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11 Items You Should Never Store on Top of Your Fridge

The top of your fridge looks like a good place to put some of the items in your kitchen, especially if you’re short on storage space. But you might want to reconsider. That’s because home safety experts and fire experts all agree that the “real estate” above your refrigerator should not be used for storing things. Definitely, not these 11 items that should have no place whatsoever on top of the fridge. Read on to find out what these items are and keep your kitchen and home safe.

Why storing items on top of the fridge is not a good idea

You might want to maximize all your storage space and use your fridge as well, but you’d better hold that thought. One of the main reasons safety experts warn against using your fridge as a storage spot is airflow.

As explained by Captain James Flynn, a fire expert, “top storage can impact the ventilation of the refrigerator”. Many refrigerators release heat via condensers placed on top. If you put all sorts of things in that area, you’ll block the airflow, and the fridge will have to double the work of keeping your food cold. Not only will you shorten its lifespan, but you will also create a potential fire hazard, says Rebecca Edwards, a household security and safety expert.

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Items you should never store on top of the fridge:


Bread and baked goods such as bagels and rolls are highly perishable. Bread can go stale pretty quickly so there’s no need for any extra help on your part. Stored properly, bread from the store might last for about a week. On the other hand, placed in the wrong place, like the top of the fridge, will only ruin it faster – both the bread and the fridge (remember, airflow). Similarly, plastic-wrapped bread can become moldy.

The best way to preserve your bread is to put it in a breadbox. But don’t put the breadbox on top of your fridge, though!


Nowadays, we take most of the recipes from the internet. However, should you happen to have an old cookbook, passed on from one generation to another, or Jamie Oliver’s recipes for a healthier lifestyle, keep them handy.

Not only placing cookbooks on your fridge makes them more difficult to reach when needed but they can also represent a potential fire hazard. According to Edwards, “paper and other flammable items shouldn’t be stored on an appliance that’s working so hard”. The warning also includes small pieces of paper tucked inside the cookbooks. If they end up behind the fridge, ventilation might be affected.

See also:10 Things You Shouldn’t Store in Kitchen Cabinets, According to Experts

Small appliances

We all have all sorts of appliances that we don’t use on a daily basis, such as waffle makers, air fryers, rice cookers etc. They usually take up important space so their storage is a priority. But just because you have some empty space on top of the fridge, doesn’t mean you should use it.

First of all, small appliances can easily slip and fall when you open and close the fridge door. Therefore, “items of heavy weight, or unstable items that could fall and cause injury, should be avoided” in this area. If you don’t have any free space in your kitchen, find another location, like the garage.

A cookie jar

No matter how hard you try to hide it, your children will always find the cookie jar. Placing it somewhere high, out of their reach will not work either. Firstly, because they might fall in the process of climbing and reaching the top of the fridge for the cookie jar. Secondly, the jar, just like small appliances, might fall and break, with broken shards spreading all over the place. Thirdly, cookies, same as bread, can go dry and stale faster due to the heat released by the fridge condensers.

The conclusion? Forget the old cookie jar! Organization experts recommend storing cookies and other goodies in airtight food-storage containers. And for everyone’s safety, keep them somewhere that’s not the top of the fridge.


Medicine should be kept in a safe place, that cannot be easily reached by children. But everyone knows that when children want something, nothing can stand in their way. Not even the fact that they have to climb to get what they want. In fact, it might seem even more exciting. “Having meds out in the open, instead of behind a locked cupboard, is a potential disaster waiting to happen,” warns Edwards. Moreover, if you’re in pain or really need to take some medicine, you’re only making it harder for yourself to reach the medicine you need.

On top of that (not on top of the fridge!), medicine should be stored in dry, cool places. The top of the fridge is anything but that. If you want your medicine to remain effective, keep it in a specific medicine cabinet, properly locked.


Has it ever happened to you to buy all sorts of cereal boxes that do not fit your cabinets? If you don’t have enough space to place the boxes upright inside the cabinets, the fridge top might seem promising. Bad idea, though!

Not only are cereal boxes light and thus, unstable, but they’re also flammable, block the airflow and might easily slip behind the fridge. To add insult to injury, cereals can go stale and become the main attraction for pests and rodents, warns Edwards.

To remain fresh and crunchy, cereals should be stored in airtight food-storage containers in the pantry or designated cupboards.

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Fresh produce

Usually, fruits and vegetables, or at least most of them, are stored in the fridge. What happens to bananas and avocados, for example? You might see it as a good idea to put them in a fruit basket above the fridge. However, according to Edwards, “putting them on top of the fridge can speed deterioration, making that basket of farmers-market goods a feast for pests like fruit flies.”

Not to mention that if a fruit or vegetable falls behind the fridge, it could take quite some time before you discover it, rotten and all. Fruits and vegetables should be kept on the counter or in the pantry.

Read also:10 Items You Should Never Leave Under the Kitchen Sink

Glass bowls and jars

This category of items should also be included on the falling hazard list. Glass bowls, casseroles or Mason jars are all heavy items. If placed on top of the fridge, they might shift and fall on you or someone else. Imagine the pain!

In addition, bowls and kitchenware have all sorts of crannies and nooks that might gather dust and grease. This, according to Edwards, can also become a fire hazard.

TV trays and platters

The fridge top seems like the perfect spot for large, flat, household items like TV trays. After all, where else can you put them, right? Wrong. Whatever you do, don’t store such items on the top of the fridge. They can be extremely unstable, especially if you stack them, risking them to fall behind the fridge or on your head. Not to mention that they can block ventilation.

Edwards advises against putting anything on top of the appliance, but if you really have no other option, you should at least use a heatproof rubber mat to prevent items from shifting and moving around.

Best storage space? The pantry or cupboard.

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