How to Reverse Refrigerator Doors

The finish is flawless, the veggie bin perfectly chilled to keep the cucumbers crisp, but there is one thing about an otherwise perfect refrigerator that can make it an unfavorable appliance. If the door is a pain to open or if you have to maneuver into a tight space to get to the seltzer, then your refrigerator isn't working at its optimal level for you. Whether the design of your kitchen space is a hindrance to the refrigerator's opening and closing easily or if it would simply work better for your workspace, reversing the doors on a refrigerator is a relatively simple task that doesn't always require a second pair of hands.

Woman opening a fridge
credit: Huw Jones/Photolibrary/GettyImages
How to Reverse Refrigerator Doors

Cool Ways to Prepare

Grab a screwdriver, either Phillips or flathead depending on the fridge, and an adjustable wrench to get the doors off the hinges of the refrigerator. A pair of pliers and a socket or ratchet set can both be handy to have available in case you run into any issues while handling a possibly heavy refrigerator door. Clean out the refrigerator of all its cold contents before you begin. This will save you clean up time when the refrigerator gets rocked and the eggs fall from their protective carton and onto your shoes and/or flooring. Unplug the beast before you tackle it with metal tools for complete safety.

Hinge Worthy Work

If it's just one door, begin at the bottom hinge. Remove any decorative trim pieces first by prying the soft plastic piece off with a flathead screwdriver. Next move to middle hinges, if there are any. Tackle the top hinge last as this will disconnect the door from the body of the fridge and place it firmly in your capable hands. With a firm grip on the door, remove the upper hinge screws. Reverse the hinge pins on all of the available hinges and reattach the door. Check for gaps in the seal and that the door swings open without catching.

Tips for Reversing Doors

Have a place to put all the little parts that will be coming off of the refrigerator. Label them as you go so that the top trim isn't on the bottom hinge, which can create a small hiccup in the closing of the door and then take hours to figure out why the door doesn't close completely. If any of those little pieces go missing during this endeavor, it can make the reversal of the refrigerator doors a moot point. The tiny parts aren't always easy to replace and if the doors don't close properly, the refrigerator becomes a pointless, hulking appliance.