The kitchen is the heart of the home and it's a rare heart that goes through life without picking up a few dings and dents along the way. Fortunately, a dented refrigerator door is far easier to patch up than a bruised heart. There are several methods for repairing a dent and you might have to try more than one. Start with the simplest and work your way up to the more involved methods rather than spending time and money on a complicated cure that might not work for you.
Clean and sanitize your plunger or purchase a new one. This method works best with a flat-edged plunger. Clean the area around the dent with isopropyl alcohol to ensure a tight seal. Spray the area very lightly with a plant mister full of clean water. Attach the plunger's rubber edge to the area around the dent and push in hard to create a seal. Pull the handle of the plunger toward you firmly, but not so hard that you break the seal. Repeat until you hear the dent pop out.
Canned Air Duster Method
Wipe down the dent and the area around it with a clean, lint-free cloth barely dampened with warm water. Dry it thoroughly. Shake a container of canned air such as the ones used to clean computer parts and keyboards. Hold the can upside down and spray the dent and the area around it. The chilled carbon dioxide may pop the dent out as it warms. If not, try again. If this method does not work after two or three tries, move on to the next one.
Hot Glue and Dent Tool Method
Purchase a dent removal kit designed for cars. Clean the dent and the area around it thoroughly with the prep solution included in the kit. Choose a dent removal tool that is larger than the dent, itself. This looks like a very large golf tee with a much wider, flat head. Go two sizes up from the dent to get the best adhesion.
Apply hot glue to the head of the dent puller, making sure to coat it thinly and evenly with a little in the center ti fill the dent. Attach the dent puller to the refrigerator with the dent at its center.
Adjust the suction cups on the separate puller handle so that they are as close to the dent as you can get them. The puller handle is a piece of metal with a hole in the center, adjustable suction cups on one surface and three knobs on the other surface. Turn the knobs that control the sucker feet left to loosen and adjust them and right to tighten them into place.
Slide the hole in the middle of the puller handle over the handle of the dent puller stuck to the refrigerator door and attach the suction feet firmly to the refrigerator door on either side of the dent. Let the contraption sit for about a minute and then tighten the central knob on the puller handle by turning it to the right until it pops off of the door.
If this has not pulled the dent out, re-clean the area with alcohol, re-coat the puller head with hot glue and try again. If you set the puller horizontally the first time, try it vertically the second time. This can take as many as 15 tries, but if it hasn't affected the dent by then it might be wise to move on to the next method.
Blow Dryer and/or Dry Ice Method
Clean the dent and the area around it thoroughly with a clean, damp cloth. Let the area dry completely. Heat the metal with a blow dryer set on high. This may pop the dent out as the metal cools.
Instead of heating the dent, put on heavy gloves and apply dry ice to the dent and the surface of the refrigerator door surrounding it. Put the dry ice away in a secure cooler. The dent might pop out as the area warms up in the air.
You can also try heating the area and then applying the dry ice, or vice versa.
When No Method Works
Sometimes a dent is just too stubborn to pop out. Or your refrigerator door is not made of metal, and is therefore not strong and flexible enough to recover from a dent. If that is the case, contact the manufacturer for a replacement door.
When it arrives, remove the bolts from the top hinge on the door. If you have an older model, you may have to remove the freezer door, first. This will most likely require a hex wrench. Lift the door off of the bottom hinge and set it aside.
Place the new door carefully on the bottom hinge. Replace the top bolts and tighten them. Replace the top freezer door if necessary. Dispose of the dented refrigerator doors in accordance with the oversized trash regulations in your community.
Brynne Chandler built her first bookcase at eight years old, which is also right around the time she started writing. An avid crafter, decorator and do-it-yourselfer, Brynne has remodeled several homes including one cantilevered on a cliff and one that belonged to Olympic swimmer and actor Buster Crabbe. Best known for her EMMY-nominated TV animation writing, she has been writing non-fiction content for almost a decade and has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Houston Chronicle online, among other places.