Should I Unplug my Microwave When Not in Use?

There are a lot of appliances in our homes that we leave plugged in 24/7, and most of us don’t think twice about it.

There are also many myths about cooking and kitchen appliances; unplugging your microwave when not in use is one of them. Should the microwave be unplugged when not in use?

While it might seem like a good idea to unplug your microwave when you’re not using it, the reality is that it’s not necessary.

Microwaves only use a small amount of power when turned off, so there’s no need to unplug them when you’re not using them.

Unplugging and re-plugging your microwave every time you want to use it can shorten its lifespan.

So, unless you’re concerned about saving a few cents on your electric bill, you don’t need to unplug your microwave when you are not using it.

It is also worth considering some factors to help decide whether or not to unplug the microwave when not in use.

And these include how often the microwave is used. If you only use it occasionally, then there’s no need to keep it plugged in all the time.

It is also best to consider the environment you find yourself in, especially if you have children at home, with the microwave not beyond their reach.

If so, it’s a good idea to unplug the microwave when not in use for safety reasons. A child could easily pull down an appliance cord while playing near an outlet and electrocute themselves.

Does Unplugging Microwave Saves Electricity?

The microwave is one of the most energy-efficient kitchen appliances. It uses less electricity than other cooking appliances like the stovetop and oven and can heat food quickly and evenly.

It is believed that unplugging the microwave when not in use saves electricity. But in most cases, unplugging a microwave does not necessarily save electricity.

The appliance uses very little power when turned off, and unplugging it will not significantly reduce your energy usage.

The constant plugging and unplugging of the microwave rather do more harm than good to the microwave.

It can cause it to wear and tear and make it lose its connection points, leading to a higher likelihood of it failing.

However, a few circumstances where unplugging your microwave may be beneficial.

If you have an older model microwave, it may use more power than a newer model. If you are not using your microwave regularly, unplugging it when you are not using it can help to reduce your energy usage.

Also, unplugging your microwave can help save electricity and prevent further damage if it is damaged or malfunctioning.

And if you stay away for a long time, unplugging the microwave can help save electricity.

With that, even though the energy usage of the microwave when not in use seems insignificant, over time, those negligible energy usages add up.

So consider unplugging your microwave when you are not going to use it for some time, as that will help save electricity.

What Home Appliance Should You Unplug When Not in Use?

Most people are familiar with the basic concept of energy efficiency: using less energy to do the same amount of work.

But what does that mean in practical terms? One of the easiest ways to save energy is to unplug electronics when they’re not in use.

Most appliances and devices such as TVs, computers, microwaves, and washers continue to draw power even when turned off. They are termed phantom load or vampire energy.

A phantom load is any device or a form of electrical waste that occurs when devices are left plugged in, even when they are not in use.

While the devices may appear to be turned off, they still use a small amount of power, known as standby power.

Standby power can account for up to 5 – 10% of a household’s electricity usage. And while that might not sound like much, it can add up quickly over time, and it’s completely avoidable.

So what should you unplug when you’re not using it? Any electronics with a power cord are potential energy vampires.

Even small devices like phone chargers can waste a surprising amount of energy.

Some of these appliances or devices include;

  • Desktop computer
  • Cordless phone
  • Audio system
  • Microwave
  • Washers
  • DVD player
  • DVR
  • Speakers

If you’re not using it, unplug it. It’s one of the easiest ways to save energy and be free.

It’s also important to note that not all appliances should be unplugged. Refrigerators and freezers, for instance, should remain plugged in at all times, as unplugging them can cause food to spoil.


Unplugging the microwave when not in use seems to be a good idea, especially when the microwave is old or malfunctioning.

It is also best to unplug it when staying away from it for a while. Other than that, the energy saved is negligible.

The constant unplugging and plugging of the microwave tends to cause wear and tear to the microwave and can end up shortening its lifespan.

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