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Opening a Stuck Drawer

Depending on the access available to the drawer, fixing a stuck drawer can be easy or difficult. This is a guide about opening a stuck drawer.
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Solutions

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April 25, 2011 Flag

Have a drawer that doesn't open and close smoothly? Remove the drawer and clean the wooden rails that support the drawer. Clean off any dust or dirt with a damp rag. Then, rub with a candle stub (over the wood rails) a thin layer of wax. The wax will help the drawer to glide smoothly once its back in place. Now you have a drawer that will glide in and out smoothly!

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By dwedenoja from New Creek, WV

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April 25, 20110 found this helpful

The same holds true for windows that don't slide easily. Many years ago, I bought a package of wax blocks for canning jelly. They have lasted me 4 ever.

cmt.

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0 found this helpful
January 1, 2006 Flag

If you have a sticky drawer that doesn't want to open right, just take a white candle and drag over the gliders to make it slide in and out easier.

By Robin from Washington, IA

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
January 31, 2014 Flag

I have an old oak banker's desk with one stuck drawer on the bottom left, any suggestions?

The desk is in excellent shape, just this drawer will not open. I have tried everything I can think of.

By Emmy

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February 1, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Run a knife blade around the top sides and bottom to check for a latch. Sometimes they are well hidden. If you can turn the desk over you may see a latch or lock. Take the other drawers out to try and find a pinch point if you have not found a latch or lock.

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February 1, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

I posted before if there is a drawer on top take it out to see if there is something holding the bottom drawer in. then use the file to sand it down then use wax ton the runners or bottom of the drawer it might be that the runners need to be fixed.

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February 3, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Some desks used a latch for security. Opening another, specific drawer will release the latch, allowing you to open the bottom drawer.

Related Content(article continues below)
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February 1, 20140 found this helpful

Hey if you can get it out turn it over and use a nail file on it to sand it down then get some candle was and rob where the drawer sticks. And maybe put some on the drawer.

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February 2, 20140 found this helpful

Can you get your hand(s) under the drawer bottom? Try pushing up on the bottom back of the drawer.

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0 found this helpful
October 3, 2016 Flag

The top right desk drawer won't open. It looks like something is holding it from the back.

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January 31, 20170 found this helpful

This usually happens if something is sticking up and preventing the drawer from closing. IF you can stick a ruler inside and smooth down whatever is stuck, usually you can get it open again.

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February 5, 20170 found this helpful

A wire coat hanger can help you push down what is in the way if the drawer opening.

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1 found this helpful
March 24, 2013 Flag

I would like some advice on how to unstick two drawers in a chimney cabinet (a built in cabinet of drawers, next to a chimney). The drawers do "not" have knobs, although they have holes where knobs once resided! There is not access to them from the top or bottom. Any advice? I would love to know if there is anything in them and if possible, use them for storage once I get them open. Thank you.

By sasvermont

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

Have you tried sticking the hook end of a metal close hanger or an ice pick in the holes and then kinda pulling at an angle to open the drawers? I'd work with the top drawer first and then you'd have access to the second drawer.

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

Use a long nail or awl to put in the holes; ones that fit fairly snugly and that you can still remove later. then try pulling them open. Have you considered removing knobs from other cupboards or drawers temporarily and putting them in the holes? Because of their location near a chimney, the drawers may be warped. Make sure the paint I see on them hasn't sealed them shut. If so, use a putty knife to go around the edges a couple of times, prying slightly as you go.

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

Get an old fashioned bottle cap opener,useful for

opening coke or beer bottles,place the hook of the

opener under the drawer (hook up)gently pry along several places it will open do the lower drawer first . Never be without these openers great for opening vacuem sealed jars to Go for it

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

Try using the top of a wire hanger threaded into the holes for the knobs. You should be able to put one in each hole and, at the same time, pull it opened.

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March 26, 20130 found this helpful

Get an old fashioned "molly bolt" from the hardware store - small enough diameter to feed through the hole, and long enough so you can unfold the "wings" inside the drawer. Then grab the "head" with pliers or vise grips and wiggle and pull... Good luck! Maybe there will be something FUN or valuable in the drawers?

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August 16, 2010 Flag

I have a chest of drawers and the drawers do not come out all the way. There is something stuck behind a drawer and I'm unable to reach back far enough to get it out.
Any suggestions?

By Judy from Laurel, MT

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
August 16, 20100 found this helpful

Sometimes I have been able to use something like a screw driver or the blade of a knife, sometimes use the handle of a long spoon and reach in to jiggle the jammed item loose. I usually manage to get the item worked loose.

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August 16, 20100 found this helpful

Try using a wooden ruler and see if you can move whatever is making the drawer stick out of the way, so you can easily open it.

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August 19, 20100 found this helpful

Empty the drawer then try. If that doesn't work, empty all the drawers and turn the chest on its side or upside down. Whatever it is should fall out. There is one last hope if those don't work. See if the back will come off the chest. That will do it for sure.

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0 found this helpful
October 20, 2012 Flag

There is too much food in the bottom drawer and it's stuck and will not pull out. Any suggestions?

By Birney

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October 21, 20120 found this helpful

Take the drawer above it out and remove the excess food. Then you can pull the bottom drawer out.

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August 16, 2010 Flag

I have a very old (over 100yrs) antique mahogany sideboard. something has jammed inside one of the drawers and it won't open. The back of the sideboard is a solid whole wood panel (about 3ft by 4ft), the underside of the drawer where the drawer itself sits, is also a solid wood panel so taking out the drawer underneath is useless. How can I get the drawer to open (it only opens about 1/4 inch) completely to free whatever is jamming inside it without damaging it? It's a very valuable piece of furniture and short of taking it apart (which is not an option) I don't know what to do. Does anyone have any suggestions, please.

Cettina from Malta, Europe

Answers:

Options for Unjamming a Drawer

Slide a ruler into the gap and depress the item that is jamming the drawer! Hope this works.
(11/14/2007)

By Graham from Wales, U.K.

Options for Unjamming a Drawer

Yes, a yardstick or even a long metal file. You have to open the drawer as far as you can and pull out anything you can reach. Then put the long stick in and try to get it up over the top of what is stuck and then push it down. Good luck! (11/15/2007)

By Kathy

Options for Unjamming a Drawer

You get the idea of what to do from the other posters. However, I would use a wire clothes hanger, and untwist it until it is a long wire with the hook on one end. Be careful with it, since it can spring about and catch someone in the eye. (11/15/2007)

By the Oracle

Options for Unjamming a Drawer

I have used a pancake spatula or a long cake decorating smoothing knife (it's not sharp). Slide in carefully and you can usually press down what is catching the edge. (11/15/2007)

By EGGZ

Options for Unjamming a Drawer

As a last resort, remove everything from all the drawers you can open. Have someone strong help you move the sideboard away from the wall and gently lay it on its back, possibly even lift up the bottom edge while in this position, and gently shake and move it around. This could possibly cause whatever has jammed the drawer to move and might solve your problem. Or at least allow you to reach in and move what is in the way. This seems like a lot of work, but to me would be preferable to damaging the sideboard by prying on it. Good luck. Let us know if you manage to get it open. (11/16/2007)

By Grandma Margie

Options for Unjamming a Drawer

Grandma Margie, it worked! We put sideboard lying down on its back on the floor and what was jamming fell backwards so it was easy to open the drawer and get it out. It was an ornament in a box that had turned to an angle and jammed. Yes, you're right, how lovely it is that from my little Mediterranean island I can reach out to you so far away in America. The internet has drawbacks, but I personally think it brings people of the same ilk closer together if used wisely. Thank you so much for your advice. What a nice person you are. (11/22/2007)

By cett

Options for Unjamming a Drawer

I would try to use a thin, cheap nail file and finding out what is stuck. Then see if you can get it out with the nail file. Good luck. (11/24/2007)

By Jannie

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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