The dead space above the refrigerator may seem like a good place for storage, but putting the wrong things in it can have unintended and sometimes dangerous consequences.
Many people store items above the refrigerator because they are easy to see and use. As a result, we often see boxes, books, and small storage containers stacked on top of the refrigerator.
However, using this space for storage comes with some risks. Placing things on top of the refrigerator is dangerous because it obstructs the ventilation of the refrigerator and forces it to work extra hard to cool the interior. Try to minimize or remove clutter from the top of the refrigerator, especially if you are storing items on this list.
Small kitchen appliances
A standard refrigerator can support more than 40 pounds of weight on it. In a home where space is limited, storing other kitchen appliances on top, such as a toaster oven or microwave oven, seems like a very space-saving solution. However, these small appliances are heavy and fragile, and if they were to fall, they could be injured or damaged. Also, if they are plugged into the same outlet as the refrigerator, they are more likely to overload the circuitry.
Some people may not have cupboard space for cereal boxes, but that does not mean that cereal boxes should be arranged on top of the refrigerator. Cereal boxes not only hinder ventilation, but also prevent pest infestation if they are left outdoors. Also, rats often eat cereal, so flimsy cereal boxes are very easy for rats to get into. To keep your cereal safe, invest in a well-sealed cereal container that rats can’t chew through, like this set from Chef’s Path.
Medications come in a variety of forms, including pills, liquids, and inhalers. All medications should be stored according to the instructions on the label to ensure that they continue to work properly. Keeping medicines on top of the refrigerator can cause heat to build up and affect the effectiveness of the medicine, and the temperature can change the molecular form of the active ingredient or break down the medicine. Medications should be stored in a cupboard away from heat sources.
Fragile kitchen utensils
Do not kick ceramic serving dishes or water heaters out of the refrigerator or onto the refrigerator, even if they are not used very often. Glass, porcelain, ceramic, and other breakable materials are very dangerous when placed on top of the refrigerator. Every time the refrigerator opens and closes, the items placed on top may move. Over time, with enough movement and with the help of gravity, these dishes can topple over, leading to breakage, bodily injury, or both.
Paper in various forms
Paper items such as cookbooks, old magazines, bundles of recipe cards, and paper towels should not be placed on top of the refrigerator. Storing a large number of heavy paper items, especially books, restricts airflow, which is necessary for the refrigerator to work efficiently. When air flow is reduced, the refrigerator will consume more energy to cool food, resulting in higher electricity bills. In addition, loose, lightweight papers can easily fall out of the refrigerator and get lost behind it.
While this is not true for all houseplants, many types of houseplants will not like the living environment above the refrigerator. They don’t like the heat, lack of sunlight, or dryness. In addition, plants on top of the refrigerator are troublesome to water. They are hard to reach and avoid splashing, so they end up moving to the sink to be watered. This results in less frequent watering and poor plant health. Plants in the kitchen should be placed on shelves or in the windowsill.
Snacks for Kids
The top of the refrigerator may seem like the perfect place to keep cookies, chips, and other snacks out of reach of little hands. However, children inevitably know where to hide the tasty treats and will engage in risky behavior to get what they are looking for. For example, they may place a box on a step ladder and stand on it. Be creative with where you hide candy to keep children safer in the kitchen.
Wine and liqueurs.
Keep liquids out of the refrigerator. Wine and liquor are often in glass bottles, so if they break, the glass and liquid can become a hazard in the kitchen. Liquid from broken or leaking bottles can pool behind the refrigerator or spill onto electrical components. Store such jars in a separate location to minimize the hazard.
Potatoes, onions, and other produce
Where produce is stored affects its shelf life. Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place, which is quite different from the top of the refrigerator. Onions and garlic should also be kept in a well-ventilated area, for example, in an open basket on the counter. Properly storing perishable foods will prevent spoilage and prolong the life of your food.
Keeping household cleaners up high and out of the reach of small children is a safe practice that every homeowner can follow. However, the top of the refrigerator is not an ideal place to store cleaning supplies. Highly corrosive products such as oven cleaners and drain cleaners can be dangerous. They should be stored in a well-ventilated, dry area that is inaccessible to children.
Bread and Other Baked Goods
Who doesn’t love the taste of freshly baked bread? The downside of bread is its short shelf life. To keep bread fresher longer, avoid storing it on top of the refrigerator. The ventilation openings in the refrigerator are warm, creating an environment where mold can easily grow. Store in a cool, dry place, such as a bread box.
Storing small items
Small items such as glasses and spare keys should be stored on top of the refrigerator. However, even on top of the refrigerator, these items can disappear or fall behind the refrigerator. Store small, important items in larger storage containers.