen should have decent ventilation to protect your cabinet from kettle steam. Providing proper ventilation around your kettle will give the moisture an exit. This ensures that the moisture doesn’t damage your wood as much. However, the contents of the cabinet will still get hot.

It’s challenging to add ventilation to an already established kitchen, which is why it’s a good idea to reposition your kettle instead.

Any open area in your kitchen away from the wall is a possible solution. Again, the goal is for the steam to dissipate into the air.

Additionally, it would be best if you also considered laminating your cupboards. Although laminated kitchen cabinets are not waterproof, the smooth exterior coating helps prevent water droplets from entering the hardwood and causing damage.

Although laminated kitchen cabinets are typically glossy, you can paint to fit your desired kitchen design.

How To Repair Steam Damage on Kitchen Cupboards

Repairing steam damage on furniture is not difficult, fortunately. That’s because the damage is typically on the furniture’s finishes. A few simple tricks and products you might already have at home will be enough to fix the damages!

Use Sandpaper on the Damaged Areas

Fold 120-grit sandpaper into thirds. After that, use a light hand to sand the affected area. It’s best to sand in an oval shape. That way, the damaged area will blend smoothly with the current finish. If you see that the shine has been removed down to exposed wood, stop sanding immediately.

When the project is complete, you can add a varnish that complements your woodwork if desired. I suggest following this up with another sanding using 180-grit sandpaper, then finishing with one more coat of lacquer.

Dry the Area With a Hair Dryer

Some sources recommend using a blowdryer on the affected areas. 

You should hold the dryer at least 8 in. (20.32 cm) away from the surface while fanning horizontally over the surface. It’s best to do this about 4 times per day until you see an improvement.

This method is most effective on new steam damage.

Top Kettles That Are Safe Under Your Cupboard

Cuisinart PerfecTemp 1.7 L (57.48 Fl. Oz.) Electric Kettle

The Cuisinart PerfecTemp on Amazon.com multipurpose kettle is ideal for kitchens with a variety of hot water needs.

Its primary selling feature is its quick boil time. The PerfecTemp boils water in 4 minutes and keeps it warm for up to 30 minutes. Customers remark that it produces little steam, making it safer to use in the kitchen than other kettles.

The handle has 6 temperature-control buttons labeled in Fahrenheit along with the kind of beverage that is best brewed at that temperature. There are also two large Start and Keep Warm buttons.

Additionally, the temperature holding and auto shutdown features relieve the user from monitoring the device. Its spout has a detachable scale filter, making it simple to clear away mineral deposits that can develop there. Additionally, this tool has a slew of additional amazing features, including the following:

  • Steel interior
  • Attached lid
  • Pitcher spout
  • Water level indicator
  • Diverse temperature options: 160, 175, 185, 190°F (71, 79, 85, 87.7°C) and Boil

GREECHO Electric Kettle

Because it can heat and boil water, the Greecho Electric Kettle found on Amazon.com is perfect for beneath your cupboards.

There are seven temperature control preset gears. This comes in handy for making specialty teas like gyokuro.

Furthermore, the Greecho tea kettle features an integrated LED display that continuously checks the water temperature. When needed, you may use this to stop the water at a specific temperature.

The 1,100W temperature control electric kettle can safely and quietly heat 1. 7 L (57.48 fl. oz) in 5 minutes, which is less than half the time it takes to heat in a microwave. Aside from that, there’s a fantastic 2-hour Keep Warm feature.

You can adjust the electric kettle wire in length, and the cord can be wrapped around the base for convenient storage.

And there are many more features that you may like among these:

  • BPA-free stainless steel
  • Real-time temperature monitor
  • Advanced thermostat control
  • Blue matte design

COSORI CO108-NK Electric Gooseneck Kettle

The Cosori Electric Kettle on Amazon.com is constructed entirely of food-grade stainless steel, including the housing, cover, and spout, ensuring that your beverages retain their original flavors.

Additionally, the kettle’s 1,200 watts can quickly boil it, allowing you to enjoy a cup of tea in three to four minutes. For safety reasons, the kettle beeps three times when it is finished boiling.

A one-hour Keep Warm feature ensures that hot water is available throughout the day.

Plus, there’s a maximum fill line visible from the inside and exterior that aids in preventing overflow.

Though the Cosori kettle is compact, with a maximum capacity of 0.8 L (27 fl. oz. ), it has a stylish design with a matte black finish.

And maintaining its look is a low-maintenance task. After using the kettle, simply wipe the kettle with a wet towel on both its interior and exterior body.

There are other features to this device that make it an excellent heating tool for your cabinetry:

  • Five temperature presets
  • Precision pour spout
  • British STRIX thermostat technology
  • Auto shut-off after the water gets to your desired temperature