The top of your microwave may seem like a convenient place to put your things if you have a small kitchen with limited counter space.
But a question that you might have is:
Is it ok to put your phone on top of the microwave?
In short: Probably not- but only really when the microwave is on!
The reason for this may not be what you expect (see below!).
If your microwave is not in use and hasn’t been used recently (it is not hot), there is no reason why you can’t put your phone on top of it.
Can A Microwave Damage A Cell Phone?
We definitely don’t recommend placing your cell phone inside a microwave and clicking “Popcorn” to see what happens!
However, putting your phone or tablet on top of a cooled microwave does not pose any immediate risks to your device.
Radiation is actually not the main issue with keeping your electronic devices close to a microwave (though it has been posited to be able to cause static screens).
In fact, your phone operates on the same 2.4GHz band as a microwave when it sends out Wi-Fi signals.
Instead, phones are more susceptible to damage by heat.
Depending on the kind of microwave you have, there is a very good chance that the body of the microwave heats up during use.
Furthermore, most microwaves have vents on top of them that release heat. Leaving your phone on top of the microwave when it is running thereby puts it at risk of overheating.
When phones become too hot, a few things can happen.
For one, overheating can cause the soldering inside your phone to weaken.
In addition to that, heat can damage your phone’s battery and even cause battery leakage when temperatures become extreme.
Ultimately, electronics don’t like heat- and when they get too hot, they tend to fry!
Do Microwaves Interfere With Cell Phones?
As we have mentioned before, microwaves run on the same frequency as cell phones.
This is because, in 1947, the International Telecommunications Union designated the 2.4GHz ISM (Industrial, Scientific, and Medical) band as an unlicensed spectrum.
To ensure there was no interference between devices that operated on radio waves, the different frequencies were licensed for use.
These bands were specifically licensed to dictate what radiofrequency could be used for certain things to ensure that there was no disruption.
We didn’t have Wi-Fi back in 1947, so 2.4GHz was primarily used for microwave ovens.
However, since the frequency offers good distance capabilities, is reasonably low cost, and does not require a lot of power to broadcast, it was the perfect choice for Wi-Fi.
Since both run on the same wavelength- and because microwaves unavoidably leak some radio waves- there is a chance that that frequency can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal on your phone.
Where Should You Keep Your Phone In The Kitchen?
These days we use our cellphones for everything.
Whether you’re looking up a new recipe or need your mom on FaceTime to help you boil pasta water; there are plenty of reasons for having your phone in the kitchen.
That said, there isn’t always a good place to put it!
For one, you don’t want to risk spilling any hot (or cold) liquids or greasy foods on your phone.
At the same time, unless you clean your phone regularly (let’s be honest, you don’t), it’s a hotbed of bacteria that you don’t want around your food!
One solution could be to place your phone in a ziplock-type bag when you need it in the kitchen. This works to protect your phone, as well as to keep germs away from your food.
However, this method will not protect your phone from heat.
Therefore, appliances like the microwave or anything hot will still pose a risk! However, if you don’t need to use the microwave, keeping it on top of the appliance is fine.
Having said this, your best bet is to keep your phone in your pocket or in another room if you aren’t using it.
What You Should Not Put On Top Of A Microwave?
There are certain items that may be tempting to keep on top of your microwave but are not a good idea to do so.
For example, anything heavy is a no-go.
Microwave bodies can’t withstand any significant weight. Therefore, storing heavy things on top of your microwave could bend or even break the case.
Plants are another danger.
The heat from the microwave could be harmful to your plant. It may also have an effect on the available oxygen for your plant.
Likewise, liquid items shouldn’t go on top of your microwave in case of any spillage.
It goes without saying that electronic appliances like a microwave oven and any significant amount of liquid are not a good pairing.
Liquid through the vents or into the wiring can spell the premature demise of your microwave meals.
Finally, it’s not a good idea to store toasters or any other appliances on top of your microwave either.
These appliances also emit heat and can cause damage to your microwave or vice versa.
Basically, as long as you aren’t using your microwave, putting your phone on top poses no real risk to either item.
As long as the microwave is sufficiently cool, it won’t fry your phone, and there is no chance of your phone causing any damage to the microwave either!