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.

inside of clean and empty refrigerator with shelves, good background for health or diet concept
credit: yokaew/iStock/GettyImages
How to Unstick a Refrigerator's Sliding Drawer

Check Out the Track

Before tackling the stuck drawer, you want to check out the track to see how everything works. Start by emptying one of the refrigerator's working drawers and then sliding it off its tracks. 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.

Make a Non-Stick Solution

To make a non-stick solution of your own, mix one-half teaspoon of dishwashing soap into one-half cup of warm water and put it into a spray bottle. Use this soap mixture along the drawer tracks, or as much of the drawer track as can access on the side where you removed the drawer. Also spray the solution on the exposed tops of the stuck drawer.

Get the Drawer Back on its Track Before Removing it

Start by gripping 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.

Use both hands to firmly grip the drawer's front panel, lifting the panel upwards and pulling toward you in order to release the drawer. Make sure you use firm pressure without forcing the drawer. Contemporary refrigerator drawers are often made of molded plastic and can break with too much force. You may need to rock the drawer front up and down gently and work the drawer from side to side to get it unstuck.

Wash the Tracks With Warm Water

Pulling the drawer out and angling it down removes it from the tracks. Using warm, soapy water, wash the tracks. By removing spills and food debris, the drawer should slide smoothly when you put it back into position. You should empty the drawer and wash it as well, making sure you get the edges that run on the track.

Lastly, put the refrigerator drawer back on the track. Angle the front of the drawer down and slide it into place. If you move the drawer back and forth a few times, you'll likely notice that the problem has been resolved.