Where to Donate a Microwave

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Updated August 18, 2022

If you have some spare kitchen appliances lying around, you may wonder where to donate a microwave. Even the best microwaves get old eventually, necessitating a replacement. Here is some useful information on how to get rid of old microwave ovens.


  • Microwave ovens last around seven years before they begin to show their age.
  • You can donate or sell a used microwave on Facebook Marketplace or other online marketplaces.
  • If your microwave is malfunctioning, contact a local electronics recycling center to ask if that is one of their acceptable items.

How Long do Microwaves Last?

Before you begin making plans to donate a microwave, it could be helpful to learn the average lifespan of a conventional microwave. Generally speaking, a microwave oven should last around seven years, though this may change depending on the make, model, and frequency of use. Microwaves can also become damaged if you place the wrong materials inside of them if you are wondering what happens if you put foil in a microwave. You should also regularly clean and maintain your microwave to improve its lifespan. A handy tool for microwave maintenance is called the waveguide cover, which prevents food items from gumming up the internal mechanism.

Insider Tip

Call any recycling center or thrift store ahead of time to make sure they are accepting submissions.

How to Donate a Functioning Microwave

Make sure that when you’re donating a countertop microwave, you’ve cleaned the microwave fully. Sometimes when making popcorn in the microwave or grilling inside one can leave certain stains and odors. That’s why it’s a good idea to give it a good cleaning and let it dry before donating it. So, provided your microwave still works, here are a few ideas for donating it.

Facebook Marketplace

Why donate a microwave when you can sell it? Use Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and related online marketplaces to sell the used microwave or even give it away. Be sure to be completely honest in your listing, so any potential buyer will know exactly what is going on with the microwave. That means to include the cutout depth of the microwave, especially if it’s a built-in unit.

Thrift Stores and Churches

Various thrift stores and churches can always use functioning kitchen appliances. Contact Salvation Army, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, and various churches to see if they will accept your used microwave. This is provided that the magnetron in the microwave works. Some of these organizations will actually send a person to pick up appliances, saving you the hassle. Call the donation center ahead of time to ensure your microwave is one of their accepted donation items.

How to Get Rid of a Broken Microwave

If your microwave is not working, your options become more limited.

Recycling Centers

There are a number of recycling centers throughout the country that specialize in used and broken electronics and gadgets, including microwave ovens. Before you bring in anything, however, give them a call to ensure they are accepting submissions of large items such as microwaves. They may have limitations when it comes to certain items, such as building materials, shower doors, kitchen cabinets, and the like.

Curbside Trash

Some areas may pick up large appliances via curbside service. Contact your local government to receive more information, including scheduling.


Where to donate appliances?

Try Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and community thrift stores. Be sure to check the donation hours ahead of time.

Can I leave a microwave on the curb for garbage pick-up?

Depending on your local rules and regulations, microwaves could qualify as one of the donation items that can be left on the curb for garbage pick-up.

Why can’t Goodwill accept all my items?

Goodwill, Salvation Army, and similar services may place a cap on certain items if they get too many. Call ahead of time and mention your zip code.

STAT: The total generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2018 was 292.4 million tons (U.S. short tons, unless specified) or 4.9 pounds per person per day. Of the MSW generated, approximately 69 million tons were recycled and 25 million tons were composted. (source)

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