May 8

What to Do with Old Microwave Ovens? | 4 Things You Can Do!


Author: Ana Stanar and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

A microwave oven is the heart of most modern kitchens. However, there comes a time in every household when we realize that our microwave oven is old and needs replacement. This is when we ask the question, “What to do with old microwave ovens.”

One of the major ways people deal with old appliances is recycling. However, equally well are methods of reusing the components or even re purposing your old microwave oven for something for crafty.

Unfortunately, Most people tend to store theirs away in their garages never to be seen again. Some even leave it in the kitchen where it gathers dust and other unpleasant substances.

Others just dump theirs in the trash. These approaches while practical, are not the most environmentally, financially or socially responsible.

In this article, you will discover some ways of reusing, repurposing, upcycling and most importantly recycling your microwave oven in parts and as a whole.  This will not only help you get rid of clutter but also give you a whole new device.

What to Do with Old Microwave Ovens?

Microwave ovens are our most efficient kitchen accessory; performing tasks that range from reheating to defrosting to boiling. Understandably, it can be quite hard to say goodbye to this multi-purpose appliance.

Disposing of your microwave oven is totally your decision to make. However, there are some approaches that you might find more suitable to your personality than the typical practice of dumping, reselling or storing them away.

Some of these approaches are:

  • Recycling
  • Reuse for parts
  • Repurposing (upcycling)
  • Donate


Where Can I Recycle My Microwave 2
Be mindful of how you recycle, don’t just throw and old microwave into a trash can. Courtsey:

Normal recycle bins are made for cardboard, plastics and other disposable wrappings. Microwave ovens on the other hand, consist of materials like glass, metal, magnets and some parts and material that are highly toxic like lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium or beryllium.

Recycling your microwave oven is a smart solution. It is an environmentally responsible thing to do; also, it’s profitable.

Also Read: Where Can I Recycle my Microwave Oven?

How to Recycle Your Microwave Oven?

Before recycling your microwave oven, the first thing you need to do is to prepare the gadget.

Some of the following tips might be helpful:

  • Ensure that the microwave oven is totally unplugged, cool and dry.
  • Properly tie-up any cords or wires to avoid tripping on them.
  • It is advisable to remove removable parts that you might find useful before recycling.

Choose Recycling Outlet

There are a wide range of places that you can recycle your old microwave oven depending on where you live.

Some of this outlet includes:

Appliance Retail stores

These category are likely to accept old microwave ovens. Sometimes, they might even be used for parts.

Appliance Recyclers

Dedicated recycling centers or scrappers accept microwave ovens. You can call them to come pick it up or take it down to their office depending on your location.

Appliance Repair shops

Most repair shops do accept old microwave oven to use for spare parts or they might fix it to resell it. However the case may be, they are more likely to take it off your hands.

Reuse for Parts

Another responsible way of getting rid of your microwave ovens is by dismantling it- the parts can be used according to your discretion. A microwave oven contains parts that cannot be found in any other appliance.

However, it is not advisable for those inexperienced in electrical works. Dismantling is not without risk and it is imperative to ensure that the appliance is unplugged and dry.

For some tinkerers who enjoy having various parts of electric devices at their disposal – on the off chance that it can proof quite useful one day – this should be your choice.

Useful Parts of a Microwave Oven

Magentron Assembly
Magentron Assembly that generated microwaves, This is an excellent reusable part.

An electrical or an electronics engineer will tell you that all parts of an electric appliance are useful. Nonetheless, we will focus more on parts that are easier to remove some of this parts includes:

  • Power cord
  • Fuse
  • Light bulb
  • Transformer
  • Mangetron (Dangerous Component(
  • Waveguide
  • Motor
  • Magnets


repurposed microwave oven
Repurposing your old microwave is one creative way to handle it. Source: Pinterest

This approach is quite similar to reusing parts. But unlike reusing parts, this section deals with finding a totally different use for your old microwave oven. Before repurposing, unplug the appliance and ensure that it is clean and dry.

Some of the various ways to repurpose an old microwave oven are as follows: making of bread box, fancy little library, foot rest, action figure displayer, constructing of incubators.

Bread Box

One of the spectacular yet surprising repurposing idea for your microwave oven is to convert it into a bread box. This is a warm place where you keep your bread if you don’t want the harsh coolness that might result from keeping your bread in a fridge.

This new appliance can be positioned anywhere in the kitchen. In fact, it can serve as a stand for the new microwave oven. Ensure to clean and air it out regularly to prevent mold.


If you are the creative type with books always lying around, you could repurpose your old toaster oven into your very own fancy library. To make it look more alive, you could repaint the outside. Ensure that it is clean and dry before placing any books inside it.

If the books don’t contain the inside of your new library, you can neatly arrange the taller books on the top.

Displaying Rare Items

Old microwave oven can also serve the purpose of displaying rare items such as rare action figures, models and even antiquities. Repurpose your old microwave oven to suit this by engineering the lighting or glass plate to work without the heat.

This can be done by any electrical engineer. Refrain from doing this on your own if you are not experienced in the field of engineering.


Another honorable thing you can do is to donate your wold microwave oven to orphanages, old homes and to other charity services.

When donating make sure:

  1. The microwave oven is in working condition
  2. It is not damaged otherwise it would be a health hazard
  3. It is clean and tidy

Also Read:


In this article, we discussed what to do with old microwave ovens extensively with major emphasis on recycling, reusing of parts and repurposing of old microwave oven.

Recycling of old microwave oven, while environmental friendly could be quite stressful with less personal reward compared to the other approaches. However, as discussed in the article, going with any of the approach should be based on lifestyle.

Dismantling of old microwave ovens should be carried out by an experienced professional to avoid accidents. Also, more complex repurposing work should be outsourced to a professional not only for safety but to ensure a beautiful turnout.


1. How do you dispose of a microwave oven?

If your microwave still has some life left in it, microwave disposal is more straightforward. Thoroughly clean the appliance and donate it to your local Goodwill or similar thrift store. Alternatively, donate it to a college-bound student or list it on Craigslist or Freecycle.

2. Are old microwaves worth anything?

The scrap value of a microwave is $4.00-$7.00, possibly more or less depending on your breakdown and yard prices. Selling used parts places an old microwave in the 20.00-150.00 range based on past experience and research.

3. Does microwave have gold in it?

Possibly. Circuit boards with gold plating are becoming more prevalent in appliances such as microwaves, air conditioners, refrigerators, and kitchen stoves. As a general rule, the more technological features an appliance contains, the more likely it contains trace amounts of gold.

4. Can you sell broken microwave?

You can check with your local appliance stores; they frequently accept broken microwaves for parts or repair and sell them. Bear in mind that there may be a fee and that some stores may only accept certain microwave brands.

5. Can you scrap a microwave?

Microwaves are also a very common item to come across while doing some neighborhood scrapping. Often, people simply place them on the curb for collection on bulk garbage days. Rather than that, you can dismantle one and earn some extra cash by scrapping it for the parts inside.

About the author

Ana Stanar

An Art Teacher, entrepreneur, and a mother of three, Ana considers cooking a form of art - pleasure for all senses as well as a process that requires creativity, passion and devotion. Since she leads a busy life, Ana just loves testing various kitchen appliances for Kitchen Gearoid, especially those that save her time while preparing food and cooking but also make every meal a masterpiece!


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