How to Get Any Drawer Unstuck

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Opening a stuck drawer is made even more frustrating when you really need to get something out of the drawer. Yanking the drawer harder and harder only elevates your irritation. The key is to remedy what is stopping the drawer from opening, instead of relying on brute force. The cause is usually drawer contents that block the drawer from opening, the drawer being off track or the sides of the drawer rubbing against the frame.

Things You'll Need

  • Putty knife
  • 60-grit sandpaper
  • Paraffin wax bar
  • Try to open the stuck drawer as far as you can. Determine if something inside the drawer, such as a large object, is blocking the drawer from opening completely.

  • Work the blade of a putty knife between the drawer and the frame. Move any object that is blocking the drawer from opening, using the putty knife, and fully open the drawer. Rearrange the items in the drawer, or remove items if it is too full. If the drawer is not stuck because of something packed inside the drawer, proceed to the next step.

  • Open the stuck drawer a few inches, or as much as possible. Slip the blade of the putty knife between the drawer and the runner, on the side of the drawer that is jammed. The runner is the metal or wood assembly that supports the drawer as it slides open and closed.

  • Tap the drawer lightly, using your hand, until the drawer is back on track, or jiggle it gently to work it back on track. Remove the drawer once it is back on track. If the drawer still does not open completely, proceed to the next step.

  • Rub coarse, 60-grit sandpaper on the drawer sides, and along the top and bottom edges on the side of the drawer. Rub a bar of paraffin wax on the top and bottom edges of the drawer sides. Rub the paraffin bar on the drawer guide on the bottom of the drawer, if the drawer is designed with one.

  • Slide the drawer back into place. Slide it open and closed, to make sure it operates properly.

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