How to Clean a Ball-Bearing Drawer Slide

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You must remove the drawer to access the slide.
You must remove the drawer to access the slide. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Many household drawers come equipped with ball-bearing drawer slides. Drawers with ball-bearing slides are easy to slide in and out along the track. But these tracks can become embedded with crumbs, dirt and dust. When heavily soiled, the drawer may stick or stutter when opened. To prevent this problem, clean your drawers and slides once annually or when moving into a new place.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Rag
  • Household cleaner

Pull the drawer out until you meet resistance.

Detach the ball-bearing track attached to the drawer from the track attached to the cabinet wall. The detachment method varies widely by manufacturer. Some feature a tab on the drawer track that you can depress to release the track. Consult the manufacturer instructions for details. If you do not have the instructions, examine the track. Any release tab or button will be plastic or metal and located along the track itself or on the top of the very back of the drawer. If you don't see a tab, try lifting the front of the drawer up, then pulling the drawer out and up. Otherwise, try sliding the drawer halfway back into the cabinet, then lifting up on the front. Try combinations of these methods if all else fails.

Sweep the debris out of the drawer with a rag.

Moisten a rag with a pH-neutral household cleaner.

Wipe down both sides of the track. To clean behind the tracks, remove the screws that attach them to the cabinet or the drawer. Wipe the backs of the tracks and the sides of the cabinet or drawer. Then replace the tracks.

Slide the drawer back in carefully, making sure that the drawer and cabinet tracks are aligned. The release tab will pop back into place automatically.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not force the drawer out. You may damage the track. Some drawer slide sides have no disconnect feature. These drawers cannot be removed for cleaning. Wipe down the portion of the track that is exposed when you pull the drawer all the way out. Use canned air directed along the track to clean the portions that you cannot see.

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