Can You Put Things on Top of a Microwave?

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If you’ve ever tried to set up a kitchen in a small apartment or a tiny house, then you know how real the space struggle is! You’re always looking to make the most of whatever space is available, and just like that, you spot your microwave just sitting on the counter. Dare you put stuff on top of it; is it safe?

Putting small things on top of your microwave is perfectly safe as long as the object isn’t too heavy and doesn’t block any vents or cause overheating. However, I suggest using a rubberized mat to provide protection and grip on top of your microwave before keeping things on it.

So, can you put anything on top of a microwave, even small appliances like toaster ovens and coffee makers? Can you operate the microwave while things are on top of it? Well, let’s find out!

How Safe Is It To Put Things on the Top of a Microwave?

One of the biggest safety concerns when keeping things on top of your microwave is accidentally blocking the vents. As a microwave uses radiation to heat stuff inside, it relies on airflow to regulate the temperature.

As long as you don’t block the microwaves vents, putting things on top of it is pretty safe. Blocking the air vents can create problems in the dissipation of the heat and result in overheating. If you operate a microwave with blocked vents, it can even start a kitchen fire. 

For those reasons, it’s very important to make sure that the vents aren’t blocked by anything you stack on top of a microwave.

Also, keeping heavy things on the top of the microwave can cause distortion and bending. The last thing you want is a microwave with a misaligned door causing all the heat to escape and create another problem. Similarly, anything flammable or objects that melt easily should never be kept on top of a microwave.  

If you keep all the caveats in mind, you can keep small things on top of a microwave without an issue.

Does the Top of Your Microwave Get Hot?

One of the most important reasons for not keeping things on top of a microwave when it’s in operation is the heat it generates. 

Your microwave can get pretty hot on the top and sides while working to heat your food. The longer something takes to heat, the hotter your microwave will get.

While there are safety measures in your microwave that can prevent heating of the appliance itself, it’s not uncommon for a microwave to get hot. If you have something that can easily melt on top of a working microwave, the heat can damage it, or worse, cause it to catch fire.  

While using your microwave for a few seconds won’t cause a significant heating issue, it’s always best to take everything you placed on top of your microwave down before switching it on.

Can You Put Other Small Appliances on Top of Your Microwave?

Small appliances like a coffee maker or a toaster oven are pretty lightweight. So, can you put them on top of your microwave? 

You shouldn’t put other small appliances on top of your microwave. Some of them are too heavy and can damage your microwave. Others have their own heating components and get hot while in use. That could also damage your microwave. 

For example, coffee makers have a heated base plate that houses a heating element and some electrical components to get the job done. All this is encased in a plastic casing with vents to let the excess heat out. 

If you operate a coffee maker while on top of your microwave, the base can become hot, transferring heat to the top of the microwave. Hence, the top of your microwave is going to get hot every time you turn your coffee maker on, which isn’t ideal, is it?

Toasters are in the same boat as coffee makers in heat generation. Furthermore, toasters are much less shielded than coffee makers and can get quite hot. Consequently, a toaster sitting on top of a microwave isn’t a good idea, to put it mildly.    

How Can You Make It Safer When Operating a Microwave?

To make operating your microwave safer, ensure there’s enough space between it and adjoining walls that side vents aren’t blocked. Also be sure proper ventilation is available for the microwave to operate. Ventilation is a very important aspect of its proper functioning and long life.

If you still decide to keep something on the top of the microwave, then make sure to keep a heat-resistant insulating mat so that heat isn’t transferred to objects and all the vents are open.