Things You Shouldn’t Store on Top of Your Refrigerator

When space is at a premium, it’s important to maximize every square inch. If you have a small kitchen, that means getting a little creative with kitchen organization. Stackable bins, Lazy Susans, and other space-saving kitchen storage ideas make the most out of tight situations, but there’s one spot you should think twice about. While all that real estate atop your refrigerator looks pretty tempting, safety experts explain why you shouldn’t store stuff up there. It’s mostly about airflow — top storage can impact the ventilation of the refrigerator. Your refrigerator gives off heat in the process of cooling and freezing your food, and that heat has to go somewhere. To dissipate it, refrigerators have condensers located on the top, sides, or back, depending on the model. If you pile a bunch of stuff up there — blocking good airflow — your refrigerator has to work harder to keep your food cold. Excess heat buildup can lead to reduced appliance life at best and be a potential fire hazard in a worst-case scenario. Top storage is also terrible for your food. Bread stored up there will dry out, cookies will go stale, and fruit will deteriorate quicker and attract fruit flies. Experts agree that nothing should be stored on top of your refrigerator. If you need more storage, the best thing to do is to add a kitchen cabinet over your refrigerator.