How to Unstick a Refrigerator's Sliding Drawer

Refrigerator drawers, such as crispers and meat drawers, help organize food storage. Using the drawers improves food safety in the home by separating raw meats from other foods, reducing the risk of contamination and foodborne illnesses. The main challenge in freeing a stuck drawer is working carefully to avoid breaking the drawer or its tracks. Getting a refrigerator sliding door unstuck doesn't require special equipment or supplies.

Stack of gifts inside refrigerator
credit: Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images
A stuck refrigerator drawer may be off its track.

Step 1

Empty one of the refrigerator's working drawers and then slide the drawer off its tracks. This lets you see how the drawer works so you can unstick the jammed drawer. A refrigerator drawer slides on tracks or rails. The tracks usually support the drawer's sides at the top. Raising the drawer's front slightly unlocks it from the track and allows its removal. Depending on how your refrigerator is constructed, this might also give you better access to the stuck drawer.

Step 2

Mix one-half teaspoon of dishwashing soap into one-half cup of warm water in a spray bottle. Squirt the soap mixture along the drawer tracks, or as much of the drawer track as can access on the side where you removed the drawer and the exposed tops of the stuck drawer.

Step 3

Grip the stuck drawer's front panel and push it back into the correct position. For example, if it's stuck with one corner farther out than the other, pushing the protruding corner harder straightens the drawer and gets it back on track in the closed position. It's often more effective to push the drawer back in on its tracks before removing it.

Step 4

Use both hands and firmly grip the drawer's front panel. Lifting the panel upwards and pulling toward you releases the drawer. Use firm pressure, but don't force it. Contemporary refrigerator drawers are often made of molded plastic and can break with too much force. Rock the drawer front up and down gently and working the drawer from side to side gets it unstuck.

Step 5

Pulling the drawer out and angling it down removes it from the tracks. Wash the tracks with warm, soapy water. Removing spills and food debris helps the drawer slide smoothly when you put it back into position. Empty the drawer and wash it, including the edges that run on the track. Put the refrigerator drawer back on the track, angle the front of the drawer down and slide it into place.