How to Get Any Drawer Unstuck

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A bar of soap works wonders in keeping a wobbly drawer on its proper projection.
Image Credit: brizmaker/iStock/GettyImages

When a drawer doesn't open easily or gives you a hard time as you attempt to quickly retrieve an item, it can get your unwanted attention each and every time you give it an ineffective yank.


Don't waste your time struggling and fighting with a drawer that won't open as easily as it should. Fixing a dresser door stuck closed is a fairly simple task that can be completed with inexpensive tools and materials.

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Humidity and Stuck Drawers

When drawers that have performed well all year long become an unbearable problem in the summer, it is more than likely due to the humidity that collects in the air. The wooden parts of the drawer will swell as the humidity rises. This causes the streamlined rails and sides to push against each other.


Even the slightest change in a drawer's structure, such as swelling, can cause it to shudder when you try to slide it open. Stuck drawers in humidity can typically be freed with a bit of lubrication placed in just the right places. The Family Handyman suggests rubbing a bit of paraffin onto the rails of the stuck drawer to help it glide open smoothly.

A Dresser Drawer Stuck Closed

If your dresser drawer won't open all the way, it can make getting dressed a painful process. It can slow down the morning ritual and make getting out the door that much more difficult.


But don't let a dresser drawer stuck closed ruin your day. To fix the issue, remove the drawer entirely by pulling it out a few inches and lifting it gently up. Continue to pull the dresser drawer up at an angle until it is free from its housing. Check the back of the drawer for an item that may have slipped into the cavity. Lubricate the rails with paraffin or nylon drawer tape.

Reader's Digest suggests using a bar of soap to lubricate the rails and sides of the stuck drawer. This will allow the drawer to glide easier over old metal or wooden rails.


Troubleshooting a Stuck Drawer

If shimmying and shaking hasn't made the drawer budge, then you may need to do some investigating. Always be safe when using sharp metal tools. Thin metal is flexible but it can also break off if put under too much pressure.

Check that something isn't blocking the drawer from inside. If there is a large object jammed inside the drawer, use a long, thin dinner knife or other dull item, such as a metal ruler, to gently jiggle the item back into place so that the drawer can open freely.


Open the drawer as far as it will go without harming the structure of the drawer. As soon as it starts to jam, stop and place a thin putty knife between the frame and side of the drawer to check for swelling or an item that has fallen to the side of the drawer. If the putty knife doesn't easily slide through the side, you may have an issue with swelling or a dislodged item from inside the drawer has fallen along the rails.


Sometimes, you may have something stuck behind drawers that impends their closing or opening. Use a thin metal putty knife to fish out the offending item.



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