Skip to Content

How To Open a Stuck Drawer

How To Open a Stuck Drawer

We all have that one drawer that continually gets stuck. Whether it’s a kitchen utensil that prevents us opening it, or the junk drawer just finally too full of junk, we all come across impossible-to-open drawers from time to time.

So how can you open a stuck drawer?

To open a stuck drawer, try lifting it slightly higher so that it slides out more easily. You can also slide a knife into the opening to move any object that is preventing the door from opening. If the drawer keeps getting stuck, however, remove the drawer completely and look at the racings that allow it to slide open and close.

Opening a stuck drawer can take more time and effort than you may think. Read on to learn some more tips on how to open stuck drawers.


Reasons Why a Drawer Becomes Stuck

Dealing with a stuck drawer is a major pain.

Not being able to reach into a drawer and simply get the utensil you want will frustrate you to no end.

But before you start pulling on the drawer handle, it is important to learn why a drawer gets stuck.

Then you will know how to prevent the drawer from getting stuck every again.

Drawers inside newly created furniture often get stuck, as certain substances can drip down on the brackets and railings.

The substance could be anything: old paint, glue, or oil or wood stains and varnish. This can cause it to stick upon opening.

There also might be a large utensil blocking the way. Some people place their large objects, like spatulas, blow dryers, potato mashers, hair curlers, ladles and inside drawers.

If the drawer is deep enough to fit these items, then there should not be a problem, but most drawers are not deep enough to prevent large objects from rising up slightly and jamming the drawer.

The top culprits are the potato masher and the hair curler, as its many prongs get caught between the drawer and the cabinet wood.

Also, if the sliding rails are damaged, the drawer will not open easily or at all. If you treat your drawers roughly and slam the drawers closed, they will eventually break.  

You shouldn’t have to force your drawers to open and close. Just slide the drawers gently.

How to Open a Stuck Drawer

There are a few ways to open a stuck drawer.

First, you can attempt to lift it from the bottom in order to change how its sitting on the sliding tracks. Sometimes this also helps to dislodge whatever might be in the way if it’s blocking the opening.

Once it is open, inspect the drawer and find out why it keeps getting stuck. Then fix the drawer and prevent it from getting stuck in the future.

If the drawer is stuck because there is a utensil or a large object blocking it from opening, use a knife to slide the object down and underneath the drawer or armoire shelf. If the gap is wide enough, you can use your hand to move it.

Instead of placing your large or awkward utensils in the drawer, leave the utensils in a container in a different part of the kitchen or in the bathroom.  

Choose an area that you don’t use often. As long as you keep your largest objects in their own containers and out of the drawer, they won’t be able to block the door from opening.

If there are large objects in your bedroom drawers, remove those objects and place them in a container underneath the bed.

WD-40 is a great lubricant and degreaser. If you cannot open the drawer, open the cabinet underneath the drawer and spray the side railings with WD-40.

To clean the drawer, remove the drawer completely and apply some degreaser or soap to the area.

You’ll have to wash the side railings inside the cabinets as well. Use a scrub brush or a green scrub to remove the substance.

Check for any glue or grease around the side railings. Maybe some oil or make up spilled and coated the drawer side railings.

Wash it away and check for any cracks that would allow substances to drip onto the drawer.

Lastly, if you need to open a drawer with damaged side railings, do not push it open. Instead, lift the entire drawer up. Lift the drawer off of the cabinet’s side railings.

Start lifting the very back of the drawer first and then list the rest of the door. Then remove the drawer completely and place it on the counter.

To fix broken side railings, remove the drawer, remove its side railings and the sirens inside the drawer compartment.

Then replace the damaged side railings with new railings.

Stuck drawer

Conclusion to Opening a Stuck Drawer

Large objects and sticky substances are two common reasons why drawers will not open. Also, damage to the side railings can prevent the door from opening.

Side railings are usually damaged when the person or persons opening and closing the door slam it open and closed over a period of time.

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.