What to Do with an Old Microwave? (Ultimate Guide)

Do you have an old microwave oven that you are yet to figure out what to do with it? They say ‘old is gold,’ but then, you’ll have to do away with the old at some point.

If you have an old microwave that you don’t want to shove in the storeroom, there are several ways in which you can make the unit useful again.

Don’t even think of tossing it in the trash. A microwave is considered e-waste and thus can’t be disposed of with regular trash.

Actually, throwing the appliance in the trash can lead to fines in some states.

In this post, we discuss several ways of reusing, recycling, and repurposing your old microwave oven in parts and as a whole.

Things You Can Do with Your Old Microwave Oven

How to Get Rid of Old or Broken Microwaves

Saying goodbye to a microwave that has accompanied you in the kitchen for some time can be quite hard. But instead of dumping or stashing it into the store where it’ll only accumulate dust, there are better ways of putting it into good use.

These ways include:

  • Recycling
  • Repurposing
  • Reuse for parts
  • Donating
  • Selling the oven

1. Recycling

A microwave oven is recyclable. And because it is considered as electronic waste/e-waste, the process needs to be handled by special recycling centers.

So, how do you go about it?

The first thing you need to do is prepare the microwave by ensuring that it’s cool and dry. You should also remove all removable parts that you find useful before recycling.

Now that your gadget is ready for recycling, it’s time to find a place to recycle the unit.

Well, there are a lot of outlets where you can recycle your old microwave depending on where you live.

Some of these outlets include:

Appliance Recyclers

These are dedicated recycling centers that accept microwave ovens. You can take the oven to their office or call them to come to pick it up.

Appliance Retail Stores

Most retail shops that deal with appliances have the norm of accepting old appliances for recycling. Take the microwave to your local as they will most likely take it.

Appliance Repair Shops

You can never go wrong with appliance repair shops when it comes to disposing your old appliances. These shops usually fix the units for resale or use them for spare parts.

There’s, therefore, a very high chance that they’ll take the old microwave oven off your hands.

The Manufacturer

If you got the microwave from a well-known brand, it might be possible for you to send it back to them for recycling. If the manufacturer has a drop-off site, you can take it to them, and if not, you’ll have to mail the appliance to their office.

2. Repurposing

To repurpose an old microwave is to find a totally different use for it. Some of the ways to repurpose the gadget include making it a fancy library, footrest, bread box, construction of incubators, among others.

Before repurposing the unit, you need to unplug it and ensure it’s clean and dry.

3. Reuse for Parts

Another responsible way of handling your old microwave oven is to dismantle it and use the parts according to your discretion. But if you’re not experienced in electrical works, avoid doing it on your own because disassembling the appliance isn’t without risks.

Some valuable parts that are easier to remove in a microwave include the fuse, light bulb, transformer, waveguide, motor, magnets, power cord, and the magnetron.

4. Donate

One of the best things you can do with your old microwave oven is donating it to an old home, local school, church, shelter, orphanage, or any other charity service.

There’s actually no better way of getting rid of something than giving it to those who need it.

When donating the appliance, ensure that it’s in good working condition, clean and tidy.

5. Sell the Microwave

If you feel the need to make cash on your old but still functioning microwave oven, go ahead and sell it to the highest bidder.

You can try selling it to your friends and colleagues and if that doesn’t work, try selling it on an online classified site like Craigslist.

What to do with an Old Microwave

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you throw an old microwave oven in the trash?

It depends. Different cities have different rules on how to dispose microwaves.
Also, getting rid of an old microwave requires more than simply throwing it in your household trash. Remember, a microwave is referred to as e-waste, and its components and materials are considered hazardous waste.
Reach out to your community trash service and find out their suggestion for microwave disposal.

How safe is it to take an old microwave apart?

It’s not safe to take a microwave apart, especially if the one dismantling it isn’t good at electrical works. Don’t attempt to disassemble it if you’re not confident in what you’re doing.
One important thing to note is that while a microwave may seem just like a standard electrical appliance, it uses a lot of electricity. This electricity is held in a high-voltage capacitor, which can hold on to it for days.
You don’t want to play with a high voltage appliance; it can deliver a lethal shock if undischarged properly.

Which microwave parts are worth selling?

The parts worth selling on a microwave vary from one model to the other. Also, individual parts might have value to different individuals.
That said, some of the parts worth selling include vent fans, capacitors, keypads, working magnetrons, and turntable trays.

How long does a microwave last?

A high-quality microwave oven should serve you for at least 7 years. This will, however, depend on how you use the appliance and your maintenance culture. If you frequently use it to prepare large meals, it can last for 4 to 5 years.


Instead of throwing the microwave into the trash or keeping it in the storeroom, there’s a lot you can do with it. You can repurpose it, resend it to the manufacturer for recycling, donate it to those who need it the most or make some money out of it by selling it to a friend or on online marketplaces.